I have been using my Psion MC600 for some time. So what works here?
- The text editor: there are many of them but I use the vi text editor (actually the XVI clone). I works well and it’s fast enough.
- The spreadsheet: the text-only sc 6.21. It is limited in some areas (there is no data sorting, for example) but it can do a lot of work (plus I use it on my other machines). It’s acceptably fast.
- The graph plotting software: the Gnuplot, of course. The 3.5 version works well here.
- The communication software and printing: the MC600 has by default a serial port and a parallel port. It is possible to connect a parallel line printer and print text files by issuing the copy file.txt prn command (or use a more advanced printer). One can use the parallel port for data transfer to a from the Atari Portfolio if one has the FT.COM program. But for communication with other computers I use the Kermit package. I have tried it as a serial console emulator (to connect to my SGI O2 machine) and also for file transfer via the serial port. It have worked in both cases (the only problem was to find right cables: the MC600 serial port has little strange size – it’s not an old Macintosh-style serial port; the cable from Psion Series 3a can be used but is is not a null-modem cable so one should use the null-modem converter).
- The C compiler (I even didn’t thought about other languages): there are two obvious options – the free DesMet C Compiler (K&R syntax only) and a commercial Power C compiler (it’s still being sold!) which is ANSI 89 compatible (it also includes some POSIX-style extensions which is nice).
The hardware is very similar to the MC400 but it is better in some areas (a larger build-in memory) and worse in others (a lower screen resolution, no touchpad, a lack of some connectors) because the MC400 uses a proprietary operating system which was written for it but the MC600 uses less or more standard DOS operating system with all its needs and limitations. The graphics card is a CGA which is a problem for me: I can’t load localised fonts so I can’t see Czech texts here (the machine is a German version).