Psion MC400

I have got the PSION MC400 laptop. It’s externally (and internally, too) very similar to the MC600 machine that I have had already (see the photo below). There are two main differences: it has a huge touchpad (an early one, it’s a bit strange) and it runs a very early version of the EPOC/Symbian operating system.

Psion MC600 and Workabout vs Ben NanoNote

I have been enthusiastic about the DOS-based MC600 machine but I am much less happy about this one. It’s a nice example of engineegging work, it can be usefull even today but it’s closed operating system and a very limited number of available applications (my machine has just the englisth version of the “Word” application, even the Agenda and the calculator applications aren’t included) so it’t real use is too limited. The much more primitive and non-graphical operating system of the MC600 is much more supported and I can easily write new applications for this machine if I need them (in the C language, for example). The MC400 can be programmed only with use of an early version of the propietary OPL language with a limited support for the GUI features of the machine (it was open-sourced a very long time after end of life of the MC range of machines) 😦

So it’s a nice piece for my collection but it’s surely not a computer which I am able to use.

Psion MC400


Well, that’s a quite interesting hobby. I was able to resist for a long time. But recently I have got a dedicated hiking GPS device (of course, I got it for a totally different purpose – I have wanted to have GPS for my bicycle).

One of my colleagues convinced me to try the geocaching. I thought that it is not so good idea but I have tried it and I have found the geocaching somewhat interesting. Honestly, a searching of caches is the main reason for me but is seems that many of the caches are really located near very interesting places. For example, this weekend I visited two beautiful places in nearby forest, for example. I didn’t knew about them previously.

Forest near Vřesina

The device that I’m have using is very good (it’s durable, it has a very long battery life and it uses the standard AA batteries) but of course it isn’t and open source device. So it can not be modified to fulfill all of my needs. And the maps for it are quite expensive. But there are open-source maps for it: the OpenStreepMap ones.

I still plan to connect a serial GPS receiver to my Ben NanoNote microcomputer. It probably will not be as usefull as a dedicated GPS but it might be usefull for navigation (and even for a geocaching) in urban areas. I hope that I will be able to find some time for that project.