Published by Steve Litchfield at 9:23 UTC, August 25th 2010
Q. I have a Psion Series 5 and am very happy with it, but I want to update to something newer. How can I convert my data files into a more modern device?
A. Yes, there are still a lot of Psion owners still out there. By 'data files' I'm assuming you mean Psion 'Data' files, i.e. the flat file databases created by the built-in application. These are often used on early Psions for storing contact and miscellaneous information.
The problem, as you've probably found out, is that any attempt to export from Data in 'CSV' (Comma Separated Values) text, or similar, is usually thwarted by the way embedded carriage returns (i.e. every time you pressed 'Enter') in a Notes field are passed through into the export file. If you're technical then you should be able to follow the instructions on 3lib.ukonline.co.uk/codetran.htm to use a command line utility to convert the problem character codes. If it's too complicated for you then contact me (Steve) at the address on that page.
Once converted into satisfactory delimited text form, it's fairly trivial to import each of your data files into any database system. For most mobile platforms, there are half a dozen suitable database applications. I'd suggest starting with HanDBase (www.handbase.com) though, if only because its import of generic files is superb and because the databases it produces are portable across other platforms, e.g. Symbian, iPhone, Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones. Good luck!
See also the FAQ at Psion's site.
(This original text of mine was originally published in Smartphone Essentials magazine and re-purposed here with kind permission)