The Psion Organiser II Forum (
User Forum >> User Post >> FAO StarHawk - Organiser to a Linux PC Comms Link
(Message started by: MartinReid on Nov 6th, 2018, 2:03pm)

Title: FAO StarHawk - Organiser to a Linux PC Comms Link
Post by MartinReid on Nov 6th, 2018, 2:03pm
Dear Starhawk

I'll start a new thread then nobody can take offence.

To continue from your post.. I've wanted an LZ for a while now -- one of two things on my PSION Christmas List (so to speak), the other being a Linux-able CommsLink program..

May I suggest you watch the video..
minicom serial

If that has got your juices running then..

Let me start by saying I will quickly be out of my depth with this LINUX stuff but others may join in with advice for you. As LINUX looks command line based, I remember back in the 80's getting the PSION Organiser to 'communicate' with a Sinclair QL. The QL luckily had SERial ports so there was no USB adapting issues, but we did have to purchase a modified QL to Serial lead.

So the first question I would ask you is; do you have a Serial (RS232) port or would you be using a USB to Serial converter lead?

When we were interfacing with the QL there was no 'CommsLink Programme' on the QL. If I remember correctly we had to 'open' the serial channel, set the parameters; that was the task that needed patience to get them communicating with each other. Save the settings (in case of the inevitable crash). I still have the Send2QL.OB4 CommsLink setup file in my archive. If you check Section 5 - Connecting to any other computer - in the Comms Link Manual (1989) on Jaaps Hardware Manuals Page (below) - you will find all the parameters and commands explained. We got great value out of AUTO.

When connected we used Transmit from the COMMS menu on the Organiser and I think after we had typed Copy Ser1 to mdv1_FileName_typ on the QL, and hay presto the file was saved on the QL microdrive.

Anyway all this is to show that 'a novice' managed without a 'CommsLink Programme', so if you want you could have a go.

Yours sincerely and in good faith
Good Luck

image Minicom Command Summery

Title: Re: FAO StarHawk - Organiser to a Linux PC Comms L
Post by starhawk on Nov 6th, 2018, 8:20pm
Well, this is very nice... :)

Unfortunately, I slept exceptionally poorly last night, with the expectable result that I can't brain today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, and will result in a more thorough and informative reply...

Title: Re: FAO StarHawk - Organiser to a Linux PC Comms L
Post by starhawk on Nov 8th, 2018, 9:45pm
minicom is a serial terminal application...


Linux is indeed command-line based, the problem being that there is no single command line standard /per se/. Or, rather, that there is, but that it's a /de facto/ standard, one that "just happened that way" -- and, as such, it's freely ignored by certain Linux distros, although there are workarounds for that.

The 'standard' command shell is called bash, the 'Bourne-Again SHell'. The original Bourne SHell (bsh) was copyrighted by the Bell Labs crew and so is closed-source... bash however is F|OSS (free and open-source software) with a relatively permissive license.

However, I use a variant of Ubuntu Linux called Xubuntu ("Zoo-buntu" or "Ex-Ubuntu", either works), which differs from standard-issue Ubuntu primarily by way of the GUI desktop employed, and the 'buntus (as the overall collective family is typically referred to) prefer a different shell called 'dash' by default. The way you work around that, if you must have bash, is by formatting your 'shell script' (our term for the equivalent of a DOS *.BAT batch file) with a different "shebang" at the top.

So instead of writing, as the very first line...

#!/bin/sh select the default shell, which is always linked (a link is a filesystem-native 'alias' sort of construct) as /bin/sh -- you type...


...and that directs the system to use bash instead.

The next problem being that I don't know how to write bash scripts worth crap yet ;)

The Psion Organiser II Forum » Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.1!
YaBB 2000-2002,
Xnull. All Rights Reserved.