May 3rd, 2017

Hard Stare

The decline & fall of the last British makes of computer: Acorn & Psion

I was a keen owner and fan of multiple Psion PDAs (pocket digital assistants – today, I have a Psion 3C, a 5MX and a Series 7/netBook) and several Acorn desktop computers running RISC OS (I have an A310 and an A5000).

I was bitterly disappointed when the companies exited those markets. They still survive -- Psion's OS became Symbian and I had several Symbian devices, including a Sony-Ericsson P800, plus two Nokias -- a 7700 and an E90 Communicator. The OS is now dead, but Psion's handhelds still survive -- I'll get to them.

I have dozens of ARM-powered devices, and I have RISC OS Open running on a Raspberry Pi 3.

But despite my regret, both Psion's and Acorn's moves were excellent, sensible, pragmatic business decisions.

How many people used PDAs?

How many people now use smartphones?

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