Vintage computer repair is often a tedious task. Currently I am putting all the keyboard keys back on this Psion after reconnecting a loose cable. The keys are just sitting on top of this rubber membrane and then a plastic top cover holds them on.

@lroop That looks like a real nightmare to reassemble.

TBH, modern computer work isn't much less tedious.

I spent a few hours today assembling a 3D printer, and it was trying.

That's kind of the nature of DIY projects, I guess.

@ajroach42 Oh, I know. I'm just looking at this thing imagining how on Earth they put them together originally. I wonder how many key caps ended up on the floor, in workers' shoes, etc. versus on the PDAs.

I have to assume they had a widget to make it easier.

@ajroach42 Quite possibly. I'm not sure how such a thing might work. Psion did manufacture in the UK back then, perhaps someone out there knows. At any rate, it's reassembled and working again.


How do you like the 3 series?

I have read about them a lot, but I've never used one. Iirc, something about a lack of storage options turned me off.

@ajroach42 I haven't played with it all that much. It didn't work when I got it because of the loose cable. I was reminded of it after playing with an HP 100LX and decided to try to fix it tonight.

Gotcha. I've spent a lot of time with the LX line, not much with the psions.

@ajroach42 @lroop I had one (still have somewhere...) - actually the Acorn branded version - but I used it heavily in ~95; mostly for taking notes in the university library as I worked on my PhD; thumb typing on them was just great; I'd still recommend that keyboard over modern touchscreens. I stopped using it after a few years when the hinge broke which was their normal weak point.

@lroop @ajroach42 Alternately, what about assembling it upside down? Put the keycaps and the membrane into the top cover, then lower the palmtop onto that assembly?

IIRC that's actually how IBM/Lexmark/Unicomp assemble buckling spring keyboards - it's all put onto the top plate upside down, with the heat stakes acting as locating pegs for the membrane.

@bhtooefr @ajroach42 Possibly. The keyboard cover does have several fiddly snap clips that could send keys flying, though maybe the rubber mat would stop that.

@ieure Cool! Portable devices are a particular interest of mine, and I enjoy reading about other people's repair experiences too.

@lroop which is utterly great, because you can make a QWERTY from AZERTY easily, like I did on my 3a :-)

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