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Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Printable Version

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RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 05-26-2021 12:10 AM

Here are three out of four modifications of the original Japanese organizer PA-7000 (starting from the top-left):
- the original variant of the PA-7000B (B means 'Black' color of the cover)
- updated PA-7000B with added 'Bware' branding and re-positioned Sharp logo
- PA-7000-GY (Grey) with the redesign

The fourth variant available is the red version of the original PA-7000B - PA-7000R.

[Image: IMG-5161.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5162.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4427.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4428.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4430.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 05-31-2021 05:35 PM

One of the six game-cards published by Sharp in the west was OZ/IQ-8A01 'Organizer Hatris.' It was another game based on the original Japanese card (the same as Box Jokey, Organizer Tetris & Organizer Golf) - PA-5C01(S). The Japanese card was the first software IC card released for the high-resolution display of the new top-of-the-line PA-9500 organizer (the device was released in Oct/90, while the game card - in Dec/90).

OZ/IQ-8A01 was released later on for the new OZ/IQ-8000 line of western organizers with the widescreen display. However, the western version differs from the Japanese one in two ways:
- it requires a user to hold the organizer vertically (the same way as for the Organizer Tetris card)
- it has less detailed graphics (at least for the falling hats)

Here's the comparison between the cards:

[Image: PA-5-C01-1.jpg]

[Image: PA-5-C01-2.jpg]

[Image: IQ-8A01.jpg]

[Image: IQ-8-A01-2.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Ren - 06-05-2021 10:04 PM

Okay, this may be OT for this particular thread;
I bought a Sharp EL-5520 this morning at a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store ($2).
After battery replacement, basic calculator functions are working.
I haven't tried any BASIC to it.
It has a 4Kb RAM Card (CE-211M) installed. I am not sure whether it is working.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Dave Britten - 06-07-2021 01:55 PM

I finally tracked down a Tetris card for my OZ-7200. It plays well enough, considering the constraints. What I find interesting is that the game doesn't speed up, rather the height of the floor increases with each level, forcing you to work higher up the stack. They obviously did this because fast-moving pieces would have ghosted badly enough that they would have been invisible.

(06-05-2021 10:04 PM)Ren Wrote:  Okay, this may be OT for this particular thread;
I bought a Sharp EL-5520 this morning at a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store ($2).
After battery replacement, basic calculator functions are working.
I haven't tried any BASIC to it.
It has a 4Kb RAM Card (CE-211M) installed. I am not sure whether it is working.

That model requires a RAM card to be installed, as it doesn't have any internal memory, so if the device appears to be working at all, it's probably good. To test, I'd suggest hitting the reset button on the back of the computer, switching to BASIC mode, and typing MEM to see how many bytes it reports.

Also, I should apparently stop by the local Re-Store if they sell things like that. Smile


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 06-10-2021 11:01 PM

In today's slightly off-topic post, I want to talk about Sharp's competitors in Japan. Despite the company's leading position in its home market, it has had quite a few of them. Here are the most notable three of them.

First on the list is Sharp's longtime "rival" and the main competitor - Casio. The pioneer of the digital organizer back in 1983, the company was caught off guard when Sharp released PA-7000 in January 1987. Only after six months, Casio released the DK-1000 organizer, capable of displaying kanji, but it did not have the competitor's IC card slot.

It wasn't until mid-1989 when the company was able to counter-attack with the release of the Casio DK-5000. It had a widescreen display capable of displaying almost twice as much information as the then-current Sharp PA-8500; it also had twice as much memory and, finally, an IC card slot hidden inside the device. The organizer was equipped with five dedicated buttons below the screen to operate the card. Each of them was responsible for a particular function depending on a specific card. In this case, the bottom line on the screen displayed the five buttons' descriptions, which slightly reduced its usable area but was a justified solution.

[Image: Casio1.jpg]

[Image: Casio2.jpg]

The company released about ten organizer models, some of which were subsequently adapted to Western markets as part of the SF line. I also have a DK-7200 (unfortunately, it doesn't turn on) and one of the later models - DK-E810. It is notable thanks to the inclusion of EPROM memory in addition to the RAM memory. The organizer automatically copied contents of the RAM into EPROM to back up the data from loss in case both the primary and backup batteries die.

[Image: Casio3.jpg]

[Image: Casio4.jpg]

As for the IC cards, their assortment is much smaller compared to Sharp's offerings and totals just over 50 items, including Japanese and Western variants. Casio produced new card models until 1996, when Sharp was already actively adopting the software distribution for Zaurus/PI PDAs via floppy disks or online networks.

[Image: Casio5.jpg]

The next competitor is the NEC PI-ET1, introduced in August 1990. As some of you probably know, at the time, NEC was the leader in the Japanese personal computer market, and its PC-98 family was a standard like the PC XT/AT in the West. Seeing the success of Sharp in the personal organizers market, NEC decided to develop its own solution. It teamed up with Hudson Soft, which already helped the company design the PC Engine game console (TurboGrafx-16 in the US). Hudson Soft created firmware for the device, official development tools, and one of the few game IC cards.

[Image: Nec1.jpg]

[Image: Nec2.jpg]

The PI-ET1 itself had many attractive features: a Z80 processor that was well-known to developers, a barcode scanner, a dedicated 4-directional pad with two buttons for menu navigation, and convenient game controls (hello, Game Boy). Software-wise, it had a built-in human face editor, which could be used to assign a simple avatar to a phone or address book record. Japanese hackers quickly found a way to write assembly language programs directly on the device itself without buying official development tools.

[Image: Nec3.jpg]

Unlike personal computers, NEC could not gain a foothold in the organizer market, and the PI-ET1 did not have a successor. As a result, only 11 IC cards were produced, four of which were gaming cards. Since I don't have any of them, I'm including someone else's photo below. As you can see, the cards were about half the size of the Sharp and Casio counterparts.

[Image: nec4.png]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 06-10-2021 11:02 PM

(had to split up the post due to the number of pictures)

Rounding out the top three competitors is the Kyocera Refalo, released at the end of 1990. As a basis for the original PA-7000 organizer with its IC card slot, Sharp took paper diaries a-la Filofax, which allowed organizing internal space by adding different pages out of dozens and hundreds of types. Unlike its competitors, Kyocera decided to combine paper and electronic organizers as closely as possible. Its Refalo externally looks like a hard "cover," with a touch screen and control buttons on the left side and two expansion card slots on the right. In the center of the organizer, there is a standard 'binder' connector mechanism for the addition of paper sheets. However, the company's engineers went even further: two of these rings are pins of an induction interface that allows one to connect peripherals wirelessly. My organizer has a horizontal QWERTY keyboard; there is also a vertical ABCD keyboard available in the wild.

[Image: Kyocera1.jpg]

[Image: Kyocera2.jpg]

[Image: Kyocera3.jpg]

The unit itself has an x86-compatible processor and runs on full MS-DOS with a custom shell designed for touchscreen operation. Kyocera initiated the creation of a new IC card standard based on the well-established Japanese JEIDA v4 memory card standard (compatible with PCMCIA), to which dozens of software and digital content manufacturers, including Microsoft, have joined. The company's idea was that ICMA cards could be used in other manufacturers' devices and contain software, books, and other media types.

[Image: Kyocera4.jpg]

[Image: Kyocera5.jpg]

Unfortunately, the Refalo is powered by a special lead-acid battery, which is dead in my case. The device can be powered by a 5V power supply, which I have yet to find (the organizer came to me a few days ago). Therefore, I can not verify whether it turns on and demonstrate the interface.

As for the IC cards, I do not know their complete list, as there is almost no information about Refalo available online. I have a card with Lotus 1-2-3. Similar to NEC, Kyocera's organizer was not popular in Japan, and the company had to abandon the already announced plans for its expansion to the West.

[Image: Kyocera6.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 06-16-2021 10:58 AM

Red beauties - PA-7000-R and PA-7550-RD. Sharp decided to go even further with the red version of the PA-7500 organizer and give it a redesign and its own model number.

[Image: IMG-5506.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5507.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5508.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5509.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5510.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5511.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5512.jpg]

[Image: IMG-5513.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Ren - 06-17-2021 02:39 AM

(06-07-2021 01:55 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  [...]
(06-05-2021 10:04 PM)Ren Wrote:  Okay, this may be OT for this particular thread;
I bought a Sharp EL-5520 this morning at a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store ($2).
After battery replacement, basic calculator functions are working.
I haven't tried any BASIC to it.
It has a 4Kb RAM Card (CE-211M) installed. I am not sure whether it is working.

That model requires a RAM card to be installed, as it doesn't have any internal memory, so if the device appears to be working at all, it's probably good. To test, I'd suggest hitting the reset button on the back of the computer, switching to BASIC mode, and typing MEM to see how many bytes it reports.

Also, I should apparently stop by the local Re-Store if they sell things like that. Smile

It reports 3070
Thanks for replying to my question Dave!
Did I mention I received a used Panasonic HHC as a wedding gift? B^)


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 07-06-2021 08:47 PM

I decided to mess a little and created a short user guide in English for the Japanese organizer PA-7000, based on the Japanese pocket guide that comes with the device. It covers only the basics and is not meant to be a complete user manual. The guide may also be relevant for later models.
I would like to thank Dave Britten for the help.

The Google Docs link (contains minor formatting errors due to incorrect import of the original document from MS Word): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-iFW4l3No2ktWdV83_L3tNooy3y0PEd7Jzx8kMIsWAs/

PDF version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mXPRZe7LcZw8zB6q3TZYVyvuRrDokNRu/view


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 07-19-2021 10:53 AM

Although Sharp originally developed the IC card format for its portable organizers, the company later used it for other devices. One of these was "word processor," a portable electronic typewriter with extended functionality, often with an integrated printer. Many Sharp Shoin word processors (WD series) had an IC card slot and could communicate directly with the PA/PI series of electronic organizers. Besides memory expansion, additional fonts, programs, and games were distributed on IC cards for the Shoin processors.

[Image: image.png]

For the sake of interest, I purchased one IC card for the Shoin, the WD-10GF, which contains a semi-cursive calligraphic Kanji print font. The box is very large and is more like a videotape box.

[Image: 1.jpg]

[Image: 2.jpg]

A foam pad takes up most of the inner space. Additionally, it contains a thin manual, a warranty card, and the IC card itself.

[Image: 3.jpg]

WD-10GF in comparison with the PA-7C10 organizer IC card.

[Image: 4.jpg]

[Image: 5.jpg]

Finally, let's compare the size of the cards' packaging.

[Image: 6.jpg]

The PA-7C10 was chosen for a reason. As I mentioned above, the Shoin word processors, in addition to their main function, had extra features, including a scheduler, calendar, etc. As a result, it was possible to exchange data between a processor and an organizer and directly edit the information contained on the portable device. Moreover, a number of organizer cards could be used in Shoin, including PA-7C10 "Phone/Address Book Card." Finally, some word processor models allowed developing BASIC programs for portable organizers with the appropriate software installed; the app could then be transferred to suitable organizer cards like the PA-7C18/7C-19.

[Image: 7.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 12-12-2021 12:17 AM

I have finally collected all 26 of the known Japanese cards from the PA-7C family and would like to present them in one group photo. The first ones, PA-7C1 & PA-7C2, were released in January 1987 with the first organizer, PA-7000; the last ones, PA-7C50 & PA-7C51 - in June 1990. As can be seen from the photo, the sequential numbering of the cards has ‘holes,’ which might indicate that Sharp worked on more cards that were never released (this is valid for the western cards as well). Though there are ‘only’ 26 cards available, this amount increases two-fold if you count in all available card & packaging variants.

[Image: IMG-4160.jpg]

And here is the full-size image for those interested in details.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - rprosperi - 12-12-2021 02:27 PM

Amazing collection, thanks for sharing this here. I've never seen most of these, and not able to read Japanese, don't have a clue what most of them are, though some of the early ones were around the office when the early Western market cards were being developed. But I don't see the golf game card, are the game cards included here?


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 12-12-2021 04:22 PM

(12-12-2021 02:27 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Amazing collection, thanks for sharing this here. I've never seen most of these, and not able to read Japanese, don't have a clue what most of them are, though some of the early ones were around the office when the early Western market cards were being developed. But I don't see the golf game card, are the game cards included here?

Thanks. In Japan, Sharp had multiple card lineups:
PA-7C - productivity & entertainment cards developed & published by Sharp
PA-3C - productivity, entertainment & games cards developed & published by 3rd parties
PA-9C - successor to PA-7C; cards from this family supported increased resolution of PA-9xx0 organizers' screens. Some of 3rd parties worked on these cards as sub-contractors
PA-5C - successor to PA-3C with the support of PA-9xx0 organizers' screens
PV-1/2C - cards for the first keyboardless Sharp organizer (and first PDA) PV-F1. Some of them could be used with PA/PI organizers
PI-3C - cards for Zaurus/PI line of Sharp's PDAs

Golf game and other games, some of which were later released in the west, are from PA-3C (& 5C) family. In Japan, Golf, Tetris, Sokoban & Hatris were published by 3rd parties whilst in the west Sharp was the sole publisher of these titles. Here they are in comparison:

[Image: IMG-4166.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - badaze - 12-19-2021 01:32 PM

Still so impressive !


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 12-29-2021 01:58 PM

When Sharp launched the PA-7000 electronic organizer in the Japanese market in January 1987, it provided it with a simple calculator. Introduced at the end of that year, the PA-7C12 "Technical Calculation Card" turned the device into a full-fledged engineering calculator.

[Image: IMG-7608.jpg]

In addition to standard functionality present in devices of this class (107 different functions according to Sharp), this card has several distinctive features:
- 47 built-in scientific constants like the speed of light in a vacuum or Planck's constant (their names are in Japanese; otherwise, the card can be utilized without knowing that language)
- Two-variable statistical calculation function that can calculate correlation coefficients, estimates, etc. from two related samples
- Playback function that recalls a previously executed expression out of 160 recent calculations stored in the card's memory
- Last Answer function allows one to use the calculation result of the previous expression at any position in the following expression
- Ability to assign a value to any of the 26 keys of the Latin alphabet for their quick recall

[Image: IMG-7610.jpg]

[Image: IMG-7609.jpg]

In 1990, Sharp released a similar card, OZ/IQ707 "Scientific Computer Card," for Western organizers OZ/IQ. The main difference was the presence of a built-in BASIC interpreter, allowing one to program directly on the organizer. A similar card for the Japanese market, PA-9C3 "Hyper Function Program Card," was released in 1992, but it supported only the advanced line of DB-Z organizers (PA-9xx0), which had the same CPU core as their western counterparts.

[Image: IMG-7611.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Dave Britten - 12-29-2021 02:04 PM

Awesome, didn't know about the Japanese calculator card. I'd really like to get ahold of one of the 64 KB BASIC cards, or the 40-column version for the OZ-8000 series.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - badaze - 12-31-2021 05:58 PM

Sharp also released "Blank programming" cards allowing users or programmers to develop and distribute specific software.

[Image: IQ7000_004.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - rprosperi - 01-01-2022 03:58 AM

(12-31-2021 05:58 PM)badaze Wrote:  Sharp also released "Blank programming" cards allowing users or programmers to develop and distribute specific software.

[Image: IQ7000_004.jpg]

For retail/consumer sales, Sharp sold the "Scientific Computer Card" with BASIC, AER, predefined scientific functions assigned to the touchpad cells with function labels painted on the card (as seen several posts above) and had 32KB RAM for programs and file storage. There were 16 and 16/40-column versions of these cards.

For VAR/ISV/Corporate sales, Sharp sold 2 of the 'Blank' "Program Cards", in 32K and 128K RAM sizes, and though the face of these cards were not painted with the scientific key assignments, the cards actually behaved exactly the same as the Scientific Computer Cards, so pressing the touchpad on the 'Blank' cell of the Program Card, which is painted with "SIN" on the retail card, would execute the SIN function. Of course these cells could be easily customized to run programs, pick menu choices, etc.

A lot of the 32K "Program Cards" were sold, but very few of the 128K cards were sold, since most applications could be easily implemented using the smaller (and cheaper!) cards.

Also, note that in the card with the custom label seen in badaze's photo, there is a yellow circle sticker covering the BASIC logo. This is not random, and often explained as a simple version identifier, but actually it was to hide the fact that the card utilized BASIC, as many ISV's feared customers would see this as primitive or old technology. Although more than one ISV asked Sharp to have BASIC removed from the card's label, the programs delivered on these cards were fast enough, solid and reliable.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 01-01-2022 11:54 AM

(01-01-2022 03:58 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(12-31-2021 05:58 PM)badaze Wrote:  Sharp also released "Blank programming" cards allowing users or programmers to develop and distribute specific software.

[Image: IQ7000_004.jpg]

For retail/consumer sales, Sharp sold the "Scientific Computer Card" with BASIC, AER, predefined scientific functions assigned to the touchpad cells with function labels painted on the card (as seen several posts above) and had 32KB RAM for programs and file storage. There were 16 and 16/40-column versions of these cards.

For VAR/ISV/Corporate sales, Sharp sold 2 of the 'Blank' "Program Cards", in 32K and 128K RAM sizes, and though the face of these cards were not painted with the scientific key assignments, the cards actually behaved exactly the same as the Scientific Computer Cards, so pressing the touchpad on the 'Blank' cell of the Program Card, which is painted with "SIN" on the retail card, would execute the SIN function. Of course these cells could be easily customized to run programs, pick menu choices, etc.

Here's the photo to illustrate these:

[Image: IMG-7379.jpg]

I have several Japanese BASIC cards that 3rd party developers published. Unfortunately, due to their nature (an app is stored in RAM and requires a working battery for its storage), all but the bottom-right card have lost their contents. Western OZ/IQ-775/776 cards are much better in this regard due to EPROM.

[Image: IMG-7650.jpg]

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of this kind of BASIC card published by third parties in Japan alone.

And here is a complete hard-/software bundle that uses a Sharp organizer and a custom BASIC card to manage surveys(?). The organizer is housed in a custom-made cradle with extra ports and a custom circuit to power the organizer from an external source and exchange the data with a PC without the need to take the device out.

[Image: IMG-6632.jpg]

[Image: IMG-6635.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 01-06-2022 11:14 PM

Here is a pretty interesting card I got recently - PI-3C9F4 "Program Flash BASIC Card". This card contains a BASIC interpreter for Zaurus/PI devices, 128 Kb of RAM, and a whopping 4 MB of permanent flash memory. The Flash memory, at first glance, is only available when programming the card via PC because it is not mentioned when used in the organizer.

[Image: IMG-7657.jpg]

[Image: IMG-7656.jpg]