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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) - Xorand - 02-01-2022 01:20 AM

Thanks to this thread, I now have a new toy to play with. My OZ-7000 arrived today.

One question I have is the outside case of your organizer fairly sticky? Mine was, and I tried to clean a small area with Isopropyl Alcohol and it didn't improve. Cleaning with fairly weak wet wipes seemed to make it better, but not considerably so. I've also used some leather cleaner wipes to put a little conditioner on the surface and that seems to help, but it still honestly feels a little tacky. Hopefully the IPA didn't damage the surface to the point of stickiness (it was tacky before starting).


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - rprosperi - 02-01-2022 02:01 AM

(02-01-2022 01:20 AM)Xorand Wrote:  Thanks to this thread, I now have a new toy to play with. My OZ-7000 arrived today.

One question I have is the outside case of your organizer fairly sticky? Mine was, and I tried to clean a small area with Isopropyl Alcohol and it didn't improve. Cleaning with fairly weak wet wipes seemed to make it better, but not considerably so. I've also used some leather cleaner wipes to put a little conditioner on the surface and that seems to help, but it still honestly feels a little tacky. Hopefully the IPA didn't damage the surface to the point of stickiness (it was tacky before starting).

As strange as it sounds, this is 'normal', in the sense that this is how nearly all devices with this same textured material feel at this age. Oddly, it does not occur to a few machines, and I've no idea what is different about them, it's not a production order/batch thing, it's probably due to these few machines being subjected to (or maybe not subjected to) exposure to some environment (such as lots of direct sunlight) or some material/chemical.

It is probably consistent but also strange that you can't pragmatically 'clean' it to remove the feeling, without doing damage to the surface. The material has simply degraded.

It's ultimately a lot like the rubber material HP selected for card reader rollers - the specs did not include the requirement to not change for 30-40 years. Smile


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 02-01-2022 12:15 PM

Today I'd like to talk about the variations of the first Western Sharp organizer with the IC card slot, the OZ/IQ-7000. As most of you probably know, the OZ line was sold in the USA, while the IQ line was offered in the rest of the world.

Sharp introduced the OZ-7000 in the States in October 1988. Around the same time, the company released the IQ-7000 in the Canadian and UK markets (I don't have the exact dates, unfortunately). In Europe, the IQ-7000 was announced no later than January 1989.

Pictured below are four variants of the 7000 organizer. With OZ-7000, which was promoted under the "Wizard" brand name (as "Wizard of the OZ"), everything is quite simple. The IQ-7000 on the top-right is the standard model for the continental European, Australian, and Hong Kong markets, and it's called simply the "Electronic Organizer." The bottom-left is the variant sold in the UK. Note the "IQ" in capital letters - Sharp specifically emphasized "Intelligence Quotient" in the branding of the organizers in that market only. Finally, although the bottom-right organizer has a different model number, IQ-7100M, in reality, is the same IQ-7000 with localized interface in several European languages. It was released in the middle of 1989.
There is also Canadian IQ-7000 available in the wild. Its packaging is almost the same as the standard (top-right) one, apart from the absence of the German inscriptions on the box. The organizer itself is completely identical.

[Image: IMG-8035.jpg]

[Image: IMG-8037.jpg]

In addition to packaging, the differences in the organizer variants also relate to the branding on the devices themselves.

[Image: IMG-8038.jpg]

[Image: IMG-8042.jpg]

It's worth noting that similar regional differences apply to all subsequent models released by Sharp in the west.

P.S. Since we're talking about the 7000 model here, let me show you some photos of a Taiwanese knock-off that I've found online. Its developers were definitely inspired by Sharp's product:

[Image: 21614386384039-103.jpg]

[Image: 21614386384039-735.jpg]

[Image: b3ec8a1a472b2cffe8300f62d1350a13.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Xorand - 02-01-2022 02:10 PM

(02-01-2022 02:01 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  As strange as it sounds, this is 'normal', in the sense that this is how nearly all devices with this same textured material feel at this age. Oddly, it does not occur to a few machines, and I've no idea what is different about them, it's not a production order/batch thing, it's probably due to these few machines being subjected to (or maybe not subjected to) exposure to some environment (such as lots of direct sunlight) or some material/chemical.

It is probably consistent but also strange that you can't pragmatically 'clean' it to remove the feeling, without doing damage to the surface. The material has simply degraded.

I did finally get it acceptably clean. After a while, I did notice that it appeared to be more of a broken down coating on the surface rather than what I initially thought may be leftover adhesive from something applied to it.

When I finally got it all nice and not sticky, the front looks great. The back was starting to lose some black color in the crevices of the grain. I rectified that by rubbing some black acrylic-based paint into the grain and buffing off the extra.

The unit now looks and feels new, front and back (and doesn't stick to my hands).


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 02-13-2022 12:04 AM

I've managed to collect the whole family of (Sharp Zaurus) 'PI' series of organizers with the IC card slot. The model PI-7000 is absent on the photo below since it lacks this slot (instead, the manufacturer equipped it with an additional 1 Mb of flash memory for data storage) and is out of my interest.

[Image: IMG-8065.jpg]

In addition to the regular PI-xx00 models, there are three 'FX' variants. Those are bundled with a modem.

[Image: IMG-8066.jpg]

Out of the PI series, I would like to highlight the following four models:
- PI-3000 is the firstborn in the Zaurus family; the successor to then state-of-the-art but commercially failed organizer PV-F1. PI-3000 resulted from the collaboration between Sharp and Apple on the Newton project and was meant to eliminate all the issues the aforementioned PV-F1 had.
- PI-5000 has a wide range of communication capabilities (for example, it was possible to use online networks via cell phone acting as a modem) as well as the ability to install third-party apps (called 'Add in') directly into the device's memory from a PC/network
- PI-6000 was smaller and lighter, and the redesigned interface allowed to get rid of lots of touch buttons on the edges of the screen.
- PI-8000 was the "swan song" of the series and the most advanced model, equipped with a built-in modem and, for the first time, a widescreen display. Because of the latter, the organizer has limited compatibility with IC cards.

[Image: IMG-8067.jpg]

[Image: IMG-8070.jpg]


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Xorand - 02-15-2022 02:24 AM

Interesting thing today. I had bought an OZ-701A Time Expense Manager IC Card off eBay. It was listed as new in open box. Though the box had some outer wear, the card looked clean. It also still had the original button cell battery still sealed in plastic.

I pulled everything out and opened up the plastic envelope and pulled out the battery. It was a Maxell branded CR2016 battery. It had what I presume was a date stamp on it of 89-04 (1989 would be about right). I took it out to the garage assuming it would be dead (it had not leaked) and to see if I have any 2016s in my battery stash.

Out of curiosity, I pulled out the multimeter and checked the battery. It had 3.27 volts (rated for "3V") charge on it. Huh. I put it in the card and put the card in the OZ-7000 and it worked fine, though the organizer might need a new backup battery as it had lost date/time and gave me a memory loss error. Unless that's normal when putting in a new card? What little information I had typed into the organizer was still there.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Dave Britten - 02-15-2022 01:04 PM

(02-15-2022 02:24 AM)Xorand Wrote:  Interesting thing today. I had bought an OZ-701A Time Expense Manager IC Card off eBay. It was listed as new in open box. Though the box had some outer wear, the card looked clean. It also still had the original button cell battery still sealed in plastic.

I pulled everything out and opened up the plastic envelope and pulled out the battery. It was a Maxell branded CR2016 battery. It had what I presume was a date stamp on it of 89-04 (1989 would be about right). I took it out to the garage assuming it would be dead (it had not leaked) and to see if I have any 2016s in my battery stash.

Out of curiosity, I pulled out the multimeter and checked the battery. It had 3.27 volts (rated for "3V") charge on it. Huh. I put it in the card and put the card in the OZ-7000 and it worked fine, though the organizer might need a new backup battery as it had lost date/time and gave me a memory loss error. Unless that's normal when putting in a new card? What little information I had typed into the organizer was still there.

Coin batteries tend to have crazy shelf life, and often work fine even decades past the "use by" date, so while that's very impressive, it's not entirely surprising. Even many old NES cartridges from the '80s that use a CR2032 for storing save data (Zelda, etc.) still save just fine, thanks to extremely low-power SRAMs. On the other hand, I've occasionally found coin batteries that appear to read acceptable unloaded voltage, but have aged to the point that they can't deliver useful current.

Normally when you pop a new card into the organizer, you'll see that message about the card data needing to be initialized, so that might have been what you saw. Not sure why the organizer would have lost its date/time without losing any other stored data, though.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 02-18-2022 09:42 AM

(03-29-2021 06:00 AM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-29-2021 02:40 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Is your OZ-707 card also a prototype? Its back states that it's OZ-770 with 64 Kb RAM even though the label on the front lists only 32 Kb.

Yes and no. As you noticed, production was not fully ramped up yet, so they used another card's back, but the PEEK command in this card refuses to read the organizer's password, so the firmware was either fully baked or very close to it. I suspect that only a handful of cards like this one ever existed, as final beta-testing units. Bob, does that sound right?

I was provided a photo of the OZ-707 card based on IQ-775. Is it also a prototype or from the first retail batch?

[Image: OZ-707-in-IQ-775.png]

On the other note, I have recently discovered that the '3Dimensional Spreadsheet Card' has different versions depending on the card model. In fact, the versions might differ even for the same card model (I have another IQ-8D04M with v3.0 on it):

[Image: 3dimensional-spreadsheet-versions.jpg]

Finally, I want to mention the cards' serial numbers: I'm building a database of the IDs for my research and found two different card models that share the same serial number (which is supposed to be unique):

[Image: Monosnap-2021-11-25-18-50-00.jpg]

To anyone who has Sharp organizers with the IC card slot and/or the IC cards themselves, could you please share the serial numbers of your items with me either via the forum or email 'sharp.serialid' @ Google mail. This would help me with their analysis and allow to publish some insights in the future.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - rprosperi - 02-18-2022 09:11 PM

(02-18-2022 09:42 AM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-29-2021 06:00 AM)Akuji Wrote:  Yes and no. As you noticed, production was not fully ramped up yet, so they used another card's back, but the PEEK command in this card refuses to read the organizer's password, so the firmware was either fully baked or very close to it. I suspect that only a handful of cards like this one ever existed, as final beta-testing units. Bob, does that sound right?

I was provided a photo of the OZ-707 card based on IQ-775. Is it also a prototype or from the first retail batch?

Often, as cards were nearing completion, but not yet available (there was a ~2 month lag from mask ROM "cut-off" date to actual units received) samples were made using the EPROM cards to hold code (and in some cases provide RAM) with the new card's printed label on the front, for things like product reviews, loaners to volume corporate customer for evaluation, User Manual reviews, etc. There were never any Sharp-branded IC Application cards built on EPROM cards sold.

Regarding serial numbers, they are indeed unique for each specific product, not globally unique.

I will dig through my Sharp boxes and get the card model & s/n info and send it to some time in the next week or so.

Regarding the version numbers, typically "Western" products (meaning non-domestic Japan) were initially released in the US (for most such items, the largest market), under the OZ-xxxx model scheme, and then several months later to ROW under the IQ-xxxx model scheme, by which time some bugs had been found and corrected. In a few cases, some bugs were actually found prior to 1st delivery, but the mask ROM "cut-off date" had occurred, so in a few cases there were actually multiple versions in OZ products as well.

In the case of IQ-8B04M, which is v3.0, note that this is not functionally different from v2.0, but that it is in fact a multi-language version (which is what the trailing "M" in the model is for), and by that time PCSG had been acquired by Lucid.


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 02-18-2022 09:39 PM

Thanks for the detailed explanations!

(02-18-2022 09:11 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  There were never any Sharp-branded IC Application cards built on EPROM cards sold.

There is IQ-780S card that looks similar to EPROM card by the looks of its back ('bump'). DO you know the reason that forced Sharp to produce it instead of the regular format?

[Image: IQ-780-S-2.jpg]

[Image: IQ-780-S-5.jpg]

(02-18-2022 09:11 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Regarding serial numbers, they are indeed unique for each specific product, not globally unique.

Does this mean that the Japanese and western organizers/cards may have matching numbers? The lists of organizers/cards' serial IDs I build are separate for Japan/western regions. Initially, I thought the numbering scheme was the same for all the products produced by Sharp and didn't think of comparing these lists.

Still, the cards on the second photo are both western, so something definitely went wrong with their serials (a typo?).

Also, maybe you can shed light on another question I still haven't found an answer to. Most IC cards have a letter (usually, it's U, but there are also A and J) instead of a number in a second digit (i.e., 1U007367 or 2J001111). What's the meaning of this letter?


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - rprosperi - 02-18-2022 10:17 PM

(02-18-2022 09:39 PM)Akuji Wrote:  There is IQ-780S card that looks similar to EPROM card by the looks of its back ('bump'). DO you know the reason that forced Sharp to produce it instead of the regular format?

The bump was simply to accommodate chips the were not flush on the board, which typically meant EPROM chips, but obviously that is not the case here for a simple RAM card. 32K RAM cards were the only RAM cards when the Wizard/IQ series launched and I believe most cards prior to these products used thicker cards, so I can only speculate that in early production, they had not yet switched to the thinner components and this early one simply was made using older, thicker chips, but I'm not certain.

(02-18-2022 09:39 PM)Akuji Wrote:  Does this mean that the Japanese and western organizers/cards may have matching numbers? The lists of organizers/cards' serial IDs I build are separate for Japan/western regions. Initially, I thought the numbering scheme was the same for all the products produced by Sharp and didn't think of comparing these lists.

Still, the cards on the second photo are both western, so something definitely went wrong with their serials (a typo?).

The serial numbers are unique for each specific model (OZ-7000, IQ-781, IQ-717, etc.) so there are feasibly many products with the same exact serial numbers, it would only mean they were made on (about) the same date. You really need both the model # and s/n to uniquely identify a particular item.

(02-18-2022 09:39 PM)Akuji Wrote:  Also, maybe you can shed light on another question I still haven't found an answer to. Most IC cards have a letter (usually, it's U, but there are also A and J) instead of a number in a second digit (i.e., 1U007367 or 2J001111). What's the meaning of this letter?

I used to know this but I can no longer recall, though I instinctively recall that it specifies the factory where it was produced; I also seem to recall the letter used is just a code, it is not a simple abbreviation; in other words items with a "U" are not necessarily made in a place that begins with "U".


RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series) - Akuji - 05-24-2022 10:49 AM

I finally decided to test whether Japanese RAM cards are compatible with western organizers and vice versa. The short answer is yes, they're.

Here's the group photo of all Japanese and western RAM cards released by Sharp.

[Image: 1.jpg]

As it turns out, all but flash-based Japanese cards are compatible with the OZ/IQ series of organizers. Japanese PA- (only DB-Z family (PA-9x00) can handle RAM cards) and PI-series and PV-F1 can work with all western RAM cards. However, only PA-9500 and, presumably, PA-9550 can work with a 32 Kb card; other devices recognize and format it, but it's not accessible for usage or visible in settings.
The table below lists those devices that I've used during testing. Other devices (i.e., IQ/OZ-8000, PA-9550, PI-3000, etc.) should also be compatible.

[Image: RAM-Card-Compatibility.png]

I also have some 3rd-party western RAM cards in my possession. The first two have the 'bump' on the back and don't physically fit in Japanese organizers. However, the third one from B&P, thanks to its standard thickness, can be used in all Japanese organizers just fine.

[Image: 2.jpg]

[Image: 3.jpg]

Finally, here're a couple of 'proof' photos.

[Image: 4.jpg]

[Image: 5.jpg]