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Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
03-29-2021, 01:07 AM
Post: #21
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-28-2021 04:53 PM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-28-2021 12:32 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  My IQ-775 is a prototype of the BASIC card.
Does it look different from the retail card? If yes, can you take a photo, please?

The IQ-775 is just a blank EPROM card. Mine happens to contain a bit image of the BASIC card during its development. The back of each card appears below its front in this photo:

[Image: Wizard_cards.jpg]

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03-29-2021, 06:00 AM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2021 02:42 PM by Akuji.)
Post: #22
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-29-2021 01:07 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  The IQ-775 is just a blank EPROM card.

Thanks for the photos! Were all the '775' cards produced for the west labeled as 'IQ', including the ones for the US market? I have never seen any mention or photos of the 'OZ-775' yet.

(03-29-2021 01:07 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  The back of each card appears below its front in this photo:

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.
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03-29-2021, 02:40 PM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2021 02:41 PM by Joe Horn.)
Post: #23
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-29-2021 06:00 AM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-29-2021 01:07 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  The IQ-775 is just a blank EPROM card.

Thanks for the photos! Were all the '775' cards produced for the west labeled as 'IQ', including the ones for the US market? I have never seen any mention of photos of the 'OZ-775' yet.

It seems so. Bob, do you remember?

(03-29-2021 06:00 AM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-29-2021 01:07 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  The back of each card appears below its front in this photo:

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?

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03-29-2021, 03:24 PM
Post: #24
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
More interestingly, the OZ-770 (ISV/vertical market BASIC card) appears to have 64 KB, as opposed to the 32 KB consumer BASIC card. Is that correct, and if so, does anybody have one to sell? Wink
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03-29-2021, 04:27 PM
Post: #25
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
Regarding the "OZ"/Wizard vs. "IQ" branding, that decision process occurred before I started working with that group, so I'm not 100% sure, however an informed guess is that the idea came from Japan (though confirmed by Sharp-US) to establish a widely and instantly-recognized brand name, but they likely concluded (probably correctly) that "The Wizard of OZ" would not be instantly recognized with positive connotations in other markets, so stuck with "IQ", also having universal positive spin.

There were indeed OZ-775 EPROM cards for the US market; in the case of the Beta BASIC card I sent to Joe, we used an "IQ" card as it was available, and was not to be sold.

Joe is right that the 32K/64K BASIC card is also a pre-release card and not in a production configuration. It is a VAR card with retail face (see below)

There were 4 "BASIC Card" products sold in the US market:

OZ-707, Retail card with keypad decal, 32K RAM, 16-column
OZ-770, VAR market card with blank keypad, 64KB, 16-column
OZ-8B03, Retail card with keypad decal, 32K RAM, 16/40-column (replaced 707)
OZ-871, VAR market card with blank keypad, 128KB, 16/40-column (replaced 770)

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03-29-2021, 04:58 PM
Post: #26
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
Thanks for the detailed response!

(03-29-2021 04:27 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  There were 4 "BASIC Card" products sold in the US market:

OZ-707, Retail card with keypad decal, 32K RAM, 16-column
OZ-770, VAR market card with blank keypad, 64KB, 16-column
OZ-8B03, Retail card with keypad decal, 32K RAM, 16/40-column (replaced 707)
OZ-871, VAR market card with blank keypad, 128KB, 16/40-column (replaced 770)

I would like to extend the list of official Basic cards to its full (at lest known to me):
707
770
775 - 32 Kb RAM + 64 Kb EPROM
776 - 32 Kb RAM + 128 Kb EPROM
8B03
870 - 32 Kb RAM
871
CE-901 - 128 Kb RAM
CE-902 - 256 Kb RAM

Were all of them available in the US market under the OZ branding (apart from the CE ones, obviously)?

Also, there is a card from the German manufacturer Becker & Partner called 'Fast BasIQ' which is apparently some kind of Basic card for Sharp organizers as well. Unfortunately, I don't have any details regarding this card apart from its photo at this time. Bob, do you know anything about this card? This company also produced 3rd party RAM cards for Sharp organizers.

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03-29-2021, 09:20 PM
Post: #27
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-29-2021 04:58 PM)Akuji Wrote:  I would like to extend the list of official Basic cards to its full (at lest known to me):
707
770
775 - 32 Kb RAM + 64 Kb EPROM
776 - 32 Kb RAM + 128 Kb EPROM
8B03
870 - 32 Kb RAM
871
CE-901 - 128 Kb RAM
CE-902 - 256 Kb RAM

Were all of them available in the US market under the OZ branding (apart from the CE ones, obviously)?

Also, there is a card from the German manufacturer Becker & Partner called 'Fast BasIQ' which is apparently some kind of Basic card for Sharp organizers as well. Unfortunately, I don't have any details regarding this card apart from its photo at this time. Bob, do you know anything about this card? This company also produced 3rd party RAM cards for Sharp organizers.

The OZ/IQ-775 and -776 were not BASIC cards, these were blank EPROM/RAM cards for VARs/Integrators/Corporate customers to deploy custom applications developed in C using an SDK obtained from each Sharp subsidiary.

SEC (Sharp Electronics Corp - the US Sales subsidiary) did not carry the OZ-870, as it made more sense to only carry the larger card; we had constant complaints that the 64K RAM in the earlier cards was not enough.

I recall the CE-901 and -902 but IIRC, these were simple RAM cards (for storing organizer data) that were introduced for the 9000 series (9500/9520/9600) Wizard models.

I have no details on the 'Fast BasIQ' product. At the time, I heard about this (from a customer!) but could get no details. Sharp essentially had each subsidiary focus on it's own market, with only local partners and vendors. This (lack of) 'vision' seems naive and silly today, but in the pre-internet days, it was industry standard behavior and other than Canada and Australia (and Mexico to a lesser extent) we collaborated very little with vendors in other countries.

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03-29-2021, 11:41 PM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2021 11:52 PM by Akuji.)
Post: #28
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-29-2021 09:20 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  The OZ/IQ-775 and -776 were not BASIC cards, these were blank EPROM/RAM cards for VARs/Integrators/Corporate customers to deploy custom applications developed in C using an SDK obtained from each Sharp subsidiary.

SEC (Sharp Electronics Corp - the US Sales subsidiary) did not carry the OZ-870, as it made more sense to only carry the larger card; we had constant complaints that the 64K RAM in the earlier cards was not enough.

You are totally right regarding the 775/776 cards, my bad. I also forgot to mention the IQ-771 Basic card with 32 Kb of RAM, which, I suppose, was not available in the US due to the 'low memory' reason as well.

[Image: 771.png]

(03-29-2021 09:20 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I recall the CE-901 and -902 but IIRC, these were simple RAM cards (for storing organizer data) that were introduced for the 9000 series (9500/9520/9600) Wizard models.

Actually, these are genuine Basic cards designed for the 9000 (and 8900 in Europe) series of organizers. CE-902 is available on Ralf Beckmann's website and the picture of CE-901 below was taken from the discussion on the French forum.

[Image: CE901-20191012-134636.jpg]

(03-29-2021 09:20 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I have no details on the 'Fast BasIQ' product. At the time, I heard about this (from a customer!) but could get no details. Sharp essentially had each subsidiary focus on it's own market, with only local partners and vendors. This (lack of) 'vision' seems naive and silly today, but in the pre-internet days, it was industry standard behavior and other than Canada and Australia (and Mexico to a lesser extent) we collaborated very little with vendors in other countries.

It is interesting to hear regarding the collaboration between the US & Canada subsidiaries, considering that the Canadian unit decided to adopt European 'IQ' branding.
On a side note, even though Canadian and European organizers' and cards' branding was unified, their packaging localization was still different (mainly by stripping down the number of text descriptions to English and French). I have only one Canadian card in my collection; here it is (bottom) together with its European counterpart (top).

[Image: IMG-4874.jpg] [Image: IMG-4875.jpg]

One of the things I'm curious about is the release of Japanese IC cards in the west, mainly the games. It's known that Sharp published six game cards in the west, four of which (717, 719, 721, and 8A01) were 'westernized' versions of the Japanese cards, while the remaining two were western-only releases.
More than 30 game cards were released for Sharp organizers in Japan, and some have either partial or even complete English localization. Out of the cards below, 3C27, 3C31, and 3C36 are fully in English. BTW, the first three cards are the 'source' for the 'westernized' 717, 719, and 721.
Bob, do you remember who was the initiator of releasing Japanese game cards in the west (either Japanese publisher of a particular game, Sharp Japan, Sharp US/Europe)? How was the 'westernization' process established, and which factors negatively impacted the expansion of this initiative?

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03-30-2021, 12:55 AM
Post: #29
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-29-2021 11:41 PM)Akuji Wrote:  One of the things I'm curious about is the release of Japanese IC cards in the west, mainly the games. It's known that Sharp published six game cards in the west, four of which (717, 719, 721, and 8A01) were 'westernized' versions of the Japanese cards, while the remaining two were western-only releases.
More than 30 game cards were released for Sharp organizers in Japan, and some have either partial or even complete English localization. Out of the cards below, 3C27, 3C31, and 3C36 are fully in English. BTW, the first three cards are the 'source' for the 'westernized' 717, 719, and 721.

The fourth one, Puzzle Daimeikyuu, looks like it's basically the same game as Pitman for Gameboy, also known as Catrap in the west. Both games appear to be published by Ask Kodansha, so that's probably not a coincidence.

https://ameblo.jp/showagamer/entry-12498262996.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smh-OC7YqxI
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03-30-2021, 08:15 AM (This post was last modified: 03-30-2021 10:55 AM by Akuji.)
Post: #30
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-30-2021 12:55 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  The fourth one, Puzzle Daimeikyuu, looks like it's basically the same game as Pitman for Gameboy, also known as Catrap in the west. Both games appear to be published by Ask Kodansha, so that's probably not a coincidence.

https://ameblo.jp/showagamer/entry-12498262996.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smh-OC7YqxI

Yes, you're totally correct: the developer behind Catrap and The Great Puzzle Labirynth is the same person - Yutaka Isokawa: http://yutakaisokawa.com/web/sakuhin.html. He mentions on his website, that the total print run for this game IC card was 'about 5000 copies', which makes it quite uncommon. The Great Puzzle Labirynth is also one of the games which could have been localized published in the west quite easily since its UI is partly in English already:

[Image: PA-3-C22-2.jpg]

As for ASK Kodansha, it published four IC cards for the Japanese Sharp organizers, three of which are games, including the only 'Dragon Quest-like' RPG for the platform - ポケットクエスト (Pocket Quest). Here're the screenshots with the gameplay:

[Image: PA-3-C43-S-2.jpg]

Also, Dave, could you please help me identifying this card and its purpose (maybe, you can understand the meaning of the buttons' descriptions)? Unfortunately, I've got this card without a box and instruction manual, and the card was never listed in Sharp's IC card catalogs from what I know. But it's a genuine retail card and not based on a Basic/EPROM card from the looks of it.

[Image: IMG-4876.jpg] [Image: IMG-4877.jpg]
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03-30-2021, 02:55 PM
Post: #31
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-30-2021 08:15 AM)Akuji Wrote:  Also, Dave, could you please help me identifying this card and its purpose (maybe, you can understand the meaning of the buttons' descriptions)? Unfortunately, I've got this card without a box and instruction manual, and the card was never listed in Sharp's IC card catalogs from what I know. But it's a genuine retail card and not based on a Basic/EPROM card from the looks of it.

Based on what I can make out, I think it might be software for connecting the organizer to some kind of electronic sign and programming it with messages.

The first three buttons down the left are for selecting a text/letter/graphic input mode. The two under those, I'm not quite sure. They might be for transmitting data and other special functions.

The next column of five buttons are for choosing a display schedule: year-round, by month, by day of week, by date (of month?), by hour.

The four in the upper right appear to do double duty as color selection, and character set selection: red/original characters, green/personal characters (user dictionary?), orange/code, black/symbol.

Then below those are typical editor functions: delete, insert, cancel, help, select/execute.

So based on all that, and the fact that it's labeled "Art Sign Card", I'm guessing it doesn't have a ton of use without a compatible sign and cable to go with it. Smile But if you can find a three-color electronic sign from Seiko made around 1990, then this might be what you would use to program it.
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03-31-2021, 08:53 AM
Post: #32
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-30-2021 02:55 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  But if you can find a three-color electronic sign from Seiko made around 1990, then this might be what you would use to program it.

Thanks for the thorough description! I think Seiko, the watch-maker (https://www.seikowatches.com/), and MK Seiko (https://global.mkseiko.co.jp/) are different companies, and based on the card's description the IC card belongs to the latter one.
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04-06-2021, 08:46 AM
Post: #33
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(03-30-2021 02:55 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  But if you can find a three-color electronic sign from Seiko made around 1990, then this might be what you would use to program it.

So I've contacted MK Seiko, and you are right: the card was used to control the 'Art Sign' LED display, a general-purpose information board for stores released in 1990. Unfortunately, they couldn't provide any additional information or instruction manual.

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04-06-2021, 11:49 AM
Post: #34
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
(04-06-2021 08:46 AM)Akuji Wrote:  
(03-30-2021 02:55 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  But if you can find a three-color electronic sign from Seiko made around 1990, then this might be what you would use to program it.

So I've contacted MK Seiko, and you are right: the card was used to control the 'Art Sign' LED display, a general-purpose information board for stores released in 1990. Unfortunately, they couldn't provide any additional information or instruction manual.

[Image: thumb07.jpg]

Oh cool! Frankly, I'm surprised they still know about the product at all, so it's quite understandable they don't still have any documentation or equipment laying around. Smile Maybe buried in some file cabinet or closet that everybody has forgotten about...
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04-06-2021, 03:25 PM
Post: #35
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
Compatibility of western IC cards & accessories with the western organizers. The photo is from the European booklet (IQ series) but is suitable for the NA models (OZ series) as well:

[Image: IMG-4902.jpg]
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04-10-2021, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 04-15-2021 09:48 PM by Akuji.)
Post: #36
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
Here are all variants of the 8B01 card (8B04M is the same card with added European language localizations):

[Image: IMG-4913.jpg]

Also, here is the comparison between the Japanese & western Tetris card versions. The main differences in the western version - updated graphics and square tetrominoes instead of rectangle ones. Also, there is a respective review of both the versions available.

[Image: IQ-719-2.jpg]

[Image: PA-3-C06-2.jpg]

[Image: IQ-719-3.jpg]
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04-15-2021, 12:16 AM (This post was last modified: 04-15-2021 08:00 AM by Akuji.)
Post: #37
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
I've got a bunch of new Japanese IC cards and would like to tell you more about some of them.

Two games: PA-3C43 'Pocket Quest' (ASK Kodansha) и PA-5C05 'Kyoto Zaitech Murder Case' (Hector):

[Image: IMG-4936.jpg]

They are notable because they are the only games of their genre for Sharp organizers (at least of the officially released IC cards) - RPG and adventure, respectively. Unfortunately, both the cards I have are barebones without instructions, so I can't say much about them.

Pocket Quest is similar to the first Dragon Quest with all the related RPG attributes. As you can see from the card's photo, it offers NEC-like controls like the D-pad and two A/B buttons, as well as additional ones that show character's stats, help, and the ability to save and load progress via the alphanumeric password (the card doesn't have a battery).

[Image: PA-3C43.jpg]

'Kyoto Zaitech Murder Case' is unique as the only IC game card I know of that does not use the slot's tactile membrane to implement controls. Instead, it uses the organizer's touchscreen with virtual buttons on it.

[Image: PA-5C05.jpg]

I've also got an OEM version of the PA-7C3 card (6-language translator) for Panasonic. For those who don't know: Sharp produced OEM versions of its organizers for Panasonic, Hitachi & NTT DoCoMo in Japan, including the IC cards and accessories. Here it is compared to the other versions of this card from Sharp itself:

[Image: IMG-4948.jpg]

Finally, a quick comparison between a Japanese card and its western counterpart. First is the spreadsheet editor (the Japanese version was developed by HAL Laboratory, which, sadly, didn't produce any games for Sharp organizers. Instead, the company compensated it with different business software):

[Image: IMG-4958.jpg]

And the second one is the Basic card. Interestingly, this particular Japanese card was the first one that allowed a user to program directly on the device. Previously released cards, PA-7C18/7C19 (they were similar to the western VAR-oriented cards like OZ/IQ-770, etc.), required a PC to do this.

[Image: IMG-4959.jpg]
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04-15-2021, 12:19 AM
Post: #38
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
I like the inclusion of punctuation on the Japanese BASIC card. The English one forces you to dig in the Symbol menu for everything. (Or get one of the later Wizards with punctuation directly on the keyboard.)
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04-16-2021, 11:04 PM
Post: #39
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
Japanese organizer Sharp PA-S1/S1s is not only the last model from the PA series and the cheapest one at the time of introduction (more than twice cheaper than the flagship PA-9500). It's also one of the most widespread Sharp organizer models with the IC card slot. It was introduced in 1991 and re-introduced in 1994 as PA-S1s modification and remained in production until at least 1999, outliving the whole Zaurus/PI series.

PA-S1 is essentially a stripped-down version of PA-8800, though feature-wise, they are(?) identical.

[Image: IMG-4967.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4968.jpg]

Besides PA-S1, another model, PA-T1, was introduced at the same time. It had a slightly different design and twice the memory but was short-lived.

[Image: IMG-4956.jpg]

Finally, let's compare PA-S1 and PA-S1s:

[Image: IMG-4949.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4950.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4951.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4952.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4953.jpg]

[Image: IMG-4954.jpg]

When I got the PA-S1s pictured above (produced in April 1999), a custom IC card based on the stock Basic card PA-7C18 (that's the one that had to be programmed using the PC) was held inside. Unfortunately, the custom app (which stored winning combinations from some Japanese lottery) is gone due to the dead battery. However, what's interesting about this card is that it was produced in December 1997, making PA-7C18 (one of?) the most long-living Japanese IC cards (Sharp introduced it in 1989):

[Image: IMG-4957.jpg]
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04-27-2021, 02:07 PM (This post was last modified: 04-27-2021 02:07 PM by Akuji.)
Post: #40
RE: Sharp electronic organizers with the IC card slot (Wizard OZ/IQ/PA/PI series)
One of the less common western cards - IQ-720 'English-Chinese Dictionary'. It's very unusual to see hieroglyphs on the screen of the western organizer Smile.

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