Charles Davies was the founding employee of pioneering British mobile computing company Psion, started by his former professor David Potter. Psion developed the first handheld platform, and was one of the very first successful handheld computer companies. Charles Davies’ oral history begins with a short discussion of his introduction to computer science at school in Wales during his youth. He then talks about his degree in physics and subsequent PhD in computational plasma physics. After a few years working at a career in academia, Davies saw an opportunity to work for David Potter at the then small start-up company, Psion. From this point, the bulk of the interview describes the many significant accomplishments and projects that Psion took on and that Davies was involved with. These projects include the Organiser I and II and the Series 3, 5, and 7. Davies also discusses Psion’s endeavors in the growing mobile phone market, and how it spun off the Symbian operating system for smartphones in partnership with large companies such as Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. He describes the difficulties and advantages of being a start-up computer company in the UK, as opposed to a start-up in Silicon Valley.
Davies, Charles; Psion; Control Data Corporation (CDC); BBC Micro; Sinclair Resarch, Ltd.; ZX Spectrum; View File; Acorn; Palm Computing; Organiser I; Organiser II; Netbook; RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer); MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages); Research in Motion, Ltd. (RIM); BlackBerry; General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM); Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA); Motorola; Ericsson; Nokia