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migrating from palmOS

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by dixie1, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. dixie1

    dixie1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Getting a Hero next month and from an initial search on the web their doesn't seem to be an easy way to port over calendar and contacts from my centro to the Hero. Looks like it can be done (I don't use outlook) but just wondered if there were any easy tools, e.g., Sprite, that work for the old Palm OS.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. DThor

    DThor Newbie

  3. dixie1

    dixie1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks DT,

    I ran across that thread myself, that is a bit quirky. I am pretty sure I can get most of my data into Google one way or the other but I'm not looking forward to it.

    I would think that with several new HTC/Android phones hitting the market this fall there may be more of us old Palm users--for whom the Pre just doesn't cut it--going Android. Maybe demand will go up enough to warrant a utility.
  4. jaybea830802

    jaybea830802 Member

    I have come from an old Palm Treo 650. Much as I like the Hero, it is not a PIM in the sense that PalmOS devices were. The calendar is OK but does not support categories (and neither does Google Calendar) and there is nothing like Memos or ToDo on the Hero that sychronises as well to the desktop.

    The Android market is maturing so I am sure that alternative applications will appear over time. I don't think that there will ever be anything as simple as HotSynch for synching data and backing up the device. With my Treo I could do a hard reset and have the device exactly as it was before the wipe in 5 minutes. As I contemplate and rooting and reflashing process, I think it will take much more than 5 minutes to get my Hero back to the way is was after a full wipe.

  5. dixie1

    dixie1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Nice to hear from a fellow palm vet! I had a 650 myself before the centro and I do realize the PIM functionality is going to take some work-arounds. How bloody difficult is it to have a decent native calender app? I really don't get it. I am hoping the Hero will be a little better than the Pre in that regard.

    It looks like SplashID is available now for android though Epocrates is not.

    Bottom line, I can't wait to get my hands on the little beauty. Oct. 11, ETF to Verizon, and I'm porting over.
  6. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Android Expert

    Add my name to that fellow Palm vet list. I've been using PalmIII, PalmV, Tungsten T3, Treo 680, and now finally a Galaxy.

    Can't say I'm too happy about the PIM apps, either. Creating a calendar entry (say, while talking to a friend) was a matter of 20-some seconds with Palm, but about 2 minutes on Android. Oh, Graffiti, how I miss thee!

    I like to say (well I don't like it, but I find it accurate) that on a Palm you have an address book, but on any other modern smartphone you have a phone book. The implication here is that there's no way to manage personal/work/other groups, though GMail on the web has it; there's no way to view birthdays and anniversaries though GMail on the web has it, there's ... no use to stay on a dead platform while the world moves on.

    But back on topic, do a search here for CSV. What I did was to make a giant CSV export from Palm Desktop, and then I spent a number of evenings getting GMail to accept the data (it will only import some of the fields it's capable of storing, I hope this will improve).

    Welcome to the Android platform, and good luck.
    Tunafish likes this.
  7. jaybea830802

    jaybea830802 Member

    It is harder if you don't use Outlook. I am using multiple Google Calendars synched with Outlook using Companion Link (which synchs Outlook categories into individual Google Calendars) but using HTC Sych with Outlook for my addressbook, as the native Hero Contacts application is quite good when linked with Outlook and understands categories/groups. Unfortunately, not many other applications understand categories - it would be good to be able to set up a Locale situation for work calls based on the Work category for contacts, but you can only select individual contacts.

    I think that Agendus are working on an Android version of their calendar app. I prefered Datebk on my Palm, but Agendus would do!

    I am optimistic. Palm had 10 years to refine their PIM applications, and Google and the Android Community have only just started!

  8. dixie1

    dixie1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Oh man, say it isn't so. That is precisely what I need to do. If it's Monday and I want to rapidly schedule someone in next Monday, I need to look back and forth at last Monday next Monday, etc., zip zip, one click, zero seconds on the centro. If there is no way to do this sort of thing it could be a deal breaker for me.

    Truth is I have never really played with an Adnroid phone. I have worked a bit with the Pre and while WebOS is slick in some ways the PIM functions are about kiddy-school level. Weird strategy from the palm software devs. :thinking:

    If as J says, Agendus is working on an an android app then there is definitely hope.

    First things first though, I need to try and import, without injuring, as much of my contacts/calendar data as possible. So any tips from former palm converts (or Android techies) will be greatly appreciated.
  9. dixie1

    dixie1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    That sounds great j! I am going to start moving to Outlook tomorrow so I can ultimately utilize something similar to your multiple Google Calendar/synch system.
  10. jaybea830802

    jaybea830802 Member

    If you have access to Outlook and have Pocket Mirror still available for your Palm, then using your Palm to synch data into Outlook using Pocket Mirror is probably the easiest route. You could then use HTC Synch to copy the data to your phone. If you don't use categories in your calendar entries then you could use this route to keep your Palm Desktop in synch with the Hero on a regular basis, using Outlook at a "go-between". The Hero does not support categories in the Calendar.

    You can also export data from Palm Desktop as a CSV file but you would probably need to do some tweaking of the data and you may still need to use Outlook as a half way point.

    You can export contacts in the Palm Desktop as vCards and import them into the Hero contacts database (I think there is an application in the market which will help - search for vCard). This does not help with the calendar.

    You could use CompanionLink to export calendar and contacts into Google Calendar / gmail and from there to your phone. CompanionLink is quite expensive, so might be a bit much for a one-off transfer.

    I am sure you will get some other ideas from people.

  11. rcyphermd

    rcyphermd Android Expert

    Former palmaholic here as well. I am loving the Hero. The calendar is not perfect, but MUCH better than the Pre. I am VERY happy with the switch. I imported my palm files into google using companionlink. That got the data in there and now I just use google and the hero.
  12. shred

    shred Lurker


    I'm also a former Palm user who switched to Android because the Pre could not convince me. I was looking for a way to migrate my Palm calendar to my Android phone when I found this thread. But I neither liked to pay for a software I would only use once, nor did I like to use Outlook (at all). So finally I came up with an own solution. Here it is:


    It's a small Java tool that converts Palm pdb files into more common file formats.

    Mainly it converts the Calendar database into iCalendar, which can be imported into the Google Calendar. The iCalendar file contains all of your Palm's calendar information, like repeating schedules (and exceptions), alarms, locations, notes, categories and the "secret" flag.

    There is also a converter for converting the Palm address book to a vCard file. This converter does not work that well because of limitations of the vCard format and the way Palm stores addresses, but I guess it's still better than nothing.

    Other databases can be converted into XML and ZIP files, for post-processing with other converter tools.

    I hope some of you will find the tool as useful as I did. It's open source and free, and it's currently beta so be a little careful. Your feedback is appreciated!
    Tunafish and kenc3dan like this.
  13. stevehoffman

    stevehoffman Well-Known Member

    I'm a long, long-time Palm user myself (not Palm Pre, just the old-school PDA Palms like the old Palm Pilot and the Palm Tungsten E and most recently the Palm T/X) -- at one time, I had a collection of old Palms in a drawer, along with some Sharp Wizards (man, I loved those ol' Wizards!)

    The more I read about options for migrating my Palm data into GMail in order to get ready to sync up with the Android phone I'm getting (the new Motorola Droid!), the more I've concluded that for a guy like me, who is NOT tech-savvy, the most prudent course is for me to just reenter all my contacts afresh, into GMail.

    Some of the methods I've read about to try and convert Palm contact and calendar into into GMail are, to me, the equivalent of having to figure out how to rewire my home's electric circuitry, whereas I'm the kinda guy who can barely figure out how to change a lightbulb!

    And I'm be damned if I'm gonna first convert stuff into Outlook. I've lived this long and gone this far without EVER using MS Outlook and I sure don't want to start now!

    Actually, reentering the contact info isn't so bad. For one thing, I'm sure that as I start, I'll find many contacts that I no longer really need, and I can just whittle away at my list and start afresh with the ones that are more active. That still will involve a lot of typing, but it's do-able.

    As to entries in my Palm calendar, I don't see any pressing need to import the last 5 years of my calendar into Google Calendar -- I'll just start afresh with Google Calendar entries effective November 6 (Droid day).
  14. Cathy9887

    Cathy9887 Newbie

    Fellow Palmy here... had a Treo 755p & loved it SO MUCH! For some reason, I thought the Samsung Moment would be a fun upgrade. UGH! I can't stand it! Yes, it's a great "toy" with all the fun apps & fantastic web viewing... but functionally (contacts & most importantly, the calendar/categories) it is rather sub-par. Luckily, I'm still within my 30 days, so unless I can find a 30-day color coded calendar view, this sucker is going back. I already know my email accounts are screwy via the email app &/or Google's gmail, so it already has 2 strikes against it. The calendar is the ultimate deal breaker.

    Has anyone found a 3rd party calendar app that works like the Palm calendar?

  15. ricktssf

    ricktssf Newbie

    Best super fast but not cheap Path for Palm Calendar is bda2csv. It will copy your palmdesktop calendar right into google calendar.

    I found the easiest path for Contact... Again from the desktop export your contacts into Vcards... even the birthdays will export perfectly.

    I exported my palm contacts in their categories as separate Vcards and they gave them similar names in google.
  16. Cathy9887

    Cathy9887 Newbie

    Rick - you say it transfers the calendar, but does it give you a colorful 30-day view? Or is it the standard "all green" 30-day Google view??
  17. ricktssf

    ricktssf Newbie

    Its in color and look great on the phone too...
    The issue is that the Google calendar does not shore a full month... I have took many items and it truncates them even when you print--uhg.

    On the phone the week at a glance in vert mode is unreadable...

    Agenda mode on the phone is the easiest mode to use.

    Also on the calendar... Aurora seach in a must have for calendar searching.

  18. tranzz

    tranzz Member

  19. JChester

    JChester Lurker

    Another Palmy here... still have a 10 yr. old Sony Clie', sitting in its charger, on my desk. I had several Sharp Wizards before that.

    The thing I miss most is the ability to drag & drop contacts, with all their info, into the calender! Day, Week, Month & Year views were also a tremendous help.

    I spent the extra $$$ on a Hero, so I wouldn't have to carry multiple devices, with the understanding that, with its open architecture, new apps will be written as demand dictates.

    From what I've read here, it sounds like there is no shortage of demand!

    I NEED a decent scheduler!
  20. tranzz

    tranzz Member

    Well, I finally got my calendar data from my Treo 700 and 755 into my gmail calendar, thanks to our buddy "shred". It took some time and fooling around, but my data back to my 1999 Handspring got saved and moved. (Sounds almost like a spiritual thing!!!)

    My contacts however, are in waiting. Just for the sake of those that might "lurk" this thread, and not realize the issues here, let me spell out a thing or 2.

    In PalmOS devices, even going back further than mine, when you create a new contact you are given 6 places, each to store 1 of 7 different types of contact string, and 1 place for an address of 3 different types. The 6 places for 7 types can be in any order for any contact. THAT is why a simple csv file export won't work to other contact managers. Most other contact managers have fixed fields for entry of each of those types of contact character strings. In Palms, you can have 6 work phone numbers for 1 contact, 5 home phones and a pager for another, 1 home phone, 1 pager, 1 mobile, 2 emails and a FAX for somebody else, etc, etc..

    That's why I personally feel that PalmOS has not been equaled in contact management. Since Android is "open", this leaves some opportunity, and hope, that it will come up with a better contact management system than Outlook, vCard, Blackberry, Yahoo, or the present gmail contacts. I think it'd be awesome if "shred" or Richard (or the 2 of them), OR SOMEBODY, would build an Android app that does all that, sell it on the marketplace and get rich and provide all the rest of us with a good, open, solid contact manager!

    Wow, I feel better now.......


    .... did I mention "Tasks" yet?
  21. cranky_dan

    cranky_dan Well-Known Member

    Hiya gang! Funny how birds of a feather hang together.

    Regarding importing contacts: I exported all my contacts as vcards/vcf (?) and imported them directly into the google cloud, my gmail account. From there, very quickly they were pushed to my phone. Very fast and simple.

    Of everything, I miss being able to color code calendar stuff the most.

  22. KPeregrine

    KPeregrine Lurker

    I just converted from Treo to Moto Droid and it was easy thanks to the tips in this thread.
    For the calendar I used Shred's converter athttp://pdbconverter.shredzone.org
    Shred's converter allows you to control the date range you pull so you don't overwhelm Gmail's Calendar as it tries to upload your stuff. Excellent converter! Thanks, Shred.

    My contacts required some manual effort in Notepad (I have > 1000) but not too much. From Palm Desktop I exported my contacts as Vcards (.vcf). Then did a Search & Replace on:
    Replace =0D=0A with a comma or special character of your choosing.
    Replace X-Palm-Custom1: with NOTE:
    Replace EMAIL: when it stands alone with EMAIL;HOME;INTERNET: or EMAIL;WORK;INTERNET: as the case may be.

    Then I imported the final contact file into GMail without trouble.
  23. fhrosa

    fhrosa Lurker

    Same here. Migrated from a Treo 680 and I'm suffering with the pre-historic PIM apps on the Android. One of the things that is bothering me the most is the inability to go back arbitrarily in time, in order to check an appointment from 6 months ago, or see which day of the week was 2009-07-03, for example. Currently I'm being forced to carry around both my Treo and my Moto Dext, but in a couple of months that won't even be possible as my appointments will be only in Google Calendar.

    If you or anyone else in the thread finds a decent scheduler please do post it here! I'd be willing to pay 20 USDs for it.
  24. mrken

    mrken Lurker

    This is very helpful too. I'm working on the manual effort in Notepad. I think the string for the Palm note in my version is "X-PALM-CUSTOM;1:" note the semicolon before the '1'. Just to help others who might be working on it. Another resource is to have the field names handy for vcards, available at vCard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .Also I'm seeing a lot of chatter that it matters greatly whether you have Palm desktop 4.x or 6.x. (unfortunately, I 'upgraded' to an unlocked centro last summer, meaning I'm on 6.x. 4.x's are pointing to palmreader - Project Hosting on Google Code as a solution).
    See also:
    Can I import my Palm Desktop Calendar to Google - Calendar Help

    After reading through the links I gave up on the manual vcard editing and just did CompanionLink (14 day free trial with full functionality) for everything and it seems to have worked pretty well: all repeating events are there for the year and all contacts are adjusted to lastname, firstname. Two problems so far (relatively minor): I liked to use the Palm calendar to take notes and reminders that I would then set to move forward everyday. I need to figure out how to make this happen in Google without making them appear on every day. Also all to-do's are transfered to the current day in google calendar and all memos are transfered to new contact categories. I think there's a memo app in Android I might try to dump those into. Looks like I'm finally saying so long to palm after 13 years (since the original US Robotics ones)!
  25. Clcto

    Clcto Newbie

    MrKen we hear you! Tasks can't be transferred to Google because Google lacks a task api. Click on the "star" on this thread to vote to raise the priority. As of this writing 2200 people have clicked

    Issue 987 - gdata-issues - Request API for Tasks

    With no Task API, Google left the Task App off the phone. Duh. Also, Google had a notes app called Notebook, but it was deprecated a year ago and isn't available.

    CompanionLink for Google compensates by putting tasks in the Calendar. To keep the Calendar "fresh" we move all PAST DUE tasks to today. That way unfinished items don't get lost in the past. To get them to spread out, put them on FUTURE DAYS. Tasks with due dates in the future will appear on the date they are due.

    CompanionLink for Google puts Memos into the Contacts list. I was reluctant to go this route, but at least it gets them to the phone. This process is off by default because what we really need is a Google Memos App which doesn't exist.

    CompanionLink has another option. CompanionLink USB will use wired sync direcly to your Droid, Nexus or other Android phone. By cutting out Google's Cloud service, we are not constrained by their lack of APIs. So with CompanionLink USB you get Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Memos directly synced to your phone. On the phone side download CL USB Sync App from the Google App Marketplace to get Task and Memo apps that work a lot like old Palm Treos work.

    CompanionLink USB has been out for less than 30 days. The Calendar is very primitive, showing just a day list for now. We are trying hard to support the onboard Calendar on the phones. But guess what; there's no API for Android Calendars. Look for week by week progress on that front for the next two months as the Calendar gets a better integration.

    Both products cost $39.95 but you can try and use them free for 15 days. The two products cross license, so if you buy one you can switch to the other without charge. You don't want to use both at the same time, because moving your data two different ways results in two copies of your data on the phone.

    For more information go here:

    Google Droid, Nexus and Android sync for Outlook, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes and ACT!

    CompanionLink is the rare App that offers free US based telephone technical support, as well as email support. So if you have questions or it doesn't work smoothly, just give a call and the team will help you out.

    Wayland Bruns, CTO
    CompanionLink Software, Inc.
    benreaves likes this.

HTC Hero Forum

The HTC Hero release date was July 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.2" inch screen, 5MP camera, 288GB RAM, MSM7200A processor, and 1350mAh battery.

July 2009
Release Date

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