Zaurus As PIM

Using PIM functions on Sharp Zaurus and migrating data from Palm Pilot - May'2005

Some info on Data Synch for PIM data, etc.

  • more specific app/script to convert. Not sure which format it supports.

  • the Zaurus I bought didn't come with a software CD, and I couldn't find the Intellisync online.

I decided to just rush through a solution and beam data over, so no computer is involved.

  • some of the Address Book entries got skipped. I couldn't find a pattern on what drove which items. So after "beam all" I had to go through the 2 sets and pick individual left-behinds to beam individually. Also, I lost Category info; maybe if I'd created the Categories on the Zaurus first it would have worked.

  • To Do items seemed to go over well. Though I didn't look all that carefully yet. Same issue with Categories (I really should have tried to solve that problem - too much rushing.)

    • also discovered that the PIM interface is really clunky, esp if you want to quickly change a bunch of dueDates
  • Memo items got all glommed together (I beamed a category at a time, so each category became 1 long memo). There are decent separators in here, so may muck with this later, or maybe will just try again. (This may actually be a good thing, in that being able to process them with some code will make it easier for me to move them into a wiki eventually.)

  • Calendar items have to be beamed over individually. Luckily I don't use the calendar all that much.

Now have downloaded Qtopia Desktop for MacOs X. Doesn't seem to be wanting to synch. Do I need to separately install a USB driver? Yup, that did it, synched successfully.

  • Some MacOs X connectivity info - no longer an issue for PIM stuff, but obviously an ongoing thing.

  • though the Documents (the merged Memo entries) don't seem to be editable at all in Qtopic Desktop, you just have a list of them. Maybe I'm supposed to just edit those with a normal Text Editor? But where are these suckers stored?

    • (it's cool that the Zaurus is always running an FTP server (at port 4242) that you can use to connect to it from the Mac)

    • on the Zaurus the files are in '/home/root/Documents/text/plain/' (there's a .txt file and a .desktop file which holds the Mime Type data)

    • on the Mac I used Find to get '/billseitz/.palmtopcenter/Documents/text/plain/' which contains only the .desktop files

      • I can't seem to get to this folder directly with the Finder or the Terminal. Maybe it's protected somehow? I don't really grok the permissions on MacOs X yet - do I need to 'su root' or something?
    • I also find the whole To DoList glommed as a single XML file

    • ah, it looks to me like this isn't treated like an object that syncs, it's just to upload/download? So I pick a document within Qtopia Desktop and hit Download (from PDA) button, and it lets me pick a older, into which it dumps a .txt file.

    • so let's try this with an HTML file that I want to move onto the Zaurus.

      • moves over fine, now I see it in the Text Editor document list. But if I click it in there I am editing the raw HTML

      • launch Opera - don't see an easy file-browser. But I can type the right path in the 'Go' dialog, which lets me browse the directory and click on the document name to load it. Jeez it's really slow to load a page

Just realized that in mucking with Qtopia Desktop I've ended up with huge duplication of To Do records. And it's not pure accurate duplication, sometimes the record gets changed (completed-vs-not, priority). And I don't see the Comments bits for any of them: I'm not sure they ever came over. (The few Calendar entries I beamed over individually have comments, and the Address Book entries have their notes). So I'm going to have to wipe out all this data and try again. Highly bogus.

  • went into Zaurus via FTP and deleted To Do file. But if I started up the To Do app on the Zaurus, the data was there, and then doing an 'ls' would show the file as being back! Finally, shutting down Qt seemed to dump that. (It looks like there's some caching in another directory.)

  • deleted all the variations of todo* files on the Mac. (It looks like part of the redundancy comes in to tracking changes and tracking synch status.) Launching Qtopia Desktop confirms they're all gone there.

  • next: going to purge on the Palm, then synch to old MsWindows laptop, then make a To Do category on Zaurus, then beam 1 category, then check to see if Comments came along... (or maybe I'll just move the file from the PC to the Mac and then import into Qtopia...)

    • got data purged, then synched

    • didn't have time to move from laptop to laptop, so tried beaming 1 category. It got over, but with no Comments! So much for that approach

    • so did FTP to move Palm files over to IBook

    • while Qtopia Desktop defaults to only showing you Archive files to import, you can type the extension you want, and import 'todo.dat' which gives you all Categories properly categorized, and has Comments!

    • tried setting synch to have Qtopia override the device, but couldn't get anything to work

    • finally tried just copying the todolist.xml over to the Zaurus via FTP.

      • but then when try to start the To Do app, it never comes up

        • looking at a 'ps -auxww' I see the process 'todolist -qcop /tmp/qcop-msg-todolist' (and that file never appears inside /tmp/)
      • rename file, launch To Do again, it comes up quickly/empty. Make a couple test tasks, compare file format. Notice the by-hand file has an opening 'R I D Max' tag, which the synched-over file lacks. Try entering that by hand and then launching app, but still no luck

    • delete from Zaurus again. Change synch settings, try that again. Can't get into To Do app again

    • posted to UseNet

    • could it be a Line Feed issue?

      • opening file in vi on Zaurus I definitely see '^M' within notes (not between tags/records)

      • [this]( Format) page has notes on fixing inconsistent line-endings, but it's for vim (and I have to find the special-chars document to tell me how to make a '')

      • this page should work with vi, but I need to find the ctl char (found it, but doesn't work in built-in command-line, will need to install more real Terminal)

      • opened in JEdit on the IBook, did save, did FTP, opened in vi, looks like the '^M' chars are gone

        • but still couldn't load

        • tried adding that 'R I D Max' tag back on the IBook and starting over. Still no good.

      • next: create fresh on the Zaurus (or maybe better - take the Beam-from-Palm approach, plus edit a couple items to have further Comments), copy back over to the IBook, and look for other clues to file-format hacking.

      • did beam approach. Realized I was munging together 2 different identifiers: 'Uid' and 'rid'; the 'R I D Max' is for 'rid' numbers. The Qtopia Desktop files didn't have 'rid'; the Zaurus file also has 'rinfo=1' tags which define the number of lines in the subject/comment (since they are a single field on the zaurus) (so the one with the fake Comment has 'rid=3')

    • another idea: try to put Qtopia on old MsWindows laptop? But since that's Win98, I suspect I'll have some nasty driver problem or something....

    • a few links about either synch-specific problems or other complaints about the Qtopia PIM apps.

    • also note I've been thinking about how I like to work with task list ordering - see Issue Tracker

  • Conclusion: I'm going to skip the whole To Do app approach, and work on converting the XML file I have into single-category text files for Command Line As [[PIM]].

Converting XML todolist to text files - Jun'2005

have 'todolist.xml' as input

know I'll need a list of Category codes, so find the Categories.xml file; since there aren't many values, I just hand-munge it into a line of code creating a dictionary

I notice that tasks that have no dueDate (on the original Palm) have a dueDate of 2031 in the new file. I'll probably set a null dueDate for almost every task anyway, based on my Issue Tracker notes.

Update: got it done

  • some of the category values were wrong! They were consistent, but a couple categories were just totally wrong (all the tasks in one category were labelled for a 2nd category, and the tasks that were supposed to be in that second category were Unfiled!), and 2 categories were combined. But luckily there wasn't that huge a volume so it wasn't a big deal to rearrange the files.

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