Converting from Treo to Blackberry

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Well, the wife finally got angry enough with her Treo that she took it out on the local Verizon store’s manager. Needless to say, he got an earfull about her unhappiness with the reliability of the Treo. Enough so that he let her switch to the Blackberry Curve, which left me with the onerous task of converting her over.

This is the second time I’ve gone this route, and this time I took some notes since it is frustrating to get it to work.

  1. The install disk that comes with the Curve from Verizon has Blackberry Desktop 4.3 on it. This version won’t handle the conversion, so a trip to the Blackberry site for Version 4.5 was in order.
  2. The Treo desktop software also won’t work. A downgrade to PalmOne’s Version 4.14e is needed on the Treo side. Interestingly, I had to first install 4.14e, then after the install completed, I had to reinstall it using the repair option (first time thru actually did not leave a palm.exe file installed, no idea why, but that’s a major oversight).
  3. Obviously, Outlook is required on the PC involved.
  4. Before beginning the conversion, open the Palm desktop software and for each of Calendar, Todos, Address Book, and Memopad, use the Tools -> Options -> Tools -> Check and Repair Corruption options to make sure the Palm datafile is corruption free.
  5. Use the Blackberry device switch option to switch from the Treo to the Blackberry. If you have the correct versions as noted above, the option to convert from a Palm Treo will not be greyed out. If it is, re-check your software versions.

Hope this helps some other poor sole from frustration!

Importing Palm Datebook into Google Calendar

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

A visitor to this site recently asked for advice on importing her Palm Calendar into her Google Calendar. As anyone who has ever owned a Palm knows, the desktop software does not support exporting the calendar in anything except Palm’s native datebook archive file format (dba). The failure of Palm to add a simple CSV export to the calendar is amazing, it has been a longstanding request for years and years now.

The advice I gave the visitor was;

  1. Set up a Yahoo account (free, easy to sign up if you don’t already have one), and create a Yahoo Calendar.
  2. From the Palm Desktop, File -> Export the calendar using the datebook archive format.
  3. In the Yahoo Calendar’s Options, select the Import/Export option listed under Management.
  4. Use the “Import from Palm Desktop” section to browse to your saved archive file and import it to the calendar.
  5. Once it is imported, use the “Export to Outlook” option to create a CSV file that you can save to your desktop and use in Google Calendar to import the Palm Calendar.

It’s a lot of steps, but it mostly works. You may see problems with recurring events not coming over correctly, but by and large most of your calendar entries will make it.

If other visitors out there have a better solution for this common request, please do share it with us. Many folks will appreciate it!


NOTE: Visitor KimM commented below that is now available as a free online tool to directly convert your Palm Calendar to csv format. Thanks KimM!

Blackberry Curve

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Well, the Verizon contract was up last month so I went cell phone shopping. The wife has a Palm Treo, as does my daughter, and both are extremely happy with them. I strongly considered the Treo, but couldn’t bring myself to go with it due to the lack of full support for handsfree bluetooth voice dialing. With California’s recent handsfree law, I wanted a solution that was 100% handsfree.

Enter the Blackberry. The Curve is a really nice device. No too big and not too small, great screen, great sound and 100% handsfree bluetooth dialing. The only downside I could find was having to give up the Palm Desktop and eWallet.

I really really dislike Outlook. The simplicity of Palm’s Desktop software along with Thunderbird as a mail client have been working well for me for many years now. Changing would be painful.

I also find eWallet an indispensable tool that I can’t do without. Good news there is that IliumSoft is working on a Blackberry version of eWallet that they promise to release real soon now.

After much introspection and second guessing myself, I finally went ahead with the Blackberry Curve. Spent a weekend of pain jumping through hoops to get the data off the Palm moved to Outlook so it would sync with the new Blackberry (that is a story in itself, not easy but doable).

Now that I’m there, I’m delighted. RIM did a great job on the Curve, the setup was a snap and the Desktop Manager seems to work well. Other than the pain of working with Outlook, I couldn’t be happier.

Now, if IliumSoft would just release eWallet…. (more…)