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  1.    #1  
    I'm mainly using Classic to keep track of bowling scores. I use Warily Software to input all my data. There's a desktop exporter program that will convert that data into a spreadsheet file, but I need to get some PDB files out of Classic first in order to do that. The following is not quite as good as Hotsync, but works for my purposes, and is probably useful for a lot of what people want Hotsync with Classic for.

    I found an old free SD backup app: redfelineninja.org.uk > Software > RFBackup Download the latest version, and install it in Classic.

    Launch Classic, run RFBackup, and click Backup. I got an error about reading Card Info the first time, but it works fine after that.

    Connect the Pre to your computer, put it in USB Drive mode. I'm doing this on Ubuntu Linux, but it should work similarly with any OS. When it mounts, the backup it created is in <mountpoint>/ClassicApps/PALM/RFBackup/ ... It may be a hidden directory, so it's probably best if you just type the full path to get there.

    Copy the files in there out to wherever you want, and you should be able to use any application that reads PDB files to work properly. At least it works for me, with FramesExporter for my bowling scores.
    Last edited by metsfan; 06/20/2009 at 04:35 AM.
    Units - Unit conversion for webOS!
    Treo 180->270->600->650->Blackberry Pearl->Palm Pre
  2. superstatz's Avatar
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    #2  
    Thanks buddy, I could kiss you (no homo)!!!

    I recently migrated from a Centro to a Pre and was just about to end my decades-long love affair with Datebook (perhaps to Google Calendar?). Datebook is simply the best calendar app ever made, so when stumbled upon your post mentioning rfbackup, you saved the day.

    If anyone else out there is having trouble migrating from Palm OS to the Pre, let me know.

    Incidentally, I have a feeling that the daily OTA backup performed by the Pre might still provide an adequate backup of Classic (in its entirety including the data within), but testing to see if that would actually work would be a *****.

    I put in a trouble ticket to MotionApps to see why couldn't they just make the data files of the ROM-based Palm OS apps available as a workaround for hotsync, but I haven't gotten a response yet (it's only been a couple hours). But who cares, rfbackup does the job!
  3. ArGiEs's Avatar
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    #3  
    This has been a big catch for me - getting data out of classic to a desktop. I would simply need to get a couple files (.pdb) out of DataViz' Smartlist To Go in the handheld to the desktop component so I can print them out.

    I don't understand exactly what metsfan is doing - does this mean data can be transferred out of the Pre into the desktop?
    Regards,
    Bob (RGS)
  4. superstatz's Avatar
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    #4  
    yes (that's the title of the thread!).

    what exactly are you not understanding? maybe i can help.
  5. ArGiEs's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by superstatz View Post
    yes (that's the title of the thread!).

    what exactly are you not understanding? maybe i can help.
    I had understood that the DTA was a one-way street. It appears that this freeware backup app opens some sort of port back into the desktop(?)
    So, can one simply drag & drop out of that backup folder into a folder in, say, Program files on the C drive? This sounds great, except that I never feel that these "back door" type solutions are secure & permanent. Not to mention, if Palm finds out, how long before they shut it down?
    Regards,
    Bob (RGS)
  6. #6  
    I have been using Resco Explorer and backing up data from that. Are you able to do a hard reset on CLASSIC and restore everything from RFBackup?
  7. PCS
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    #7  
    has any one bought the full app of this ??
  8. superstatz's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ArGiEs View Post
    I had understood that the DTA was a one-way street. It appears that this freeware backup app opens some sort of port back into the desktop(?)
    So, can one simply drag & drop out of that backup folder into a folder in, say, Program files on the C drive? This sounds great, except that I never feel that these "back door" type solutions are secure & permanent. Not to mention, if Palm finds out, how long before they shut it down?
    Yes, DTA is a one-way street (and it took me trial-and-error to figure out the Pre's relationship between Palm Desktop, Outlook, and Google Calendar). If you think about it, it can ONLY be a one-way street. It does not behoove Palm and it would go against all business sense for them to make it two-way. Palm would've not only had to create the best smartphone OS in the world (done), but then, in time for shipping, find a way for the old Palm OS to talk to the new WebOS seamlessly. That doesn't make any sense moving forward.

    You've got to admit, we're somewhat in the minority. Those millions of iPhone users out there, they didn't and don't give a damn about Palm OS apps. That's the market Palm needs to address to stay alive, so it's very possible they may lose some legacy Palm OS users along the way. Remember, they were dead anyways.

    Anyhoo, I'm not sure that I'd phrase it as "opening a port to the desktop", but I guess metaphorically that's correct. Bottom line is, here's what Classic allows you to do (you can probably extract this from their website):

    1. To install a Palm OS app, you simply plug your Pre into your computer as a USB drive and copy the .PRC and associated .PDB file(s) into the ClassicApps/Install directory (on the Pre). Note: Datebook, Contacts, Tasks, and Memos are built-in to every Palm device, including Classic's emulation of it, so you only copy the .PDB files for these 4 built-in apps (besides, the .PRC files for these 4 apps are not available out there).

    2. Third-party non-ROM-built-in Palm OS apps (i.e., apps not including Datebook, Contacts, Tasks, and Memo) sometimes have a directory of their own containing database files located in the ClassicApps/PALM folder on the Pre. I say "sometimes" because I haven't really tried a whole lot of third-party apps. Obviously, RFBackup does this, but when I loaded FileZ just to see how Classic works, there's no associated ClassicApps/PALM/FileZ folder, but that's probably because FileZ doesn't have any .PDB files (?).

    So, RFBackup backs up all of the Palm OS's files into the ClassicApps/PALM/RFBackup after you run RFBackup in Classic and tap on the "Backup" button. And yes, you can drag and drop this backup file to wherever you want on your computer after hooking up the Pre as a USB drive.

    However, these backup files are the .PDB files, so they won't do you much good on the Palm Desktop on your computer. Palm Desktop can deal with its own proprietary archive files such as .DBA for Datebook and .ABA for Address Book (Contacts), and I think .DAT files, but not .PDB, which is what your Palm DEVICE can read.

    What you could theoretically do is, keep your old Palm device (mine's a Centro), use another free Palm OS file manager app called FileZ and an SD card to copy the .PDB file directly back onto the Centro, then do a Hotsync to your Palm Desktop from Centro to your computer -- if you ABSOLUTELY need to use Palm Desktop (you don't, unless you've become entirely dependent on it for some reason -- even when I had the Centro, I practically never entered data via Palm Desktop and Palm Desktop really only served as a backup to my Centro). Otherwise, I'm not quite sure where you're going with wanting to copy that backup to your Program Files directory.

    You use the .PDB backup file to copy into the ClassicApps/Install directory, should your Pre crash or get stolen. In fact, Palm Desktop should heretofore not be part of the equation anymore.

    To address your issue of being secure and permanent, quite frankly, I think you are missing the point. It's akin to the Pre's ability to play music by either syncing thru iTunes (which I think is lame because iTunes is a crappy, bloated, unintuitive piece of software -- my wife owns an iPhone and she can't figure it out and neither can I), or by simply dragging and dropping via USB hookup to the Pre's "Downloads" folder.

    I mean, "security" has nothing to do with the issue at hand. You are dragging and dropping a file. What more do you need?

    For "permanence", I don't understand why you are concerned that Palm would even care about legacy Palm OS apps or Classic itself. It's pretty clear already that they've turned the page on Palm OS. So you're saying Palm is going to waste their time and deny a handful of people's right to drag and drop a file that is a backup of something running on 3rd-party Pre software (MotionApps Classic)?

    Incidentally, Palm issued a statement after Apple threatened to take away syncing ability to iTunes, saying that the easy workaround if Apple were to do that, would be the Pre's USB drive option. Palm is ENCOURAGING you to use the Pre's USB drive ability.

    The only other concern might be MotionApps not wanting you to do this. But why wouldn't they want you to do this? They WANT you to buy Classic. It's in their best interest to keep the scant number of Classic customers they might have, happy. I'd seriously be shocked if they decided to do away with the ClassicApps/PALM folder.

    In fact, I think it's the opposite. On their website it says that many customers are clamoring for the ability to have an emulated Hotsync function. My guess is, they're working on that right now. Heck, maybe they should just exploit this workaround using RFBackup as their emulated Hotsync. I'm not a programmer, but I'm sure it's not hard to emulate.

    After all, all we're doing is dragging and dropping files, thanks to RFBackup, the ClassicApps/PALM folder, and the ability for the Pre to act as a USB drive (a clever move by Palm).

    If Palm does not succeed with the Pre, it will simply be the fault of (again) poor marketing. All of these amazing little things about the Pre, you don't find out until you actually use it and sit back and appreciate it for a second.

    I think I already mentioned the ultra-sweet Touchstone. There's also little keyboard shortcut tricks I found by googling around. My favorite is in the Pre's browser, you can press the orange key plus spacebar while you tap a link and a new browser "card" will appear to open that link! You know, sometimes you're reading CNN and there's like 3 headlines you wanna read, but you don't wanna have to keep hitting the back button to go back to the list (and resize the page). The way the iPhone is built, the iPhone can NEVER do this!

    So as a happy Palm OS-to-Pre user, it's in MY best interest to spread the knowledge, lest I be stuck with another poorly-supported PIM device a la the Centro, the Samsung i500 before that, the Kyocera 6125 before that, and all the Palm Pilots before that! I feel like I've finally come out ahead with the Pre.

    Again, if anyone needs help migrating and not wanting to let go of legacy Palm OS PIM apps, just ask.
  9. superstatz's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by bulls96 View Post
    I have been using Resco Explorer and backing up data from that. Are you able to do a hard reset on CLASSIC and restore everything from RFBackup?
    Well, I haven't tried that. Any reason why I would want to do a hard reset from Classic?

    I have run a simple test here and there to ensure that what was backed up in RFBackup can be restored by copying that backed up .PDB file back into the ClassicApps/Install directory. It works and it's simple. No reason why it shouldn't work (again, just dragging and dropping).

    If the concern is having a robust backup, I mean, the world ain't perfect. Even the Pre itself offers "only" a daily backup. You lose your device or it crashes, just like your computer or if you're hard drive crashes, you're only going to have a backup until the last time you did a backup.

    One thing I'd like to find out is, the Pre's daily OTA backup will definitely backup Classic the app (and any other third-party app) as a whole, as listed in the Pre's Launcher's List of Apps. But does that include the data that resides inside Classic? I put in a query to MotionApps about this. We'll see. I don't think I'd ever NOT use RFBackup, just in case, even if the Pre's daily OTA backup purports to include data that resides within an app.
  10. superstatz's Avatar
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    #10  
    I'm kind of procrastinator when it comes to paying bills, so I've got 5 days left on my Classic 7-day trial. I'm assuming the 7-day trial is no different than the full-blown version, only that it's limited to 7 days. Short answer: no, but it's right around the corner.

    That being said, I haven't had any complaints with my usage of Datebook via Classic the past few days. I'll probably buy the full version in the next day or two.

    Should something unexpected come up or some undocumented feature gets in the way of my productivity with using Classic as an alternative to Pre's built-in PIM apps, I'll let you know.

    If you don't hear from me, that means everything went well with the full-blown version of Classic as it relates to my current experiences using the 7-day trial.

    Incidentally, I just tested the alarm function in Datebook running in Classic. Even if the Classic app is not an opened "card", the Pre will open up Classic and sound the alarm from your Datebook appt. Wow!

    I also just loaded BigClock into Classic. So now I have a stopwatch and I bet 99.9% of Pre owners don't have one, haha! However, the alarm for BigClock is muted. My guess is, MotionApps configured Classic's sound to work with the Palm OS system alarm and maybe BigClock doesn't use the system alarm.

    I know I'm getting a bit off-topic, but just sharing a few experiences with Classic.
  11. #11  
    Kudos to metsfan and superstatz!
    Great instructions and insight in Classic.

    We love to hear feedback and suggestions like this, and if you happen to try out more apps with Classic, feel free to share your experience with other users at Classic Well (on MotionApps website)

    superstatz – trial version is fully functional, same as paid version. We hope Classic will be “a keeper”
  12. ArGiEs's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by superstatz View Post
    Yes, DTA is a one-way street (and it took me trial-and-error to figure out the Pre's relationship between Palm Desktop, Outlook, and Google Calendar). If you think about it, it can ONLY be a one-way street. It does not behoove Palm and it would go against all business sense for them to make it two-way. Palm would've not only had to create the best smartphone OS in the world (done), but then, in time for shipping, find a way for the old Palm OS to talk to the new WebOS seamlessly. That doesn't make any sense moving forward.

    You've got to admit, we're somewhat in the minority. Those millions of iPhone users out there, they didn't and don't give a damn about Palm OS apps. That's the market Palm needs to address to stay alive, so it's very possible they may lose some legacy Palm OS users along the way. Remember, they were dead anyways.

    Anyhoo, I'm not sure that I'd phrase it as "opening a port to the desktop", but I guess metaphorically that's correct. Bottom line is, here's what Classic allows you to do (you can probably extract this from their website):

    1. To install a Palm OS app, you simply plug your Pre into your computer as a USB drive and copy the .PRC and associated .PDB file(s) into the ClassicApps/Install directory (on the Pre). Note: Datebook, Contacts, Tasks, and Memos are built-in to every Palm device, including Classic's emulation of it, so you only copy the .PDB files for these 4 built-in apps (besides, the .PRC files for these 4 apps are not available out there).

    2. Third-party non-ROM-built-in Palm OS apps (i.e., apps not including Datebook, Contacts, Tasks, and Memo) sometimes have a directory of their own containing database files located in the ClassicApps/PALM folder on the Pre. I say "sometimes" because I haven't really tried a whole lot of third-party apps. Obviously, RFBackup does this, but when I loaded FileZ just to see how Classic works, there's no associated ClassicApps/PALM/FileZ folder, but that's probably because FileZ doesn't have any .PDB files (?).

    So, RFBackup backs up all of the Palm OS's files into the ClassicApps/PALM/RFBackup after you run RFBackup in Classic and tap on the "Backup" button. And yes, you can drag and drop this backup file to wherever you want on your computer after hooking up the Pre as a USB drive.

    However, these backup files are the .PDB files, so they won't do you much good on the Palm Desktop on your computer. Palm Desktop can deal with its own proprietary archive files such as .DBA for Datebook and .ABA for Address Book (Contacts), and I think .DAT files, but not .PDB, which is what your Palm DEVICE can read.

    What you could theoretically do is, keep your old Palm device (mine's a Centro), use another free Palm OS file manager app called FileZ and an SD card to copy the .PDB file directly back onto the Centro, then do a Hotsync to your Palm Desktop from Centro to your computer -- if you ABSOLUTELY need to use Palm Desktop (you don't, unless you've become entirely dependent on it for some reason -- even when I had the Centro, I practically never entered data via Palm Desktop and Palm Desktop really only served as a backup to my Centro). Otherwise, I'm not quite sure where you're going with wanting to copy that backup to your Program Files directory.

    You use the .PDB backup file to copy into the ClassicApps/Install directory, should your Pre crash or get stolen. In fact, Palm Desktop should heretofore not be part of the equation anymore.

    To address your issue of being secure and permanent, quite frankly, I think you are missing the point. It's akin to the Pre's ability to play music by either syncing thru iTunes (which I think is lame because iTunes is a crappy, bloated, unintuitive piece of software -- my wife owns an iPhone and she can't figure it out and neither can I), or by simply dragging and dropping via USB hookup to the Pre's "Downloads" folder.

    I mean, "security" has nothing to do with the issue at hand. You are dragging and dropping a file. What more do you need?

    For "permanence", I don't understand why you are concerned that Palm would even care about legacy Palm OS apps or Classic itself. It's pretty clear already that they've turned the page on Palm OS. So you're saying Palm is going to waste their time and deny a handful of people's right to drag and drop a file that is a backup of something running on 3rd-party Pre software (MotionApps Classic)?

    Incidentally, Palm issued a statement after Apple threatened to take away syncing ability to iTunes, saying that the easy workaround if Apple were to do that, would be the Pre's USB drive option. Palm is ENCOURAGING you to use the Pre's USB drive ability.

    The only other concern might be MotionApps not wanting you to do this. But why wouldn't they want you to do this? They WANT you to buy Classic. It's in their best interest to keep the scant number of Classic customers they might have, happy. I'd seriously be shocked if they decided to do away with the ClassicApps/PALM folder.

    In fact, I think it's the opposite. On their website it says that many customers are clamoring for the ability to have an emulated Hotsync function. My guess is, they're working on that right now. Heck, maybe they should just exploit this workaround using RFBackup as their emulated Hotsync. I'm not a programmer, but I'm sure it's not hard to emulate.

    After all, all we're doing is dragging and dropping files, thanks to RFBackup, the ClassicApps/PALM folder, and the ability for the Pre to act as a USB drive (a clever move by Palm).

    If Palm does not succeed with the Pre, it will simply be the fault of (again) poor marketing. All of these amazing little things about the Pre, you don't find out until you actually use it and sit back and appreciate it for a second.

    I think I already mentioned the ultra-sweet Touchstone. There's also little keyboard shortcut tricks I found by googling around. My favorite is in the Pre's browser, you can press the orange key plus spacebar while you tap a link and a new browser "card" will appear to open that link! You know, sometimes you're reading CNN and there's like 3 headlines you wanna read, but you don't wanna have to keep hitting the back button to go back to the list (and resize the page). The way the iPhone is built, the iPhone can NEVER do this!

    So as a happy Palm OS-to-Pre user, it's in MY best interest to spread the knowledge, lest I be stuck with another poorly-supported PIM device a la the Centro, the Samsung i500 before that, the Kyocera 6125 before that, and all the Palm Pilots before that! I feel like I've finally come out ahead with the Pre.

    Again, if anyone needs help migrating and not wanting to let go of legacy Palm OS PIM apps, just ask.
    Let me try to clarify a few things:

    When I say "the desktop," I am not speaking of the Palm desktop at all. I have no real need of it (never really have). I am referring to my desktop computer in general.

    Again, I also referred to The Smartlist To Go component on the computer desktop (not the Palm desktop program).

    When I speak of security, I mean I'm relying on an app doing something that it wasn't meant to do in the first place. Apps can corrupt (yes, I know I can keep a good copy in storage & reload - I've done that before); and what if at some point, even if Palm doesn't care, what guarantee do we have that, at some future time, an OS update won't cripple or wipe out that capability? If we then cry to Palm about it, would they care enough?If it seems like I'm being overly fussy if not paranoid, it's because I run my business on my Palm programs. If I jump into another platform, it has to work, and work well...this is not fun & games here for me.

    As a long-time Palm user, one who has carefully watch the Pre & webOS unfold, I can fully see Palm's business philosophy in them.

    I use FileZ, and that was one way I was hoping to transfer files out of Classic - to email them as attachments (using FileZ's attachment function) via a third party email app.

    There are other unanswered questions that strongly cause me to hesitate to move to Pre. The scrunching down of of the display causes practical difficulties - i.e., readability and manipulation problems (stylus-to-fingertip). I still use a Tungsten T3, and the actual data display size on the Classic Emulator on the Pre display is a mere fraction of that on a Palm PDA. Those of you who snort at that, remember - I'm not talking about playing games, but serious business.

    And, say in four or five years, Palm says "well, webOS & Pre isn't really the way to go, we've got something else we're going to try." Porting Palm apps into Classic is easy, but what if we want to port them (or at least the valuable data) out into another platform? Gotta look ahead at all this. Besides, despite all the glowing news and forcasts, Palm isn't really out of the woods yet, and the current economic situation isn't over, either.
    Regards,
    Bob (RGS)
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by ArGiEs View Post
    ....there's also little keyboard shortcut tricks I found by googling around. My favorite is in the Pre's browser, you can press the orange key plus spacebar while you tap a link and a new browser "card" will appear to open that link! You know, sometimes you're reading CNN and there's like 3 headlines you wanna read, but you don't wanna have to keep hitting the back button to go back to the list (and resize the page). The way the iPhone is built, the iPhone can NEVER do this!
    superstatz: what a great tip! Thnks for the above tip. Great idea.
  14. #14  
    Thanks..
  15. #15  
    superstatz,

    how do you get the pdb back on the Pre if the file is corrupted on the Pre. I had an occassion where the data from my JFile app just disappeared, and I had to put my old back up pdb back on, but none of more recent data was there obviously (I hadn't used your tip yet). So I can avoid a similar event, do I have to rename the backup.pdb and drag and drop into the classic/install folder or what do you suggest?

    Thanks

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