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  1.    #1  
    Well, after long anticipation, I finally got my Blue Visor Deluxe last Monday. Since then, I've been toiling with what database to use that provides the best solution for the kinds of data I want to track. Below are some of the things I found use/unuseful between the different

    for my purposes, hanDBase seems to do about %90 of what I'd like it to do

    <LI>applets - users can download premade databases from hanDBase ( ). if you're not into creating ones for yourself, this is the route to travel.
    <LI>imports csv text files (done with a desktop utility)
    <LI>relational - you can add a new record to an outside DB without having to quit out of the parent DB (something I wish thinkDB did)
    <LI>print - you can print your DB using palmPrint software.
    <LI>expressions editor - very powerful and easy to use. mostly drop down list and check boxes.
    <LI>can only use the desktop conduit to import data, not create it.
    <LI>resizing the field widths is laboring. you have to go into properties, then guess at a pixel width you think would display the field appropriately, then open the database to see if it worked.
    <LI>filters - only handles two filters. i've already run into a situation where i need three.
    <LI>statistics - it's cool it has them, but i wish they were a little more powerful. for example, i have to run a filter to weed out which data i want to run a statistic on, then run the statistic. i wish there was a way to run statistics on more than one field at a time.
    <LI>scrolling - i wish there were a way to get from the top to the bottom and vice versa more quickly. as it stands, you have to page up each time, and if you have a lot of data, it can take a while.
    i really like the interface of thinkDB. i wish it could do more of what i'd like it to, because it has some really cool features.

    <LI>desktop application - this application is really handy. you can input data from your keyboard rather than using graffiti. it also imports csv text files.
    <LI>resizable fields - in list mode, you can drag and resize field widths with your stylus. this is a great feature.
    <LI>filters - allows the use of three
    <LI>statistics - seem more powerful than hanDBase.

    <LI>relational - thinkDB handles relational databases, but you have to quit the parent application to enter a new record into the linked DB. this is a major pain and this lack of feature is what is causing me not to use it.
    <LI>expressions editor - i've been trying very hard to create my own checkbook database using thinkDB, but i can't figure out using the expressions editor how to do it. the editor is pretty straight forward, but it doesn't seem to be able to take a calculation from a previous record field, which is crucial to creating my checkbook DB.

    in summary, if thinkDB could handle the two cons i have listed, i'd register and use it over hanDBase. the reason hanDBase is going to be my main DB solution, is that it has the ability to handle the kind of information i want to process, even though it lacks some of the interface qualities i wish it had. thinkDB unfortunately has a couple of show stoppers.
  2. #2  
    Any other opinions on these two Databases - HanDBase and ThinkDB? Both to me look more impressive than the others available. ThinkDB says they will be out of beta around December 1.

    Since I am on a PowerMac the choice may come down to which one provides a Mac OS desktop companion. HanDBase has one by another developer, Semicolon Software -

    ThinkDB has a PC desktop app. Is there one for the Mac?
  3. mike1in3's Avatar
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    38 Global Posts
    I've been comparing the two databases as well. I'm demoing them both and I will purchase one or the other depending upon which I pick. Here's my .02


    <OL TYPE=1><LI>Much better field calculation abilities, especially the ability to calculate using previous fields. I have found one problem, however; when exporting records in a sorted database, the previous field calculations will often have erroneous calculations. If you enter a new record, you might also have to hit the calculator recalc button.
    <LI>I also lament the difficulty in interfacing with desktop apps. I wrote a MS Outlook macro to take a highlighted memo that was exported, and create a new spreadsheet from it. Nonetheless, it would be nice to sync with a DB such as an Access DB.
    <LI>The Palm GUI is a little difficult as mentioned above.</OL>


    <OL TYPE=1><LI>Overall, I prefer this database over HanDBase. It's GUI is much easier to use, and the features are very intuitive and usable.
    <LI>I had a problem where I couldn't read my DB that I created on the Palm into the desktop app. So, I e-mailed the writer, and I had a reply with a fixed copy of the desktop app attached to it. I copied over the new program, and it worked perfectly. Wow, I was pretty impressed by that! I also found that it wouldn't sync with MS Access 2000, but the writer says that, "This will be fixed next version."
    <LI>The desktop app is in work, but will be very strong when complete. You can import/export/sync to/from a .txt or .csv file, or an MS Access database. Now that's the way it should be!
    <LI>It allows linked databases; a big plus!</OL>

    I too like ThinkDB, and would like the ability to do calculations with previous records.

    MJH &lt;&gt;&lt;

    [This message has been edited by mike1in3 (edited 11-28-1999).]
  4. #4  

    ThinkDB 1.0 was released with the features I wanted !!

    . Calculation with values from the previous record. Now I can build my Odometer database, yes!!

    . Filter using -Instr-, or how they call it, -contains-, allowing me to select only the records with "Italian" in my restaurants database, for example.

    ThinkDB is many years ahead of HanDBase in terms of user interface, usability, flexibility. The windows program ThinkDB Desktop is simply amazing. It's true that they don't have a Mac version, but the HanDBase Mac program is only a converter anyway.

    Now I made my decision. Together with the beautiful interface and the amazing desktop program, these new features made me register ThinkDB already.

    Check it out, the web site is
  5. #5  
    I have created similar list databases in ThinkDB and HanDBase, and I am confused all the more which I like best.

    What I created was a list of building projects (records) with several fields related to each project such as issue date, architect, engineer, building type, etc.

    ThinkDB has a variety of ways of viewing the data via the Tabs interface which I like. What I don't like is the limited number of fields you can have in each Tab view. There apparently is no horizontal scrolling.

    HanDBase allows you to scroll through all the fields horizontally. It appears the first field is frozen and always on the screen. This is practical if that field is the name of the building project (record) for me. I find the HanDBase interface easy to use. Maybe because it appears to be simpler. Maybe it is enough for my needs.

    I will have to keep experimenting. Tough decision for me.
  6. #6  
    My two cents. I have looking at two databases also. At the same time, I am looking at IBM's DB2 Everywhere and Oracle 8i Lite. I would like to download data from the AS/400 to the Visor for our field reps. Both the IBM and Oracle you can download their versions. The Oracle file is large. All I want to do some simple lookups; so I am leaning towards a low cost soulution. So has anyone tried the IBM or Oracle products?
  7. #7  
    Well, I didn't go try to find IBM's little gem, but Oracle's "little" app seemed like it would be a MIGHTY program as far as appetite for RAM is concerned. Oracle mentions Satellite Forms, seeming to suggest that you'll need that program to design input forms. While this could mean ultimate flexibility, it could also mean cumbersome.

    I'm not an Oracle user though... I'm an Access user. And I want simple but effective user interface and flexible form design. ThinkDB, to me, is the only way to go. I left MobileDB and JFile/JFilePro behind after less than a day of working with a beta version. I converted all my JFile data over within two days, and created new db's based on several BrainForest trees (turned out I had been using BrainForest as a database more than a project manager).

    Having the easy ability to import/export to Access, create db's on the PC first (GREAT desktop program!), BEAM and PRINT (two must have's), design quick/flexible input forms... this program is the best! The rest of my department will be adding it to their main app arsenal shortly.

    Oh, one more thing I was going to say about Oracle--I couldn't find a price. :-( So unless their software can fit in less than 200K and costs $25.00 or less, I'm probably not going to venture their way. (I'll probably check it out just to see how cumbersome it is, but I'm hooked on ThinkDB.)

    Amando @ Thinking Bytes has been incredibly accessible as far as bug reports go, and incredibly efficient as far as bug fixes go. So if you haven't given it a try yet, go now to .

    (No, I don't work for or am remunerated in any way for my endorsement of ThinkDB or Thinking Bytes). :-)
    Last edited by Chazzz; 02/08/2016 at 11:38 PM.
  8. #8  
    About 75% of my time is sent on programming on the AS/400. The other 25% is programming in Access97.
  9. #9  
    I plunked down for ThinkDB. In case you wonder how it works, if you go to the ThinkingBytes website to buy you get sent to to the PalmGear website. There you fill out the forms if you are going to purchase with credit card. PalmGear sends you confirmation. ThinkingBytes sends you a message with the registered version attached for download. They also give you a registration number to enter. Even if you have the latest demo version, you still have to load the version they send you. You also get access to their ThinkDB mailing list where you will get further updates and upgrades. All the e-mails and confirmations took less than 24 hours this weekend.

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