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From Palm to iCalendar : Part I October 13, 2006

Posted by mark in : Calendar, General, Personal , trackback

I use Palm Desktop for my calendar and contacts. In its favour, it synchronises with my Treo handset, and isn’t Microsoft Outlook (which I’ve used before). However, I’ve wanted to move to an open data format (iCalendar) for a while …for reuse/ mashup, for stability because I’m over a size limit, and in case support for PalmOS ends.

If this was easy, Palm DT would export all the data in a single iCal/ vCal file, or the Treo would sync with a (Windows) app that supports iCal. End of story.

BUT NO, Palm DT only exports to a .dba file, (for archival) …or to vCal, one event at a time! I have 9.5 years of data, so neither is helpful. For Windows users, the only suggestion I can find is to go via Outlook …Ironic, but at least I have a copy.

So, the planned steps were :
Palm –1-> Treo –2-> Outlook –3-> .csv file –4-> ‘app’.

Palm Desktop –1-> Treo :
Sync Palm DT with Treo, as usual.

Treo –2-> Outlook :
a) Change Hotsync conduit : Start > All Programs > PalmOne > PIM Conduit Sync > Sync with Outlook. I was prompted for a file from my Treo “companion CD” : \\English\PostInstall\OutlookSwitcher.exe
b) Change Hotsync Manager, so that “Handheld overwrites Desktop” for Calendar; and Contacts, Memos and Tasks “Do Nothing”
c) Sync Treo with Outlook.

Outlook –3-> .csv file :
a) Try to export from Outlook as a “Comma Separated Value (Windows)” file : File > Import and Export… > Export to a file
b) I had a copy of the requested PRO11.MSI file, on a “MS Office Professional Edition 2003″ CD. Chose advanced customization, and then to ‘Run all Outlook “Importers and Exporters” from my PC
c) …Continued by exporting from the Calendar folder, and not mapping Custom Fields. After clicking “Finish”, I had to select the date range to be covered. The .csv file was created.

.csv file –4-> App that can export iCal :
Imported the .csv file into Mozilla Lightning.

However, there’s no happy ending (yet). More in Part II.


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