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From Palm to iCalendar : Part III October 20, 2006

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

In Part I, I moved my data from Palm Desktop to a .csv file, via Microsoft Outlook. In Part II, I found that it was a mess when imported into Mozilla Lightning, and looked at other options to get my data into iCalendar form. Now I’ve tried AirSet and Google Calendar…

AirSet : I downloaded the tool and synchronised with Palm Desktop. It was simple, took only a minute or so, and the events looked correct. I’d have put up with the small niggles that (1) all events were in the same Group, despite me creating [Business] and [Personal] Groups (and Unfiled) as suggested; and (2) the sync changed items in Palm Desktop from Unfiled –> Personal. However…

“Completed Synchronization : Desktop calendar events over 12 months old have been skipped in this transfer. These events remain on your desktop, but will not be available in AirSet.” …etc.

So, an interesting diversion, but not a solution.

Google Calendar (GCal) : The import process was simple, but repeatedly generated a server error message of “temporarily unavailable”. Overcame this by creating several smaller .csv files instead (ie. exporting from MS Outlook, one year at a time), and imported the first few files without problems. However, then came the message…

“Processed 1194 events. Successfully imported 1160 events”

…and files after that had their events processed but not imported. I didn’t get any help from Google Groups; and when trying to delete current/future events, to make space to complete a year, repeatedly got the message…

“Error : Server failure. Try again later”

After 4 days, occasionally able to delete an event, I gave up and deleted the whole calendar (dustbin icon). The re-import went smoothly, every “processed” event was also “imported”, and all looked ok. However, I’ve noticed that some items in Palm Desktop are missing from GCal (even though they were in Outlook and .csv). eg. For 1998 I had “Processed 392 events. Successfully imported 392 events”; and I’ve had to manually input 139 events. There was no obvious pattern.

Events are also missing from (at least) 1999, so it’ll take me a couple of weeks to complete my conversion; but the end is in sight! It’s been a long and frustrating process, and the easy alternative would have been to leave my calendar in Outlook, and hope that better tools exist in future. Anyway, I’m happy that I’ve got my data into iCalendar format, and hope it’ll last for a while!

Next steps will be to figure out how to keep my Treo handset ‘in sync’ easily (or not to bother), and whether I should have my primary calendar offline. Meanwhile, here’s an explanation of how to export iCalendar data from GCal to somewhere else, or how to set up a feed if you want GCal to remain your primary calendar


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