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Migrating from a Palm OS handheld to an Android Phone - requires Windows Desktop (or Windows environment running on a Mac or Linux) and Android phone running OS 2.0 or later, and Java 7 installed on desktop.

Step 1 - get V-6.2 of the Palm Desktop Installed
Earlier versions of the Palm desktop (4.x etc.) use an undocumented, proprietary format for the PIM databases. V-6.2 switched to using MS Access databases which are far more easily accessible and self-documenting and suitable for migrating to other platforms. Ignore Palm's comments about compatibility, as you will be installing Pimlical which overcomes the unnecessary restriction that Palm placed on getting their sync software to work with older devices. You can download the Palm desktop from: http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/PalmDesktopWin62.exe.

Before installing the V-6.2 desktop, it is recommended that you make a complete backup of the palm folder containing all your data, so you can always recover easily if an error is made or some other problem arises.

The Palm Desktop will not install on a 64-bit version of Windows. If that is the case (and these days almost all Win desktops are running a 64-bit version of Windows), you will need to install Windows XP Mode which will create a partition in your hard drive and then install a version of Windows XP which can run the Palm Desktop. After you get your MDB databases, you can copy them out of the Windows XP Mode partition to your main hard drive and at that point you will no longer need the Windows XP Mode software. This web page has useful information on what Windows XP Mode is and how it works: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/install-and-use-windows-xp-mode-in-windows-7. Make sure you can see all your calendar, contacts, tasks, memo data in the Palm Desktop as if you can't see it there, you very definitely won't see it in Pimlical. If you were using Windows XP Mode, copy those four files to a folder in your main Windows installation as you will need them in a moment.

Step 2 - Install Pimlical/Desktop
You can download Pimlical from a link on the home page (click on Home at top left). Note that you must have Java 7 installed as Java 8 no longer has the ODBC drivers which Java requires in order to read the old Palm MDB databases. If you can not find a version to install, Pimlical does keep a version of Java 7 on its website at this location: http://www.PimlicoSoftware.com/jre-7u79-windows-i586.exe.

When you launch Pimlical for the first time, an install dialog appears. In that dialog, make sure you check the checkbox labeled: Use the old Palm/Desktop MDB Databases. which is underneath the first checkbox labeled: Install NEW Default.txt (Default Preference File). Click on the button Change Folder and navigate to where the Palm Desktop put its data (you can easily find that by opening an archive).

If you set the wrong path, or never changed it, Pimlical will still launch but will display completely empty databases. Either uninstall and reinstall Pimlical and try again, OR in menu | Help | About, you will see the path to where your data is stored, which is usually something like C:\USERS\{your windows name}\AppData\Roaming\Pimlico. Underneath the Pimlico folder you should see four folders corresponding to the Palm databases, so copy datebook.mdb from the Palm Desktop's Datebook folder into PImlico's Datebook folder, Address.mdb into the Address folder etc. (for some odd reason the Todolist.mdb file goes into a Todo folder and not a TodoList folder).

Launch Pimlical/Desktop again and this time you should see your calendar and tasks data - you may need to go into menu | Refresh to see it.

The next step is to migrate all your data into the new format that is compatible with Java 8: to do that, in Pimlical, go into menu | Options | Preferences - and in the last (System) section locate the preference SynchronizeWIthPalmOS and change its value from TRUE to FALSE. Then exit Pimlical and relaunch Pimlical and your calendar and tasks data will be automatically converted. To convert your contacts and memos, click on the Contacts and Memos buttons at bottom left and respond affirmatively to the request to migrate your data. At that point you will then have three sub-folders in your main Pimlical folder: PimlicalCalendars, PimlicalContacts and PimlicalMemos. The four original folders with the palm names (Datebook, address, etc.) are no longer needed and can be removed. At that point you can exit Pimlical again, remove Java 7 and install the latest release of Java 8. Relaunch Pimlical again and confirm that you can still see all your data.


Step 3 - Setup Pimlical to migrate your calendar data to your phone
If you have a phone other than Android, you will be syncing Pimlical/Desktop to Google Calendar which you can then sync with your phone (iPhone, Symbian, WinMob, Blackberry, etc.). Launch Pimlical to view the calendar, select the items you wish to export in Advanced Find (or hit Clear to select all of them) and then use the Export ICS: button to export the calendar in iCalendar format to your desktop. You can then use Google Calendar's import feature to import that calendar into Google Calendar (try and keep such calendars under 5k events or so for best performance). From there you can use Google's sync software or your phone's sync software to migrate your calendar data into the phone.

If you have an Android phone, you can use Pimlical on the Android phone, and will benefit from continuing to use Pimlical Desktop, in which case proceed as indicated below.

Install Pimlical/Android on your Android phone. Connect your Android phone to desktop using regular USB cable and select that you want to mount the phone as a PC Drive (so it appears as a device under windows). If you have an Android 4.x device that only has Phone Storage, read the section in the DirectSync documentation that covers the use of the local HTTP Sync method or  a third party application like WebDAV Server Pro which can mount your phone's Phone Storage as a standard network device that Pimlical/Desktop can see. Some Android phones support a compatible MTP type connection which Pimlical/Desktop can also handle. 

Launch Pimlical/Desktop. If your database is really large, be sure to save older appointments in a separate file as you will likely be copying that later on to your phone (as there is no point in constantly syncing really old events). Click on this web page: Direct Sync and look for the section: Setting up Local Calendar on Android Device from Desktop

If you have a custom icon collection, you can get that migrated into Pimlical by following the directions in the Pimlical manual (see menu | Help for the reference manual). You will need to export your icons (using the Export button in Pimlical/desktop) in a different format for use by Pimlical/Android. But when this is done, icons that you used in DateBk will also appear in Pimlical on both the desktop and the handheld.

Getting your contacts into Gmail Contacts and Native Android Contacts database
Pimlical has its own Contacts database which is separate from the standard Android contacts database. If you prefer to use Android contacts you can easily migrate your contacts into Android contacts/Gmail Contacts.

Using the Pimlical/Desktop, export your (contacts) as a vCard file ( Export button). Then go into Gmail, select contacts (link at top left), then go to bottom of page and select Import from the More Actions dropdown list. You can then import this file into your Gmail contacts. One user following this procedure offered this helpful advice:
In doing this, I discovered all my contacts that had company names but NOT
first/last names, were imported into Google Contacts with "-Unnamed-".
My first few hundred contacts were all "-Unnamed-".

The solution was to 1st export the contacts to vCards. The hand edit the
text file to globally remove all "-Unnamed-". It didn't have to be replaced
with anything. This took all of 10 seconds using VIM.

If you have custom fields and want to get them into the Note field, you can do that too with these steps:

1. Edit the VCF file with a text edit (I used GVIM). Replace any instance of "X-PALM-CUSTOM;1:" with "NOTE:". Also, if there are instances with "X-PALM-CUSTOM;2:", "X-PALM-CUSTOM;3:", "X-PALM-CUSTOM;4:", these must be deleted and the field contents made a part of the line "NOTE:". Note if you try to use Openoffice writer instead of gedit the non-printing characters are messed up and file is not recognized properly as a VCF file when trying to import (yes I tried it and it failed)
2. Save the file with a new unique name in case you made a mistake editing the file.
3. Go to Gmail, select "Contacts", then Import
4. Locate your newly edited *.vcf file and import your Palm contacts into Gmail account

I then imported to Google Contacts (using the web page) and all looks great.

Memos, Contacts and Tasks
Pimlical/Android supports both memos and contacts in a local database and they can be synced back and forth with Pimlical/Desktop. Memos are stored in a different format, so there is a one-time migration from the memopad.mdb Access database into a folder (PimlicalMemos) where each memo is stored as a separate text file (this also facilitates future migration). Tasks can be synced EITHER directly using DirectSync, or they can be synced through a google calendar - there is no direct support at this time to sync to GTasks. Contact linking is supported by Pimlical/Android both with the native contacts database and with P/A's local contacts database. The local contacts database syncs to the local contacts database in Pimlical/Desktop.
Need further help on getting this migration done?
If you need further assistance on migrating your data, there's a very helpful forum: Yahoo Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Pimlical with many users who have been through the migration process and can help you with some of the more estoeric issues such as converting an existing, custom, Icon colleciton used in DateBk5/6, etc.

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Last Updated 2015-08-18 18:36:44