I was an early Palm adopter, starting with the actual “Palm Pilot” and having gotten several generations, up to the Treo 650 smartphone. But Palm OS is dead, and my Treo 650 just died this last week. Because of my support for Open Source Software, and my issues with Apple’s closed nature and their business practices, I decided to go with an Android Phone.
Thankfully, since I knew my Treo was on its last legs, I had backed up all of it’s PDB files. But I had done so manually, not using the Palm Desktop. Thus, the recommendations of James Crisp in his Blog Posting about Migrating from Palm OS to Android would be difficult because I didn’t have Palm Desktop, nor an older version of Outlook, and I’m not sure without synching if the Outlook conduit would even work. So I went searching for a more direct way to change the Palm PDB files into something that I could import into the Android.
I did a lot of searching for converters, and nearly all of them were some form of shareware, but most of them didn’t really work well, and many crashed in Windows 7. ABC Palm Converter was close in helping out, but it could only make PDF and other such files, not things that could directly be imported into the Android.
But, Open Source Software came to the rescue. Even though it doesn’t have a fancy webpage, nor fancy interface, PdbConverter which is a small Java app was able to do a perfect job of converting the PDB files for the Palm Address Book into a vCard file, and the Palm Calendar into an iCalendar file, and both of these can be directly imported into GMail and hence directly imported into the default app for the Android. Further, many other software packages support these formats. PdBConverter also can convert the memos, and the other files I just listed into XML, which then can be used with many other applications, although with some extra work.
So if you are migrating to from Palm to another platform, I highly recommend using the small and free PdbConverter.
This post has not been revised since publication.