Converting from Pre to Android

Discuss HanDBase running on various Palm OS devices and synchronization with desktop computers.

Converting from Pre to Android

Postby BruceArnold » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:14 pm

I am seriously considering converting from Pre to Android. The reason is simple: HanDBase is a native app on the Android, and not on the Pre. Using the Classic app was a kludgy work-around at best. To tell the truth, I have found it simpler to carry a Palm Tungsten E and keep my HanDBase files there, just as I always did before the smartphone days. Classic takes a long time to load on my Pre, and the simulator-quality operation is just not as good as on the Tungsten.

I'm wondering, though, how easy it is going to be to shuffle all my databases over to Android. Since of course I sync the Tungsten with the Windows version of HanDBase, then I hope that it will simply sync from desktop to Android with the same kind of conduit that the old Palm uses. That appears to be the case, from looking at the DDH website.

I would be in hog heaven if Pimlico would develop Datebk6 for smartphones -- I have yet to see a calendar app that works as well. Maybe it's just what I'm used to, but Datebk6 did everything I need a calendar to do, in a way that is so easy to use.

Old Palm users never die, they just whine and whine ...
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby curtterp » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:26 pm

There are two ways to do it. Either way you choose, you need to buy HanDBase from the Android Market, install it, and run it at least once. This will set up proper directory on the Adroid Phone. You will also need to be able to put the phone into USB Storage mode. Each Manufacturer is different, so you will need to find out how. This is an important step because you need to be able to see the Android phone as a drive letter in Windows Explorer.

First way to do it - Buy the Android Add on for your Windows Desktop. You can get a discounted price by logging into your account on the DDH website, then use the Upgrade/CrossGrade wizard on the right hand side. Choose Android and follow the prompts.

After the Add on is loaded, hook up your phone to the computer via the USB cable. After the computer reconizes the phone (the first time you hook it up, you will see drivers install). Once everything settles down, then open HanDBase desktop, locate the Sync menu, and choose Android user. That will bring up a screen where you can define a new Android user. Click the button, then it will look for the phone. Once it finds the phone, it will ask you to give it a name. name the connection.

Your databases will be located in My documents/HanDBase/Palm (or something close to that depending on your version of WIndows). When you find the database you want to install, open it, then click File->Install to HandHeld. Choose Android then your user. Continue to do that for all the databases that you want to install, then sync.

Second way to do it - Hook up the phone to the computer. Once everything settles down, go find the databases you want to install to the Android phone. Have that open in one explorer window. Open a second window, and choose the Android drive letter. Open that up, look for HanDBase and open it up. Now you can copy the files from the Palm Folder to the Android phone.

The two MOST IMPORTANT POINTS - Run HanDBase once on the phone before you do anything else. Make sure you can put your phones USB connection into a USB Mass Storage mode. ( It is not USB Debugging)

If you have further questions, stop on back.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby BruceArnold » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:19 am

Thanks Curt. If I make the switch, that sounds straightforward enough.

Naturally, from my point of view, the ideal solution would be HanDBase for WebOS! Then I wouldn't switch at all; by and large, I like the Pre. But I understand why that isn't happening.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby moneil » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:24 am

I made the switch from Palm Pre/WebOS (HanDBase and other legacy Palm OS programs running through Classic) to Android a couple of weeks ago (HTC Evo 4g with Sprint).

I miss WebOS and look forward to hopefully visiting that platform again in the future (with a WebOS version of HanDBase) but for now there just aren't enough of the program types and features I want or need being written for it and Classic isn't available on the newer versions of WebOS (unless one "homebrews" and I"m not that smart). Personally I think HP/Palm is shooting themselves in the foot with that decision. I agree the Classic emulator had its flaky moments but it served the purpose. I would have looked at the Pre3 later this summer if Classic were natively available for it (mostly so I could have HanDBase on it).

So far things have gone well and I am happy with Android. Though it's a "new kid on the block" I'm satisfied with the Android version of HanDBase. I look forward to it acquiring more features with maturity but it does what I need it to do now. I especially like that I can USB cable sync again rather than wi-fi sync as with Classic on the Pre (or Bluetooh from the Palm TX to the lap top when I made the mistake of buying a new computer with Vista). I certainly don't live in a 24/7 wi-fi world (large parts of my work day and sometimes whole weekends are spent without even a decent cell or data signal). It was frustrating not being able to regularly update the lap top with field data collected on the hand held.

I was a "Iambic Agendus" user (desktop, Palm TX, and Pre through Classic) and disappointed that they haven't written for Android yet. I notice that Pimlical is announcing a new Android version but it's not in the app market yet.

The same CompanionLink software I had purchased for USB syncing the Palm/Agendus desktop with the native WebOS PIM stuff (for those times when I couldnd't wi-fi synch with Palm/Agendus on the Pre, and to populate the WebOS contact list for auto-dialing and texting) works on my Android and also with Pimlical, so I may check them out when it's available. I have downloaded to the phone (free) CompanionLink's DejaOffice app (contacts, calendar, to-do, memo, expenses) and it is pretty full featured - you may want to take a look at that to start with. One does have to purchase program specific software from CompanionLink to sync DejaOffice with a desktop application.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby Brian_Houghton » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:18 am

Hello,

Slightly off topic, but I've purchased Pimlical via the developer's website. It's good. For a better UI, you might consider Pocket Informant, though. Some users have issues with it, and I did at one time, but now it works well for me.
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby moneil » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:48 am

Brian_Houghton wrote:Hello,

Slightly off topic, but I've purchased Pimlical via the developer's website. It's good. For a better UI, you might consider Pocket Informant, though. Some users have issues with it, and I did at one time, but now it works well for me.


Thank you for the suggestion. Since my switch from WebOS/PalmOS (Classic) to Android, and the addition of a tablet to the mix (a “rooted” Nook Color) I’ve been evaluating all my information management systems. I’ve been a long time Agendus (Windows and PalmOS) user but they don’t offer an Android or WebOS version. The desktop still syncs with those handhelds through CompanionLink, but the code for its enhancements shows up in the note section of the native handheld application, which I found annoying, so I’ve been shopping.

There are some pretty cool and useful applications out there, and while some probable find the array dizzying and tedious I’ve always enjoyed looking at different systems, then selecting what seems to suit my style (and / or get ideas for building something in HanDBase).

I do agree about Pimlical’s UI ~ when I first loaded it to the desktop I thought “I could never look at that screen view all day”, but it’s been “growing on me” and I like many of its features. There is also a Pimlical for Android but for the moment they have to sync through the Google cloud, so I’m syncing Pimlical desktop with DejaOffice through CompanionLink. Pimlical says they are planning to have a usb sync conduit available soon, which is probable the main reason I went in that direction. One of my standards for appraising the suitability of an application is “will it bidirectional sync with a desktop counterpart” (which is one of the key benefits of HanDBase). I am perhaps in a shrinking minority in this day and age regarding that, but that is still an important feature for me.

There is another interesting thing about Pimlical that swayed me. During the trial period with Pimlical I was having an issue and the developer asked me to send him the data files. In the process of attaching those I discovered that Pimlical for Windows is based on MS Access. HanDBase syncs with Access … hmmmm …. I don’t have a particular plan (or know if it would really work) but the idea of a HanDBase application (a “project manager” for example) being able to tie in directly with the PIM sounds intriguing.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby curtterp » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:01 pm

One road block.

If the developer has password protected the data (password protect the file), then unless you had the password, you would not be able to sync to the database.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby moneil » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:27 pm

curtterp wrote:One road block.

If the developer has password protected the data (password protect the file), then unless you had the password, you would not be able to sync to the database.


That made me curious. I knew I could open the Pimlical files (the address book anyway) in Access because I had already tried that. I tried it again today and was able to run a query, so I’m guessing they are not protected. In the query “Category” came up as numbers instead of the text value displayed in the main table, and “Birthday” came up as a long string of numbers instead of a date (a date value perhaps). There must be some macros in there.

I’m thinking of setting up a project management database for a specific function I’m involved with next winter. It would include a related list of list of everyone on the committee and their contact info, and who was responsible for which task could be tracked. I don’t want to permanently “clutter” my phone PIM with this list but if I could sync the HanDBase contact list with the Pimlical Access table, with all the new additions identified by a particular category, they would be there for purposes of quick dial, group texts, etc., without having to do a double entry of the names in both HanDBase and Pimlical. After the event one might query all the entries in that category and delete them as a group from the phone.

Another potential road block is that each entry has an auto generated Record ID, and I’m not sure how syncing in new contacts would work with that. I might play around with it and see if it would work.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby curtterp » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:43 am

If you can open up the file outside of the program, then there is no password protection on it.... I would have suspected that they would have put a password on it, but hey, if you can open it up in Access, you should be able to sync to it (with the proper HanDBase desktop)

The auto generated ID in the access database is not a big deal, unless you add records in HanDBase. I used to sync to a bills access database years ago with HanDBase, and set it to sync only one way from access to HanDBase. That solved the possible problem with the auto field in my case. I only wanted that bills database in HanDBase so I could look at the bills without being at my desk. Today, I have the bills database directly on my phone with HanDBase. I ran into a few problems upgrading the access database a couple of years ago, and just never took the time to get it working correctly again.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: Converting from Pre to Android

Postby BruceArnold » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:23 pm

Well I made the plunge to Android and bought a Thunderbolt . Sometime this weekend I will install HanDBase. I hope this goes smoothly. :-)
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