1. Omnitech's Avatar
    [I tried posting about this in the "default apps" forum a few days ago, but after 57 views there hasn't been a single response. So I'll try here.]

    I'm a very longterm Palm user who recently decided on a BB Tour after a short frustrating experience with Palm's WebOS. (I don't think a touchscreen-centric device is for me) So, I've spent a substantial amount of time online here and other BB sites learning how to get productive again with the BB.

    Ran into the apparently common issue where Device Switch Wizard won't recognize modern versions of Palm Desktop, so a few days ago I ended up installing an older version on a non-critical PC to migrate the Palm Desktop data. (Didn't want to disturb my main Palm Desktop installation quite yet, which looks like it was prudent in this case.)

    The transfer seemed to go smoothly enough, no error messages or warnings of note. (BTW: Desktop Manager v5.01)

    But I've recently discovered that many of my contact records have substantial parts missing.

    In particular, it appears that the BB contacts app is very rigid in terms of fields such as phone number. The Treo/Palm Desktop supports 5 dedicated phone number fields which can be assigned to any one of 8 types: Work, Home, Fax, Other, Main, Pager, Mobile or "Email". Whereas the BB appears to have only 2 fields which can be allocated to "Work phone", and 2 fields which can be allocated to "Home phone". So for contacts where ie I had assigned 4 separate "Work phone" fields, all the fields beyond the 1st 2 were LOST. In fact, in the example I have in front of me right now, even the 2nd BB "Work phone" field was left empty after the import.

    I realize a lot of people suggest using Outlook as an intermediary but I don't normally use that app. My main concern is whether the BB contacts app even has the capability to hold all those fields coming from my Palm, since I don't see how using Outlook as an intermediary could solve that issue.


    03-11-10 08:54 PM
  2. roseb1's Avatar
    I used to love my Palm -- guess we all did. Hung onto that last Palm
    Treo until it froze so much I just couldn't stand it. Took me almost
    two years to find a way to get my data onto a contemporary system.
    Finally did it! Google is the answer, people. I can't recommend which
    "smartphone" is the best one to use to sync with Google, but there
    are more and more of them out there. The point is that Google's Gmail
    system has enough flexibility to handle all the "extra" fields that
    former Palm users have in our data -- like multiple mobile tel no's
    for a contact, etc. I haven't found anything else.

    Whatever you do, don't get or keep a Blackberry and don't try WinMobile.
    You risk losing lots of data because there just aren't enough fields
    to handle everything. (I tried a Blackberry Tour but had to get ridof it because it does not have the fields to hold all the data from my old Palm contacts! Impossible to resolve -- Square Peg Round Hole.) You have to get your data over to Gmail. Just
    set up a free Gmail account. It wasn't easy to find the applications
    to get my data from Palm to Gmail because most of the app's leave
    some data fields out. I am happy to share the info that I finally
    nailed it. You just have to buy a couple of inexpensive programs, but
    it's well worth it. Here's what to do:

    First, tranfer your data out of the Palm Desktop into Outlook using
    the Chapura PocketCopy Software. Look, I am not suggesting actually
    using Outlook. (Outlook hides many fields, like that 2nd mobile tel
    no for a contact, into obscure locations where it's very hard to
    find. Yuck.) Outlook is just a conduit for getting your data onto
    Google. Read on.

    To transfer all your data (contacts, calendar, notes, and tasks)
    including all fields from Palm Desktop go here:

    Copy Palm Desktop data into Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes with PocketCopy.

    Then, back up all your data for safekeeping from Outlook into PST
    files. You have to do that separately for each of Contacts, Calendar,
    Notes, and Tasks. Just go to File, Export, etc.

    Now, here's the gold -- The one and only program that I have found
    which will actually copy 100 percent of all your Contacts, Calendar,
    and Notes fields from Outlook onto Google's Gmail is Gsyncit. Works
    great. You can get it here:

    gSyncit - Google Calendar Sync for Microsoft Outlook Calendars and Contacts - G1 t mobile Android iPhone ActiveSync Palm Pre Apple CompanionLink SyncMyCal

    Just read through all the Settings in Gsyncit very carefully. (You
    can even use it to periodically back up all your data from Google
    onto Outlook, which is way more convenient than those awkward CSV
    files.) Here are some settings that I highly recommend in Gsync for
    your initial upload to Gmail, and then it works like a charm:

    -Check Automatically continue synchronizing on failure (in case your
    internet goes down)
    -Check to sync everything -- and especially User Defined Fields at
    the very end of the list
    -Uncheck "allow contacts to be deleted"
    -Uncheck "removing duplicates when syncing" (Trust me -- you can
    merge duplicates in Gmail after uploading.)
    Read the other options and do what you want, but I strongly advise the above.

    Read the Settings options and do what you want, but here's a taste of
    what I did and I was happy:
    -Check Automatically continue synchronizing on failure (in case your
    internet goes down)
    -Check to sync or not what you want - read carefully
    -Uncheck "allow events to be deleted"
    -Uncheck "removing duplicates when syncing"

    You can upload by Category (hooray!!!) to Google Docs using GSyncit.
    There are detailed instructions on the GSyncit support page. I did it
    and was very delighted. I have almost 500 Memos from my Palm Treo
    which are all organized by category and I was very concerned about this.

    Apparently, Google has made it impossible for any developer to get
    access in any way to upload into their Tasks system on our Google
    Gmail accounts, despite the fact that people have been asking for
    over a year. GSyncit has a way of uploading to a separate calendar,
    but it's not ideal because you lose your categories from Palm. I'm
    about to try a separate app called GTasks, but I don't know if it
    works or not -- I don't think that the GTasks app works with Google -
    I think it's maybe a standalone. So, if you don't have a lot of
    tasks, and you want everything on Google, the GSyncit workaround
    might work for you.
    03-28-10 01:26 AM
  3. Omnitech's Avatar
    roseb1: Well thanks very much for going to the effort of writing such a detailed reply! (Maybe that at least partially compensates for the fact that I've got nearly 200 views on 2 threads on this issue with not a single response until now..)

    Anyway, glad to hear from someone who understands the problem.

    Re: Google, I'm not that thrilled about copying every detail of my private life into Google's infamous never-deleted "data vault of doom", but I will keep this in mind anyway as a potential last resort.

    I'm aware of PocketCopy and PocketMirror, and at least Chapura seems to understand the basic issue. (Their methodology is to take the 1st 2 instances of "Work" or "Home" phone fields and copy those to the BB's "Work/Work2" and "Home/Home2" fields, and on each additional instance of a field tagged "Work" or "Home" etc., create custom fields in Outlook called "Home3/Home4/etc", "Work3/Work4/etc.". And of course as you noted, that's fine as far as Outlook is concerned, but it doesn't help me when it comes to squeezing all that stuff into the rudimentary native BB contacts database.

    Since I already had to do some "data cleaning" on my Palm PIM data, and because I don't have a gigantic number of contacts, my current plan is to move things around so that the most important Palm phone fields are copied to the main BB phone fields, and then copy the lesser important ones into the notes field.

    One of the key reasons why lots of telephone fields are important to me is because I have outgoing caller ID blocked by default. So for those cases where I need to be able to unblock caller ID, I need a phone entry for that entity that starts with "*82". But since I also need to have a base number so that it will recognize an incoming call and associate it with a contact (ie for custom ringtones or popping up a "photo caller ID"), I also need the "plain" number listed in those contacts. With one home and one work number, that's already effectively 4 phone fields used up.

    Next on my to-do list is to see if by some stroke of luck the BB will ignore a phone field that starts with "*82" and recognize an incoming call on the "base" number anyway. I thought I noticed this happening the other day on one incoming number. If that works, then it will help a lot.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions and I will keep them in mind.

    03-28-10 08:19 PM