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MemoWare Help - Palm OS Help  

MemoWare's Palm Help area currently has three sections:

  • Main Palm OS Help - This page

  • File Formats - A guide to the various types of document files you may find here at MemoWare and the applications needed to use or view them on your Palm OS device.

  • Using Files - Instructions for using document files on your Palm OS device.

If you still can't find your answer, take a look at the other Help pages here at MemoWare. If all else fails, contact us a note describing your problem or question as completely as possible.

Common Questions & Handy Tips for Palm OS Devices

Q: I just HotSynced a document I downloaded from MemoWare and now I can't find it on my Palm. What's going on?

A: Most files available at MemoWare require you to install additional software on your PalmOS device in order to view them. For example, DOC format files require that a DOC reader application be installed before you can read DOC documents on your PDA. A list of the various file formats that documents come in here at MemoWare, as well as the applications needed to view them, can be found at MemoWare's Help: File Formats page.

So, determine the type of files you download from MemoWare (it tells you this in the 'Formats' column, and you have to click on the format name (e.g. Doc) in order to download a file). Then, visit the website of one of the reader applications for that type of format (listed at the File Formats page), download one of the reader programs, and install it on your Palm. Then, if you have already installed one or more documents onto your PDA, you should be able to read them. If not, go ahead and install the documents after loading the appropriate reader program. If these instructions don't seem to help, email me with additional details about what you're doing.

What's a .pdb file? What's a .prc file? Are they different?

A: PalmOS uses data files that are given the extension .pdb regardless of their format. For example, a DOC file of MacBeth might be called macbeth.pdb, and a an ImageViewer map of Chicago might be called chicagomap.pdb. (.pdb stands for Palm DataBase). The other extension, .prc, is usually reserved for PalmOS applications (i.e. programs), and it stands for Palm Resource Code. However, some DOC data files are named .prc as well. For example, the MacBeth document may also be called macbeth.prc. No file formats other the DOC format use .prc files for data files (I know this is confusing, but I had nothing to do with it). So, if you download a .prc file from MemoWare, it's most certainly a DOC file. If you download a .pdb file, however, make sure you notice what format it's in before you Hotsync (see the previous question for more info on this).

Tip: Determining what format a .pdb file is in

You can open .pdb or .prc files with a text editor like Wordpad and you will see, near the beginning of the file, the Type and Creator codes of the file. For example, if the .pdb or .prc file contains the text "ToGoToGo" near the start of the file, it's an iSilo file. You can also use Windows Find File to search for Palm files of a specific creator or type. For example, if you want to find all the iSilo documents on your PC, go to Start->Find->Files or Folders and search for files containing the text string 'ToGoToGo'. (This great tip was provided by Javier Bonet and Mark Worthington). I've compiled a short list of Type/Creator codes for common PalmOS document formats, as follows:

  • BVokBDIC = BDicty
  • TEXtREAd = DOC
  • DB99DBOS = DB (Database program)
  • vIMGView = FireViewer/ImageViewer
  • PmDBPmDB = HanDBase
  • InfoINDB = InfoView
  • ToGoToGo = iSilo
  • JbDbJBas = JFile
  • JfDbJFil = JFile Pro (no longer used)
  • Mdb1Mdb1 = MobileDB
  • PNRdPPrs = Peanut Reader
  • DataSprd = QuickSheet
  • TEXtTlDc = TealDoc
  • InfoTlIf = TealInfo
  • DataTlMl = TealMeal
  • DataTlPt = TealPaint
  • dataTDBP = ThinkDB
  • TdatTide = Tides
  • ToRaTRPW = TomeRaider

If you are a Linux user, Hasan Umit Ezerce has crafted up a simple shell script that will tell you what PalmOS file format a .pdb file is. You can download doctype (doctype-1.2.tar.gz) here, and command-line execution is in the format doctype [path/filename.pdb].


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