|Q: What does 'PDA' stand for?
A: PDA = Personal Digital Assistant
- a general term used to encompass electronic organizers and
- Q: I just HotSynced a document I downloaded from MemoWare
and now I can't find it on my PDA. What's going on?
A: Most files available at MemoWare require you to install
additional software on your PDA 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
on these pages:
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).
Or, see the tip below on determining which format a file is
in using a text editor. 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
Q: I don't have a PDA. Can I use MemoWare's document
files on my personal computer?
A: Yes, some of the document formats can be read on
PCs running Windows, MacOS or Linux. Notice what format each
document you want is in, then go to the Help:
File Formats page to see if there are Windows, MacOS or
Linux reader programs available for those formats.
Q: What do the colored checkmarks mean in the document
A: The checkmarks indicate which of the three platforms
presently supported by MemoWare (Palm OS, EPOC, and Pocket PC)
a particular document can be used with. This is determined by
the "format" of the file (see Qs above), for a given format
may be supported on some platforms but not on others. For example,
there is at least one DOC reader program for each platform,
so a colored checkmark would appear under all three columns
for any document in the DOC format. You can check to see what
application you may need for your device based on the file format
by looking at the appropriate help page: PalmOS,
Q: My PDA runs on Palm OS, but it isn't a Palm (i.e., it's
a Handspring, Sony, HandEra, etc.). Can I use any documents
on the MemoWare website?
A: Yes, you can use any documents denoted as being compatible
with Palm devices (blue checkmarks under the Platform column).
Q: 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 PDA 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 some PalmOS
document formats found here at MemoWare, as follows:
- TEXtREAd = DOC
- DB99DBOS = DB (Database program)
- vIMGView = FireViewer/ImageViewer
- PmDBPmDB = HanDBase
- InfoINDB = InfoView
- ToGoToGo = iSilo
- SDocSilX = iSilo 3 (newer version of iSilo)
- JbDbJBas = JFile
- JfDbJFil = JFile Pro
- DATALSdb = LIST
- Mdb1Mdb1 = MobileDB
- DataPlkr = Plucker
- DataSprd = QuickSheet
- TEXtTlDc = TealDoc
- InfoTlIf = TealInfo
- DataTlMl = TealMeal
- DataTlPt = TealPaint
- dataTDBP = ThinkDB
- TdatTide = Tides
- ToRaTRPW = TomeRaider
- BDOCWrdS = WordSmith
If you run Win95/98/NT, you can use the pdbhdr
utility from Richard Hartman to determine the Palm database
name, creator code and type for .pdb and .prc files. Or, if
you are a Linux user, Hasan
Umit Ezerce has crafted up a simple shell script that will
tell you what 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].
Q: I have the right reader program, but I can't view document
files that are supposedly in a format that the reader program
handles. What's going on?
A: A few problems might exist. First, make sure you
have the latest version of the program you are using. Some reader
programs have been updated to create a new file format, so newer
document files may not work with older versions of the reader
program. Second, make sure that you are using the correct program
with the document you installed. See the first Q&A above. Third,
if the program you are using is shareware and you haven't registered
it yet, it may have a limitation on the number of documents
you can see at any one time. Try either using a different reader
program or visiting the website for the one you have currently
installed to see if it does this prior to registration.
Q: What does the
A: Items marked with the
symbol are documents that can only be found here at MemoWare.
We have made special arrangements with the copyright holders
of these documents so that we can offer them here in PDA formats.
Q: Is there a Adobe Acrobat PDF reader for PalmOS devices?
A: Yes. Adobe has released Adobe
Acrobat Reader for PalmOS. Alternately, you can convert
the PDF files to DOC format files using one of the Acrobat-to-DOC
converters listed at Help:Creating
Files, and then just use any DOC reader to read them on
Tip: Problems "unzipping" archive files
According to Charlie Combs Orme, there is a bug in the Mac
version of ZipIt that prevents it from unzipping a .zip file
containing more than one archived file. In fact, ZipIt will
even corrupt the .zip file, preventing any other software from
being able to uncompress the .zip file. So, MemoWare recommends
that you download a FREE copy of the latest version of
Aladdin Systems' decompression utility for your operating system:
Expander 5.0 for Windows 95/98/NT 4.0
Expander for Mac
They all handle .zip (Zip), .sit (StuffIt), and other compression
formats, and they're FREE.
If you want to "unzip" files from the web on the fly for use
on your PalmOS device, check out PalmZIP.
It works great even from a PalmOS web browser!
Q: Why documents with .exe extensions don't work?
A: Netscape 4.x sometimes renames downloaded document
files from their appropriate extensions (usually *.prc or *.pdb)
and changes them to *.exe - PLEASE rename the files you download
to *.pdb, as there are NO *.exe document files in MemoWare's