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Thread: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    367
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    I'm trying to completely rid myself from using XP and one of the last few apps that I'm reliant upon was AportisDoc Converter. I use it to convert just about any type of file to a readable format for my Palm Pilot, usually .PDB.

    After much searching I have found this work-around that seems to do an excellent job. It is a very old program called MakeDocW.exe which I learned about at this webpage:
    http://www.handebooks.com/howto/doc.html

    The program was written by a person named Mark Pierce (webpage) and can be downloaded directly from this link.

    1. Install Wine:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install wine
    2. Launch downloaded file using wine:
    Code:
    wine MakeDocW.exe
    I get an error about palm desktop not being properly installed but just click ok and you should be good to go. I found that once I tweaked the settings I was able to ensure punctuation was being properly encoded (this is why I'm not using txt2pdbdoc) and html tags as well as linefeeds are removed. It's not a slick solution, but it is a work-around.

    Please, if you have a better solution.... or can code a Linux clone of AportisDoc Converter, post it here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Greece!
    Beans
    103
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    OpenOffice can save to AportisDoc (pdb) out of the box...

    No need for Wine!
    "Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning: "I can't configure Debian."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    367
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    I had trouble with OpenOffice incorrectly converting puncutation. I ended up with extended characters every time an apostraphe was used (among other punctuation problems).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Beans
    80

    Re: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    You might want to look at pyrite publisher. It's flexible palmdoc creator that reads text, HTML and other formats. I've used it for years to transfer text to my handheld. I don't have a lot of experience converting material from HTML, so YMMV.

    apt-get install pyrite-publisher
    pyrpub file.txt
    pilot-xfer -i file.pdb

    done!

    Here's a little perl script I cooked up to clean up punctuation from windows-sourced text files (pyrpub may do this automatically now, it's been a while since I've used windows-sourced text files...):

    -------------------
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w

    # cleanquotes.pl get rid of *** microsoft smartquotes & other non ASCII chars
    #
    # usage: cat my-textfile.txt | cleanquotes.pl > cleaned-file.txt

    $prevblank = "no";

    while (<>)
    {
    s/\x85/.../g; # ellipsis (?)
    s/\x91/'/g; # left apostrophe
    s/\x92/'/g; # right apostrophe
    s/\x93/"/g; # left quote
    s/\x94/"/g; # right quote
    s/\x96/--/g; # N-dash
    s/\x97/--/g; # M-dash

    # other fun things

    s/ \. \. \./\.\.\./g; # . . . ellipsis
    s/^ +//; # whitespace at the beginning of a line

    # collapse multiple blank lines into one blank line
    if ($_ =~ /^$/)
    {
    if ($prevblank eq "no")
    {
    $prevblank = "yes";
    print;
    }
    }
    else
    {
    $prevblank = "no";
    }

    if ($_ !~ /^$/) { print; }
    }
    Last edited by wastrel; June 6th, 2006 at 07:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Mancland
    Beans
    164
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    Where does the output file go? Am running the program from my home/Desktop directory on a text file in the same dir, and it seems to run ok, but no output file.



    [EDIT] doh, just noticed the autoinstall button - unchecked and works fine now.

    Quote Originally Posted by barney_1 View Post
    I'm trying to completely rid myself from using XP and one of the last few apps that I'm reliant upon was AportisDoc Converter. I use it to convert just about any type of file to a readable format for my Palm Pilot, usually .PDB.

    After much searching I have found this work-around that seems to do an excellent job. It is a very old program called MakeDocW.exe which I learned about at this webpage:
    http://www.handebooks.com/howto/doc.html

    The program was written by a person named Mark Pierce (webpage) and can be downloaded directly from this link.

    1. Install Wine:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install wine
    2. Launch downloaded file using wine:
    Code:
    wine MakeDocW.exe
    I get an error about palm desktop not being properly installed but just click ok and you should be good to go. I found that once I tweaked the settings I was able to ensure punctuation was being properly encoded (this is why I'm not using txt2pdbdoc) and html tags as well as linefeeds are removed. It's not a slick solution, but it is a work-around.

    Please, if you have a better solution.... or can code a Linux clone of AportisDoc Converter, post it here!
    Last edited by jonboy99; September 8th, 2006 at 12:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Beans
    5

    Re: Convert PalmDoc (PRC/PDB) from HTML or TXT

    No luck so far:
    Openoffice crashes, when saving (debian etch repositories)
    pyrite does it but without Umlaute (german: ä, ö ü ß...)

    any hints?
    EDIT:
    yes, use encoded text (perhaps. So far I have " instead of ö and simmelar)
    I try to find the correct encoding and post here..

    OK this way:
    Use save as (from OOo) encoded text, with filter type:
    Western Europe iso 8859-15/EURO
    and convert this with pyrite and everything is fine!
    Last edited by mclien; May 18th, 2008 at 09:15 PM.

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