Saturday, 11 February 2017

Linux Handspring integration with jPilot

Yesterday was ferociously hot, so hot that we put the cooling on before lunch. Too hot to do anything outside, so, given that I'd found not only my original handspring visor, but its sync cradle, I thought I'd install jpilot on my old EEEpc that now runs crunchbang and incidentally makes a very nice lightweight writing machine - more than a chromebook, less than a MacBook Air.

Anyway, I read the instructions, installed pilot-link first (ok I didn't read all the instructions and had to back track on that one) then jpilot.

It, of course, didn't work, and I set off on a wild goose chase involving usb ports and just about convinced myself that the sync cradle was dead.

Well, I had a second cradle, so I tried that. Same result. Zilch.

So this afternoon I thought I'd retrace my steps using my Xubuntu machine, given that it's a slightly more mainstream distro. Again zilch.

And then I tried to run jpilot as root. And it worked - well almost, I had to make a palm user id first, and then it worked.

As proof to myself I created a calendar entry with jpilot on my xubuntu machine, transferred it to the handspring visor, swapped the cradle over to the EEE, again ran jpilot as root, and downloaded the dummy entry into the jpilot datebook.

All pretty neat. Guess what I need to do now is (a) work out why I need to run jpilot as root, and now I've cracked the conundrum, (b) work out if this has any value at all other than as a way to pass the time on a 40C day ...

[update 12/02/2017]

There's several packages out there that can read Palm datebook  and addressbook files and convert them to something useful, so I thought, naively, that there must be some code to take an ics format file and write it out in palm format, the idea then being to modify my orage import script and then overwrite the jpilot datebook file.

Unfortunately, while there are several utilities to go from palm to ics written to help people migrate off of Palm devices there isn't anything to go the other way - the best solution would seem to be to export one's ics calendar file using Thunderbird's Outlook csv export option and then use jpilot's import option (or indeed the same trick using evolution) ...

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