Posts filed under 'FAQ'

Automate Backup & Backup next Hot-Sync

I get a fair number of questions about what these options do exactly – so I will attempt to explain them here.

Backup next Hot-Sync

List uses the default backup conduit – refer to your Palm user documentation on the backup conduit. This conduit knows how to take files from your Palm device and back them up onto your PC. There is a standard flag in the Palm database format that controls if this needs to be done (for advanced users – this is very similar to the archive bit on PC files). The Backup next Hot-Sync check box allows the user to manually control this flag. The Hot-Sync operation will clear this flag automatically when the database has been backed up. In List this flag is set per database.
Automate Backup

Since there is no need to backup a database that has not been edited, it is fairly simple for List to toggle the flag for you if you edit. The Automate Backup check box is used to tell List that it should flip the Backup next Hot-Sync check box for you when you edit databases. In List this flag is a system setting.


There is no synchronization with List and any PC application (that I know of). This is different than the built in applications which allow editing of records on both the PC and Palm device – and sort out things for you. If you use a PC companion program to edit a List database – simply install it on your Palm device. This will overwrite what is on the Palm device. I recommend you start by doing a hot-sync to get the latest backup of your data, locate the file – edit, and then re-install.

2 comments June 13th, 2007

Converting .csv data for use with List

Question: I am trying to create a database from a .csv file, how do I do this?

Answer: There is a program called listdb.exe which is part of the download for List. It is a DOS program that can convert .csv format files into List format .pdb files.

Its not terribly user friendly, and there isn’t really any good documentation.

  • From the Start menu on windows – select Run, use this to execute the ‘cmd’ program.
  • Navigate to the folder where you have the listdb.exe program using the ‘cd’ command.
  • If you run listdb on its own, you’ll see some mini-help:

C:\Documents and Settings\Andrew Low\My Documents\list>listdb.exe
Version 0.97a
Usage: listdb.exe -[p|c|x]
-p => create private (non-beamable) database
-c => create database
-x => extract database

At this point – if you are totally lost – you’ll need to find some help. Hopefully someone can give you a hand wrangling a DOS program.
The .csv format needs to have some special formatting in it (mostly the first line). Let’s look at an example .csv file to get an idea of what is involved here.

C:\Documents and Settings\Andrew Low\My Documents\list>type cd_list.csv
CD List,Artist,Title,Home,Work,Car,,,,,,,,,,,,
Home,Download,Furnace,A breakthrough album
Home,Skinny Puppy,Too Dark Park,Classic puppy album
Home,Skinny Puppy,Inquisition,Single remixes
Basically its:
Database Name,Field 1 Name,Field 2 Name,Category1,Category2,…

Then all other rows are:
Category,Field 1 Text,Field 2 Text,Note Text

Extra commas in the note field, are converted into carriage returns.
Hint: If you use the -x (extract) flag to take apart an existing database, it will dump things in the correct format giving you a template of sorts to work from.

11 comments August 19th, 2006


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