Since my previous post, I have found a way to import/export data out of the Sharp ROM box format data stored in the /home/root/Applications/dtm directory. A Japanese programmer had built a program called "zdbat" that allows one to read/write data from the box files into CSV (comma delimitted) files, which can be edited within Microsoft Excel. This program lacks a GUI, but can be easily run from the console. This program can be downloaded at:
The program handles data in the addressbook (address), ToDo (todo), Datebook (datebook), Mail Inbox (inbox), and Memo (memo) box files. The word in parenthesis should be inserted in the parameters of the command line. For example:
To read the AddressBook file data and convert it into a cvs format file (which can be imported into Excel), you need to issue the following command:
zdbat address -r > contacts.csv
To write a csv file back into the AddressBook on the Zaurus, use the following command:
zdbat address -w < contacts.csv
I was able to get this to work by first creating a sample template by reading out the data from within my Zaurus AddressBook using the first command above. I opened this file in Excel and then made sure that all the data that I exported out of the Apple AddressBook (cutting and pasting) conformed to the prearranged categories of the Zaurus AddressBook. Note that one can select/de-select what categories one wishes to use from within the Zaurus AddressBook. After I inserted all the data from my Apple Address Book into the predesignated categories within Excel from the file I exported from the Zaurus, I was then able to write this file back into the Zaurus using the second command above.
A few notes about writing the data into the Zaurus. The first column in the AddressBook template is CARDID. The number in this category is a unique record of all the individual data records. To ensure that all the data is imported correctly into the Zaurus, one must reset the CARDID cell for all entries to 0 (zero). The Zaurus AddressBook will then assign a unique number to each record after the file has been imported. The CARDID can be easily set to 0 from within Excel or one can issue the following command from within the Zaurus to the CSV file you hope to import back into the Zaurus:
sed 's/^[ 0-9]*,/0,/' contacts.csv > import.csv
While cutting and pasting entries from my exported Apple Address Book cvs file into the Zaurus format template I created was a pain, it did not take long to accomplish using Excel. As a result, I was able to import all of the 300 records in my Apple Address Book into my new Zaurus. While this is far from a long term solution to syncing the Zaurus AddressBook and Apple Address Book, it does allow one to periodically update data in either direction.