Author Topic: Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro  (Read 1927 times)

Ian Glendinning

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Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro
« on: February 11, 2023, 06:36:33 pm »
Has anyone figured out how to transfer to-do notes from the Cosmo to the Astro? I have version 1.2.0b of the Agenda installed on both devices, and was able to export my to-do notes from the Cosmo to a file called Planet_Todo.tdo, and I copied it to my Astro, but when I use the "Import todo" option, the file browser doesn't show any files in the relevant directory... Can anyone help?

Ian Glendinning

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Re: Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2023, 02:00:42 pm »
Dear all,

I am pleased to say that I have found a solution to this problem! Actually, it turned out that there were two problems. The first one was that although exporting the to-do notes on my Cosmo worked fine, when I transferred the file to my Astro, it was not visible in the file selector for the Import function. I tried creating a test to-do note on the Astro and exporting it, then deleting the to-do note, and then importing the file, and that worked fine, restoring the to-do note. I also found that if I copied that exported file to my Cosmo, the file was visible. I didn't try importing it though, as I didn't want to overwrite the to-do notes that I was trying to transfer to my Astro. But it wouldn't work in the other direction.

At the suggestion of a friend, I installed the fx "file explorer" app, which does a lot more than the two file manager apps that are pre-installed on the Astro, and in particular, it shows the media database ID for a file if it has one. I haven't found a good explanation of what is going on with the media database, but it seems that some files have extra information associated with them that is above and beyond what is part of the Linux file system that the files are stored in, and the extra information is presumably stored separately in the media database. Anyway, I saw using fx, that the file I had exported on my Cosmo and copied to my Astro had a media database ID, but the file that I had exported on the Astro didn't, so that was a difference between them, and presumably explained why one of them was visible and the other one wasn't!

Vince Smith reported on the Indiegogo comments page that he had been able to import to-do notes from a file he had exported on his Cosmo and copied to his Astro, so it seems it depends on how you do the copying, perhaps it works with some file manager apps, but I tried two of them, and tried copying the file to my Linux PC via USB and then copying it to the Astro, but the file was still invisible to the import function. My workaround was to use the Android Debug Bridge (adb) to copy the data from the file I'd copied from my Cosmo directly into the file that I had exported on my Astro, which was visible to the import function. I assume this is also possible for Windows systems, but on my Linux system I installed adb using the command line:

sudo apt install adb

Then I enabled USB debugging on the Astro, which you do by going into the developer settings. If you haven't already enabled developer mode, go into the "About phone" section of the settings, and tap seven times on the build number. Really! :-) Next go into the "System" settings and tap on "Advanced", and you will see that "Developer options" are now available. Tap on that and scroll down to "USB debugging", and turn it on. Now connect your computer to the Astro via USB, and on the PC run:

adb devices

which should show that the Astro is connected, and then run:

adb shell

which will give you a Linux shell on the Astro. You will get one or two prompts along the way to confirm things, such as that it's okay for the PC to connect to the phone, but I forget the exact sequence of the prompts.

Oh, one think I forgot to make clear - you first need to create an exported to-do notes file on your Astro, so assuming you don't have any to-do notes, you should create one (maybe it works with none - I didn't try) then use the export function to export the to-do note into the file Planet_Todo.tdo in the directory /storage/emulated/0/Documents and you can then safely delete the to-do note that you created, although you can also opt to overwrite existing to-do notes when you import them. Of course, you also need to export your to-do notes on the Cosmo, let's say to a file called Planet_Todo-Cosmo.tdo, and to copy that to the Documents directory on your Astro.

Now, back at the adb shell, run the commands:

cd /storage/emulated/0/Documents
cat Planet_Todo-Cosmo.tdo Planet_Todo.tdo

You can then exit the adb shell with "exit" and turn of USB debugging on the Astro, and at this point you should be able to import the file Planet_Todo.tdo from the Agenda.

I said there were two problems, and that was the most difficult one to fix. The second problem is that there is a bug in the import function, and it fails if a to-do note contains certain special characters. I live in Austria, where German is the national language, so I often use letters with umlauts, namely ä, ö and ü, and also the ß character, and these characters cause the import function to halt when they are reached. The same is true of the character for pounds sterling, and the kind of quotation marks that point "inwards". It seems that the export function uses the UTF-8 character encoding, which is variable length, and normal characters are just one byte, but those special characters are two bytes long, and the importer doesn't recognise them. So I had to replace these characters with alternatives before the import function would import all my to-do notes, but it then worked!

I know this is rather an involved procedure for something that ought to be easy, and as I already said Vince Smith didn't need to do anything special after copying, so there must be an easier way of doing this, but it would seem to depend on exactly how the copying is done, and if anyone else can tell me an easier way, I would be please to hear it! I also hope that my solution is of help to someone else.

Ian

Ian Glendinning

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Re: Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2023, 06:38:45 pm »
Apologies - I have just noticed there was a mistake in my last posting... The key command in the adb shell should be:

cat Planet_Todo-Cosmo.tdo >Planet_Todo.tdo

The ">" character is important! Sorry about that,

Ian

Zarhan

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Re: Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2023, 04:16:33 pm »
Frankly, knowing quality of Planet's software, I wouldn't touch their software with 10 ft pole. The exception is Airmail, since it doesn't really store anything on the phone end (mailbox is going through IMAP).

For tracking tasks/calendar, I'd recommend Simple Calendar, https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.simplemobiletools.calendar.pro/ - has worked fine across Cosmo & Astro and no hoops to run through with import/export.

gidds

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Re: Transferring to-do notes from Cosmo to Astro
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2023, 04:55:47 pm »
For calendar/agenda, I can thoroughly recommend Calengoo, as that supports many keyboard shortcuts. It's also hugely configurable, and works well both for syncing with a remote server and also for stand-alone local use, using standard formats. (The author is very responsive and helpful, too.)

I've used it since getting my Gemini; now on my Astro I can confirm that it works well in both orientations. Its notifications are very configurable; it can even set the phone to vibrate-only or silent for the duration of every appointment. Plus it does to-do lists and lots of other stuff I don't use.

I used to use the Psion Series 5/mx Agenda app, and when I checked, Calengoo was by far the best replacement for it. (I even wrote a couple of programs that let me export 25 years of stuff from the Psion Agenda and convert it to standard .ICS format that Calengoo imported…)
   Andy/
Psion 3a → Psion 5 → Psion 5mx → Gemini → Astro