Daily Archives: 2003-01-03

PIM Data on Yahoo

I just rediscovered a handy feature of Yahoo: its online address book. I use Yahoo for a free email account, but haven’t used many of their other online PIM features (calendar, address book, note pad, etc.). Instead, I sync my Palm handheld to Palm Desktop (Address, To Do, Memo, etc.) and Outlook (Calendar).

Syncing with Yahoo is pretty straighforward, but it only cleanly handles device–Yahoo sync. It can’t really handle a “3-way” sync that would include Palm Desktop or Outlook.

Rather than doing a full sync, Yahoo provides a handy “import” feature. I use it periodically to keep a copy of my entire contact list online for those times when I need something but don’t have my device handy. (Of course you also get benefits like automatic links to online maps.)

To do a periodic import of your address list from Palm Desktop to Yahoo Address Book, do the following:

  1. Log in to Yahoo Address Book
  2. Click on Import/Export
  3. In the instruction box on the right (titled “Help importing from”), click on the link titled “deleting all contacts…”
  4. On the next screen, click on Erase (this erases all your online data to prevent duplicates)
  5. Back on the import page, set the program type to Palm Desktop (ABA)
  6. In Palm Desktop, export your entire address book to an ABA file
  7. On the Yahoo import page, choose that file that you just created and click on Import Now
  8. The import will correctly handle all categories you’ve defined on your Palm, but there will also be some predefined ones that you can delete

Looking at the other online Yahoo PIM applications, it looks like Address is the only one with Import/Export, although the others do offer synchronization support.

[Usual disclaimer: The views and ideas expressed on this site are mine, not that of my employer (palmOne, Inc.).]

Converting from CityDesk to Movable Type

Having recently moved from CityDesk to Movable Type, I captured some notes on the technique I used to move my weblog entries over.

In summary, I created a CityDesk template to dump all articles into a text file, then imported it into Movable Type. The text file needs to be in accordance with the import file format.

Create the CityDesk template using these steps:

  1. Create a new HTML file at the root level, naming it ‘export.txt’ (see below for an example)
  2. Publish (or preview) the CityDesk site
  3. Grab the export.txt file and review it carefully, making sure that all articles are included and that the format looks correct
  4. FTP the file to the correct location on your MT site and import it
  5. All entries should now be added and set to draft mode; use MT power-edit mode to review all and publish them

Some more tips:

  • Case matters on category names; make sure they match or you’ll get duplicates.
  • The template below sets the articles to draft mode rather than publish mode. I used this to double-check everything.
  • When importing into MT, I chose the “import entries as me option” and also specified the author as ‘brian’ which was probably redundant.
  • I specified a default category of ‘other’ in case any entries did not have a category
  • I deselected “start/end html title tags” because they weren’t necessary in this case
  • The MT power edit mode is really handy for fixing categories, changing draft/publish status, etc.