Engels started playing with Linux® in 1991 and obtained his Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), Red Hat Certified Instructor (RHCI), and Red Hat Certified Examiner (RHCX) certifications in 2002. He is in charge of Bluepoint's Total Linux®, Linux Kernel Internals®, Perl & Python Programming, and Extreme PHP curriculum and instruction development.
/* Conveniently yanked from the Bluepoint Institute profile page */
Elvin Joseph Sanico was one of the best professors I was privileged to have at the UP National Institute of Physics in Diliman. His use of the continuity equation for steady one-dimensional flow to prove the "silent waters run deep" axiom was really cool!
In loving memory of CPT Mario B. Mortega Sr., USAFFE, VET (1920-2004)
Tuesday, Nov 9, 2004, 11:14 PM
I needed to install a soft copy of the King James Bible on Magie's Visor Prism for Psylocke's school work. However, Palm Desktop was no longer installed on our laptops and virtual machines - we stopped using it when Magie got a Handspring backup module. Luckily, we had the Linux pilot-link suite at our disposal. This allowed me to backup, restore, and manage the PDA's contents, all from the convenience of a commandline shell.

Before installing anything on the handheld, I decided to backup its contents. Better safe than sorry.

mkdir -p ~/pda/backup

After pressing the hotsync button, the visor module was automatically inserted into the kernel, connecting the PDA to /dev/ttyUSB1. I performed a complete backup.

pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB1 -b ~/pda/backup/

Everything was quickly copied to the backup directory as PDB and PRC files, 7.8MB worth. To restore from this backup, I simply have to press the hotsync button and issue:

pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB1 -r ~/pda/backup/

I noticed that backup and restore was faster with pilot-link on Linux than with Palm Desktop on Windows.

Having backed-up the handheld, I downloaded the King James Bible archive from, extracted Bible-Kjv.pdb from it to ~/pda/, pressed the hotsync button, and executed the following command:

pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB1 -i ~/pda/Bible-Kjv.pdb

It only took a few seconds to transfer the 1.47MB PDB file from laptop to PDA. When I opened Bible Reader on the Visor, the King James version was there.

I was almost done, but I saw an interesting entry about the purge option in the pilot-xfer man page:

Purge any deleted data that hasn't been cleaned up by a sync (this is a safe operation, and will prevent your Palm from accumulating crud if you delete records but aren't syncing with a PIM). The only information you can lose is archived but unsynced records.

It seemed like a pretty good option, considering the fact that the Visor hadn't been synced for months. So I pressed the hotsync button and issued:

pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB1 -P

I got 86KB of additional free memory without missing any files afterwards. Cool!

This pleasant experience with pilot-link made me realize that I'm too much into Linux server applications. Otherwise, I wouldn't have missed such a nifty "desktop" utility.