Your RB database on Palm Pilot
A short guide to mobile beer management
Craft Beer Introduction
January 8, 2004
Written by Volgon
I took my ratings from the site and imported them into my Palm Pilot.
It now also acts as a rating tool, because all the fields are already
there. I posted this to the Forums a while ago and updated it since
based on some questions and clarified my instructions after doing it
again. It is useful in stores, beer festivals and bragging to friends
when you can't remember all the beers that you have drank.
<P>This article only describes how I got my ratings into my Palm Pilot
using a Windows PC. Using any other PDA or computer will have different
steps, but the idea is the same. I'm not responsible for any damage
you do to your equipment and I'm assuming that you know how to use your
Palm Pilot, Windows PC and can deal with a basic database program on
the Palm. If these instructions are not good enough for you, please
ask someone you know who understands computers.
<P>For the database program on the Palm, download Jfile:
<a hrefhttp://www.land-j.com/jfile.html target=window>http://www.land-j.com/jfile.html by clicking the Try It! Button on that page. The trial version of Jfile only allows one database, but that's all we need.
<P>Unzip your Jfile download and install the Jfile.prc on your Palm and
put the jconv5.exe on a Windows PC.
<P>Go to RateBeer.com and (if you are a Premium member) click on the link
called Compile My Ratings on the My Account | My Messages page. Choose
By Beer Name and Delimited ASCII (|) and download this text file to
<P>Open up this file in your favorite word processor. Make sure that each
beer only has one carriage return and that it is after the Comments!
Remove any carriage returns that you have in the Comments field, as
that is the marker for a new record. Microsoft Notepad is an easy way
to see this if you turn off Word Wrapping in the Format menu.
<P>(Please note that this paragraph is very specific to the database
program that I'm using) Then we need to replace the |'s (hold shift hit
\) in the file with ;'s. However, we first need to get rid of any ;'s
in the Comments. Using the Find/Replace feature of your word processor
change all the ; to , (semicolons to commas). Now search for | and
replace with a ; with no spaces. Note: Microsoft Notepad does this
really slow, while Microsoft WordPad, does this very fast.
<P>Remove the word "DONE." at the end.
<P>Now you should have a semicolon delimited file with carriage returns
only after each beer's comments.
<P>Save this file with any name and a .csv extension. Let's call it
<P>Now run the Jconv5.exe program on your PC. Check Semicolon instead of
Comma in Field Delimiter. Select Convert Jfile 5.x .CSV to .PDB. Give
it the name of the .csv file you created (RateBeer.csv) and the name of
the .Pdb file you want to call it. Why not pick RateBeer.PDB?
<P>When I first tried this it failed because I have a beer with 20" in the
name and it complained about an unclosed quotemark. Databases are like
that. Anyway, it will tell you what line of the RateBeer.csv file is
the problem if there is one.
<P>Now load the .pdb file to the Palm, by double-clicking on it and
<P>Run the Jfile program you previously installed on the Palm and you'll
see the RateBeer database. Just tap on it.
<P>I hid some columns and resized others (just tap on the column names) so
that it displays the beer name across most of the screen and the Total
Score on the right.
<P>From Jfile's main screen, I used the Modify button to add two more
fields to the database. A Cellar field and Update field (only a
checkbox) right under the Total Score.
<P>The Cellar field is used to show how many bottles I have stored away,
and the Update checkbox lets me know if I need to enter anything from
this record to back to RateBeer. Just check it every time you add or
modify a rating on the Palm and uncheck it after you add it to the web
<P>Rating new beers is as easy as tapping Add. It creates a new record
and then you can enter whatever information about a new beer that you
would like. Hopefully you have a keypad/board if you are writting long
<P>You can get as crazy as you want by creating fields and entering
information such as price, bottle size, type of glass, where you buy
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