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Old 07-15-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
Avian
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PDB header format

I just ordered a Sony Reader and in preparation for it's arrival want to convert my unencrypted PDBs to TXT.
After a quick search I couldn't find anything that could do it in batch (I tried ABC Amber? but it crahed after a couple of files), so I'm trying to write a quick java app to do it for me.
So far I've been able to decode the text OK but I still have a couple of hundred garbage bytes in the header. I want to disguard this information but as it's not a constant length it's hard to do.
Does anyone know the header format for these files?
Thanks very much for your help and if anyone is interested in the app and doesn't care about a paragraph of rubbish at the start I can make it available.

avian
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:19 AM   #2
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Best search for txt2pdbdoc.tar.gz which is a C source to handle .prc and .pdb format. The format is fairly easy. A header and an index for the blocks of the file.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:11 AM   #3
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.pdb is NOT an eBook format. Never was. Never will be.

A PDB file is a "Palm Database". That's what .pdb stands for.

It can hold many, many different formats of eBooks. So you need to understand what kind of eBook it is.

If it's a PalmDOC, txt2pdbdoc will turn it back in to text without a problem. If it's one type of Mobipocket (an HTML file in a PalmDOC), it will work too.

However, you are pretty much out of luck if it's anything else.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avian View Post
I just ordered a Sony Reader and in preparation for it's arrival want to convert my unencrypted PDBs to TXT.
After a quick search I couldn't find anything that could do it in batch (I tried ABC Amber? but it crahed after a couple of files), so I'm trying to write a quick java app to do it for me.
So far I've been able to decode the text OK but I still have a couple of hundred garbage bytes in the header. I want to disguard this information but as it's not a constant length it's hard to do.
Does anyone know the header format for these files?
Thanks very much for your help and if anyone is interested in the app and doesn't care about a paragraph of rubbish at the start I can make it available.

avian
If you are looking to move the PDB files over to the Sony Reader, then you can use Book Designer to load and convert to proper LRF with ToC.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #5
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I understand that - I guess I should have said my unencrypted PDB e-books. All of the reader files that I have have a very simple runlength encoding with a byte offset back into the existing text for character sequence repetition; having said that I believe that the header section should be fairly consistant across all palm database files (PDBs).
I should also have mentioned that I was trying to do this mostly for fun.

Last edited by Avian; 07-16-2007 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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JSWolf - Is BookDesigner software that comes with the Sony device?
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Robert Marquard View Post
Best search for txt2pdbdoc.tar.gz which is a C source to handle .prc and .pdb format. The format is fairly easy. A header and an index for the blocks of the file.
Thanks - I found the header definition there exactly as you said!
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:13 PM   #8
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JSWolf - Is BookDesigner software that comes with the Sony device?
Nope, it's a third party app. You can find lots of good info on it on the MobileRead Book Designer wiki page.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avian View Post
having said that I believe that the header section should be fairly consistant across all palm database files (PDBs).
That is not true.

A Palm database can contain anything. The only consistent part of a Palm database is the database header specifying the type of content. The content itself (i.e. the eBook) will vary wildly depending on the eBook format.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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What about converting mobipocket files I bought to sony reader format, is it possible?
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
What about converting mobipocket files I bought to sony reader format, is it possible?
It depends on which Mobipocket format you are talking about.

There are 2 formats:
1. An HTML file contained in a PalmDOC.
2. A closed, proprietary format that only Mobipocket utilities can create.

#1 can be easily converted.
#2 cannot.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
It depends on which Mobipocket format you are talking about.

There are 2 formats:
1. An HTML file contained in a PalmDOC.
2. A closed, proprietary format that only Mobipocket utilities can create.

#1 can be easily converted.
#2 cannot.
The ones I bought are from there site so I guess it falls into category 2
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
If you are looking to move the PDB files over to the Sony Reader, then you can use Book Designer to load and convert to proper LRF with ToC.
I tried Book Designer and it looked excellent - no lack of options anyway. I'm guessing it can be run in batch?
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:24 AM   #14
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java cell phone

I have found the mobileRead to be the most capable software. Also found readmaniac to be able to build java midlets usable.
However, I am trying to read *.pdb files that I can only read with iSilo and little else. Up to now I can read it in my smartphone, but not on cell phones.
I am looking to read *.pdb in java enabled cell phones without success.

Can someone please help me?
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I tried Book Designer and it looked excellent - no lack of options anyway. I'm guessing it can be run in batch?
Book Designer cannot be run in any sort of batch mode. It's a fully hands on program with lots of WYSIWYG (sorta).
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