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Old 10-29-2008, 09:45 PM   #1
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New BeBook Firmware Supporting .PDB Format

BeBook has announced another new firmware update, with support for .PDB format.

They describe the new firmware this way:
Here's what added in this update:
1) The .PDB file format is added.
NOTES:
- the file extention .pdb is used for a range of different files. The BeBook supports files containing text only. These files will be automatically recognised by the BeBook. Files that contain incorrect data won't show up in the menu.
- If you want to read a .pdb file in an different character set (e.g. Chinese) you need to set the language accordingly in the settings menu.
2) The PDF parser is updated to version 7. (non DRM, but supports password protection)
3) The Epub parser is updated. It now supports catelogue/index.
4) The CHM parser is updated, it now supports flowing display.
Of course all previous updates are still in place, you only need to install this update. (so: no need to run the Mobipocket update first, it's also included in this update)
However, the link to download the new firmware seems to be currently broken, so I can't give you any details about it.

Last edited by Moe The Cat; 10-29-2008 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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Oy. This is certainly beginning to look like an attractive device.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:50 AM   #3
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This would be more accurately described as adding support for the "PalmDoc" format. Saying "PDB" is misleading.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This would be more accurately described as adding support for the "PalmDoc" format. Saying "PDB" is misleading.
PalmDOC is usually automatic when Mobi is supported. The only requirement is to recognize the tag and accept the file extension. It is still good that this is officially on the list as there is a great deal of content out there in this format.

It is only a text support but at least it line wraps to paragraphs. One good feature of PalmDOC is to support bookmarks embedded in the file that are often used as a TOC. I wonder if that feature is supported.

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Old 10-31-2008, 12:21 AM   #6
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This would be more accurately described as adding support for the "PalmDoc" format. Saying "PDB" is misleading.
Definitely agree - it is very confusing and unhelpful. Almost all of my .pdb files are Plucker files, only supported in FBReader on V3.

In fact, I personally find that using the blanket term .pdb shows a lack of familiarity with the Palm OS and where these e-reading formats came from originally.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:44 PM   #7
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In fact, I personally find that using the blanket term .pdb shows a lack of familiarity with the Palm OS and where these e-reading formats came from originally.
I'm definitely one of those people (showing lack of familiarity, I mean..) - thought I'd be able to read my "palm-books" previously bought from eReader (DRM'd), but they are sadly not recognized with this firmware either.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:30 PM   #8
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I'm definitely one of those people (showing lack of familiarity, I mean..) - thought I'd be able to read my "palm-books" previously bought from eReader (DRM'd), but they are sadly not recognized with this firmware either.
I wasn't referring to end users who really shouldn't need to know any of this stuff. I think the fault lies with vendors and marketing - who should know better.

.pdb files date from the early days of Palm. Palm had a very rudimentary filesystem in which "applications" used the extension .prc while the data related to these "applications" was contained in files with the .pdb extension.

So .pdb (Palm database) actually refers to almost any data file on the Palm and can contain almost anything. For example, the Palm Address Book "application" is contained in a .prc file and it manipulates .pdb files with address book data inside them, but .pdb files for other applications can include saved game and game level data, memos, drawings, plucker documents, converted PDF documents, settings information, database contents and so on.

.pdb files that actually contain PalmDOC data are a very small proportion of all the .pdb files in use. The problem for me is that I use Plucker files extensively on the V3, and these also have the .pdb extension. This is appropriate in the Palm environment, where applications know which files belong to them from metadata associated with each file, but difficult once you move out of that environment.

It looks silly in retrospect, but nobody ever thought that the Palm would evolve into anything more than a very low powered organiser, let alone that Palm type documents would ever be used on other devices. There's a lesson to be learned here I think.

Of course, the issues around DRM are another whole can of worms.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:46 PM   #9
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I wasn't referring to end users who really shouldn't need to know any of this stuff. I think the fault lies with vendors and marketing - who should know better.

.pdb files date from the early days of Palm. Palm had a very rudimentary filesystem in which "applications" used the extension .prc while the data related to these "applications" was contained in files with the .pdb extension.
Actually Palm has no file system at all. the files were in RAM and accessed directly, not stored in a file system. There is no file name or extension. See the wiki on PDB for more details
Quote:
So .pdb (Palm database) actually refers to almost any data file on the Palm and can contain almost anything. For example, the Palm Address Book "application" is contained in a .prc file and it manipulates .pdb files with address book data inside them, but .pdb files for other applications can include saved game and game level data, memos, drawings, plucker documents, converted PDF documents, settings information, database contents and so on.
When the database is moved to a pc there is a file extension added to help manipulate the file in windows. Note that the database name will be the name of the file and my not be anything like the name of the file when you installed it the first time.

Quote:
.pdb files that actually contain PalmDOC data are a very small proportion of all the .pdb files in use. The problem for me is that I use Plucker files extensively on the V3, and these also have the .pdb extension. This is appropriate in the Palm environment, where applications know which files belong to them from metadata associated with each file, but difficult once you move out of that environment.

It looks silly in retrospect, but nobody ever thought that the Palm would evolve into anything more than a very low powered organiser, let alone that Palm type documents would ever be used on other devices. There's a lesson to be learned here I think.
It was not silly unless you only think as a windows pc person. It is the only OS that requires intelligent file name extensions.

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Old 11-02-2008, 01:33 AM   #10
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Actually Palm has no file system at all. the files were in RAM and accessed directly, not stored in a file system. There is no file name or extension. See the wiki on PDB for more details
You are correct, I didn't want to complicate the issue unnecessarily - .prc and .pdb are what most end-users see, they are totally unaware of what happens on the device itself. As they should be.

The current PalmOS (hah - its about 4 years old!) makes things somewhat more complicated, in that it does understand file systems and files that are not in RAM and can read and write real .pdb files on the device. Some applications may ignore or require file extensions, especially on external media. TCPMP and Explorer for example both require valid extensions.



Quote:
It was not silly unless you only think as a windows pc person. It is the only OS that requires intelligent file name extensions.

Dale
Actually, I'm a Linux person and I still think it appears to be silly in retrospect; I know they were reasonable choices when the Palm OS was first developed. It is actually quite a tribute to ingenuity that the PalmOS was able to be extended as far as it was to accommodate usage well outside the original vision.

Why have extensions when they mean so little? And in the context of ebook formats, since they mean so little, why don't vendors make a point of being more explicit when mentioning .pdb wrt to ebook formats?

Its a little like saying a device can handle .zip files without specifying the actual content of the .zip file.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rjh View Post
You are correct, I didn't want to complicate the issue unnecessarily - .prc and .pdb are what most end-users see, they are totally unaware of what happens on the device itself. As they should be.

The current PalmOS (hah - its about 4 years old!) makes things somewhat more complicated, in that it does understand file systems and files that are not in RAM and can read and write real .pdb files on the device. Some applications may ignore or require file extensions, especially on external media. TCPMP and Explorer for example both require valid extensions.





Actually, I'm a Linux person and I still think it appears to be silly in retrospect; I know they were reasonable choices when the Palm OS was first developed. It is actually quite a tribute to ingenuity that the PalmOS was able to be extended as far as it was to accommodate usage well outside the original vision.

Why have extensions when they mean so little? And in the context of ebook formats, since they mean so little, why don't vendors make a point of being more explicit when mentioning .pdb wrt to ebook formats?

Its a little like saying a device can handle .zip files without specifying the actual content of the .zip file.
linux, like Unix does not have any rigorous extension conventions but does have some extensions that have meaning now that Windows has made it popular. .gz is pretty standard and .tgz is an extension of an extension. Things like this can make it a bit easier for the user to determine what a file is but in Unix the user conventions are not enforced by the OS. You can set up your own and they have what meaning you choose.

Mac uses resources and Palm uses a database field to provide for a object oriented interface while Windows requires extensions and a complicated registry to get there. However, an object oriented interface is a good thing when it works properly. Using user visible extensions can break it easily if the user doesn't preserve the extensions (which is why the new releases try and hide the extensions). I would consider Mac and Palm to be elegant and Windows to be silly but YMMV.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:21 PM   #12
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BeBook has announced another new firmware update, with support for .PDB format.
Would it possible for you to upload the new firmware here at Mobileread? Your link doesn't work for me.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:29 PM   #13
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Would it possible for you to upload the new firmware here at Mobileread? Your link doesn't work for me.
i just checked the link, it works fine
do try again please
c u

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Old 11-04-2008, 02:53 PM   #14
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i just checked the link, it works fine
do try again please
c u

ham
just done it - you see the result in the attachment
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BeBook.pdf (171.5 KB, 414 views)

Last edited by Eagleeye; 11-04-2008 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:50 AM   #15
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just done it - you see the result in the attachment
Try setting the preferred language of your browser to English. There seems to be something wrong with the translations of the BeBook-homepage.
However, you can download the firmware from http://www.mybebook.com/update/pdb_update.rar
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