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Old 01-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #1
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Converting pdb (unknown format) to HTML

I've been going through some of my old books to convert everything to HTML and/or epub as a long term storage format, and found that I still have a lot of leftover files from when I read mostly on my Palm devices.

Unfortunately, I went through a lot of formats back in the day, including PalmDOC, Peanut/pml, iSilo, Plucker and Mobipocket.

Is there any all in one tool that will let me turn these back into text and/or HTML? Or do I need to collect a bunch of different tools and just keep trying them separately?

I know Calibre can probably handle this, but I'd like to get the output into a more "raw" state than I've seen Calibre produce (though I haven't used it in the last three or four years).
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:15 PM   #2
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As you have noted, Calibre is a pretty good place to start.

I have been playing with it recently (v 0.9.18) and there is a tool called 'Tweak Book' which basically breaks the book down into parts, mostly CSS and HTML, which you can edit using your favorite text editor and then reassemble the book.

What is the problem you were having with the text output from Calibre?
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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Try http://mpickering.homeip.net/content...ther/docreader for docreader. It will convert palm stuff to pure text which can then either be read or saved. It is a simple program that converts both ways. CSS post dates most of those formats so expect to get text and then do your own formatting. Even mobi is based on html 3.2.

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Appreciate the pointers. Will post back after I've had some time to play around with these.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:56 PM   #5
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So I thought I'd start with the Plucker files since I still have the original HTML source I used to make some of them and I could compare the unplucked output with the source to see if it was worthwhile continuing.

I grabbed the source for Plucker, and built the explode tool. It can find the magic cookie and starts working OK, so good news there.

Unfortunately it always fails out before the end (because of programming assumptions about always being able to read the full amount requested from a file). Now I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with this versus play with the Python version of the tools.

Decisions, decisions...
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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The main problem I have with using docreader and converting to text is the loss of the formatting in the pdb files (italic and bold mostly). Calibre does a much better job.
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