Hack 48. Investigate Your Palm's Databases
Every .pdb file on your Palm is a database associated with an application. Find out what databases are installed on your Palm device and get more information about them.
The simplest way to investigate .pdb files is to hit the Info menu item on the Applications menu in the built-in launcher. This will list the applications and some (but not necessarily all) of the .pdb files on your device. For example, if you have a document reader installed, then individual documents usually show up as installed .pdbs. From the Info menu, you have three display options: version, size, and records. For .pdbs, the version is frequently v0.0. This can help you distinguish a .pdb from an application.
Size is just how much memory the application or .pdb is using. Records indicates how many separate entries are in each .pdb or application. What a record contains is up to the person who wrote the program. It could be a single name, address, and phone combination, or it could be a single saved game.
You can use this level of investigation to try to find orphaned data. Sometimes, when you remove an application, one or more .pdbs may be left behind. For example, if you downloaded a Bingo game but later removed it, then you might find something like BingoData. In that case, you could delete it from the launcher.
Sometimes it can be unclear what some of the things in the list are. There are a number of run-time libraries that some applications use. These can have names like CASL or WABA. The problem with these items is that more than one program might be using them, so it is hard to tell if you can safely delete them or not. Usually, the side effect of deleting one of these is that if you run an application that requires the deleted library, it will crash. Then you have to reset your PDA.
There is a much more sophisticated tool that you can use to investigate .pdbs called PDBBrowser (http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/pdbbrowser.shtml). It allows you to View, Beam, Delete, or Create new databases. After you select a database (Figure 7-16), then you can view it. Viewing a database lets you see all the records one at a time. You can delete or edit individual records and create new records within a database. Note however that many records are in a binary format rather than a text format. This means that you may not be able to interpret them in PDBBrowser.
Figure 7-16. Selecting a database in PDBBrowser
If the database's records are stored as text, then you can even edit them by hand. This isn't as easy as using the original program, but you might be able to fix a corrupted database. Also, you can delete records that look corruptedbut make a copy of the database first, so you can restore it if need be.