Exporting Palm Strip Data

2009-01-05 19:00:00 -0500

I’ve responded to so many of these requests by email that it’s probably time to put up a reference for folks who’re looking for some answers.

Palm Strip has been a pretty popular and highly secure password manager for the Palm OS that Stephen built a while ago and released as open source. You can read more background on it over here. Due to the decline in the Palm platform over the last few years, we’re no longer supporting the program. Just as many of our users are migrating to other platforms, so are we. We decided to go with the iPhone platform first, and we hope to have the first version ready by the end of this month. It sports a fully encrypted database layer and the interface is coming along nicely.

As part of our effort to help our users migrate to the new platform, and to assist those users who can’t wait or are choosing to migrate to other platforms, we’re working on an exporter that will rip through the encrypted Palm Strip database (*.pdb) files and generate a file that you could use to migrate to another system. Needless to say, this isn’t ready yet, but it will be available by the time we’ve got our initial version out in the iTunes App Store.

Current options for exporting your data from the old Palm databases are fairly limited. Dave Dribin put together an excellent program called perl-strip a while back and a supporting Perl module. This provides you with an avenue if you’re technically inclined.

It is possible to run Strip on your desktop computer using an emulator:

  1. Get the emulator software by signing up for the developer program at Access Inc
  2. Download the PalmOS ROMs from your own device to the emulator (the safest approach). Alternatively you could try to grab ROMs at this link. Caveat emptor – we can’t vouch for their authenticity.
  3. Use the emulator to open up your backed up copies of the Strip databases

For those asking about whether the next version of Strip will be open source – yes and no. We are believers in open-source technology and the benefits it provides to security software in particular, so our data encryption layer is being made available as open source software for peer review. The rest of the source of the iPhone application will be private, and we will charge a modest fee for the software.

Please don’t hesitate to leave comments or to write us at support AT zetetic.net with any questions!

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