gdbload(1) load ASCII formatted data into an HP 100LX database


gdbload [-an] database [ input ]


gdbload loads ASCII formatted data into an HP 100LX database. database is the name of the 100LX database to modify. input is the name of a file of ASCII data to load into the database. If no input file is specified, the standard input is used. The ASCII file format is one exported by many database packages as well as by gdbdump(1).


gdbload recognizes the following options:
Add the records from the ASCII file to the database, keeping the records already present in the database. By default, the records in the ASCII file replace those already in the database.
Do not back up the database file. By default, the original, unmodified database file is left in a file with the same name and a .bak extension.

Input Format Description

The input to this program is an ASCII text file which starts with a line containing field names. This line indicates the order in which fields appear on subsequent lines. Not all fields of the database need be specified; unspecified fields will be left blank in all added records. Field names are not case distinct and ampersands (&) are ignored in comparing field names.

This first line is followed by one line for each record of the database. Note that any of these lines may be split into multiple lines if needed, by placing a backslash (\) at the ends of lines which are continued. Also note that string fields may span multiple lines provided they are quoted. Apart from line splitting according to these rules, each "logical" line contains all of the fields whose names were listed on the first line, in the same order as on the first line. The fields (and the field names, on the first line) are separated by commas.

Exactly how each field should appear depends on its type. Text fields, category fields, number fields, and note fields should have their text quoted if it contains commas or newlines. The following escape sequences are understood:

Carriage return (ASCII 13).
Line feed (ASCII 10).
nnn are octal digits representing a character.
nn are hexadecimal digits representing a character.

Any other character following a backslash is treated as a standard character with no special meaning, i.e., backslash and quote marks can be escaped by preceding them with a backslash.

Date fields should appear in the format YYYYMMDD; for example, August 15, 1993 should appear as 19930815. Time fields appear in the format HHMM, where HH is in the range 00-23. Date and time fields may also be left blank, i.e., nothing between the commas.

Radio buttons and check boxes are turned off if the field is empty or contains a 0; they are turned on otherwise.

No other field types, including application-defined types, are accepted by gdbload.

The output from gdbdump(1) matches this input format, unless the -n flag is given to gdbdump(1).


When the newly constructed database is first opened by the 100LX, it will (erroneously) be reported as being empty. This is because gdbload does not construct database indexes, and the 100LX expects the index for the current "subset" to be valid. The situation is remedied by pressing F6 and selecting any "subset" (even the current one!) This will rebuild the index for that "subset", causing records to display normally. The delay caused by the rebuild depends on the size of the database (among other things), and ranges from imperceptible for small databases up to several minutes. This delay will occur whenever a new "subset" is selected for the first time.

gdbload will not attempt to modify HP 100LX Appointment Book and World Time databases.

gdbload will not allow you to specify data for application-defined fields of a database.

This program cannot handle password-protected databases. Attempts to load data into password-protected databases will have unpredictable results.


gdbload was written by Steven Roth, [email protected], and is being maintained by Arne Christensen, [email protected]. Contact the latter for bug reports, enhancement requests, or to get a copy of the source code.


This program is released into the public domain and neither the author nor the maintainer place any restrictions on its use. We make no warranties or guarantees for this program and you use it at your own risk. This program is supplied by us personally and not by Hewlett-Packard Co. or Pine Tree Systems, which incur no obligations pertaining to it.


Many thanks to Andy Gryc for publishing the details of the database file formats!