Moving Palm Desktop contacts to Gmail and Thunderbird; Google Data Liberation Group might make this easier
Several sources are reporting that The Data Liberation Front, a new engineering group within Google, is trying make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products. They have already "liberated" about half of Google's offerings (including Blogger and Gmail) and have plans to liberate Google Sites and Google Docs in the near future.
I've been trying to move my contacts from my old Palm Desktop that I used for managing my contacts, to Gmail, which is what my HTC Hero syncs with. Exporting a csv file from Palm, and importing it into Gmail results in all the contact info being put into the "Notes" section of the Gmail entry. However, when you search Gmail by name or company, the entry still comes up. So, at least the contact can be found, but with a little difficulty.
One suggested way is to move the contacts first from Palm into Outlook or Thunderbird, then export as a csv file to Gmail. Chapura Pocket Copy ($24) is supposed to able to do this.
Then, I wanted to sync my Gmail contacts with Thunderbird. I downloaded Zindus, which works well but won't xfer the address info from Gmail, but the "Notes" field does xfer. Nothing has been lost, but it will take some time to clean up this mess.
My friend Norman sent me this lilnk on Slashdot about the Google Data Liberation Group. The problem with Gmail is that is has one "Address" field, and not separate fields for Street, City, State and ZIP. This is something GDLG should look at.