Many years ago, I'd regularly used a PDA for navigation and todo/contact work. Since it was small & handy, it was available for some precious family moments, like the occasional baby babble.

While its on-board software was reasonably good, some of the proprietary Garmin stuff used some non-standard formats for its data. In specific, its voice recordings had some added records for GPS coordinate labeling, and were higher-than-usual resolution. This meant that only Garmin's own Windows-side software could import/export the stuff.

That sets the stage. When I stopped using the iQue unit, I saved a pretty complete memory backup on my Linux boxes. However, no software stayed available to decode those Palm PDB-wrapped-Garmin-audio files.

One particular recording stayed alive only in my memory, something from Eric's hyperlexic age-2 toddlerhood, but was unable to prove my recollection. He was reading a little poster I made to make fun of the names of the three other people in the family. Every few years, I'd do a search, a quick try, to rescue the audio recording I hoped was somewhere in those ancient backups, but no joy.

Until today.

With the aid of Wikipedia, the old pilot-link free software, some more free software, hexadecimal file dumps, and GNU Emacs to hand-edit, I finally figured out why & how pilot-wav failed on these files: it was confused by the extra Garmin data (JUNK/DANH/BDNV hunks in RIFF) and the audio encoding. Hand-deleting some 28 bytes of data from each of the suspect audio files resulted in audible speech, music, etc. And, in the middle, there it was: the 2007-02-09 clip from Eric. There was some brief excess of eye moisture.

The aforementioned poster is now in our family heirloom Special Archives. That, along with the newfound audio recording may be downloaded here.