Comments on: AvantGo to Greatly Restrict Custom Channels

Update: AvantGo has dropped this policy in favor of a new one that isn't so restrictive . Therefore, most of this information is out of date.

Beginning in just a couple of days, AvantGo will limit the number of subscribers to custom channels to just eight people for each channel. Custom channels are created by users as links to small sites that don't have a formal contract with AvantGo. Regular channels, like the ones listed on AvantGo's site, won't be affected. On February 20, all AvantGo users will be unsubscribed from all their custom channels. The first eight people to resign up for each custom channel will be allowed to do so. All others will be blocked.

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Time to Jump Ship

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 5:17:20 PM #
AvantGo was on the verge of total domination. It's too bad they didn't have the cash to hang on. I am very ticked.

Well, I guess it's time I finally learned how to use Plucker:

...first coola, now this.

RE: Time to Jump Ship
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 5:22:45 PM #
I doubt AvantGo wants to be totally dominant in the "giving stuff away for free" department. It is not a very profitable business model.

RE: Time to Jump Ship
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 5:28:20 PM #
No, but it's too soon for them to start demanding sites to start coughing up the dough, which is why I said its too bad that they didn't have more cash.

...the real bummer is that not only do I have no idea as to which of my channels are going to be nixed and which aren't, I don't know what time they're doing the deed on Wednesday and so I won't be able to save them.

*sigh* Plucker is such a pain, but it is the only automated solution left to me.

RE: Time to Jump Ship
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 5:54:40 PM #
> but it's too soon for them to ...

AvantGo has been around for years. I understand quite well why they can't afford to give you and thousands of other people free service. Would you like to provide a bunch of servers to proxy content and Internet bandwidth to sevrvice thousands of people for free? In fact I'm sure AvantGo would be glad to just let you pick up those costs for them, and save you the effort of getting those systems and services set up.

RE: Time to Jump Ship
JeepBastard @ 2/18/2002 6:03:05 PM #
This is a travesty!

I run an avantgo channel. I have a contract with them, but I am not paying 1 dollar per subscriber. That's insane. I guess they will be doomed. It's funny because they certainly will be facing the challenege of high bandwidth always-on portable devices that can pull down and render full sized webpages.

Cut out the middleman. I guess they have to make cash back for the investors now before it's too late.


What they SHOULD do...

GregGaub @ 2/18/2002 5:23:24 PM # create a client for individual user's desktops like how iSilo and Plucker work. It can't be all that hard to format content for their sucky browser, and I'm sure a desktop app could do it. I bet a lot of users would happily install a client so that they can still use their favorite custom channels, even if it means longer HotSync times.
While my PUG doesn't get a ton of traffic, I'm sure there are more than 8 subscribers to our little channel, and I'm not about to pay AvantGo a bank just to keep it going.

RE: What they SHOULD do...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 11:06:45 PM #

They did. It was called Avantgo 1.0. I think they flat out skipped version 2.0 and moved 3.0 to their current incarnation where they host your channel setup. I'd still be using 1.0 if it supported color and more than 1 bit graphics.

Time to try an alternative.


jeremyf @ 2/18/2002 5:46:20 PM #
I call Slashdot!

RE: Dibs
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 2:23:20 AM #
Like heck you are...I'm hounding it at midnight. Along with the onion and GameSpyDaily


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:19:08 PM #
I'm not sure where people are getting these prices that they are posting. On the AvantGo website, the prices for custom channels say: 1-8 users free, 9-100 users $1000, 101-500 users $4000, 501-1000 users $6000, and >1000 users contact AvantGo.

Go here:
and click on "affordably priced".

Pretty steep for smaller numbers of users (above 8). Clearly they are looking to only provide enterprise services, with that pricing.

RE: Prices...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 9:11:18 PM #
Agreed. Who the hell's going to pay $6-$10 a user. Maybe $.6-$.10 a user. At one time I actually considered recommending to my customers (I'm an internet developer) that they set up a channel with AvantGo. At these prices, if you aren't planning on having over 1000 users, and negotiating a price with AvantGo, you may as well put a plucker tutorial on your website instead. Way more cost effective.

With these changes, I would expect about 20%-30% of all of the channels on AvantGo to disappear within the first month after this takes place. Obviously all of the Custom Channels are all gone on Feb. 20th, but these prices are going to force many smaller channels out pretty quick as well. Too bad for the little guys!

RE: Prices...
flashk @ 2/19/2002 12:25:48 AM #
Umm.. I checked the link. It's an ANNUAL fee. $10 per user per year? That's like $1.2 a month. I don't see what the fuss is all about.

Add a special subscription price for Avantgo users of your site, and I don't think that many users will complain about paying $10 a year to get AvantGo if the content is worth it.

It looks like a fair deal to me.

RE: Prices...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 4:02:12 AM #
Fair deal? How about FREE????

Try Plucker, you can get to the same sites, and their browser is much, much better!

RE: Prices...
farmhandbadguy @ 2/20/2002 12:06:39 AM #
Nothing is truly free.

Swirling.... swirling..... whoosh!

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:37:26 PM #
Avantgo continues to prove how easy it is to take a great idea and then screw it up beyond all repair.

Don't look now, but that little speck is what's left of the company going down the toilet...

Personally, I've seen this coming, ever since they started the shift towards enterprise markets. It's been my impression that they've not really *wanted* personal users any more.

Oh well, yet another reason why plucker and/or iSilo is a better solution for most of us "normal joes"

RE: Swirling.... swirling..... whoosh!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:51:10 PM #
> It's been my impression that they've not really
> *wanted* personal users any more.

They don't want to pay to give you free content anymore. What is so hard to understand about that?

RE: Swirling.... swirling..... whoosh!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 7:17:39 PM #
I think you have to realize that the entire public offering was just proof of concept for AvantGO. They needed to prove that they had a scaleable solution in order to grab the enterprise market. If they can give the service away to 4.5 mil users, they can show that they can handle the average enterprise deployment.

Now that the end users have proven their case, they don't need to absorb the cost of providing a free deliver service to everyone who wants it.

If you like the service they provide, then you are goint to have to pay for it. If you don't need the control of custom channels you can use some of the other widley available, advertising driven channels.

The heck with's an Alternative

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:49:16 PM #
This just happened to show up in my inbox on 2/4/2002

Dear Mobile Enthusiast,

Mazingo Network ( would like to extend you an invitation
to submit your mobile web site to Mazingo's mobile delivery service for
the Pocket PC. Unlike Avantgo, publishing on the Mazingo Network is free,
and submitting a channel couldn't be easier. Plus, we're doing some
revolutionary new stuff.

Mazingo is best described as AvantGo on steroids. Text-only sites work
great, but customers can also receive rich media content, including movies,
TV shows, radio programs and photographs. Several major publishers are
already participating including RCA Records, ABC News, USA Today and
others to be announced.

Moreover, we want to put money in your pocket, rather than charging you
outrageous prices to use our network. Mobilizing your web site is free,
and we have a few different ways for you to turn your site into a profit

But first, you need to submit your site. If you already have an AvantGo
channel, it will work perfectly with Mazingo. Just take 2 minutes to fill
in the form here:

Mazingo Network is turning the Pocket PC into a killer mobile
entertainment and information device, and we want to you to participate in
this truly revolutionary technology. Come submit your PDA-friendly web
site to our directory today, and we'll tell you how to start making money
from your submission.


Carmine Gallo
VP Channel Development
Mazingo Network, Inc
415.346.7100 (ext.101)

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:53:12 PM #
I would like a free alternative, not $200 (the cheapest PPC is the Jornada 520, to be able to use Mazingo).

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 6:54:46 PM #
how do we know you're not carmine gallo, if that is your real name?

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 7:23:27 PM #
From their website/manual:

Mazingo currently does NOT support the following devices:

Casio BE-300
HP 720, 660, 620 LX
Other H/PC devices
Palm OS devices, including the Handspring and Sony Clie.
Philips Nino

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:02:18 AM #
I am beta testing the new version of HandStory right now, it lets you sync up news sites and set up custom channels to sync to your palm. It has many of the popular channels right now, supports hi-res and can use the back button on the Clie. I use it more than AvantGo right now. Once 2.0 is release I would suggest you give it a try.

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:40:48 AM #
I think you have no place here since this is Palm OS site. Come back later when you have a Palm OS Application. I hope you will know what is the difference between a Palm OS application and PPC application. Try to read something to educate yourself. Okay!!!

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 9:17:03 AM #
I'm looking forward to use HandStory 2.0. HandStory is one the PalmOS software I use the most right now. The 2.0 version looks very tempting... :-)

RE: The heck with's an Alternative
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 7:06:02 PM #
a HALF alternative! Mazingo only support Pocket PC as now.


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 7:17:50 PM #
Um Ed...You used the term "useful sites" and pocket pc thoughts in the same context.

Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 8:13:26 PM #
Well, looks like the free lunches are going after all. What a shame. Avantgo was the "killer app" that made me think PDA's was just more than organizing time and schedules. And instead of capitalizing on their lead and improve on their product they are cutting their nose to spite their face.

By the way, add Pendragon Software's Browser to an alternative to them:

Maybe one of these companies can take up where they left off. That is if Avantgo lets them. They have patented their technology of syncing to PDAs. If they are in a financial lurch and hoping to squeeze everyone else out with stupid licensing policies I will be the first to choke Avantgo off and encourage everyone else to do the same.

RE: Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 9:20:09 PM #
Huh ?!?

Why the heck should Avantgo give you free service? The purpose of the company is to make money--not provide social welfare to people like you.

The whole purpose of the "free" service was proof-of-concept. If you want the service in the future, then pay for it.

Obviously, you like the service. Now, pony up the cash if you find it indispensable as you state. Put your money where yer mouth is.

RE: Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 10:26:25 PM #
That's a silly argument. AvantGo didn't give us, the end users, the option to pay for the service. I certainly would have, just as I pay for other services that I find indispensable such as Mapopolis.

The point is that AvantGo did what it did really well and could have found all sorts of better ways to make money off the service. Why not, for example, allow users to gain free access to two or three channels, but charging a monthly or yearly subscription for additional channels? That way, they could allow custom content providers to advertise to their hearts' content while providing incentive to maintain high-quality content.

I think you're way off base.

RE: Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 10:33:03 PM #
I don't think that you understand Avantgo's decision. They are not asking the USERS to pay a subscription, but they are asking the PUBLISHERS to pay a subscription. This means that non-profit organizations (like PalmInfocenter, no doubt) will not be able to afford the subscription fees.

I, for one, would be willing to pay $5 a month to view public interest content (i.e. news, hobby pages, etc).

If my company chooses to provide a channel for the sale of their product or for service to their customers, then they have a reason to pay the subscription fees.

RE: Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 1:58:22 PM #
I, too, find this a sad, sad way of dealing with a revenue problem. I find AvantGo one of the top two useful apps on my Palm Vx. The ability to easily add web content to non-wired handhelds via sync'ing is a powerful example of the usability of these devices. As a user of a beneficial service, I would also gladly pony up a monthly subscription fee to continue using AvantGo uninterrupted. Unfortunately, the company seems to have decided that they would rather slowly choke off the public subscription service. A shame, considering the alternative to profitability in these tight economic times.

RE: Geat Idea, Poor Business Plan
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 4:54:11 AM #
I think the first person who replied to this feedback obviously has a huge chip on his/her shoulder! Nobody is asking for a free lunch and it was a figure of speech. It was also interesting to note that some of the smaller publications will be choked off and we end up with big boys that already saturate our airwaves (i.e. CNN, NBC, etc) who can obviously afford the fees set by Avantgo. It makes us less "rich" when information is only controlled by the few.

Either Avantgo re-look at their fees charged to publications and make it more affordable or as one reader suggested limit the free channels and introduce a premium account surcharge. Alternatively, sell Avantgo as a software with things that we REALLY like to see such as clipping.

On the other hand, HandStory seems like an interesting alternative.

Lovely, just lovely.

strredwolf @ 2/18/2002 8:56:14 PM #
There goes the Stalag '99 Micro Edition. Thanks alot, Avantgo, you could of had a deal with KeenSpot and split the ad profits by providing services to thousands of KeenSpace/Spot webcomics.

Time to make MobileKeen, a webcomic PalmOS client.


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 9:18:47 PM #
I really regret this decision by AvantGo.
I am one of those foreigners using an AvantGo channel not only daily, but hourly to keep updated on the latest news offered by two Belgian newspapers. I insisted personnally with one of these two to start offering content through AvantGo, content which would otherwise have remained out of reach for me as a Belgian, and they kindly followed my suggestion.
All this is going to disappear. Only the "big ones" will survive: CNN, USAToday, not the (much more interesting !) smaller national newspapers.

RE: yeah...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 9:23:14 PM #

Let's say it again:

Avantgo is not a provider of social welfare to people like you. They're in the business of making money. Understand?

If you like the service, then pay for it. Say again: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL).
And again... TANSTAAFL.

RE: yeah...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 9:36:36 PM #

(there is only a free lunch for US citizens)

RE: yeah...
jeremyf @ 2/19/2002 3:10:23 AM #
Hm, don't worry. Just get the mobile page for the sites you want (eg, or ), and use another program. None is as good as Avantgo now, but there wasn't one needed with Avantgo being free. There'll be a good replacement soon, I predict, and if someone writes one and charges $5 for it, they'll be rich (hint to programmer/readers)

RE: yeah...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 9:22:54 AM #
yeah.... and what about Mazingo for Pocket PC?

RE: yeah...
Altema @ 2/19/2002 6:56:01 PM #
>yeah.... and what about Mazingo for Pocket PC?

Pocket PC users are a small percentage here, you may gather more business at a relevant site.

RE: yeah...
taxus @ 3/17/2002 12:17:36 PM #
Hey Belgian friend, look into MobiPocket Reader is a European e-book reader that comes with a news synchronization tool. MobiPocket publishes in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. It works on PalmOS, PocketPC, WindowsCE, Psion and Franklin eBookMan. Its format is Open eBook, which is based on XML and HTML, and uses XML/XSL files as a way to configure the retrieval of web pages; so anyone that knows XML/XSL can "make" a "channel". You're not limited to low-graphics pages, since XML/XSL config files allow you to retrieve only relevant data, without the ads. All in all, it's a quite more flexible product, not only targeted at enews reading.
My only beef with MobiPocket Reader is that it obviously comes from the PocketPC world: it has a too graphical interface, and therefore I find it too slow for e-book reading on my 16MHz Palm IIIxe (compared to iSilo and PalmReader). So I went back to using iSilo, until I upgrade to a newer Palm, that is.
As for AvantGo, I haven't used it in quite a while: it uses way too much memory, and I didn't find it very stable. It was a great idea, but I would have liked it more memory-efficient, more stable, and I would have liked the ability to cut & paste text.

See Ya!

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/18/2002 10:31:34 PM #
Avantgo is making a mistake! They will be out of business by year end! So long! Head on to other products that serve just as well!

RE: See Ya!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 9:59:54 AM #
By removing what I would expect to have been extremely high costs of freeloaders on their systems, I expect them to be in much better shape by the end of the year.

The scary thing

digilaw @ 2/19/2002 12:24:44 AM #
The scary thing for me is that this proves that advertising on the handheld is just not a feasable business model. This means that content based services for the handheld will not be showing up anytime soon. I was hoping that OS 5 hardware would allow the equivilent of TV to my handheld. Does the possibly of GRPS/3G bandwith over bluetooth negate the Avantgo effect here? Or will that not change the status quo?

RE: The scary thing
jeremyf @ 2/19/2002 3:09:42 AM #
Hm, advertising on the web isn't a feasible business model.

RE: The scary thing
digilaw @ 2/19/2002 11:56:54 AM #
Tell that to Ed. Dosen't this site survive on advertising?

RE: The scary thing
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 4:24:55 PM #
good business model is not about SURVIVAL, its about MAKING REAL MONEY!

RE: The scary thing
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 12:52:50 PM #
No one wants to pay. There is no money to make in this PDA content arena with a workable business model. Too bad, too sad.

So long...again

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:42:41 AM #
I used to use avantgo until moving to osX. No conduit so I left 6 months ago. Sayanara avantgo... again. There are alternatives for news on your 'palms'. A newspaper.

Avantgo was getting too big in filesize and took too long at every hotsync. Too bad the custom setup never worked. Once a day became every hotsync. Good luck lasting till year end.

This does not really change much of anything...

TDS @ 2/19/2002 12:52:07 AM #
Is it just me? Or does this not change much of anything? All of the normal channels on Avantgo will still exist at no charge to the user, and as far as I know those were the main point of the service.
It sounds fair... You can get free content from your own personal website, but if you want Avantgo to make it available to hundreds of people, you pay for it. Sounds a lot like "The American Way" to me!

Remember, all of you something-for-nothing Internet generation people. Having a weak business model is what caused the Internet bubble to burst. Companies must make money to survive.


RE: This does not really change much of anything...
Scott @ 2/19/2002 9:46:25 AM #
At last some common sense in this thread.


RE: This does not really change much of anything...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 10:02:47 AM #
Yep, well said. All AvantGo is doing is dropping all the freeloaders that they were paying for.

RE: This does not really change much of anything...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 10:22:59 AM #
I bet that you would have the same opinion if say Yahoo or Google started giving you canned "Searches" for free but then charged you for your Personalized Searches.

While it is the american way, Avantgo wants companies to use their product. That is where they make their money. Yahoo and Google also want companies to use their search engines. Yahoo and Google understand that they can't charge normal internet users.

We wanted to purchase Avantgo for our Company. We have 300,000 plus employess and had approx. 15,000 that would have needed the service. At the time 2 years ago, Avantgo wanted almost $400 per user. That was at least $150 more than the palm cost. We dropped that idea very fast.

I agree with everyone else, Avantgo's high prices and this latest move will have them in trouble.

I also never liked how avantgo would hide the real web address. Why would any company want to create a mobile version of their site and only allow one browser to use it.

RE: This does not really change much of anything...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 11:19:28 AM #
> "I also never liked how avantgo would hide the real web address. Why would any
> company want to create a mobile version of their site and only allow one browser
> to use it."

Because AvantGo *INSISTS*, that's why the companies do it.

This is the primary reason why I have boycotted them. That would be like Sony
saying you can't sell other gaming systems if you sell their Playstation...
Oh yeah, they do (did?) that too.

Faugh! It would be trivial to use iSilo or Plucker to grab news & etc. sites, except
they're so "rich" with extraneous links in header and sidebars that you need to be
a programmer to strip them into a reasonable format for a PDA.

NOTE to news services and others wanting to target small-screen users:
Provide pages of low-link, small-graphic, high content (as opposed to high-glitz)
text, and yes, put a few text-based adds in it. Make it known here and in places
like news comp.sys.palmtops.pilot and watch us grab it. I know you have to
make a buck, and would gladly scan a paragraph or 2 of adds to get quality.
Cut out the middle-man. Contact iSilo and Plucker and ask them for help.
Let people use their own conduits/compressors/gatherers.

Contract with avantgo

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:56:18 AM #
"They won't affect channels that had contract with aVantGo, like Palm Infocenter...."

Does that means AvantGo is making money off Palm Infocenter? Whoooa, I don't think Palm Infocenter (like most channel providers, it's more of a service than business) is making much money off it's mobile content, and with the economic downturn we are in, free mobile content is most often in the line of fire of most budget concious CFOs.

RE: Contract with avantgo
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 2:27:12 AM #
Yeah, I run a cheap li'l Gameboy avantgo site, and everything is ready for submission, up until I see the price. $1000 for 9-100 people. $4000 for 101-500 and on up! I can't afford that!

RE: Contract with avantgo
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 12:50:34 PM #
99% of all custom channels can pay the bills. Here gone my favorite custom channels...

not worth it!

palmcoder @ 2/19/2002 1:10:11 AM #

How are AvantGo users worth a penny to the custom channel publishers?! If anything, AvantGo should be paying the publishers for providing content for the AvantGo network! Knowing that content from ABC, ESPN, NY Times, Wall St. Journal (and PIC!) is available is what drives customers to AvantGo in the first place.

Who does all the work for creating the AvantGo channel in the first place? The publisher, that's who. They have to develop a custom solution for that the AvantGo browser can handle.

I've worked with several publishers that have created custom AvantGo channels and most of them were highly unsatisfied with the (lack of) service that they received from AvantGo. Need to change the link depth of your channel? Wait 30 days. Need to fetch off site content? Wait 30 days. Need an audit of the traffic on your site? We'll get back to you. Oh, by the way, here's your bill for this month. We expect it to be paid on-time, in full.

My favorite "gotcha" is that if you code to the guidelines set forth by the AvantGo publisher guide and allow them to cache your content, you will have no way to "audit" AvantGo to determine how much traffic your site actually gets. Case in point, we convinced a client to disable the AvantGo servers from caching their content. Once that change went into effect (30 days later!!) we installed a script that tracked active unique AvantGo users on their site for a month. The results were an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE lower than the number of users they were being charged for by AvantGo. To say they were miffed would be an understatement...

Finally, to the AvantGo "advocate" that's bashing everyone in this thread - have enough courage in your opinion to *not* post anonymously and quit pasting the same "no free lunch" FUD in each response.

RE: not worth it!
PDA @ 2/19/2002 3:24:40 AM #
Interesting points. Thanks for the info!

FWIW, *NOT* a big Avantgo Fan here. I used to use/like it, but as many times in a day as I do a HotSync, it got tedious switching Avantgo off and on...

iSilo is a good alternative, but unfortunately you have to know the URL for the content (something that in the early days Avantgo used to display, but that's been quite a while ago).

What we need is a good spot/site that lists Palm OS-friendly web site URLs.... Anyone? (Btw, works pretty good for this site)

RE: not worth it!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 7:44:38 AM #
Palm-friendly URLs can be found at

RE: not worth it!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 10:28:32 AM #
Thanks for the links... What we need, though, is ONE site that rivals AvantGo's listing of channels in terms of numbers and organization.

...that, or Avantgo will just charge the end users like normal business people.

RE: not worth it!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 2:09:19 PM #
If iSilo would add a page with this information to their site, that would be great. They could even allow users to download the .icl files. This is iSilo's chance to really shine if they will sieze the opportunity. Yes, users will have to buy the browser, but they won't have to worry about their content going away and it is a one-time purchase.

I have always preferred iSilo to AvantGo, and now I'm glad that I made that choice a long time ago.

At least AvantGo opened everyone's eyes to the need for web contented formatted for handheld devices.

RE: not worth it!
wilco @ 2/20/2002 12:22:17 AM #
I always used AvantGo for offline web surfing and is happy with it. But with the upcoming restrictions, it had forced me to look elsewhere. And I found Isilo. I agree with the above poster that it is head and shoulders above Avantgo. EXTERNAL CARD SUPPORT, Colored Text, Color images, etc. Thank you Avantgo for letting me discover what I had missed before and finally freeing up precious RAM space. Think I will register it (iSilo) as soon as the trial period runs out. Sure, syncing takes a little longer, but the pages are a lot nicer to read, a small price to pay. Thanks again to the folks at Avantgo.

RE: not worth it!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 1:34:45 AM #
How do you get the web pages to your palm so you don't have to scroll left and right to view them on the palm?

RE: not worth it!
wilco @ 2/21/2002 12:26:32 AM #
If you are talking about iSilo, Open the document, then go to Menu >Options>Display>Tables Choose Single columns. That should do it.

Wireless Syncing

ralphm @ 2/19/2002 3:53:03 AM #
I frequently use the possibility of Avantgo to sync over
a wireless connection (via my phone with inbuild modem). As far as I know plucker cannot do this. Are there any alternatives in that arena?

RE: Wireless Syncing
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 10:06:23 AM #
Syncing as in synchronizing the data on your Palm? What is wrong with the built in Network HotSync for your purpose?

RE: Wireless Syncing
ralphm @ 2/19/2002 10:27:16 AM #
Ok, maybe I need to be clearer. I synchronise my AvantGo Channels wireless. The AvantGo Proxy fetches the freshest version of the Channels I subscribed to. With Plucker this is not possible (yet?) because all pages have to be parsed first and this is done on your desktop. Or am I wrong?

RE: Wireless Syncing
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:15:49 PM #
You can use Blazer 2.0. Itīs the best browser. Check the review in PalmInfocenter. Itīs not free, though.

RE: Wireless Syncing
Altema @ 2/19/2002 6:48:08 PM #
I use my AvantGo the same way as Ralph. It's been great to just hit "Modem Sync" from the AvantGo menu, let it link to your cellular modem, and pull everything down to your Palm while you concentrate on driving. I get my email wireless as well, and can go for weeks without touching my desktop. Fortunately this change will not affect me, but does anyone know if online browsing will be affected?

Start charging end-users, or stop caring about the hobbyists

Kwed @ 2/19/2002 6:30:08 AM #
Imagine a publisher like Simon & Schuster Inc. deciding to give away Stephen Kings next book for free. Seeing as they need to stay afloat they contact the author and ask if he would mind paying for the privileges of having his work distributed freely among the people? ... I think he would tell them to start charging end-users and stop wasting his time.

Unless AvantGo introduce a subscription model they're heading down the drain pretty darn soon. Unless of course they come clean about not caring for the hobbyist content providers and shift their focus 100% towards the enterprise market.

As a normal joe I'd prefer the corporate confession. Sure, I may not agree with it - but at least it's honest.

RE: Start charging end-users, or stop caring about the hobbyists
MobileMitch @ 2/19/2002 10:18:17 AM #
I would pay $6-10 bucks a year per custom channel even though it should be more like $5 per custom channel per year.
Why don't they offer that option? Obviously dealing with small customers is a pain but if you automate the system and charge for tech support or something, you at least won't loose money working with them.

But just 100% dumping all custom channels (which is pretty much what they are doing) just makes their service unusable. The two channels I rely on are custom, the rest are just something to read in waiting rooms.

RE: Start charging end-users, or stop caring about the hobbyists
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 12:42:22 PM #
All the custom channels actually make Avantgo a wonderful service. Dumping all custom channels reduce usefullness of AvantGo. It is a difficult choice!


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 9:24:58 AM #

RE: AvantGoing....AvantGoing....
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 12:48:59 PM #
Mazingo is coming...


edyaw @ 2/19/2002 10:00:54 AM #
Who checks grammar on these posted stories? Perhaps Palm Infocenter should hire a "well-know" editor.

RE: Grammar
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 10:06:19 AM #
Maybe they should get an English major working a check-out line at Walmart. That's you, right?

RE: Grammar
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 8:36:05 PM #
LOL! Great response.

There goes myhandemail!!!

C @ 2/19/2002 12:05:32 PM #
It's very unfortunate...that was the only way that I can get email on my palm I use a macintosh...does anyone know of another solution?

RE: There goes myhandemail!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/24/2002 8:15:04 AM #
Yeah, I use my Palm for e-mail all of the time (and I am a Mac OSX user).

You need four things:

1. POP e-mail account
2. Clip-on modem
3. Handmail or similar e-mail client
4. Dial-up access to the internet

Create your own damn channel...

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 1:49:36 PM #

Can't we just create our own custom channels? It seems to me that the policy says that you can't havea bucketload of people subscribed to ONE channel, but what if we all just copy the locations down and create our own autochannels of the sites? Wouldn't that work?

RE: Create your own damn channel...
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 4:59:12 PM #
They probably sort the channels by the url. If a whole bunch of people create their "own" custom channels, they'll still link to the same url. Thus, the first 8 get theirs, the rest say sayonara.

Alternative - Older Stand Alone Version of AvantGo

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 8:20:41 PM #
Hi everyone,

Geesh, has it really been that long?... Back in 1998, when AvantGo first came out, they had a standalone, desktop client. I've liked it so much I kept it and never upgraded to the newer versions.

Since you run everything on your desktop, you can synchronize whatever web sites you define, and there are no size limits either (other than your palm's).

I still have a copy of the installation files - you can leave a message if you can't find it on the web. The AvantGo version is 1.1, and the file is Avantgos.exe, file size 2,080,275 bytes.


RE: Alternative - Older Stand Alone Version of AvantGo
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 5:11:45 AM #

Where can I find a copy?


RE: Alternative - Older Stand Alone Version of AvantGo
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 6:05:01 AM #
RE: Alternative - Older Stand Alone Version of AvantGo
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 6:18:00 AM #
Thanks buddy! I sure don't want to lose the ability to sync the channels I have.

Thanks again.

RE: Alternative - Older Stand Alone Version of AvantGo
wilco @ 2/21/2002 12:31:15 AM #
Can you have two versions of Avantgo on one Palm, or does the newer version had to go?

My custom channels still work!?

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 10:00:19 AM #
So is Avantgo enforcing the new policy? I went through the trouble of getting Plucker to work (which I like better, except for the lack of table support). But I left on Avantgo and just noticed that all of my custom channels still work.

I doubt that PDABUZZ mobile only has 8 subscribers, so what's the deal?

RE: My custom channels still work!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 10:09:57 AM #
I've noticed that too.

I don't think Avantgo made the announcement public enough. Heck, they didn't even make the announcement on the Avantgo page that syncs on the PDA's...

I think they'd piss too many people off if they actually went through with it.

RE: My custom channels still work!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 12:26:46 PM #
I think Avantgo still wait content partners to sign up. Disrupting the custom channels would ruin the chance for potential partners and lose Pocker PC users to Mazingo. I personally prefer to use Mazingo rather than AvantGo after I replaced my Visor with a Pocket PC.

I would pay for the Avantgo service

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/26/2002 11:59:55 AM #
Definitely I would pay to be able to download a variety of news and info services for offline reading. I do travel quite a lot but for me this is one of THE killer apps.

Richard - in the UK

AvantGo Workaround

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 11:52:09 AM #
Did you check out the workarond in Palm Tipsheet #28?
(thanks to Mike Rohde):

AvantGo Workaround Solutions
There is a workaround you can use to contunue receiving custom channels on AvantGo. You can also check out alternate applications which essentially do the same thing as AvantGo, but on your own PC.

AvantGo Custom Channel Workaround
To contunue receiving custom channels on AvantGo requires the ability to create a simple personal web page and web space in which to store your personal web page.

Step 1: Create a basic HTML web page and add web link(s) to your favorite non-official AvantGo channel(s) on the page. The Palm Tipsheet Mobile site is located here:

Here are the Palm Tipsheet Mobile's specs (use these for your new AvantGo custom channel):

Maximum Channel Size: 60k
Link Depth: 2
Include Images: Yes
Follow Off-Site Links: No

In some cases you can easily add links to personal web pages with tools like Apple's iTools, Yahoo! GeoCities, Lycos Tripod, WebSpawner, etc.

Step 2: Save this HTML file to your personal web space (this process will be automated if you're using one of the free web space service listed above). Select and copy the actual internet URL link for your personal page from your browser's address field.

Step 3: Login to AvantGo and create a new 'Custom Channel' in your account. Paste your URL link for this newly created personal page as your custom channel source's link location. Be sure to add the correct amount of levels for the channel to grab.

Step 4: Save this channel and log out of AvantGo.

Step 5: Sync your Palm handheld (and AvantGo) to add this new personal page as a custom channel to your handheld. Enjoy! :-)

Alternate AvantGo Replacement Apps
If you would like to investigate alternate means of getting the Palm Tipsheet Mobile Edition on your Palm handheld, have a look at these applications. All of these software suites process mobile websites on your own PC, rather than through an online webserver (like AvantGo):

iSilo (PC, Mac, Linux - Sharware):

Handstory (PC - Shareware):

Plucker (PC - Freeware):

MobiPocket (PC, Mac - Freeware):

Sitescooper (PC, Mac, Linux - Freeware):

RE: AvantGo Workaround (Won't Work)
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 11:23:53 AM #
Actually I am finding this workaround doesn't work after all -- it appears that AvantGo may be filtering and blocking any URLs which appear more than 8 times in custom channels.

When I am another AvantGo user tried the workaround I mentioned on my site, it loaded the personal page, but would not allow us to view the secondary link to the Palm Tipsheet Mobile site. Just thought I ought to mention this before anyone goes to the trouble of trying the workaround idea.

I would suggest one of the alternate software apps listed for viewing pages offline, since you control these apps completely on your own desktop.

-- Mike Rohde, Editor
The Palm Tipsheet

RE: AvantGo Workaround
big_raji @ 3/15/2002 8:18:48 AM #
Actually, if you're a total geek (like me) and you have quite a bit of access on your personal web server, you can probably setup either a Cron job, or a Windows scheduled task to dump the contents of the web page you want into your own personal webspace.

I've got a cron job on my linux box that runs the following command:

lynx -dump >whatever.html

And then I point avantgo at my website at whatever.html

I'm sure there's probably much easier ways to view web pages on your palm, but I'm used to Avantgo, and haven't had the chance to try the other software.

Oh well, I don't think many people will read this post anyways, once an article is off the front page.

If you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror.

8 Might as Well Be None

PIC mobile user @ 3/18/2002 7:28:41 AM #
If you restrict AvantGo to only 8 users for a custom channel; why not just shutdown custom channels altogether?


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