Since 1998, the folks at AvantGo have offered a compelling service that would sync information from Internet web sites to your handheld Palm or CE device. Alas, the client software was only available for the PC, until the announcement at MACWORLD Expo SF/2000 that the software would be released for the Mac in March. True to their word, AvantGo released their Mac version at the end of March. Now Mac-based Palm users can take advantage of this cool technology...
The first thing to do is download the AvantGo Installer and run it. Make sure you're online at the time, since installation will redirect you to their web site to register for the service. Once you've provided some basic information, the AvantGo Connect Control Panel, located on your local machine, will be launched, so that you can add a server to your profile.
You'll then need to perform a HotSync operation, which will install the basic AvantGo software on your Palm. You'll notice something a little different, in that at some point, the AvantGo conduit will actually go out to the Internet to update the information stored on your Palm.
AvantGo Getting Info from the Internet
You can now access your account via the AvantGo home page, and specify which sites, or channels, you would like to monitor. In addition to nearly 1000 channels which have been optimized for the AvantGo service, you can also define your own channels, where you specify the name, URL, maximum download size and link depth for the site you are interested in. For those will limited RAM on their Palm, you may want to limit the maximum size and link depth, and disable image loading.
We Just Created a Mac Observer Channel
Now, every time you perform a HotSync operation, AvantGo will find new content on your channels, download new content, and erase old content. This is a great way to keep track of web-based content when you can't always be near a computer. We're glad to see that AvantGo, like many others, have seen the popularity of the Mac, and decided it is a market worth supporting.
Have any other Palm gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let John know via e-mail, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at