Monday, September 24, 2007

AvantGo™ turns wasted time into productive time

If you are like me you hate to waste time, but try as we might there seems to be too many occasions when we find ourselves waiting. Perhaps it is in the doctor’s office or the “Quickie Lube” joint. I sure can remember sitting for hours on gym bleachers waiting for my son’s 3 minutes of wrestling fame. One option of course is to always have reading material with you. I have an idea for those of you who use a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or other mobile device. You can download all sorts of information in the form of electronic newspapers, magazines, short stories and other information form the Internet using a service called AvantGo™ (

Each morning when I get to the office I connect my PDA to my office computer to update any appointments I may have made since I last “synched” the two. At that same time my computer connects with AvantGo™ and downloads sections of the New York Times, articles from Wired Magazine and selected other publications. So when I have a few minutes I can pull out my PDA and do some reading. I would not recommend reading Gone With the Wind in this 2” x 2” screen, but for short articles it is great

AvantGo™ bills itself as the world’s largest mobile internet service delivering content to some 7 million people using PDAs, wireless PDAs, and smart phones like the Blackberry™. The service does carry advertising but this allows for the basic subscription to be free. I don’t find the ads intrusive and you will find that they will be customized to relate to the content you are requesting. So if you subscribe to GolfLine, an AvantGo™ offering in cooperation with Golf Magazine, don’t be surprised if you see lots of ads for golf clubs.

Another neat feature of AvantGo™ is a MapQuest™ option. You can have your MapQuest™ results sent to your PDA so you don’t need to print them. It saves trees and time and you can just erase the information after your trip.

If you have a PDA and you are only using it for an address book and Calendar, I think you will find AvantGo™ a way to make it more useful.

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