Wednesday, September 1, 1999

Inside the world’s first mobile magazine network

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY

By David Gewirtz

Like you use a Web browser on your desktop computer, people are now using a variety of Web browsing technology on handheld devices. This is not our technology, but, like desktop browsers, these handheld browsers are available to anyone on the Internet for free. One such product is called ProxiWeb. It's a Web browser for your Palm device. It literally lets you browse a Web page on your Palm computer, as long as you're connected to the Internet. Another is the Windows CE-based browser from Conduits (at http://www.conduits.com). Another product, called AvantGo, allows you to download a series of Web pages to your Palm organizer or Windows CE-based device for offline browsing.

On Tuesday, August 17, 1999, ZATZ:Pure Internet Publishing (that's us!) and AvantGo, Inc. announced the availability of the world's first mobile magazine network, available mutually through ZATZ.com and AvantGo.com. ZATZ, as most of you know, publishes PalmPower Magazine, Windows CE Power Magazine, and DominoPower Magazine. This is the first time a complete network of magazines has been made available for mobile device users. If you want to subscribe, visit http://www.zatz.com/mobilenetwork/mobile.html. But first, read on.

Using our patent-pending ZENPRESS technology, we're able to automatically generate content from each of our online publications into an appropriate format for handhelds, and then send that information directly to AvantGo for free distribution to AvantGo's more than 300,000 subscribers.

In this article, we'll take you through some of our experiences in setting up this capability, some of the design decisions we made, and some of the discoveries we made once the service went live. We're going to be publishing substantially the same article to all three of our publications because the topic should be of interest to each. For PalmPower and Windows CE Power Magazine readers, the ability to deliver mobile publications opens new uses for your machines (and if you want to reach other users, you might know how it's done). For DominoPower readers, most of whom operate Lotus Notes and Domino-based Web sites, this will help prepare you for implementing your own mobile delivery systems.