From the October 2000 issue of Startups

You and about half a million other users keep your handheld devices nearby so you can monitor e-mail, schedule meetings, quickly look up an address or make a note to yourself on the sly. But as the interest in wireless computing grows-an estimated 24.8 million users will be on board in six years, according to The Strategis Group-some Web-based resources will help you make your favorite handheld even more indispensable. It's all a matter of finding the right portal to push what you want to know downstream. Try these:

  • Web-enabled phones, Windows CE machines and Palms are empowered with Avantgo.com, an information subscription service that delivers 350 channels of info, including movie times, stock quotes, maps and weather. The service is free, and even modemless users can get current info every time they sync-up. Those with modems on their handhelds can surf any time.
  • ThinkMobile.com is a good source for news headlines and other info on the go, including a subject database if you're pressed for some quick research. Choose from the latest technology headlines or the latest news from Japan. Plus, there's always shopping to do if you find yourself stuck in traffic.
  • SmartRay.com delivers byte-sized info like sports scores, flight alerts, horoscopes and more for the jet-setter in you. In addition, all the big names in wireless-Nokia, Ericsson, Palm, Handspring, MSN and Sony-offer resources to enlighten your favorite portable OS.

Karen Solomon (ksolomon@dnai.com) is a San Francisco-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Industry Standard and Wired News.