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A Faster Treonauts While On the Go

Over the last few months many people have written to me pointing out that Treonauts still doesn’t have a version of the blog optimized for viewing on the Treo while on the go. 

Strictly speaking this is true but thanks to services such as Skweezer there is in theory little need for us to create an entirely separate mobile-only version.  Additionally, if you combine Skweezer with the Xiino browser instead of using the built-in Blazer the speed of access is even further improved.  Having said this, you’ll find at the end of this post that we’ve finally come up with what I believe to be an ideal solution by launching our ‘Treonauts Mobile’ URL.

As you might remember, I had reviewed both Skweezer and Xiino separately a few months ago but since both were recently updated I thought that it would be a good reason to test them again.

Skweezer’s update delivers significant speed improvements thanks to an extensive redesign of the service’s compression and optimization technology.  Meanwhile, Xiino’s browser has been optimized so that it is now compatible with the 5–way navigation button on our Treo while continuing to deliver the fastest webpage download processing.

I set out to discover just how fast these speed improvement were for Xiino and Skweezer on their own and also when combined to view the Treonauts blog while on the go over a standard GPRS connection.

Comparison 1

Standard + Images Enabled
Blazer: Over 180sec (Browser error: Page too large to be displayed… )
Xiino: Over 120sec (Same error message…)

Standard + Images Disabled
Blazer: 40sec
Xiino: 25sec

With Skweezer + Images Enabled
Blazer: Over 120sec
Xiino: Over 60sec (Page too large)

With Skweezer + Images Disabled
Blazer: 25sec
Xiino: 10sec

Comparison 2

Standard + Images Enabled: Over 180sec (Page error)
With Skweezer + Images Enabled: Over 120sec
Standard + Images Disabled: 40sec
With Skweezer + Images Disabled: 25sec

Standard + Images Enabled: Over 120sec (Page error)
With Skweezer + Images Enabled: Over 60sec (Page error)
Standard + Images Disabled: 25sec
With Skweezer + Images Disabled: 10sec

As you can see, the difference between the slowest viewing (Blazer standard browsing with images at +180sec) and the fastest (Xiino with Skweezer and images disabled at 10sec) there is a massive 95% speed improvement…

With these figures at hand, we decided that the most optimized option to view the Treonauts blog while on the go – irrespective of which browser you might be using – was evidently one that would not show the many and often large images and so we came up with a text only version via Skweezer.  You can access it via a new URL that you can bookmark on your Treo http://go.treonauts.com and which should load entirely in about 20 seconds.

[Thanks A. Davis]

Skweeze Me Please [Treonauts]
Faster Mobile Browsing [Treonauts]

Treonauts are moving faster every dayTreonautstar4

Posted by Andrew on June 16, 2005 at 04:50 PM

Treo Software | Browser

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by Ben Combee | Jun 16, 2005 6:26:20 PM

Personally, to view Treonauts and most other blogs on the go, I just use the mobile version of BlogLines to read the RSS feeds, avoiding all the site junk, and aggregating it with other sites in my "Mobile: Palm OS" category.

by Brent | Jun 16, 2005 7:20:11 PM

Hooray! This new mobile version works great on my Treo600. I will now be visiting the site much more often! Keep up the good work!

by A. Davis | Jun 16, 2005 7:32:29 PM

Thanks for the update. Here's some irony for you... viewing your new URL (go.treonauts.com) in Firefox keeps the same domain name in the address bar, however viewing it from Blazer shows the re-direct over to Skweezer... it would seem Skweezer's JavaScript browser detection needs some work. :)

I guess I was hoping for a text only version that also excluded all the advertising, similar to how Google, Yahoo, and Slashdot do it (they all depend on advertising dollars, but strip out the ads for their mobile optimized versions). However, I guess this is better than it was. For some reason, my test from Blazer took 37 seconds to fully load, not 10 as you experienced, but I understand that different networks have different speeds. Perhaps you had an EDGE connection for your tests? :) Its just too bad that I still have to scroll through 300 or so lines of advertising to get to the stories. Oh well, I learned when I got married that I can't have everything I want, so I guess I'll just live with it. :)

FYI: images aside, if you view your regular site the two outer columns account for almost as much text as the center column (depending on many posts you've made). Thus, if you stripped out the advertising and made only the center column available, the page would be half as large and thus should load twice as fast. :)

For those of you that make use of my portal (http://palm.nccomp.com), I've updated the old link to Treonauts (which simply ran it through Skweezer, but kept the images intact) to use the new go.treonauts.com link. You can hit it directly here: http://palm.nccomp.com/PDAAndTreoSites.html

by Jessica | Jun 16, 2005 8:06:41 PM

Help! I am new to the Treo 650, and I can't figure out how to create voice tags. So frustrating to call verizon and palm one. When I go to the preferences icon and then to voice tags: set up, it tells me to initiate the voice tags using the bluetooth (jabra BT 250). Please email. I am currently a new assistant for Daniel Kellison and Jimmy Kimmel. They both have the same Treo 650 and Jabra bluetooth. Thanks for any help,
Jessica Makinson

by Anonymous Jerk | Jun 16, 2005 8:38:10 PM

Not to sound rude or calloused, but since your comment couldn't be any further off-topic...

Have you ever heard of a manual??? If so, between actually opening and reading both the Treo 650's manual and the Jabra's manual, and possibly even reading the forum posts at palmone.com, you'll probably get your answer.

And remember, its YOUR job to read these things. After all, if Daniel Kellison and Jimmy Kimmel read them, they wouldn't need you for an assistant. :) Thank gawd you aren't on The Apprentice.

[] I offer a small tidbit of hope: it says to "initiate the voice tags using the jabra". [] First pair up the 650 and the Jabra (back to the manuals you should go []) and make sure you can use the Jabra for phone calls. Then make your voice tags through the Jabra itself.

Oh, and one more thing... voice tags are typically unique to the user. So don't waste your time trying to record the names of all of Jimmy's contacts with your own voice as 90% of them won't work. He needs to record the names in his voice for them to work properly.


[Editor's Note: parts of this comment were un/fortunately deleted. Please AJ keep it above a certain level... Still, thanks for your input.

Cheers, A.]

by Andrew | Jun 16, 2005 9:53:38 PM

Thanks for your own update A. Davis! ;-)

We'll keep trying to do better...

Cheers, A.

by A. Davis | Jun 16, 2005 11:48:49 PM

You edited out the "padawan learner" part... considering the recent release of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, I thought that was the funniest part of AJ's comment. :)

Jessica... [] I'm always one for helping a women in need. Drop me an email and we'll make some *arrangements* for help. ;)

[Editor's Note: AD/AJ perhaps match.com is a more appropriate venue... ;-) ]

by Ronin | Jun 17, 2005 10:22:31 AM

As relates to this topic I have a request which relates to Mr. Combee's comment earlier.

Is it possible to include the entire text of each article in the sites RSS Feed? The current amount of data allowed by the feed is a blurb and I certainly do get feeds that contain considerably more text. If this is possible, it would be a great additional means of getting this site on the go.


by Levi Wallach | Jun 17, 2005 10:38:03 AM

Jessica, the main thing is that this isn't the right place to post this. You can get tons of help by posting your own new message on the forums over at MyTreo.net or Treocentral.com, or the Yahoo! Groups Treo or Treo650. Good luck!

Now, Andrew, regarding Skweezer, you might want to check out some of the concerns that have been expressed regarding this tool. Specifically that it strips out the ads on web pages and inserts it's own ads. This is an issue especially when people have copyrighted their sites either via standard copyright or with the Creative Commons license that specifies non-commercial use. Here's one article about this:


by Andrew | Jun 17, 2005 10:52:15 AM

Thanks Levi - I really appreciate it.

Yes, I am aware of the ad issue with Skweezer but I have taken a slightly different view than others on the topic.

As I see it, Skweezer provides me and the Treonauts blog a valuable service which allows people to view our content while on the go. I do not pay for this service nor do the users and as long as the company's own advertising is limited to Google links at the bottom of the page I believe that they offer a great value in return.

Please consider that other sites or blogs similarly re-aggregate third-party information and then insert their own advertising so I don't see why Skweezer should be singled out.

Cheers, A.

by Levi Wallach | Jun 17, 2005 11:48:38 AM

Andrew, I don't think Skweezer is being "singled out." Rather, I think all those other sites are basically the same as spammers. They take others content and redistribute it while displaying their ads. They are numberous, but I'm thinking and hoping that Google limits their access to its rankings by blacklisting and other means. However, Skweezer is a bit different in that it is a legitimate company trying to provide a service, and some people value that service. They are listed in Google, but it seems that they may be breaking the rights people have reserved for their content like those that are universally abhored and avoided. Apparently they have also refused to respond to such criticism in an open way, which just makes me less likely to want to have anything to do with them. While I'm not out there telling people to try to bring them down, I also think it's important that when we do mention the good parts about their service, we also mention that there is some controversy over the legality and/or ethics of how they provide that service...

by Patrick Turner | Jun 17, 2005 5:11:59 PM

My solution to reading Treonauts on the go is to take advantage of the RSS feed with QuickNews. It eliminates all of the advertising (for now) and allows me to read whether I'm on the network or not (such as in a plane). I have it setup to sync daily and grab the latest posts and then I'm always up to speed with the cool stuff Andrew has to share!

by AndyH | Jun 17, 2005 6:20:22 PM

Anyone else get this? - when viewing http://go.treonauts.com using Blazer in Optimized Mode, the up an down functions on the 5-way get flipped and scrolling doesn't function right.. If I use Wide Page mode, however, the page behaves normally.

by Ronin | Jun 17, 2005 6:44:23 PM

Yes, I am getting that too.

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