Elgan: Got a subnotebook? Get Ubiquity

Cramped laptop keyboards, tiny screens are easy to use thanks to new Mozilla software

This feature is further relief from the tiny keyboards and awkward typing on subnotebooks. This process is way easier than the conventional way to open YouTube and search for a video.

Searching YouTube, as well as Google, Wikipedia, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), Yahoo, Weather services and others, are among the rudimentary processes Ubiquity simplifies and accelerates. Other simple tasks include looking up the definitions of words (select the word, call up the Ubiquity menu and type "define"); sending whatever page you're looking at via e-mail (type "email" then hit the Enter key); translating text into a foreign language (type TR, then the phrase you'd like to translate, then "to" followed by the language); and adding things to your calendar (type "add" followed by the appointment and when to schedule it -- you can use "natural language" for this, and Ubiquity figures it out).

Other Ubiquity commands enable more powerful tasks. One impressively easy feat is to paste Google Maps inside e-mail. Open Gmail (the only mail service currently supported), and click "Compose Mail." From the Gmail page, you find the map by simply typing "map" followed by an address or a location that Google Maps understands. Let's say you want a map showing the location of La Super Rica restaurant. Just type "map la super rica" and up it comes. Click on the map, then click on the "Insert map in page" link. Ubiquity will paste a screen capture of the map into your Gmail message. What's great about this on a subnotebook is that you never had to actually "go" to Google Maps. It all happened from Gmail.

Another powerful way to use Ubiquity is with the right mouse button or right button on your subnotebook's touchpad. Select anything in a browser window, and choose Ubiquity from the drop-down menu, then select from any of the dozens of options (from defining words to searching the IMDB).

And for you tinkering optimizers out there, Ubiquity lets you add your own commands and associate them with whatever actions you want.

Ubiquity is nice on a desktop PC or conventional laptop. But it's a must-have download for tiny subnotebooks.

Subnotebooks and Ubiquity: A match made in mobile heaven.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog, The Raw Feed.

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