How Ubiquity Saved Me Today

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I know how I shouldn’t be pointy-clicky on all links I get. Specially the tiny url ones.

Well yesterday I got a link (internal – so can’t share) in a mailing group in office. The URL was a shortened one (something like tinyurl, but used inside Amazon) and it did come with adequate warning about not opening it. But like a few other dumbos I did click it.

I have to share the link in this post – but be warned that I have warned you. It’s no virus r malicious software/code but clever Javascript play. Anyway if you happen to click know that you have no right to sue me whatsoever. And if you really do click – let me know, afterwards, how it goes.

Without further ado, it’s –

I am assuming you know what RickRoll is – if not, you should – the wikipedia article on RickRoll explains it well (it has given me a lot of laughs till date and has robbed some producive hours too. I hope you enjoy it too :-) ).

So, anyway, like a real dumbo, even after reading all the warnings I clicked on it. And bam… my browser is not mine anymore. It’s like one of those really annoying moments when you loose control of something you use all the time (maybe not a great analogy, think a driver loosing control of the steering wheel of his bus. Think a bus full of passengers. In this case, it causes no damage – so like, the bus not hitting any thing/body, but dancing around the street).

I had quite a few interesting tabs open on Firefox. And when it started dancing around, I really lost it. For a few seconds that is. Then the ubiquity idea came to me.

ALT+SHIFT. type “close-tab” (actually just type “clo” and hit tab) and then type “RICK ROLL”. W00t! My browser is back. And my work is saved (the only other way would have been to kill firefox – after which if I restart and ask it to open All Tabs again, I am back to square-one. If I say “Start with no tabs” I loose all the other interesting ones. Of course you can kill FF, open up the FF tabs xml file (it’s nested inside your FF install dir) and delete this tab – but that’s a lot of work).

I have loved Ubiquity a lot and have evangelized it to a lot of people already. It gives you a really powerful browser (like just type “search Something”, or “email Hi to arnab” and you are done. No opening a tabs or another service even). It’s very liberating. My fav commands are search, wiki, weather, email, map, define and twitter.

But yesterday, for the first time I had the opportunity to really feel myself “Thank God I installed Ubiquity”.

If you have not already, give it a spin – here’s the page for the Ubiquity project

If you want more, watch this screencast (you can also find it on the Ubiquity page) –

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

If you are using it already, don’t you love it? If not using it yet – try it out and let me know how it goes. (Ubiquity is also on twitter – @mozillaubiquity)