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Tuesday
5 Feb 2008

by aza

Enso 2.0 Launcher Prototype

Beta

Get ready. Flex your pinkie finger. Here’s the Enso 2.0 Launcher prototype. It runs on top of the free Enso Launcher, so all you have to do is download this prototype, install, and try it out. You’ll get some new features, several improved commands, and (of course) all of your old commands will still work. If you haven’t been following our weblog, you might want to read about the motivation behind this design, and our explanation of the design.

What’s In The Prototype?

Open has a lot of new tricks. It splits the argument off from the command name, making it possible to do all kinds of things. It uses a new autocomplete system, so you can type whatever you remember. It can open URLs and paths. It remembers what you’ve opened in the past, and makes suggestions appropriately. You can even browse through the your hard drive using tab-completion (actually, we picked “shift-enter” for these completions — we’re still experimenting).

Joining the improved open command are several other new-style commands, including open with and calculate. And the google command now provides as-you-type suggestions for your search term. It works great for quickly checking the spelling of those hard-to-sound-out Russian composers.

What’s Not In The Prototype?

There’s a lot of odds-and-ends that didn’t make it into the prototype. Things like being able to use Ctrl-V inside of the Enso entry area. For these not-yet-implemented features, the prototype displays transparent messages letting you know that the feature would work, if only this wasn’t a prototype. As for the larger stuff: The visuals aren’t up to speed yet, we haven’t revamped the quasimodal portion of Enso, and not all of the commands have been ported.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think.


Wednesday
24 Oct 2007

by aza

Enso Developer Prototype

Beta

So you want to write your own Enso commands? We hear you.

Meet the Enso Developer Prototype. With it, you can finally write your own commands. While it’s still a prototype, it provides an API that lets you do all of the important things, like accessing the text selection, displaying transparent messages, and inserting text back into the current application.

“What language do I have to use?”, you ask. Any language you want to! We happen to think that Python is a great language—it’s what we use in Enso, after all—but if your favorite language supports XML-RPC, then it will work to create commands for the Enso Developer Prototype. Anything that you can make your computer do with language X, you can make Enso do too.

If you want help creating your own commands, or you’d like to share what you’ve learned, you should check out the Enso Wiki. There are some example commands, as well as some guides for how to build your own commands in a variety of languages.

Why is it called a prototype? Because we’re pretty sure that Enso’s got some big changes coming. The API that comes with the Enso Developer Prototype is likely to change, and isn’t as powerful as the one that we’re working on. But we wanted to get something out there for all of you who’ve been waiting to add your own commands.

Without further ado, download and enjoy!


Monday
24 Sep 2007

by aza

Enso Map Anywhere

Beta

Imagine this. You are writing an email to a friend and you mention that you want to meet at your favorite breakfast place in Chicago: Tre Kronor. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send them Tre Kronor’s address along with a map? Currently, the only way to do this is to open your browser, load up a site that provides maps, do a search for the restaurant, wait for the map to appear, copy the URL of the map to your email, copy the address to your email (and reformat it), and finally close your browser. Gross—and you’re not even sending a map, just a link to one!

Enter Enso Map Anywhere.

Enso Map Anywhere lets you select and address or a business name and add a map in place. For instance, if you don’t know where a business is, you can just highlight its name and you’ll get a beautiful map from Google with the location marked, along with the business’s full address and phone number. Alternatively, you can use the map command on a partial address like “4611 N Ravenswood” to get a map and the full address. It’s a great way to look up a forgotten ZIP code.

Because map is an Enso command, you’ll be able to do it anytime and anywhere. You’ll be able to get map images in Microsoft Office apps, most email apps (including webmail), and almost any place other than a “plain text editor” (meaning an app where you can’t make text bold, like Notepad). Even in places where map images don’t work, you’ll still be able to get the detailed address for a business or residence.

Don’t know what an Enso command is? Then take this tour, or watch this related Enso Words demonstration .

Give Enso Map Anywhere a try. It’s free. And once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.


Monday
17 Sep 2007

by aza

Enso Media Remote Control

Beta

You know the feeling: You’re writing away on an email, listening to some music, and a song you really don’t want to hear starts playing. You want to change it, but you’re in the middle of a great sentence and don’t want to lose your focus by fidgeting with windows just to bring your music player to the foreground. Don’t you wish you could just say "next" to make your music player jump to the next song, no matter what you’re doing?

That’s what Enso Media Remote Control is all about. It lets you control your favorite music player from anywhere, without taking up any screen-space whatsoever.

For now, you’ll have access to commands like next track, previous track, play track, pause track, and the ability to set the volume. And if you happen to be using iTunes, you’ll also be able to command your computer to play songs by name, artist, album, or genre. More features are on the way. And because it’s an Enso command, you’ll have these commands anytime and anywhere.

Don’t know what an Enso command is? Then read this tour, or watch this related Enso Words demonstration .

Media Remote Control works with almost any music player out there, but we haven’t had time to test them all. We know it works with recent versions of iTunes, Winamp, and Windows Media Player. As time goes on, we hope to add support for more players. Leave a comment below to let us know which player you use.

Enough talk. Try it out — it’s free.


Sunday
16 Sep 2007

by aza

Enso Web Search Anywhere

Beta

It happens to the best of us: We’re in the middle of some task when we are struck with the burning desire to look up some arcane detail. What exactly is a liopleurodon? How heavy is the average kangaroo? And who was that actor who played the insurance salesman in the movie The Incredibles? Luckily, the Internet scratches our knowledge itches.

Enso Web Search Anywhere helps you to answer your burning questions as quickly as possible. Enso already lets you search Google by either selecting any text and starting to type google, or by typing google and then the term you want to search for. Now, with Web Search Anywhere, you can search Wikipedia, YouTube, Amazon, Ebay, Internet Movie Database, Yahoo, Yubnub, your Gmail, and a host of other sites just by typing part of their name. No need for clunky pull-down menus or waiting for home pages to load before doing your search: Any search is only a few keystrokes away. Web Search Anywhere lets you procrastinate faster, easier, and more efficiently.

(Don’t know what an Enso command is? Then take this tour, or watch this related Enso Words demonstration.)

Procrastination aside, having the power of the most popular search engines at your beck and call is addicting. When your friend sends you their address, you just select it and say google-map. When you need to know how your favorite actor is connected to Kevin Bacon, you can imdb it. Got someone on the phone who wants to know when your plane comes in? Just gmail search for it. With Web Search Anywhere, there’s no fiddling with windows or waiting for pages to load—just go to exactly where you want to be.

Click for a full list of commands.


Sunday
16 Sep 2007

by aza

Enso Translate Anywhere

Beta

There are nearly 7,000 living languages, each with its own color and culture. Most of us speak only one or two. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have eight more languages under your belt?

Enso Translate Anywhere allows you to use the power of Google’s language translation anywhere: while writing an email in Eudora, chatting with a friend, reading a website in Firefox, or captioning an image in Photoshop.

How does it work? Say I am chatting with my friend in Spain and want to translate “good morning” into Spanish. I’d select the text, summon Enso, and use the translate to spanish command. Right in my chat window, “buenos días” would appear. I could have just as easily translated to Japanese, French, Russian, and more.

Now, say that my friend responds with, “¿Cómo te va?”. Quick as a cat, I can use the translate from spanish command to get “How are you?”.

With Translate Anywhere, you’ll be able to translate to and from:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Pirate

Sunday
16 Sep 2007

by aza

Enso TeX Anywhere

Beta

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way of creating stunning equations quickly and simply? Say you are writing an email to a friend who is taking the same math class as you are. Imagine that instead of having to foist this on your friend:

x=(( x^n - y^n ) / ( 1 + u^2n ))^1/2

you could easily send them this:
Rendered image of equation.

With TEX Anywhere, you can.

TEX is a typesetting language used to lay out mathematical equations in an attractive and readable way. The TEX Anywhere beta product allows you to turn TEX markup into beautifully formatted equations, in applications as varied as Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Gmail. Even better, it allows you to turn those images back into their original TEX markup. All you have to do is know the TEX markup language and be able to remember two Enso commands render tex and unrender tex.

Don’t know what an Enso command is? Then take this tour, or watch this related Enso Words demonstration.

TEX Anywhere is a very small download because it doesn’t need to install the hundreds of megabytes that TEX requires. To render your equations it uses the wonderful Mathtran web service, so you’ll need to be connected to the Internet to use TEX Anywhere.

Finally, TEX Anywhere doesn’t work in as many applications as we’d like. We’re working on it. TEX Anywhere does work in Microsoft Office products so you can easily include equations in your Powerpoint presentation, and it does work in any web-mail that has enough power to make text bold. The easiest way to find out if it’ll work with your favorite app is to download and give it a try. It’s no-strings-attached free, so go ahead and play.