Tag Archives: replace

Replace Gmail’s Ads With Rapportive – A Free Social Network Tool

If you use Gmail, then you know that it can be difficult to ignore the mass of Ads which Google salts into your Inbox pane. I hear from many Gmail users that they find these Ads both annoying, and distracting. On the other hand, it’s fair to say, that there are those who find the Ads provide useful links and products.


There are a number of ways to stop these Ads from running, if you find them annoying. If you’re a Firefox user install the WebMail Ad Blocker add-on. Or, if you’re a Chrome user install the Chrome extension – Hide Gmail Ads. Instead of the Ads, you will be left with white space.

Rather than simply letting the white space sit there uselessly, you can put it to work. Rapportive, a Browser plugin which is compatible with Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, replaces Google’s Ads with available information on the sender and the email address, which can include – who they are, where they’re located, what they do, and any additional information which is available from social network sites.

It wouldn’t be reasonable (given privacy considerations), to show Rapportive at work using a contact as an example, so I’ve used a test email to myself to illustrate.


While Rapportive may not be for everyone, for socially active users I see it as a worthwhile “keep in touch” tool, since it keys in on social networks. At a personal level, since I receive quite a number of emails from technology companies every day, I’ve found the information Rapportive provides, very helpful.

I now have much more information regarding the company, and company contact person, than I had access to previously, which allows contact on a more personal level – always a good thing in business.

Operating Systems: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7.

Requirements: Gmail account; Firefox, Safari, Mailplane, Chrome.

Download at: Rapportive

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Browser Plug-ins, Chrome, Chrome Add-ons, downloads, Email, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Gmail, Google, Google Chrome, Interconnectivity, Safari add-ons, Social Networks, Software

Replace Windows “Copy To” Function With Free TeraCopy – Enhance Speed And Functionality

imageIn terms of popularity, articles on backing up data, and articles on backup utilities on this site, definitely fall off the popularity scale.

I’ve often wondered why this is, and the best that I can come up with is – it seems that many users consider backing up data complex, and time consuming. Anecdotally, I see evidence of this fear of the perceived complexity involved in backing up data, when speaking with non-techie friends and associates.

Nevertheless, the best backup strategy includes Hard Drives imaging which allows users to restore critical data, the complete operating system, installed applications, user settings, etc.

That’s the ideal – but, I have a confession to make. While I do use all of the classic backup techniques, between scheduled backups I use a simple copy command to mirror critical data to a non-system partition, or a USB drive.

I’m a man of habit, and I realize this method is simply a carryover from the days of DOS, and the Xcopy command. But, it’s effective and it has saved me hours of reconstruction work, more than once.

If you have the “Copy to folder” command in your Explorer right click context menu, then copying data to a specific folder on a non-system partition, or a USB drive, is a snap.



But, as with all things “Windows”, there’s a slightly better way. In this case, using TeraCopy – a small, free file copy utility which can pause and resume file transfers, and automatically overwrite or skip existing files. Better yet, TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer’s copy and move functions.

Installation is easy, and preference setup is checkbox simple – as the following screen captures indicate.


For this article, I ran a quick speed test which involved copying 19 files totaling just under 2 GB.  TeraCopy completed the task in 44 seconds, which included testing for accuracy in file copying.



On the other hand, it took Windows “Copy to folder” applet, 91 seconds to complete the same task – with no test to ensure accuracy.


Fast facts:

Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.

Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.

Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skip the file, not terminating the entire transfer.

Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.

Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.

Full Unicode support.

Windows 7 x64 support.

System requirements: Win 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7. Windows 7 x64 support.

Download at: Download.com

Note: Free for Home Users.

Copying critical data is a very simple way to guard against data loss, and TeraCopy can help you do that quickly, accurately, and with more options and control, than the normal “Copy to folder” applet. It’s worth investigating.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Backup Tools, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Replace Task Manger with Free System Explorer

Windows Task Manager falls far short of providing me with the information that I really need to monitor activity such as running tasks, processes, modules, system performance, open files, and particularly open Internet connections on my computer systems.

While there are a number of free tools available, that taken together, can provide information on any of the above, my preference has always been for an all-in one application that provides me with all the information.

Recently, I came across just such a free application; one that gives me all that I need, and more; all in a small package. System Explorer, not only monitors activity as described above but in addition, with a right menu click, provides online information including virus checking for any process, driver or service, from VirusTotal or Jotti.

(Click image for larger image)

Since I am by nature a security freak when it comes to system security on the Internet, System Explorer’s ability to provide me with details on file and process via online databases, and automatic security checking of processes, modules and selected files, is a real bonus.

If you are the type of computer user whose comfort level demands full knowledge of your system’s operations then this neat little program shouldn’t disappoint.

For those users’ who like to carry diagnostic programs on a USB flash drives a portable version is also available.

(Clck image for larger image)

Fast facts:

Detailed information on Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Add-ons, Uninstallers, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files

Easy check of suspicious files via VirusTotal or Jotti

Easy search details on file/process via online databases

Security Extension for automatic check on processes, modules and selected files

Action History for monitoring processes activities

Performance graphs for monitoring usage of system resources

System Snapshots to monitor system changes

System Report builds rich text report on system


Plugins Support

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista

System Explorer is free for both personal and commercial use.

Download at: FileForum

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Filed under Diagnostic Software, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Security Rating Applications, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Process Scanners, System Security, System Utilities, USB, Windows Tips and Tools