Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why You Need TeraCopy.

It's late, and you need to copy a bunch of files from one folder to another, one drive to another. Whatever the case, you select your folder, copy it (Ctrl-C is my favorite), then navigate to the destination and paste (Ctrl-V, here). 

Then begins the waiting game. 

Windows Explorer, in all its minimal uselessness

If you're copying thousands of files in thousands of folders, and the process stops somewhere along the way, you're stuck digging through all those files, all those nested folders, trying to find out where to resume.
Enter TeraCopy.

TeraCopy is without a doubt one of the best utilities I have ever used. It easily enables you to copy a large number of files and folders with the ability to verify whether the copy process completed successfully or not for each and every item in the list. Furthermore, it lets you retry any failed items individually or en masse.

TeraCopy can optionally show you the entire list of files as they're being copied.

Another feature I enjoy is that TeraCopy dynamically adjusts buffers while copying to speed up the copy process, making Windows Explorer crude in comparison. It even provides you with a live view of the data transfer speed in the title bar!

The thing I like most about TeraCopy, though, is that once installed it can completely replace Windows Explorer for all your file and folder copying needs. Given that I can copy and paste a huge number of files, and then be met, say, the next morning with a detailed report showing me details about any items that failed to copy, it really does help me sleep easier.

Wolfram Alpha on Sarah Palin

Almost a year ago, I managed to confound Wolfram Alpha with a long series of consecutive divide by zero calculations.

This time, in a process known colloquially as dicking around I found a way to confound Wolfram Alpha with a secret weapon. Sarah Palin.

"Computation timed out."

The input consists of an HTML hyperlink extracted from's product page for Sarah Palin's semenal work. I'm certain Wolfram Alpha wasn't intended to handle such input, but it's interesting nevertheless to see how it reacts when you throw something so absurd at it.

Wolfram Alpha also cheekily notes that the ISBN of "Going Rogue" is "an odd number." Indeed!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Use AdBlock Plus in Firefox to Block Wibiya Toolbar

I'm increasingly finding Wibiya with their annoying toolbar overlay appearing on sites I visit, complete with a bouncing alert message revealing to me that I can update my status on multiple social networks at once. Wow.

Note the pastel coloring, gee, guess what that reminded me of?

I Need To Jump Into The Nearest Volcano And DIE!

On the bright side, a double down arrow lives on the far right end of the overlay, past some Olympic hurdle-style links to the Wibiya RSS feed (useless), a Share link (useless), YouTube (redundant), Blogger (redundant), and a "Powered by Wibiya" link (I... could... care... LESS). On the dark side, clicking the double down, while it does hide most of the overlay, still leaves an irritating little tab.

A quick search revealed this post which describes using the Firefox add-on Adblock Plus to prevent the Wibiya overlay from appearing. The first suggestion in the post to add just "" to my AdBlock Plus configuration didn't hide the overlay for the site I was visiting, but a closer read at an update to the original post based on another visitor's comment revealed that adding the base Wibiya URL, "http://**", effectively blocks the Wibiya overlay, including the tab, from appearing.

I'm among those who finds absolutely useless the links to the various social networking sites which Wibiya's overlay provides. It's not so much that I'm antisocial, but see, I use tabbed browsing, I can just keep whatever site huddled among my tabs and not clutter a specific page I'm trying to read with a toolbar-like overlay.

Even if the bouncy, bubbly cartoon bubble vanishes after my first visit, the rest is quite useless. To me, it's a mystery why anyone thinks this would be a popular, let alone useful way to interface with social networking. I can understand finding a given blog post or other site interesting enough to want to share on Facebook or Twitter, I grant them that, but why not use a much less obtrusive, static button for those respective services?

Anyway, kudos to Firefox and AdBlock Plus yet again for providing an easy, flexible means to disable annoying Wibiya tools which, to me, are as useful as bicycle to a fish.