Papercut: The Simple Desktop Email Receiver

Need to test out how your site or application’s mail feature works and how the message will look like? Want to avoid consuming your hours in waiting for your test e-mails to arrive in your inbox? Looking for an easy way to setup mail server to prove if you’ve used the right codes in sending out e-mails but do not want to spend more? Have no fear, Papercut is here!

papercut

Papercut is a “simplified SMTP server” which can be used to receive mails. Setting up is easy and absolutely free, all you have to do is follow these steps:

1. Go to http://papercut.codeplex.com .

2. On the Home tab, click on the Download button (this will download a zip file).

3. Once download is complete, extract the file on your computer, click on Papercut.exe and violà! it is now ready to use. You no longer have to worry for test e-mails going to spam folders.

You can minimize its window and let it continuously run on your computer to keep it active. Once you send an e-mail, you will receive it on Papercut right away and a notification message will pop out on your system tray. It also has a GUI where you can view the mail that you’ve sent  (there are four kinds of view: Default, Raw View, Body View and HTML View).

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantage of Papercut from a review made by Mark S. Rasmussen (this was in comparison with smtpdev4, another SMTP server from Codeplex).

Advantages:

  • Xcopy deployment – downloading the file and setting it up is easy, no need for installation.
  • Simple – it is used solely to verify test e-mails and has no additional features that is why loading is faster.
  • FORWARD button is available.

Disadvantage:

  • No DELETE ALL button – you need to delete mails one by one.

Automated Rsync Backup

Here’s how to setup an automated backup process using Rsync.

1. Test rysnc using a password. Here we will be copying files from /src-dir to /dest-dir on username@home.

 > rsync -rvz -e 'ssh -p 22' --progress /src-dir username@host:/dest-dir

2. Now let’s automate Rsync. Create the public and private keys on the source machine.

 > ssh-keygen

3. Copy the public key to username’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file in the destination machine.

 > ssh-copy-id "username@host -p 22"

4. Test SSH using key authentication.

> ssh "username@host -p 22"

5. Test Rsync using key authentication.

 > rsync -rvz -e 'ssh -p 22' --progress /src-dir username@host:/dest-dir

6. Add Rsync to daily cron.

 > cd /etc/cron.daily/
> echo 'rsync -rz -e "ssh -p 22" /src-dir username@host:/dest-dir' >> rsync.cron
> chmod u+x rsync.cron

7. In case you want to use a password instead (not recommended), you can use sshpass.

 > rsync -rvz -e 'sshpass -p password ssh -l username -p 22' --progress /src-dir username@host:/dest-dir

Remote Desktop Options for Better Performance

Here are some quick changes you can make to Remote Desktop Connection options for better performance.

1. In the Display Tab, choose a lower color depth. The less colors, the better.

Remote Desktop Connection

2. In the Local Resources tab, unselect Printers. I find the Clipboard option useful, so I keep that checked. If you don’t need to copy paste between your local and remote PC, you can disable this as well.

Local Resources tab

3. Still on the Local Resources tab, click on Remote Audio Settings. In the Remote audio playback section, click on “Do not play”.

Remote Audio Settings

4. In the Experience tab, uncheck all options except for “Persistent bitmap caching”.

Experience tab

And here’s an extra tip. If you find the need to transfer files between the local and remote PCs, you can go to the Local Resources tab and click on “More …”. From there you can select the drive you wish to use during the remote session.

More tips