Cleaning up my computer (Mac)

One of the problems with how well integrated and how smooth moving from an old, tired Mac to a new machine is that a lot of old cruft gets carried along. For the most part, since you typically upgrade to a faster, with more memory system, it isn’t a big deal to carry a lot of baggage.
Additionally, it is really easy to migrate and bring all your old programs, data and other items to the new system. The net result is that after 2 or 3 upgrade cycles, you have built up a lot of cruft on your system. While I don’t advocate deleting data, and I consider all my photos to be must haves, if you are like me, you probably have installed many programs on a whim to try out, but never used them after installing them. This is a good time to clean that up.
The motivation is simple, in a week or so, my new MacBook Air will arrive, and with it a 256G SSD on board. My current MacBook Pro has a 240G boot SSD, and a whopping 750G spinning disk where the data files are stored. There is about 400G of stuff on that drive, and that isn’t including my video collection (another couple hundred gigs parked on my Drobo).
Clearly, some sacrifices must be made. I know that I am not going to be able to keep my iTunes library on the MBA. But, fortunately with iTunes match, and iCloud, I can stream my collection seamlessly. Besides, I have gone to using my Spotify premium account for most listening, something that will work well for my MBA.
Instead of moving my applications, I just decided to start from scratch. That way, I can install what is important to me, and by neglecting to re-install, I can keep my foot print to something reasonable.
I have gone to using Dropbox to sync and maintain all my “working” documents, so that they are available wherever I am at. My documents directory is going to be pretty bereft of files, but I view that as a good thing.
It is going to be a busy weekend, but I don’t mind. Tripping down memory lane, one file or program at a time.

My next computer (?)

I have long been a Mac fan.  Started back in 1988 when I bought a Mac SE with a 20 megabyte HD built in. I used the heck out of that before getting deeply engrossed in FPS games and building a string of PC clones.  I came back to the Mac fold in 2001, with an iBook, and have been there since.

His Steve-ness with the MacBook Air. But will it blend?
His Steve-ness with the MacBook Air. But will it blend?

Currently I have an aging 15″  MacBook pro.  It isn’t dying, but it is showing its age.  I did rejuvenate it with a SSD, and a second HD where the optical drive used to be. But I have been jonesing for something newer. My first encounter with a Retina MacBookPro was OK, but it wasn’t lust at first site (and a well equipped 15″ version with 16G ram, and 512G SSD is about $2,800 before buying the AppleCare extended warranty).  I looked at the 13″ version and it was ok, but not blow your socks off.

Then Apple decided to spam me for Father’s day on the new MacBook Air’s.  I guess they think my furkids should buy their daddy a MacBook Air. Suddenly the idea of a powerfull-enough, but light and long battery life machine was appealing. Yes, I would have to give up the huge HD storage (almost a TB between drives on my MBP) and a bit of speed, but I would be getting a real 10hr + battery, and a very small, light package.

I can see myself springing for a 13″ MBA, 256G SSD, and 8G ram.  Probably my next computer. And it is about 1/2 the price of the Retina MBP.  The current MBP will make a fine server and media streaming box.

My first encounter with a Retina MacBook Pro

The other night, after quaffing a couple fine Czech style pilsners at Gordon Birsch (highly recommended, I might add), I wandered the 100 or so feet to the Gilbert Apple Store.  I am usually cautious at an apple store, because sometimes reason evades me and I find myself whipping out my plastic to upgrade to a new computer.

I have studiously avoided getting up close and personal with a retina display MBP, simply because I figured I would “have to have one” and then I would be $2700 poorer (I would want the bigger SSD, and the 16G ram.) Having seen one, and played with it for a little while, I can say that they are really nice. Well put together, and very very snappy.  They had one on display wit the 16G ram and the 512G SSD, loaded out the way I would like.  Applications loaded almost instantly, and it was super responsive.  The Retina display was gorgeous, but not “must have”.  I loved the thin-ness and the lightness of it.  The fact that it has no optical drive is not a detriment (my current MBP has a SSD in the disk bay, and a 750G 7200RPM spinning rust disk where the DVD drive would be).

It was nice, and a fully loaded system would do me well, but alas, I don’t feel the burning need to replace my current MBP.  With the SSD + spinning disk, it has plenty of oomph, and it has been upgraded to 16G ram, so it works pretty nice.

So call it a strong case of the “likes” on the Retina MBP, but not a “gotta have it”. Of course I am talking about the 15″ version.  I just find the 13″ MBP’s to have too little screen real estate.

Phew, things to be thankful for…

Long time Mac user here.  One utility that I just can’t live without is Alsoft’s Disk Warrior.  I have Drive Genius and MacTools Pro, but neither one “just works” as well as Disk Warrior.

A month or so ago, my wife’s iMac was behaving wonky, so I grabbed my copy of DW and off we go.  When it is done, she dutifully removed it from her computer, put the boot DVD in the case and set it on her desk.

Later that afternoon, Tate, our “puppy-like” greyhound grabbed it and ate it.  Grrrr.  Thought I wouldhave to go groveling to Alsoft for a replacement.  But it turns out I used the down rev version, and my version 4.4 is still pristine.  Woo hoo!

Good thing too, because I need to clean up my disks on my Mac Book Pro.