Reclaiming my space

I’m the lousiest guy ever when it comes to managing my own machine. As much as I tend to be paranoid when it comes to servers, cleaning up every possible bit and caring for my beloved hard drives, I tend to leave some notable amount of cruft lying around on my personal stuff.

In my quest to speed up my powerbook I wondered why on earth I needed 72GB to store my digital life and eventually figured out that it was time for a cleanup. Despite some ruthless rm’ing around, though, I still wasn’t able to make much of a difference, freeing up just a few gigs which still didn’t account for the majority of allocated but MIA hard disk space.

Eventually, I found out that I had more than 12GB squatting my Library/Mail folder, with a lot of stuff used by a bunch of CachedMessages directories. Even for a power mail user like me 12GB looked weird until some googling around revealed this article which clearly showed how my upgrades and migrations left a lot of unnecessary cruft behind. A few find/rm afterwards I was able to reclaim a whopping 8GB, trimming my mailboxes to a still too high but overall understandeable 3.5GB.

With 15GB of free disk to spare I was a 5x factor happier than when I started, having earnt a total of 12GB in the process, but still I was somewhat unsatisfied. A nifty utility showed that I still had some work left, given that I still had two copies of previous systems lying around from upgrades, which accounted for 15 more GB overall. Having blasted that, I’m now much happier given my 30GB of free room for orphan bytes still floating in the cyberspace in their quest for a new home.

I’m still wondering, though, if I really need 45GB of data, no matter how digital my life can be: the obligatory trip down memory lane brings to mind friends making fun of me for a 120MB SCSI HDD I bought sometimes around 1990. It was about 3x the average size of consumer hard disks at that time, and I clearly recall them betting I wouldn’t have been able to fill it up no matter how hard I tried: interestingly enough as of today a RAID-0 array of five 120MB units would be just barely enough to host my current Inbox. Something’s wrong.