Are You a Polyglot?

For those that don't know the meaning of that term (I had to look it up myself), it means a person that can speak, write, and understand a number of different languages.

In my last post I talked about how to trim your hard drive down by going after some of the big files... Well it turns out that there's another way to free up a ton of space but this is done by going after a bunch of small files - that in the end add up to a lot of space.

You see, the Mac comes with a mechanism meant to support a butt load of languages. While none of these files are all that big in size (usually 8 - 64KB), there are an unbelievable number of them on your machine. Each application has these as well as all your system files.

To give you some idea of how much these add up to, I did a purge yesterday and from my system files, I recovered 380.2 MB of space. From the Application files, I recovered 361.5 MB - a grand total of 741.7MB of space. This is unreal. And the application I used to strip this stuff out doesn't touch any of the Adobe or Microsoft products. I can only image how much I would have saved if these would have been included as well.

What did I use? A great donation-ware product called iCleanLanguage. You can download it from Versiontracker and I suggest you give it a try. What I really like about this product over all other language purging products is that there is a 'Dry Run' mode. You can let it run in this mode and it will report what it finds but does not delete anything. This gives you a good idea of how much space you can reclaim without doing any harm. If you want to preserve some languages in any or all sources, you can specify this in an EXCLUDE dialog box. Then when you run this again in a 'Live' mode, it will delete all the files it finds Except for those you specify.

If you use this program, please be sure to send the developer a donation.

One again though, I want to EMPHASIZE the need to have a backup in place before you delete anything. Never, Ever delete a file without having a backup just in case you might need to restore it.

Spring Cleaning Your Mac

Call it what you will, but Spring Cleaning is just as important on your Mac as it is in real life. From cleaning out old files to organizing music/movies/TV shows that you threw into iTunes over the past few months, spring cleaning is a necessary task.

While we tend to accumulate a lot of small files, the biggest bang for the buck is going after the big ones. One way to find large files that might be eating up space on your Mac is with a smart folder. It's easy to set one up right from the Finder. To create a smart folder that will find large files on your hard drive, simply follow these directions:

Open a new Finder window and select File > Find...

Then click the button just right of the 'Save' button. This is the 'Plus (+)' button.

In the resulting window, select "Other" from the first drop-down menu (the default selection is "Kind), and search for the key word "size." If you wish this item to remain in the menu, select the "In menu" check box. Select the OK button once you select the "Size" item.

Select "is greater than" from the next drop-down menu.

Type in the size that you would like to search for files. I would suggest searching using 1 or 2 GB, but you can use any size you wish.
Finder will immediately begin searching your Mac for any files that match the criteria we just specified. When you are ready to save your smart folder, select the "Save" button from the top right of the Finder window. You will then be asked to specify a save name and location. Now whenever you want to look for large files that might be hogging space on your system, just open this smart folder, and let the search begin!

One Word of Caution...
Do not delete any files until you've made a backup. If you're using Time Machine you should be safe but never delete a file without having a backup just in case you might need to restore it.