Desktop Snapshot 11-27-10 (with some notes)

desktop snapshot 11-27-2010

(Click to enlarge)

My desktop is very minimal by choice. With the move to a solid state drive, I’ve re-evaluated how I manage my applications and data – breaking long standing habits I’ve had since I’ve first owned a Macintosh.

First and foremost, I want to give credit where credit is due. The Mac Performance Guide was absolutely influential on my system overhaul. There’s a wealth of great information on that site that will really help you set up the most effective Mac system out of the box. I find myself going back to this site on an almost weekly basis.

The sections on Optimizing Photoshop Performance are gold, and should not be missed. (And for Photoshop customizations and workflow optimizations, be sure to check out my portfolio blog.)

My 40GB SSD is populated with the operating system and all the applications I use, leaving me with almost 13GB of space free. I call this drive “Boot”, using the methodology outlined in the Boot Drive dogma section of the MPG.

My data files are stored on a separate 7200 RPM SATA drive (called Optimus). Before acquiring the SSD drive, I loaded “Optimus” with the OS, Apps and data. I haven’t removed anything from this drive – it’s my emergency boot drive in case I need it. Applications which typically try to use the main drive for storing its data (like Mail.app for instance) have been redirected to “Optimus” instead of “Boot” – trimming any additional “fat” that would result from storing the data on my SSD.

On the “Bootcamp” drive is my Windows 7 partition. I find myself using Windows 7 very rarely these days – but it is nice to have around when I need it.

“Time Machine”, as the name implies, backs up all the data on “Optimus”. To prevent the Time Machine drive from filling up prematurely, I’ve tweaked Time Machine’s Exclude settings to ignore the Boot Drive, Applications, and other tertiary drives on my system.

Lastly, I have a 750GB drive with 2 partitions. First is a bootable backup partition called “Boot Backup” which is roughly 5GB larger than my SSD drive. Next is “Optimus Backup” which handles a full-copy of “Optimus”. I use Shirt Pocket Software’s SuperDuper to clone both “Boot” and “Optimus” partitions to their respective destinations.

In addition to local back-ups, I also maintain offsite back-ups with a company called BackBlaze. I’ve been very pleased with them so far.

So, there you have it – my new set-up. If you have an SSD in your computer, how do you manage your applications and data? Sound off in the comments below!

-Krishna

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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.

  • Serondrych

    Great desktop, mine is similar, only hard drive icons (no files) and the Dock is almost empty (except some helpful stacked folders)
    Love the Mini Cooper icon, were could I get it? if there’s any chance.
    Cheers!

  • Serondrych

    Hi Krishna, that’s right, I think that a clean desktop is a happy desktop (and user).

    Thanks for the icon, looks great beside my DeLorean TM ;)
    http://austin123.deviantart.com/art/D-lorean-58789202

  • Ahit

    Thats a very good backup setup. :)