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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.
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.
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!