After the SSD: Re-evaluating my Apps

It’s been exactly one week since I installed an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro solid state drive (SSD) into my early 2008 model Macbook Pro. As I noted in an earlier blog post, I’ve been extremely pleased (no pun intended) with the added performance of the OWC SSD. It’s made my Macbook Pro feel like a brand new machine.

In the three years that I’ve used my Macbook Pro, I never once reformatted the drive. Installing the new SSD not only gave my MBP a kick in the pants, but it also created the opportunity to start from scratch with a clean install.

My old drive, a 250GB Hitachi 5400 RPM drive, was half-full, with apps and data carried over from 2006. With the new SSD at 115GB, I had to make some careful decisions on the data and apps I really needed.

The original hard drive from the Macbook Pro was placed into a USB bus-powered OWC hard drive enclosure to act as the tertiary back-up, just in case. (Aside: the OWC hard drive enclosure was a breeze to work with: Snap the drive into place and affix the included screw to secure the top of the case to the bottom.)

the old 5400RPM drive is safely housed inside its new case.

My criterion was simple:

Any applications that were rarely or never used in the last 6 months would be eliminated. Furthermore, any data that was not touched within the past 6 months would be archived off onto two external back-up drives.

All application installs would be “fresh”, in that I’d re-download the latest version from the web or install apps from disc, versus extracting the apps from an older back-up. (If you’re going to do a clean install, you might as well do it correctly, right?)

The old hard drive contained 115 GB of application and data content. With the fresh install on the solid state drive, I was able to whittle the used space to roughly 43GB. leaving an ample 73 GB left over.

Here are the applications I installed on the MBP:

Apps installed on my Macbook Pro

Apps installed on my Macbook Pro

Apps installed on my Macbook Pro

The apps that I use most frequently in my day-to-day workflow are the Adobe Suite, followed by Wunderlist, Easy Grade Pro, Coda, MarsEdit and Google Chrome.

Apps that did not make the cut fell into the “nice, but not needed category”, like Candybar, AppFresh, smcFanControl, miscellaneous sound mixing programs and NetNewsWire.

To further trim down space utilization, I used Monolingual to eliminate the unused language resources from Mac OS X, saving me an extra 2GB in the process.

Given that I’m being much more conservative with drive space now, I resisted the temptation to bring over any music files or data files older than 2010. I also greatly pared the number of fonts on my system to a more manageable amount.

While setting up the MBP, I simplified my Finder window sidebar to include only those folders I access on a regular basis. No more deeply nested folders, either.

In short, order and organization have been restored on my MBP. My Macbook Pro is fast, lean, optimized and well organized. Who needs a new machine?


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