Unbloating my Macbook Air

I got a Macbook Air a few months back. I have a herniated disc in my neck, and needed a laptop I could both carry to work every day and do development on without further destroying my sad spine. While the Asus EEE line is adorable, they’re a little underpowered for doing real work on, and frankly, the Apple Tax is still cheaper than spine surgery.

Anyway, while the 64 mb drive was twice the size of the 32 drive in my EEE that I never filled, I recently started getting warnings that my drive was full (< 1 gig of space… remember when that was huge?). So I took some time this morning to answer the question: Where the hell did all my space go?

Dropbox, though it has saved me from countless headaches, was unsurprisingly a huge culprit. Giant raw video files for projects were chucked in there on beefier systems, and then the little macbook air cried as it tried to figure out what to do with 24 takes of Katherine and I attempting a mid-air high-five.

Mercifully, Dropbox now has a feature called “selective sync” which allows you to choose which folders are downloaded. You can further tailor things in the advanced settings, cherry picking subfolders to sync. By unchecking a few bloaty files I don’t need on the road, I freed up about a gig of space.

Starcraft II. This is probably an obvious one. I figured SCII was taking up a few gig, but upon inspection it was more like 10. I removed it for the time being, and will reinstall it later on my adorable external hard drive.

Extra Languages. I like to pretend I’ll someday learn another language, but by the time I do we’ll probably all be traveling by hovercraft. I used Monolingual to remove the languages I don’t need, freeing up 1.5 gig.

Now I’m back up to 13 gigs free, hooray! There are some more drastic measures I could do, like uninstalling printer drivers I don’t think I’ll need, or removing applications like Garage Band (which takes up a gig), but for now this is enough space.

1 thought on “Unbloating my Macbook Air”

  1. I setup my Ubuntu box to dual boot to Windows 7 just so I could run Starcraft II. I gave it a 5GB disk for Winders. Came up fine, Starcraft 2 would not install. Repartitioned to have 10GB for Windows. Again no Starcraft. Ended up giving up 30GB of my Linux disk to allow Windows and Startcraft II to load happily.

    I wonder how much of the Starcraft bloat is due to the cut-scene videos

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