This weekend I spent several hours focusing on my G4. I work on the system every day, generally at night. However, it’s been several months since I last cleaned up old files and checked the general “health” of the system. Currently, I have two 160 GB drives installed (one drive is used to mirror/backup the other) and I noticed the availabled space had dropped to less than 90 GBs. Though I’m certainly not running short on storage space, I had consumed more space than I realized. I set out to reclaim as much free space as possible. The majority of “wasted” space is probably taken up by duplicate files and other files that I’ll need to manually sort through, but I decided to find and install utilities that would help me identify space that might be taken up by the system unnecessarily.
Disk Inventory X
Disk Inventory X is a handy open source utility that represents file sizes graphically. Instead of listing files by size (as Spotlight does) this program displays individual files as color coded blocks. A large block represents a larger file. By using this utility I was able to easily identify files that I did not need any more.
Warning: Since I posted this entry my father downloaded and ran Monolingual on two of his Intel Macs. It removed the Universal Binaries and hosed all of his applications. Also, I recommend not removing Universal Binaries from a PPC system if you ever plan to migrate your applications to an Intel Mac.
This utility can be used to strip out unused language files and universal binaries. It’s simple and effective. However, read the FAQ before using this program as you could cause major problems with your installation of OS X if the program is not configured properly (for example, you would not want to uninstall the English language pack if that’s your primary language).
Cache Out X
A utility for clearing OS X system and application caches that may be taking up unnecessary disk space. Note that in order to download Cache Out X you will need to register for the forums at the developer’s Web site.