size matters

HD - the snapshotEver had that bloated feeling? Bloat – it even sounds unpleasant. As a farm kid I remember Spring and the start of the bloat season and my parents would talk about how the herd would be managed to avoid our cows falling with the condition. Essentially what happens is the cows, tired of eating hay through the winter, gorge on the lank, wet, Spring growth. Too much liquid, not enough fibre. The results are unpleasant at best, fatal at the (likely) worst. And you thought YOU had problems with gas.

Late last week I was speaking to learning of educators (what is the collective noun for educators?) and I mentioned the joys of PortableApps – portable applications. I cruised off to check out what new applications were available, or, more to the point, how my life has changed that ‘new’ applications are suddenly useful and/or interesting. I found WinDirStat – the disk usage analyser/cleanup tool. Available. For free. Liking that a lot.

Generally I’m not all that crash hot on a list of files and stats, but I can read pictures very well. Above is a ‘before’ snapshot of my hard drive, even as I write this. It won’t be like that for much longer, as the big red, blue, and green squares will be backed-up and removed shortly. They’re video files. Stuff I’d been working on, and simply forgot to remove. Gigabytes of space tied up. And here was I thinking it was the photos that were the space hogs on my laptop. The photos do take up space – they’re the turquoise mosaics half way down on the left hand side. The great thing about the software is I would’ve spent a lot of time sorting the photos, whereas the real issues – the videos – I’d forgotten about and simple would’ve ignored.

Right. Off to do some spring cleaning, hopefully the results will smell rather less than a cow with bloat…
HD-L8R…later that same day, the ‘after’ snapshot. I’ve dealt to the larger video files (I had no idea there were so many), and generally done a major tidy up, but no defrag as yet. The two turquoise rectangles (bottom left) are the pagefile.sys files – the swap space/virtual memory – in the above (the before) picture the same files show in the bottom right hand corner in, er, buttock pink. The peas and carrots in the top left are the Adobe Premier files – video samples, working files etc. The gold zone on the right hand side are the photos and video files of the family. My hard drive has gone from 6gb free space to 40gb free space. Hmmm, about enough space to edit video…

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