Spring clean

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Smileyguy, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    #1
    Well it's not quite spring yet, but my G5 PowerMac is need of a clean-up. It's acting quite sluggish, and it's my own fault really - I've downloaded an unbelievable amount of crap over the last couple of years, dumped most of it on my desktop, and have no decent folder structure whatsoever. I know magazines run features on these kinds of things all the time, but I'm just wondering if anyone here could perhaps point me in the direction of some online tips/advice, perhaps an old thread here, or even offer some advice here...

    Thanks. ;)
     
  2. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #2
    I'm sorry ... what kinds of tips are you looking for? Help creating folder structures?

    Specify your question and we'll try to help!
     
  3. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #3
    im a newb at macs.. but my .02 would be (comming from windows) is to back up and reformat.. but everyone here is really anti-reformating.. not sure because it s bad for the mac or because it can be a hassle.. but that would be my suggestion.. n than obviously put things back in some order..than create a folder like ETC, and dump all your downloads in there..so than at the end of the day/week/month, if you want to you can organize it, trash it..do w.e. u want, but its not in random places... :)
     
  4. Megatron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #4
    How could reformating / reinstalling be "bad" for a mac? Or any other computer? Doesn't seem like it would be bad at all.
     
  5. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
  6. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    #6
    Tips on creating a folder structure would be great. Obviously stuff like documents are fairly simple to categorise, but it can become more difficult - for example, when I download items, should I just download them straight to the desktop, or perhaps create a 'temp' folder there?

    Also, apart from manually going through everything and deleting files I don't need, what I else can I do to clean up? Any ways I can improve speed and performance? Any ways to get rid of 'hidden' files that aren't in the obvious places?

    Any bits of freeware / shareware that would help in doing this?

    Thanks...

    BTW, I'm using OSX 10.3.9
     
  7. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    Well I save all my downloaded crap into the 'drop box' (/users/USERNAME/public/drop box) and a drop an icon to it in the dock. I have also set up some smart folders for the drop box so I can easily find stuff. e.g. a smart folder that looks up all the pdf docs in the drop box. You could also create sub folder in the drop box - one for programs, pdfs, docs, etc...

    Spending some time setting up a decent (but not too large with too many sub folders) is always a good idea. It will save u time hunting around for stuff. For example in my documents I have the following folders - 'university' (self explanatory - with sub folders for each subject), 'employment' (ditto - my work folder), 'ebay' (for pictures of stuff I have sold), 'junk' (in here I have sub folders like mac stuff, art, coffee, product manuals, invoices) 'miscellaneous mp3s' (mp3s that I dont want in my iTunes because they are unorganised and have bad IDE tags). I recommend spending some time organising a filing system that works for you - and stick to it! If u don't it will be mahem!

    Rather than just dumping stuff on the desktop, make sure you spend that extra 2 seconds by putting the file in the correct folder. It saves u more time in the long run. Time is money!
    You might want to download a maintenance prog like Onyx - availabe free at www.versiontracker.com

    Does OS X generate many hidden or tmp files?
     

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  8. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    #8
    One of the biggest problems I'm having is that my mac doesn't seem to want to allow me to create the foloder structure I want. For example, when I open 'Macintosh HD', I have to go into 'users' and then 'admin' before I arrive at my documents. Why is it set up like this? Also, I changed the name of the 'admin' folder to 'Adam' (my name), but when I restarted it had reverted back to 'admin', creating a separate user called 'Lenny' with all my stuff in it.

    Anyone else find the natural folder system of Mac OSX a little awkward?
     
  9. croshtique macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #9
    I make sure that all new finder windows show my 'home' folder (through Finder > Preferences > General); that way whenever I make a new window (through cmd-N) or click on the Finder icon in the dock all my stuff is readily accessible.
     
  10. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    Thats weird? So when you click Machintosh HD or Finder you dont get a finder window like mine (where u just click 'Documents' on the left)?

    Definately No! Much much better than that Windows OS.
     

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  11. croshtique macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #11
    Obviously when I double-click on Macintosh HD I get that folder; but clicking on the Finder dock icon gives me my home folder (with sidebar as well)
     
  12. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    #12
    Thanks for all the advice guys. One question - why isn't 'Applications' in my home folder? Wouldn't it make more sense for it be here? Why can't I just drag it here without it having to copy all the files over, as if its another disk?
     
  13. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #13
    It's not bad, just unnecessary and a hassle. Unless you have a hard drive crash, you should never have to reinstall. There is almost always a way to fix any problem without a reinstall.
     
  14. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #14
    Unless of course you make the mistake of calling apple support. You then will have to reformat on EVERY call!!

    Therese(from my recent expereince! - not a joke)
     
  15. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    Well, the idea of having a 'Home' folder is that your Home folder contains the files that only you would normally be accessing (e.g. documents, photos, music, settings for how you want particular apps to behave) and that the folders that branch from root (Macintosh HD), such as Applications, Library, System, etc. contains the files that need to be accessible by any user. So it makes no sense to move the Applications folder into your Home folder.

    This arrangement is part of the Unix heritage of OS X -- everything is based around the idea that the computer should be set up to allow multiple users, each of whom may need different kinds of privileges (i.e. normal user will only need to run applications and access his/her own documents, whereas a system administrator will need to modify application and system files and such).
     
  16. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    #16
    Ah ha, but I am the only person who uses my G5. It's no big deal really, just a little irksome...
     
  17. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #17
    Actually, some people recommend creating an Applications folder in your Home folder so that you can test applications privately (i.e. only accessible by yourself) and then promoting them to the "real" Applications folder when you that they are "a keeper". I believe that this is supposed to be more secure due to the limit rights that Applications folder in your Home folder has when compared to the god-like rights the "real" Applications folder has. Please note that some applications require that they are installed in the "real" Applications folder in order to work properly.

    As already noted, the structure of the files on the disk are a throw-back to the UNIX roots of OS X but is pretty standard for any multi-user operating system and I would not recommend attempting to mess with it. You can, I believe, change the Short Name of your user account through a hack but, as with most hacks, you may be asking for trouble. It may be simpler to either re-install OS X and specify a name that you'd prefer during the system setup process of the installer, or create a new Admin account with a name that you prefer and move all your documents to the new account followed by deleting the old one.
     
  18. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816

    MacDonaldsd

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    London , UK
    #18
    Feel so stupid

    Had my mac for 2 years and I didnt know you can put a folder in the dock and drop file into it :eek:

    I like the idea of smart folders for downloads, but can you get the to move the files to the smart folder or another folder if that makes sence. Its all well and good the smart folders organising the files but the original files will still be all over the place.
     
  19. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #19
    Yeah I agree. THe smart folders themselves don't actually hold anything. They are just like a 'saved search.' It would be great if you could get OS X to automatically move certain files into certain folders. i.e. anything in smart folder 'pdf' gets put into a 'pdf' folder in the drop box. I don't know if you can do that. Maybe in automator or at the command line?!?!

    Anyway use the smart folders to help you organise your stuff. ;)
     

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