I've been receiving messages that I don't have enough space on my computer for this and that. Most recently it had to do with optimized albums and syncing to my iPhone. Last it was about my startup disk.
Yeah, that's a pretty definitive indication. A modern rocketship MacBook Pro will quickly turn into a land tortoise when it doesn't have enough hard drive space to do the do. Common wisdom has been spread that the Mac needs about 10% of its hard drive to function properly.
Besides moving files over to my external drive or to the trash, is there something I can do to open up space?
There is a lovely utility called WhatSize that I have long used to discover what's taking up room on a drive. But since HDs have gotten so big, the culprits are no longer system-level items — 2 or 3 gigabytes in the GarageBand Audio Loops and WorldBook Encyclopedia data are now kind of small potatoes — and thus we're faced with delving into our user data and figuring out what we don't need constant access to.
So, we can use WhatSize or its more free cousin, Disk Inventory X, to find the 300-pound gorillas, usually our music and movies, and pull them off to an external hard drive. Or, in fact, to TWO external hard drives, because we have to remember that a digital file doesn't exist unless it exists in two places.
One can burn CDs or DVDs, but I find these cumbersome, time-intensive, untrustworthy, and hard to store. A second external hard drive is the way to go.