Dec 19 2011

Reclaim Disk Space With Spacie

Recently I noticed that I had less than 3GB of free disk pace on my laptop. I have and take a lot of photos, in addition to that I download and install a lot of different development tools and IDEs. I also have a lot of music and listen to a lot of podcasts. In addition to all this, I am a digital hoarder and download and save any PDF or image that I find interesting.

When I discovered that I was running out of disk space I immediately started to look for “disk space” apps on the App Store. I found Spacie to be what the HD DR ordered. With Spacie I found that I had multiple version of NetBeans each taking close to 1GB. I had multiple versions of the Android SDK each taking close to 1GB. Spotify was caching over 2GB of data. I found that iPhoto and iTunes was taking the bulk of the space. I easily had 20GB in iPhoto and 40GB in iTunes. In iPhoto, I started to export and backup photo sets older than a year or two so that I could reclaim more space. In iTunes, I found that I had a hundreds of podcasts taking over 100MB each. I pushed these photo sets and podcasts to an external hard drive and reclaimed over 40GB of disk space. Spacie helped me to identify what files where taking the most space and I systematically addressed each folder as best I could.

Spacie

Spacie finds large files in your hard drive and helps reclaim disk space.

Spacie is available on the Apple App Store. It is currently priced at $1.99 and it’s well worth it since it saved me from having to upgrade to a new hard drive.


Oct 22 2010

Apple vs Andriod, History Repeating Itself

Philosopher George Santayana said that “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.” Steve jobs who lived through the Personal Computer Revolution is set to repeat Apple’s fortunes in the Smart Phone Revolution. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple took the lead in a novel mobile device segment, the Smart Phone. Prior to 2007, there had been a number of business class phones that at best emulated the desktop user experience in a hand held device but non had the traction to change the cell phone landscape. By 2007, the cell phone technology had dramatically changed that Steve Jobs was able to pack more computing power in an iPhone that ever before and he revolutionized the mobile user experience with touch screens. Apple later took another significant evolutionary step in what we consider a smart phone platform when the iPhone SDK was released to developers and the iTunes app store was made available to consumers. With years ahead it’s nearest cell phone competitor such as Nokia, Motorola, or Microsoft, and key patents under their name, and thousands of apps in their online app store, most pundits would have thought that Apple’s market share would in smart phones would be firmly cemented.

If the iPhone ecosystem were a country, it would probably be a little like China with a strong authoritative central government, some limited free enterprise, and tight censorship. Apple has a tendency to dictate what the customer wants, for example, the common Apple mouse still has one button while a typical windows will have on average 3 buttons and a mouse wheel. Apple has never been an open platform. Apple’s close platform has always been it’s Achille’s heal but also core to how Apple designs it’s products. With the release of the first Macintosh, the first commercially successful personal computer, Apple develop a technical and marketing lead to it’s rival computer makers. With the help of IBM, an open architecture was developed that over time was standardized to the de facto personal computer, this architecture developed over time to the modern desktop which might include a Intel chip, Microsoft Windows OS, and other off the shelf components. A closed platform will always little footing to compete with an open one, especially when hundreds of vendors provided alternatives to fit every possible need and price. Overtime Apple’s market share dwindled to single digits. But even with a very narrow market share, Apple has learned to be profitable, it knows it can charge a premium for beautifully designed products that simply work more often than they are infected with viruses or fatal crashes.

Even being an active participant of the Personal Computer Revolution, and having a front row seat as Apple’s close platform lost market share, Steve Jobs is using the same closed platform playbook with the iPhone and iPad product lines. This time, instead of IBM, Google is leading the charge with an open alternative to Apple’s iPhone. Google’s Android has been picked up by a large number of phone makers. There is a wide variety of Android phones in the market aimed a different consumers as opposed to the two models (iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4) of iPhone currently available from Apple. Google claims that at least 200,000 Android phones are activated a day. It is clear that history will repeat itself, and Android will eat Apple’s lunch, or at least take it’s market dominance. With market share comes developer’s mind share.

Apple has been previously before lit the fuse the set off a technological revolution. It first did it with the Macintosh which sparked the Personal Computer revolution and it has done it again with the iPhone with the smart phone industry. In both situations, Apple held a lead over it’s competitors but gave way because of it’s closed platform. In having a tight and stringent control over the iPhone, Steve Jobs has conceded market share to the Android platform.