Monday, 4 October 2010

I think I know why my computer is slow

No usual canal-related post today: I need to clear some stuff from the hard drive of my Mac. Quite a lot of stuff, actually. Here's why:

Internal hard disk:

Capacity: 232.76 GB
Available: 740.98 MB

Yes, I have used up 99.7% of the storage!

Sitting next to the computer is an external hard disc drive onto which I need to transfer videos and photos. I've been reluctant to do this as I'm not a computer whizz, and I'm slightly worried that storing data on the external drive only - with no back-up - is risky. The trouble is that it takes a long time organising and labelling photos etc., and making back-up copies onto (say) CD takes even longer.

Until now it's been easy to find photos on iPhoto as the thumbnail view is as large as you want to make it, and it scrolls effortlessly. Putting the photos into folders on the external drive takes them away from iPhoto, and the thumbnail images are minute. But I'll have to do it, and then delete (aaargh) the files from iPhoto on the computer's built-in hard drive.

In two hours I have managed to free up 200 MB of space. That's a thousandth of what I need to clear. At this rate, working on it for 40 hours a week, it'll take a year to do it! I hope I speed up!

When I bought my camera I thought lots of megapixels was a good thing. Yes, if you don't mind your storage space filling up quickly. My photos take about 4.5 MB each and I now have over 10,000. Hmmm.

11 comments:

Sue said...

"lots of megapixels was a good thing"... but of course

You have a choice.. copy all/resize.. or get a bigger external drive!

I have around 20,000 pics uploaded on my webspace, the same..larger ones on my external hard drive, but they are very much smaller there than yours.

You take some excellent pics, and I am not surprised you want total pixels on them...

So get a bigger external hard drive?

Halfie said...

The problem, Sue, is that when I upload photos from my camera they go onto the computer's internal hard disc, and not onto the external one. I now have to transfer the photos from the internal drive to the external one. Perhaps in the future I can work out a way of forcing photos from my camera straight onto the external drive.

Thanks for the compliment!

Sue said...

Well Halfie, the camera after all is a storage device of sorts, what I do is connect up the usb hard drive and open the folder on the sd card from the camera and just drag and drop from card to external hard drive. Copy of course incase something goes wrong! (right click drag)

Halfie said...

Sue, the only thing is that I like the way iPhoto sucks in the photos from the camera and then deletes them from the SD card. It's also very easy to export and resize pictures from iPhoto. So I wouldn't want to bypass the iPhoto software.

VallyP said...

Hlafie, a photographer friend told me that he never uses best quality in his SLR, but always has them set on basic. Apparently, you cannot see the difference on a computer screen and it only counts when you want to make really large prints. He says his photo files average around 1.8 - 2.4 mb. If he wants to improve them (e.g increase saturation, sharpen etc), he does it in iPhoto or in photshop, so only selected photos end up being 4-5mb.

Just an idea.

VallyP said...

PS, not the friend in the photo by the way - he is not a professional, although very good, and also uses lower than best quality in camera! :)

Heth said...

Cloud computing Halfie, eg: Windows Live Skydrive, think it's either 10 or 20 gig free - I use it, would recommend it to anyone
:-)

H

Halfie said...

VallyP, yes, but if your photographer friend doesn't save his photos in their original file sizes he won't be able to return to a photo and enlarge it later.

Halfie said...

Heth, I might consider using Skydrive as backup, but not for the prime storage of my photos. Anyway, there's a whole terabyte of storage in my external drive, all I have to do is transfer the photos there. I have been saving them on CD as well, although that is taking a very long time!

VallyP said...

Halfie, just came back here to see your answer. Apparently, even at lower than 'best' quality, enlargements really are not a problem. There are so many pixels with modern cameras, it seems we hardly ever need to use them all, only for huge prints.

Halfie said...

Or if you want to zoom in to a portion of the original...