space

The power curve

Besides being a software developer and photographer, I take a deep interest in spaceflight and love reading about the history and development of air- and spacecraft, with a special focus on early space program development.

A few books I've read in the past couple years have gone beyond being interesting just for their historic content—they gave me a lot of ideas to reflect on in relation to my approach to software development, especially what I'd term 'professional' software development (vs. hacking something together for fun, or churning out brochureware sites or cookie-cutter apps).

One book in particular, Failure is Not an Option (by Gene Kranz, director of Mission Control during NASA's early days into the Apollo era), illustrates high-performing teams operating well under pressure and with high stakes.

Running Vagrant + VirtualBox from an External Drive

I have a MacBook Air with a 128 GB SSD, so I'm always in a bit of a crunch for space on my hard drive. Developing with local VMs provisioned by Vagrant and VirtualBox makes my Drupal (and other) development experience great, but it also quickly fills up the (tiny amount of) remaining space on my SSD!

Here's how you can move your Vagrant files and VirtualBox VMs out of your home folder onto an external hard drive:

Save space by removing Photo Stream photos from your Mac

2016 Update: If you use iCloud Photo Library, there's really no need for Photo Stream anymore except for niche use cases. I'd recommend disabling Photo Stream entirely if you use iCloud Photo Library.

iCloud's handy Photo Stream feature is very convenient for getting the photos you've taken to and from all your devices—Mac, iPad, and iPhone. However, if you use an app like DaisyDisk to find large directories on your Mac, you may notice a very large folder inside iLifeAssetManagement (specifically, in Users/[yourname]/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub).

You can safely remove this folder by doing the following:

  1. Open System Preferences and go to the iCloud settings.
  2. Uncheck 'Photo Stream' (this will turn off automatic syncing back to your Mac.

Now, you should get (in most cases) a few GB of space back on your computer. Note that you can still access all the Photo Stream photos you've previously imported into Aperture and iPhoto libraries.

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