Earlier in the month, Apple announced that we can look forward to Mountain Lion’s release sometime in July. Well, July is coming upon us very quickly, so it’s time to get your Mac in tip-top condition.
As with anything we use often, our Macs get some wear and tear. Yes, your laptop might get some scuffs, but I’m talking about the crud that builds up on your hard drive. Old podcasts, apps you never use, and third party plug-ins that haven’t been touched since the Intel transition. That kind of gross ePlaque(?) is not what you want bogging down your machine. If you don’t use it, get rid of it.
If you’re not already backing up your machine regularly, this is your top priority. Go buy a Firewire 800 drive (Thunderbolt drives aren’t worth the price just yet, but it’s not far off), and plug it in. You can use Time Machine, and that will work perfectly fine. It’s built into OS X, and it is fairly hassle-free. The set-it-and-forget-it type. If you’re a bit more advanced, you could pick up a copy of SuperDuper!, and keep a bootable copy of your hard drive available at all times.
This is important. Once you have your local back up going, you’re going to need to work on a way to get your important files offsite. If your house gets burgled, hit by lightning, or torched by a forest fire, you don’t want your important data to be ruined. Get a service like Mozy or Carbonite for automatic backups. If you like to pick and choose what goes to the cloud, something like Dropbox is just fine.
Every once in a while, it pays off to boot from an install disk/drive/partition, and run Disk Utilities. Check and fix any rogue permissions, and make sure everything seems right. If things start acting strange, it might be time for a fresh install or a trip to the Genius Bar before Mountain Lion gets here.
With some simple maintenance, a strong multi-location back up plan, and a watchful eye, your computer will be in great shape when it comes time to upgrade to Mountain Lion.