If you've never replaced the hard drive in an iBook, look up the instructions online.
It is decidedly non-trivial. Creating aliases is easy. Select all, then drag into the other folder holding command and option. However they don't work with unix scripts, updaters and installers can use scripts to set files and folders up correctly. Symbolic links are a better option if you expect to be needing to run updates on the linked files etc, just don't move them around.
Moving all your applications to regain disk space is inefficient and usually unnecessary. Why not uninstall infrequently used applications, move older documents, or archive the iTunes songs you never play? Another approach for regaining disk space is to remove the unneeded parts of universal binary applications and to remove the unneeded language and localization files. Numerous utlities can safely "slim" applications.
I don't think you can say it's unnecessary or inefficient unless you know the workflow in use here.
When you see someone fumbling around potentially causing future problems for themselves, I think it's perfectly fine to tell someone to stop it. My advice?
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- How to Create a Soft link to a Directory in Linux/Mac OS X? — Python, R, and Linux Tips.
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Buy a bigger disk. There's really no excuse at today's prices. Heck, buy two and an external case and get a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner and donate while you're at it. Throw money and hardware at the problem. It'll save you headaches later on. I keep folders of apps elsewhere because I like them organized by purpose. For example, I have all my font apps in one folder, etc. The reason for not doing this in the Applications folder is because that folder is already cluttered.
I install in default locations, because often I'm sure you've found Applications are so poorly written they don't work if they live anywhere else.
Creating Symbolic Links
But like you, I like things grouped by purpose. I have a Fonts folder for font-manipulation programs. I have one called Graphics, another called Browsers, then Music and Movie. It's the "Gmail" approach to applications. Tag, don't file. I've never had an app not work because I've installed it somewhere other than the default Applications folder. After the.
But remember, doing all this mechanical work is going to save you lots of time in the long run. Now go onto your other Mac, your laptop for instance, in which you want to sync with the Typinator or TextExpander file in your Dropbox account. Download the Create Symbolic action to that Mac and install it in Automator in the same way you did above.
The reason is that you want to replace that folder with the one in your Dropbox. Now do the exact same setup in Automator that you did above.
How to make a symbolic link folder that acts as a normal folder
Returning to the accounting folder example, you may have an application that you use to track stock market picks, and the app needs to store its data files in some predefined folder. Instead of copying the accounting folder to a second location and worrying about keeping the two folders in sync, you can create an alias or a symbolic link, so that the stock trading app sees the data in its dedicated folder but accesses the data that's stored in your accounting folder.
All three types of shortcuts are methods of accessing an object in your Mac's file system from other than its original location. Each type of shortcut has unique features that are better suited for some uses than others. The alias is the oldest shortcut for the Mac; its roots go all the way back to System 7. It is also the most popular. Most Mac users know how to create aliases and how to use them. Aliases are created and managed at the Finder level, which means that if you're using Terminal or a non-Mac application, such as many UNIX apps and utilities, an alias won't work. OS X sees aliases as small data files, which they are, but it doesn't know how to interpret the information they contain.
This may seem to be a drawback, but aliases are the most powerful of the three types of shortcuts.
Symbolic link - Wikipedia
For Mac users and apps, aliases are also the most versatile of the shortcuts. When you create an alias for an object, the system creates a small data file that includes the current path to the object, as well as the object's inode name. Each object's inode name is a long string of numbers, independent of the name you give the object, and guaranteed to be unique to any volume or drive your Mac uses. After you create an alias file, you can move it to any location in your Mac's file system, and it still points back to the original object.
You can move the alias about as many times as you like, and it still connects to the original object. That's clever, but aliases take the concept a step further.
What Are Symbolic Links?
In addition to moving the alias, you can also move the original item anywhere in your Mac's file system. The alias is still able to find the file. Aliases can perform this seemingly magic trick because they contain the inode name of the original item. Because each item's inode name is unique, the system can always find the original file, no matter where you put it.