Well an expensive solution for a knock around machine.
Have you read about a SSD being a very different animal than a HDD?
If you insist in having a SSD, you can "accomodate" it's being different with some changes in the OS, with the help of Terminal. But be aware that after each update you have to do that again.
First: Stop Spotlight at all: use Onyx for that. Use another search App, like Easyfind or FindAnyFile (even better than Spotlight.
Second: set the SMS to off:
sudo pmset -a sms 0
Third: set the hibernatemode off:
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage
Fourth: open SystemPreferences/Energy saver: slide the "computer sleep" to "never".
Fifth: do not run apps like DiskSpeedTest.
And I say nothing about setting the Trim command: a very sensitive thing to do (it changes a .kext file and that is very often disastrous).
i am well aware of the differences in an HDD and an SSD, thanks! i should clarify a bit: it was a 64GB SSD which i bought online for about $80, so not very expensive. by "knockaround machine" i meant one that i am more comfortable traveling with and carrying around than my "good" MBP which has my aperture library, etc. i also occasionally DJ weddings and for whatever reason, drunk idiots love to hold their drinks right over the computer when they're making a request, so i was going to use the old machine for that, too!
as for all of the Terminal setting hoops that i'll need to jump through with every update, i think you're both right. skip the SSD in the MBP and drop a traditional HDD in there.
thanks for the great information!