I want to remove applications I do not use to speed up my package processing tasks like dist upgrades, regular updates, but also for saving disk space and other reasons. I know this is a complex topic so first I will ask my question and second I will give some answers I already found out.
How do I find out which package I did not used at all or for a long time? For example I always use the VLC so I could remove other players like Totem. Of course package dependencies could force me to have programs installed which I will never use.
Find the packages which consume much space via synaptic:
Select "Status" in lower left, select "Installed" in upper left, sort column on "size" in upper right. Then you can decide which big packages you really need.
ubuntu-tweak's Janitor for removing old kernel packages, old configs, apt-cache entries, etc.
Manually search for applications for a given task that you usually solve with your standard app. E.g. Movie player, Music player, Office program, Browser etc. (BTW: this is what I want to be helped with my question)
When removing packages I always favour "apt-get purge" over "aptitude remove --purge" as aptitude often will also remove essential packages due to package dependencies. E.g. when removing "evolution" (as I use thunderbird) aptitude wants to remove also "ubuntu-desktop" and 756 other packages as well, while apt-get just removes evolution and its helping pacakges like evolution-common.
Ubuntu lense gives me most recent used applications which are candidates for keeping :)
deborphanas I read in this related answer: How do I clean up my harddrive?
I should certainly keep essential packages: Keep only essential packages
This question is pretty much a duplicate of How to see what installed packages I have never used for cleaning purposes but covering only few aspects. However one answer suggests to use a program called unusedpkg but the link seems down.
There is also a program called Kleen http://code.google.com/p/kleen/ but it won't compile in 11.10. However I hacked it to compile but the results are unusable, as for example the g++ package was marked as not used for 203 days, but actually I used it seconds ago for compiling Kleen itself ;) So don't use this tool.
On http://wiki.debian.org/DebianPackageInformation I read the the package popularity-contest will produce log files with usage statistics. Unfortunately I didn't enabled the popularity contest so I can't find this log file.