Review: StuffIt Deluxe 9.0

It does its job so well, you forget it's there. (March 30th, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: Allume Systems, Inc.

Price: MSRP $79.99 US

The Good

  • The new compression format makes smaller archives than other formats. Features like StuffIt Express and the Archive Assistant are time savers. A big speed boost, approximately forty percent, between version 8 and 9 will make many users very happy.

The Bad

  • If you use Jaguar you are out of luck, StuffIt Deluxe 9 only works in Panther. There many ways to use the program, but some of the features are only available from standalone mini programs. It can be confusing finding the tool you want.

Compression and decompression programs perform their functions so well that they are taken for granted and the technologies are under appreciated. Compressed files save space on crowded hard disks, conserve network bandwidth, plus make transferring files across the Internet and email easier.

StuffIt Deluxe is the gold standard in Macintosh compression software. It is a suite of programs that offer a flexible set of features. Although StuffIt Deluxe 9 offers a number of new features, this release also includes welcome refinement to existing features. Among the new and improved features are a new compression format called .sitx; Archive Via Rename; Archive Assistant; and StuffIt Express. It now also takes advantage of multiprocessors.

These improvements allow you to add 512 bit encryption (with .sitx), protection against archive corruption, and better compression. Former limitations, a maximum archive size of 4GB, are no more. You can even archive, or decompress, a file just by adding a suffix (.zip, .sit, or .sitx) to the end of the file's name. This frees you from even having to open the application!

New Features

Two of the features are actually stand alone applications. The first is StuffIt Archive Assistant, a back up program, complete with logging features. It allows you to choose any file or folder located on your computer, or a drive mounted on your desktop. You can schedule backups, burn to disk (including segmenting archives), or upload to a network or ftp server. The second is StuffIt Express, which lets you create custom drag and drop applications that automatically perform operations. Operations include compression, upload via FTP, and email compressed files. The ability to create standalone drag and drop applications has also been added.

If you use Jaguar, you are out of luck. StuffIt Deluxe 9 only works in Panther. The good news is that StuffIt Expander version 7 and above will open the new sitx format and StuffIt Expander is still free. Older versions of StuffIt are also available for Mac OS prior to OS X 10.3.

Conclusion

Even with our large hard drives, we have many ways to fill them to overflowing. Most of us enjoy the ease and convenience of digital photography, video, and audio, but all of that digital multimedia takes up lots of space. That's when you'll really appreciate StuffIt Deluxe. It's efficient, easy to use, and does its job well. It's so well integrated into the Mac experience that after you install it you might forget its not built into the system. It's that good.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Monte Ferguson


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