Stuffit Deluxe 6.5.1
For Mac OS 9 & X
Company: Aladdin Systems, Inc.
It seems that just yesterday the task of upgrading to Mac OS X seemed too large, overwhelming, and out of reach. Thankfully, long time Macintosh developers have supported Apple’s new operating system with open arms, and one of those developers is Aladdin Systems and their largely popular industry standard compression utility, Stuffit Deluxe. Stuffit Deluxe has been carbonized to run native in Mac OS X since version 6.0, but the level of functionality that version 6.5 brings is well worth the upgrade. Stuffit Deluxe now joins the growing list of carbonized utilities that make life with Mac OS X easier, more fluid, and overall more comfortable.
Stuffit (.sit) has long been the standard for compression in the Mac OS, and unlike the rather messy carbonized release of 6.0, version 6.5 seems rock solid and stable. Moreover, version 6.5 takes large strides toward being completely on par with the OS 9 version. Magic Menu is now included in OS X, and resides in the top menu bar just as in OS 9. Functionality of Magic Menu is exactly the same as in OS 9, with an added bonus. A long time complaint of many Mac OS X users is that you cannot get info on multiple files and folders. Magic Menu allows you to do that, using the Get More Info command. Now that’s a bonus!
Contextual menu support has also returned to OS X, which makes working with Stuffit archives much easier. Unfortunately, the Stuffit Browser has not yet been fully implemented, but you can browse archives through the contextual menu, so you do not have to uncompress the entire archive. And just as in OS 9, you can always open the archive in the Stuffit Deluxe application itself.
In addition to the enhanced Finder integration, Stuffit Deluxe 6.5 includes a new application for both OS 9 and X dubbed Stuffit Express Personal Edition (PE). With Stuffit Express PE you can create customized droplet applications that automatically perform up to 26 steps such as compression and decompression, FTP operations, e-mail, and more. Version 6.5 also adds expanded support for Palm OS downloads and adds a new DropTar™ application for decompression of .tar UNIX compressed files.
Quirks and Quivers
Version 6.5 does not come without its OS X quirks, however. The Magic Menu is only available when the Finder is the front application, and it behaves poorly with other items up there. At times, I find it inadvertently overlapping the sound volume or AirPort control when it normally appears to the right of my QuicKeys icon. Also, sometimes after you pull it down once, it “disappears” and is indisposed until you click on the OS X desktop again to make it “reappear.”
For the quivers department is the sheer number of drag and drop applications included with 6.5. Though they are a great idea and many of them are very useful, you can access almost all of their features in the Magic Menu or within the Stuffit Deluxe application. Therefore, to the average user, they will go unnoticed, which severely negates their usefulness in the long run.
Stuffit Deluxe 6.5.1 requires a Power Macintosh with Mac OS 8.6 and higher, including Mac OS X. You should also have 6MB available RAM and 30 MB available hard disk space. You can purchase Stuffit Deluxe 6.5.1 direct from Aladdin, as well as from many mail order catalogs and online distribution sites. The full version costs $79.95, while the upgrade is only $19.95.
Stuffit Deluxe 6.5 for Mac OS X is certainly a large advancement and a welcome addition to the growing list of utilities that run natively in OS X. Though its predecessor was carbonized, the addition of the Magic Menu in OS X’s Finder makes the transition much more complete. Moreover, the ability to create customized droplet applications is a neat new feature that will certainly speed up repetitive tasks.
Though I am disappointed that the Stuffit Browser–perhaps the single most useful feature of the classic version, has not been included in the OS X version. But the 6.5.1 update has brought much more stability and contextual menu support to the OS X Magic Menu. What I would like to see now is a more integrated way of handling compressed files, instead of an array of otherwise useful drag-and-drop applications.
Do not let these minor quirks and complaints about version 6.5 detract you, though. The usefulness of this application simply cannot be denied: Stuffit Deluxe 6.5 is definitely an “upgrade” for anyone who currently owns version 6.0, and is well deserving of a high rating from MyMac.com.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5