Stuffit Deluxe 7.0.1
OS X Compatible
Company: Aladdin Systems, Inc.
Every month or so I burn myself a CD of all of my most frequently used utilities so I can install them on my machines with ease. These utilities are those that are indispensable, ones that have to be on my Macintosh in order for me to be productive. They are the kind that should come pre-installed with every version of the Mac OS. They’re exclusive, and one of them that I have used practically the entire time I have owned a Macintosh is Aladdin Systems’ Stuffit Deluxe.
Aladdin has featured support for Mac OS X since version 6.0 of their software, but it was not until version 6.5 that Stuffit was truly a primetime OS X application. In version 7.0, Aladdin Systems has made Stuffit Deluxe even more compatible and useful within Apple’s next-generation operating system, and has added some next generation capabilities of their own.
Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 offers a host of new features to expand productivity. First and foremost is support for Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X, version 10.2 “Jaguar.” The Magic Menu application, which was buggy and hardly useful in version 6.5 has been debugged, and now behaves quite well in the Mac OS X toolbar. Both the contextual menu and the toolbar now offer browsing of archives as well, though TFI (true finder integration) browsing in actual windows has still not made it into OS X.
Stuffit now offers integration with Microsoft Word through an extension that allows you to save and stuff from Word at the same time. Version 7.0 offers larger archive sizes (up to terabytes) as well as terminal access in OS X. What’s more, Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 also offers full zip support, whereas you can now treat .zip archives just as you have always treated .sit archives, including drag and drop and browsing through the magic menu and contextual magic menu.
By far the major feature in the new release, however, is Stuffit’s new compression standard, Stuffit X. According to Aladdin Systems, the Stuffit X file format integrates compression with security and safety options to meet the requirements of business and today’s digital lifestyle. Stuffit X offers a 20% improvement in compression over the current .sit format and a whopping 40% improvement over .zip archives. Moreover, Stuffit X offers 512-bit encryption–a significant improvement over the 40-bit encryption offered in .sit and .zip archives. And if it couldn’t get any better, Stuffit X archives are compatible with all versions of Stuffit Expander 7.x and higher, on Mac OS 8.6 through 10.2.x, as well as Windows.
In my own tests on a 319 MB archive of pictures, I saw a 15% improvement in size when compressing the archive into Stuffit X–not too shabby. Stuffit X also offers an “add redundancy” option which allows Stuffit to recover your data if your archive becomes corrupted.
Though the news on 7.0 is overall positive, it is unfortunate that Aladdin still seems to think that having a multitude of drag and drop applications is useful. As I said in my review of version 6.5, they are a great idea, but you can access almost all of their features in the Magic Menu or within the Stuffit Deluxe application itself. Having options does not hurt, but they will go oft unnoticed by the average user.
Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 requires a Power Macintosh with Mac OS 8.6 and higher, including Mac OS X 10.2. You should also have 32MB available RAM and 30 MB available hard disk space. You can purchase Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 direct from Aladdin, as well as from many mail order catalogs and online distribution sites. The full version costs $79.99, while the upgrade will cost you $29.99.
Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 is a step in the right direction for Aladdin Systems. While the PC world is lagging behind in compression and security, Aladdin is charging ahead with its new Stuffit X (.sitx) format that will revolutionize compression forever.
Though the addition of the Stuffit X format makes this upgrade worth the jump to 7.0, there are still features missing in the OS X version that I would like to see added. Certainly Aladdin can bring TFI (true finder integration) to Mac OS X. And what’s with the ridiculous and growing amount of drag and drop applications? They’re great for shareware, but who uses them with the Deluxe package? Perhaps Aladdin can better spread its resources on the revival of TFI and the addition of more significant features, especially in this time of recession and economic downturn.
The drag and drop utilities do not affect the usefulness of the software, however, so I have to highly recommend Stuffit Deluxe 7.0. It is still the standard for compression on the Macintosh, and soon, Stuffit X will take over. A next generation-operating system needs a next-generation compression utility, and Stuffit Deluxe 7.0 is just that.
MacMice Rating: 4.5 out of 5