Stuffit Deluxe 10
Being able to handle a variety of Mac, PC or Unix compression standards used to make Stuffit Deluxe a must-have tool on the Mac. In the meantime, Finder started volunteering its simple, but not-so-reliable ZIP compression. Now Allume Systems’ Stuffit Deluxe 10 is supposed to do compression justice.
Finder’s built-in ZIP engine is free of charge but not free of flaws. It fails to exclude .DStore files and other hidden stuff, for example. While these items make sense on the Mac, they are useless on other systems and can only confuse Windows users (if they get to open the archives at all). Unlike the built-in utility, Stuffit Deluxe 10 delivers superb compression with adjustable size-to-performance ratio. The software can handle a variety of formats and countless types of jobs from automatingthe creation of encrypted backups to generating installable packages.
Stuffit Deluxe consists of a collection of specialised tiny tools, some of which, such as Secure Delete, seem rather obsolete. There are others though, such as Archive Assistant, that can prove very useful. Archive Assistant provides a similar function to Apple’s Backup 3, applying powerful compression and state-of-the-art encryption (such as 256-bit AES or 512-bit RC4).
You can archive, create or expand Stuffit X, Tar and ZIP files from within Automator workflows in OS X Tiger. Sadly, supplied actions cover only basic tasks. Stuffit Express PE, a file creation and distribution assistant,well merits being replaced by a set of Automator actions or workflows.
Spotlight Importer, another Tiger-only feature, allows you to inspect the contents of an archive without having to decompress it. It’s just pity that Finder’s Info window refuses to reveal more than a few entries (it cannot scroll, so you only see the first 20 or 30 files).
Stuffit does indeed shrink some JPEG files by up to 25 per cent while keeping them previewable. However, JPEG compression applied in Photoshop CS2 proved unbeatable.
While you could get around Stuffit Deluxe 10 by deploying a legion of other tiny tools to handle everyjob separately, you probably wouldn’t want to. Ifyou’re a registered user of the previous release, the update is a bargain. New customers, however, will behit a little harder.