The best utilities work well when they’re needed, and stay out of sight the rest of the time. So it is with Stuffit Deluxe 9 from Allume. In fact, I almost forgot about the new Stuffit version after I installed it to review. But there’s more there than meets the eye – that is, if you look for it.
Really, what is there to say about the Expander portion? It works. You’ve got a file in a compressed format and Stuffit Expander decompresses it for you. Simple, no thought necessary. There are preferences that you can setup to designate where the decompressed files are put, if they’re stored in a new folder, the naming of the folder, and how to handle the original compressed file. All useful for keeping things tidy.
The fun comes on the flip side: Drop* as I’ll refer to DropStuff X, DropStuff, DropZip, and DropTar from here on out. (By ‘fun’ I assume you’re a geek like yours truly, and enjoy super useful utilities…) Version 9 is terrific, as it combines the interface for the 4 Stuffit utilities into 1. (Previously you had to open 4 separate interfaces.) Simply drop down a list and choose the compression you desire to use.
Stuffit X provides the greatest level of compression and can be handled as far back as version 7 of Stuffit Expander. The larger the file, the greater the difference in compression you’ll notice. But even better with Stuffit X – it gives you the option to segment your archive. There are default segment sizes, or a custom size option. This comes in quite handy when you have a larger file that you need to email for instance. Let Stuffit X break the compressed file into 1mb files and send them separately.
Maybe you want to archive your compressed files to CD or DVD. Typically you might run the archive/compress process, then when it was finished, you’d burn it to a disc in the Finder. Stuffit takes care of the entire process for you. Simply select the destination in the preferences as DVD/CD. When you’ve started the compression, insert an optical disc and Stuffit will burn the archive as it is created. Very clean, very simple.
So for this review I decided to put the Segmenting and Burning capability to a hefty test. I recently made a Carbon Copy Cloner disk image of my entire system in preparation for Tiger. The image is about 36gb in size. Nice. So I ran the DropStuff X with segmenting on, and DVD-R as the destination. It ran for 24 hours… Along the way it took up 6 DVD-Rs. (Pretty decent compression – 36gb down to about 27gb.) On the downside, with less than an hour left Stuffit quit unexpectedly. Bummer. I ran the process with a clean login (no extra processes running), no other apps up, no network connection – all to ensure that Stuffit had priority while dealing with this daunting task.
My test was a bit harsh, I admit. Possibly running it again would produce a different result – But I don’t feel like going without my Powerbook for another 24hours straight, and wasting 6 more DVD-Rs. This process did work fine with smaller files though. All in all, Stuffit Deluxe 9 is a great utility. It does the things I require of it on a day to day basis without any issues, and without making me think – just the way I like it.
You can purchase Stuffit Deluxe 9 from Allume for $79.99