Eugh. Stuffit Expander is a piece of crap.
For the uninitiated, you need StuffIt to open .sit archives which are apparently common on the Mac platform. It’s been made largely obsolete by the cross-platform .zip format but some people still use it and StuffIt seems to be the only program for Windows that can open them (any suggestions of alternatives welcome).
StuffIt Expander is a freeware tool that allows you to open the contents of .sit files. It doesn’t let you create them; for that, you need to pay for one of the commercial StuffIt programs (this is probably why the .sit format isn’t very popular). I encountered a .sit file which contained a font that I wanted, and since the file wasn’t available in any other format, I had to download that and then install StuffIt Expander to be able to do anything with it.
Except you can’t download StuffIt Expander on its own – you have to download a trial of one of the commercial StuffIt applications which will then expire after 15 days (15 days! That’s all!) and leave you with just the expander bit. So rather than downloading a small bit of freeware you have to download some monstrous 10+MB file that’s largely useless after 2 weeks anyway. Fine if you’re on a fast connection but on a 256K connection it takes a while and would be even worse on dial-up. In the end I used a slightly older version from a cover DVD from a computer magazine.
On installation, this program will then make itself the default program for a range of archive formats, then ask you whether you want it the default. I didn’t want it to be the default for anything – all I wanted was to be able to extract the contents of this .sit file and then be on my way – so I deselected all the checkboxes (there was a ‘Select all’ button but naturally no ‘Select none’). But then instead of restoring my file associations it left them all unassociated, so I had to manually repair them – a task that Windows XP makes easier than in previous editions but still not the easiest of tasks.
This program could have been so much more useful, had it just been a simple application for expanding .sit files. Instead, it tried to be a jack-of-all-trades and just annoyed me.
Mac users, if you’re reading this, please, do not be tempted to use the .sit format. The sooner it dies off the better.