Last January I ranted about the StuffIt archive format and StuffIt Expander on Windows. I was annoyed that to be able to unpack a .sit archive I needed to download a huge shareware program which messed up my archive associations.
Fast forward to today and I needed to open another .sit archive – again, a font. Last time I don’t think I was totally fair because I used an old version of StuffIt, so this time I opted for the latest version from stuffit.com. As before, it is impossible to download the free StuffIt Expander anymore, instead you have to download a trial version of either StuffIt Standard Edition or StuffIt Deluxe which expire after 30 and 15 days respectively.
First annoyance was the insistence of providing my name and email address before being able to download, but that’s easily sorted by using a fake name and a throwaway email alias. The email address needs to be valid because the link to the download is then emailed to you, so my usual firstname.lastname@example.org won’t work here.
More worryingly is this:
By confirming your email address and downloading this file, you are signing up to receive periodic followup emails from us.. All the more reason to use a throwaway address.
Once you’ve received the email and followed the link, you then get a 14MB file to download. On 1MB broadband this isn’t a problem, but that’ll take the best part of an hour on dial-up.
The installer is improved and it though it does want to be your default archiving program for a wide range of formats, you can deselect individual formats. What’s more, it won’t destroy the associations of the formats you deselect like it did last time I ran the program, which is an improvement. That said, I did create a System Restore checkpoint before running the install to avoid a repeat of last time.
Installed, the program takes up 20MB, mainly because you have the full version of the program and not a small extraction utility. The interface is alright, I suppose, if a little overcomplicated.
I really should have used ExtractNow but I wanted to believe that StuffIt isn’t as bad as I said it was. Unfortunately it is.
Mac users: please, please stick with .zip. It’s the universal archive format that everyone can use, no matter what operating system. .sit is a lot of trouble for anyone not using a Mac.