by Adam C. Engst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Aladdin Systems last week released a free upgrade to StuffIt Deluxe 5.1.5, making the company's long-standing compression and archiving package compatible with Mac OS 9. StuffIt Deluxe 5.1.5 requires System 7.5.3 or greater and 15 MB of disk space, and is a 4.3 MB download. In essence, StuffIt Deluxe 5.1.5 allows users of Mac OS 9 to regain full use of StuffIt Deluxe for free.
Simultaneously, Aladdin shipped StuffIt Deluxe 5.5, which offers Mac OS 9 compatibility and numerous additional features for a $20 upgrade fee (upgrades to the $80 package are free for those who purchased StuffIt Deluxe after 01-Oct-99 or $30 for users of other Aladdin products - all prices are exclusive of tax and shipping and handling). New features include faster performance, self-extracting archives for Windows users, Zip compression support, DiskDoubler expansion support, support for Zip and uuencode in Archive Via Rename, an Archive CM contextual menu plug-in that provides contextual menu access to the contents of StuffIt archives, a DropConverter utility for converting old archives to the StuffIt 5 format, and additional functions in Magic Menu. StuffIt Deluxe 5.5 also requires System 7.5.3 or greater.
Aladdin also released updates to its popular freeware expansion utility StuffIt Expander and $30 shareware compression utility DropStuff. StuffIt Expander 5.5 adds various refinements, including faster file expansion, leaner memory usage, support for Internet Config helper applications for uncommon file formats, and elimination of the need for additional extensions. DropStuff 5.5, which is a free upgrade for users of DropStuff 4.5 or later, offers faster compression (Aladdin claims 20 percent faster) and enhances StuffIt Expander so it can expand Bzip and DiskDoubler files.
Aladdin previously shipped StuffIt Expander 5.1.4 and DropStuff 5.1.2 on the Mac OS 9 CD-ROM to provide immediate compatibility with Mac OS 9 (see "Mac OS 9 Installation & Compatibility" in TidBITS-503 and Aladdin's Mac OS 9 Compatibility FAQ). StuffIt Expander 5.5 and DropStuff 5.5 also offer the Mac OS 9 compatibility of the limited-distribution versions shipped on the Mac OS 9 CD-ROM, along with the features mentioned previously. Both utilities require at least a 68030 CPU; StuffIt Expander needs System 7.1.1 or later and DropStuff requires System 7.5.3 or later. StuffIt Expander is a 1 MB download; DropStuff's download weighs in at 1.9 MB.