Stuff it

One area where it looks like Mac OS X lags behind Windows is built-in ZIP file browsing. In Windows-land, I use WinZip for my ZIP needs. The comparable (ha!) OS X application is StuffIt (Standard or Pro, just like WinZip). Great googley mooley, it’s the worst OS X application experience I’ve seen yet!

  • It isn’t a “drag to Applications” install. It has its own installer, and litters 700+ files all over your system - you’re in for a ride when the installer asks for an administrative password!
  • It wants me to log out or restart before I can use it! We’re talking about an archive file manager here; we’re not making missiles.
  • It’s expensive! WinZip standard is $30. StuffIt standard is $50! That’s a 2/3 increase for equivalent lesser functionality!
  • You have to run the installer to uninstall - how intuitive is that? And you have log out AGAIN after it’s uninstalled!
  • If you want the capability to open and browse ZIP file contents, you need StuffIt Deluxe - which costs $80!
  • In order to download the StuffIt Deluxe trial, you must provide a credit card number - and remember to CANCEL THE ORDER if you don’t want it. Otherwise you’ll be charged $80 after 30 days. That’s not right.
  • I’m not going to register, and certainly not provide a credit card number, just to try out software. WinZip - port to OS X! At least with Windows, I can look inside and extract ZIP files for free. The only saving grace, and it’s a small one, is the StuffIt Expander Universal Binary is free - until October. We’ll see how it goes.

Update: I found a program that does exactly what I want, at a nice price: BetterZip. At $20, it lets you open ZIP files and examine their contents, as well as selective extraction.