Fixing StuffIt Expander

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 20th, 2005 • 6:19 am

Ah, the goodness of blogs…

I only use StuffIt Expander every now and then these days, simply because there are fewer and fewer things that I download that are in .sit or .sitx. And I certainly have not kept up with the latest StuffIt updates, because of the atrocious upgrading procedure, the extremely ill-advised “improvements”, the company changing its name to something that, to my French ears, sounds like the name of a lunatic asylum, and what not.

But then in the past couple of weeks I had to expand a couple of StuffIt archives with Expander, and I noticed that the application was taking an extremely long time to launch. It would bounce something like a hundred times in the Dock, and then finally open and proceed with the file expansion.

With my current system being in a somewhat “experimental” state (for reasons best left unsaid), I figured that it was a bug somewhere… And then today I went through some RSS subscriptions in NetNewsWire that I hadn’t looked at in a while, and I came across this post on Forwarding Address: OS X.

Ha! It wasn’t my system after all… Apparently, what Expander was doing during that extended launching period was that it was attempting to connect to a version-checking server that no longer exists… Leave to Aladdin — oops, Allume — to write a piece of software that actually starts trying to establish an Internet connection while it is still bouncing up and down in the Dock. And leave it to them to change their server so that “older” (i.e. 3 months old) versions of their software hit a blank and get stuck doing so for such a long time without any rational explanation for the user.

It turns out that the solution was simply to turn version checking off in the application’s preferences — which I probably should have done long ago, since I do not want to ever upgrade this bloody application again! (But of course version checking is on by default, so as to maximize the negative impact on users when something goes wrong with the version-checking server and you have a software company as brain-dead and user-hostile as Allume in charge of the whole thing.)

Anyway, it’s the kind of “news” that is not big enough to warrant coverage on any of the regular Mac web sites that I read. But it’s the kind of news that does manage to surface in Mac blogs, which proves that they do serve an informative purpose.

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