Back when stuffit didn't suck...

23.44.07 - Mark

There's used to be a reason Mac software developers used to always archive their programs with stuffit. Back before OS X came to town with it's cool unix underpinnings, stuffit and .sit archives were the only effective game in town for bundling up Macintosh files. Back then you couldn't find a mac that didn't have some version of stuffit, and any power user usually had a few copies and a dozen aliases for it on their hard drive. It used to be a friendly reliable application that somehow, as soon as OS X came into town, turned into an absolute monster of a program.

The makers started nagging users for the software, begging them to download and pay for the latest version. They started introducing new archive formats into an already crowed (and long established) field. You can't even download it unless you give them permission to spam you with shitty software notices.

I don't remember the last time I didn't have to fight with stuff it to expand a file, let alone the last time I desired to make a stuffit archive.

Betweens zips and gzip, and tarballs in OS X's unix roots there's no need for sits anymore. Any remainging advantages sit files had could easily be passed off to an installer package or a very competent disk image file. yet, for some bizarre reason, people still release macintosh files as Sit archives, and every time I need those files, I end up fighting with stuff it to work.

Please, developers, give up on stuffit and stick to the standards. Apple's DMG, the cross platform ZIP, or the unix-y tar.gz etc. It's a real hassle when I have to install / run truly horrible software to install you software, and I'm getting to the point where the stuff it files aren't worth it

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Twisted Video

00.19.09 - Mark

A few months ago I was in an Art Appreciation class with a not so great teacher (too much lecture and exceptionally bad powerpoint presentations, not enough discussion), and a worse than usual class (single camera /room teleconferencing on low bandwidth connections run by technophobes does not make for a good classroom discussion) Towards the end of the semester we were each assigned an Artist to do a presentation on. With a last name starting with W I got last pick of artists, and ended up with Nam Juke Paik.

Turns out it was a really good pick for me because I love electronics and I've been dinking around in computers forever, and I've got a long standing side interest in video. The main part of the project was research and write a report, but we had at one point been told to prepare a presentation, and after researching Paik some I though it would be neat to make a video rather than to put slides (did I mention we sat though a lot of bad powerpoint presentations in that class?)

Nothing came of it at the time, because his slow repeating lectures and technical inability to control the teleconference gear (did I mention technophobe?) and teach he had to commandeer the time he had set aside for presentations so he could finish the curriculum.

Anyways, Paik died a few days ago, and considering he predicted a freely distributed video market in the 60's I'm reinvestigating the idea of making a Paik mini-documentry. I've already got a report, and I saved most of my presentation materials, so the big thing becomes making a movie that looks good. I'll see about serious editing later, but I've been looking at iMovie plug-ins.

Wow. There are some amazing looking plugins out there that are either free or cheap (most are under $5 a piece, some more complex ones like video stabilization are more)

Part of me wants to go out and binge, the rest of me knows I've got that money earmarked for other purposes, but one thing I'm noticing is that the plug-in developers are very cool about providing product demos, both preprocessed videos as well as installable and usable plugins.

Maybe I won't go on a shopping spree, but I might have a lot of watermarked video on my hard drive...

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