It takes 10 steps to download StuffIt Expander


Screenshot from the Smith Micro website
Ahh crap

This morning I needed to download and install some software that was contained in a *.sit file. Mac users would recognise this as a StuffIt archive, an older style compression system that started falling out of favour with more recent versions of Mac OS X.

So I needed to get myself a copy of StuffIt Expander to open the file, fair enough. These were the steps I had to take:

  1. Googled "StuffIt Expander", clicked the first link
  2. Looked at all the confusing options on their page, found "Get Expander for Free" link in the corner and clicked.
  3. Another product pitch to get me to buy the full version? Sheesh! Clicked the "Expander 2009 Download" link.
  4. I need to fill out my name and email address to get the download link, unless I want the trial of the paid version? Gah!
  5. Went to Mailinator to register for a temporary email address
  6. Returned to the former page, filled out my name and email address.
  7. Went back to Mailinator and opened the email they sent which contained the download link.
  8. Was taken to a blank page with a link to click "if I’m not redirected". Clicked link.
  9. Clicked download link to CNET
  10. Clicked "Download Now" link on

StuffIt Expander iconThat’s right, if you want to download StuffIt Expander, not the trial of the paid verison, you have to go through at least 8 steps, 10 if you don’t want them spamming you afterwards.

It was a good thing I registered for a temporary email address, because check out the email they sent me with the download link:

Thanks for your interest in Stuffit Expander.
To complete the download process, click here or paste the entire URL below into your browser.

Please note: By confirming your email address and downloading this file, you are signing up to receive periodic followup emails from Smith Micro.

Any emails we send you will contain unsubscribe information, and you may opt-out of future emails at any time.

Can you believe that? If anything this experience has taught me that I don’t want the pro version of their product, I want nothing to do with them whatsoever! Not only did they take forever to give me the link to download their product, but they subscribed me to their junk mail by clicking on their link which if I didn’t use a temporary address would be filling my inbox as we speak.

Unbelievable. :-(

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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