Raymond Lau: StuffIt
Raymond Lau

StuffIt is a family of data compression products for the Apple Macintosh. The flagship product, StuffIt Deluxe, is a truly complete compression solution for the Macintosh. It permits the user to gather many files and folders together into a single archive, compressing, and optionally encrypting, the data in the process. StuffIt Deluxe includes StuffIt SpaceSaver, a transparent data compression product which offers automatic and on-command in place compression of files and folders. StuffIt Deluxe also includes translators for decoding many non-Macintosh file formats such as ARC, ZIP, Unix Compress, tar, and gzip.

The entire StuffIt family of products is currently being marketed by Allume Systems, Inc.

By the time Lau graduated from high school in 1989, he was getting roughly 10 checks a day from satisfied customers -- enough to pay his undergraduate tuition at MIT more than twice over."
Yahoo Internet Life, September 1997


The first version of StuffIt was written by Raymond Lau in 1987. It was made available as shareware on the major online services during the summer of 1987. By the end of 1987, the StuffIt file format had become an accepted standard on CompuServe, GEnie and Delphi, then the dominant online services. It has remained an online standard to this date. Raymond has been an active participant in the engineering of the product for all versions up to and including StuffIt Deluxe 3.5 released October, 1994. Version 4.0 and later still contain the same core code, but Lau ceased to be actively involved in the development of the product as of January 1995.

In May, 1989, Raymond turned over the marketing rights to the entire StuffIt family to Aladdin Systems, Inc. (now Allume Systems, Inc.), then a startup in the Macintosh software industry. The first commercially marketed member of the family was StuffIt Deluxe. It was made available for sale in 1990.

For his efforts, Raymond received MacUser magazine's 1989 Editors' Choice Derek Van Alstyne Rising Star Award and MacUser UK magazine's 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award. StuffIt Deluxe has received various honors including MacUser magazine's Editors' Choice Award for best compression product in 1992, MacWorld magazine's World Class Award for best backup/storage utility in both 1993 and 1994. The original shareware version of StuffIt received the Boston Computer Society's Software Award and was inducted into the Shareware Industry Awards Foundation's Shareware Hall of Fame, honoring valuable contributions over a period of at least five years, on June 27, 1997.

Following receipt of 1992 MacUser Editors' Choice Award for best compression product
(Left to right): David J. Schargel, then president, Mark Kawakami, friend, Raymond Lau and Darryl G. Lovato, then vice-president of engineering.

Press Involving Ray and StuffIt

Contact Information for Allume Systems, Inc.

URL: http://www.allume.com