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Playing squash: file compression

Well, I know it's not very webby, but it's something I was looking at today out of curiosity. Which format and tool do you use to make archives? I thought I'd post on this, because of the relative unpopularity of the format I have been using for a few years.

Remember that everyone has their own reasons and priorities when creating an archive. Speed, compression efficiency, and mass compatibility are probably the three main factors involved. Personally, I am really just looking at how much a compressor can squash my files down.

Zip is probably the best-known format. Give a zip to anyone and they'll be able to open it. But it's not very efficient. For many years I used the Rar format. It's a format that can compress very small indeed, and quickly, too. It's very popular. The only drawback with Rar is that you have to buy it, and you are reliant on Rarlab being around to get at your files.

A couple of years ago, I heard about 7zip. It's an open-source format, so you should always be able to retrieve your archived files, even if the author gets abducted by aliens. That also means it's free, which is nice. But is it any good? Well, the GUI is not as nice and friendly as WinRAR, and it compresses slower, but on the plus side, it supports a big range of archive types and has the best compression ration of all. So, that's reason enough for me to use it.

So give it a go.


Jason posted this on Friday, March 24, 2006 at 6:07 pm. Leave comment.

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