InkBlot's Mess

Archive/Compression Study - Introduction

19 Dec 2012 2:26 am

This is an introduction to the results of a study I have been performing, slowly, over the past few weeks. It is also an introduction, for me, on the creation and editing of a blog. So, until I get going, please bear with me.

It is obviously overdue, based on the status of the operating system, for someone to summarize all the compressors and archivers that are available under the Mac OS platform - that is, pre-Mac OS X. It may have been done in the past, but, if such an occurrence has taken place, it has been lost in the ever-shifting and growing Internet. While my attempt has been to at least mention, if not test, every single piece of file compression and archiving software released, I am certain I have not been completely successful. However, this in depth comparison should cover the software users are most likely to find, either on "antique" Macintosh computers, or in one of the numerous emulators and virtual machines.

To start off, one must understand the difference between a compressor and an archiver. A compressor is, to put it simply, used to make a single file smaller. Examples of common compressors are the venerable gzip and bzip2 compressors. One can not, directly, place multiple files into a gzip or bzip2 file. This is where archivers come into play.

Archivers, like tar, are used to place numerous files into a single file, a bit like concatenating a number of unrelated file formats into a single file. However, archivers do not compress any of the files themselves, which is why archivers are often paired up with compressors, like in the case of shar and compress, or tar and gzip or bzip2.

A third category exists, which is likely the most common. This category of software both archives and compresses files. Software in this category include Zip, RAR, and StuffIt.

Over the next few posts, I hope to share results of numerous tests, as well as some information, on the myriad of compressors and archivers available for the Mac OS users.

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Joined: 06 Jun 2011 8:59 pm

PostPosted: 19 Dec 2012 2:09 pm    Subject:
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I'm looking forward to this! Thanks! Moof! Dogcow!

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