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Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder

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Proprietary Zip Compression

I recently received a Zip file which could not be opened with WinZip or WinRar. This wasn’t entirely unexpected since I knew that WinZip and PKWARE developed their own high end Zip compression algorithms. When you use the maximum compression feature in these programs, your files will be compressed using a proprietary technology which will require the original application to decompress it. For instance, you if use the maximum compression on a file using WinZip, you woulnd’t be able to uncompress it using Pkzip.

If you receive Zip files, you’ll need to have both applications to handle the most common archives. WinZip is a commercial application which will require you to purchase it to legally use. The cost is only $29.95 USD so it’s not unreasonable. Fortunately, PKWARE released Zip Reader which is a free utility to uncompress their archives.

2 Responses to Proprietary Zip Compression

  1. My personal favorite is 7-Zip (http://www.7-zip.org/) as it works with almost everything! Buying Winzip for our company could easily cost hundreds of dollars as most of our users require some sort of Compression / Decompression software, and lets face it, the built-in compressed folders utility of Windows XP is slow poorly implemented software at best.

  2. Johan says:

    I haven’t tried 7-Zip yet but a program like that would save you buying multiple licenses. I’ll have to do a review on this application. You still might need to buy just one license of WinZip for customers who compress files with it.

    The Zip compression in Windows is very unreliable. I found that certain Zip files can’t be extracted properly which messed up a few jobs around here before we realized this.

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