Compression and decompression applications are utilized much less frequently these days – at least by “regular” users than in previous days. This is the result of the increasing speed of our internet connections and expanding size of our hard drives and other storage media. Back in the day, if you wanted to move anything of any size you needed to use some form of compression – and you then needed to decompress whatever had been compressed.
Still, compression and decompression is a part of life – and if you haven’t run into a compressed file yet, well, you might someday…in fact, if you are moving further into the technical realm you will eventually run into a compressed file and when you do – you’ll be ready, because you’ll know about 7-Zip.
7-Zip is a free and open source compression/decompression application. It doesn’t have the slickest interface but it is extremely feature-filled and powerful – way more powerful than anyone needs but IT folks. It supports a massive array of file formats and compression algorithms to allow you to open just about any sort of file under the sun. My personal favorite is ISO’s! ISO’s are files made to burn onto a CD, but oftentimes I like to skip the whole CD step and just unpackage them right onto my computer. 7-Zip can handle that.
Don’t get 7-Zip until you need it. But bookmark the site away and remember it when that occasion does arise. No need to spend money on fancy products (which are quality in themselves, but part of a past-era) such as WinZip.
Ohh, and if you are just working with zip files (the most common format on Windows), Windows XP, Vista, and 7 all have zip support built-in, so you still don’t need 7-Zip…
Yeah, I guess this isn’t really applicable to most of my readers…but when it is, it really is!