Tuesday, March 07, 2006

7-zip File Manager

Often you are needing to archive a lot of files to archives, usually you are using the simple and quite old ZIP format or the quite popular RAR, which is quite slow comparing to the compression ratio. And the software you need to use is not for free and usually cost a lot of money which is not worth your money. 7 Zip File Manager is a free open-source application which supports most of the, almost every format available, but what I miss, is support for LHA and LZX formats, which I need to use quite often. So forget about WinZip, WinRar and others..

7-Zip main features: High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression. As I mentioned 7-Zip is free software distributed under the GNU LGPL. The supported formats for packing and unpacking are 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR, and it only unpacks RAR, CAB, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM and DEB. For Zip and GZip formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10% better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip. Currently there is no way to use unACE, because the authors written dll unace.dll works badly and it requires a powerful wrapper to be written, also in the future this application is planning to support ISO format, because now there are a lot of problems with this format, often we use the expensive Nero or the Windows default ISO burner, which burn your compact disks, that it only works on your own computer. Very comfortable and powerful UI (User Interface) and more.. 7-Zip is stable with the Operating Systems Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP and is ported to Linux and FreeBSD too.

To use archives is really good, especially now, when computers are so advanced, in the past I remember I also needed to compress different files, using XPK or PP format, that files would take less space in the floppy disk, now that might sound funny though.. It is very convenient to compress the files, which you rarely used, because it is better for the hard disk - one bigger file is better than lots of small files, especially when stupid Windows OS is reading all the files from inside while browsing. You can archive the files with a password too, so you will have the access to it and no one else. TAR format is really great, it stores all the files into one archive and does not compress them, this is very fast, I personally stored all my installers into one big 2 GB file and when I need something I just open the file like a list with the manager and browse it, copy the file I need and thats all, very fast and comfortable and just because of 7-Zip. Of course, there exist much more similar programs, but this in my opinion is one of the best, but if you still would like to pack using RAR, you will have to use something additionally, but I don't see the point to do it.

More about 7-Zip File Manager

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