Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

6.16. How do I tell whether a file is compressed?

There are a variety of programs for compressing files, like the DOS tool "PKZIP" (which creates files with the extension .ZIP) and the Macintosh shareware program StuffIt Lite (which makes files with the filename extension .SIT). UNIX has a file compression method of its own, simply named compress. Files compressed with the UNIX compress program end in the extension .Z.

Many of the files available from Internet archives are compressed to save disk space and file reduce transfer time. Similar to .ZIP files on a DOS computer and .SIT files on a Macintosh, UNIX's compressed files take up relatively little space, but aren't useful while in compressed form; you need to uncompress them before use.

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