Google Docs has officially thrown open its data doors, allowing users to back up all their documents to whatever formats they choose and compressed into a ZIP file. It's serious peace of mind for those concerned about the cloud.
Tagged With zip
When you're at your own (Windows) computer, use 7-Zip to extract almost any kind of compressed archive. When you're somewhere you can't use 7-Zip, try WobZip, a neat, helpful online decompression tool. WobZip can take any compressed file upload, up to 100MB in size, and extract its files for individual downloads. It supports 7z, RAR, TAR, g-zip, zip, the RPM and DEB Linux packages, and a handful of even more rare examples. If that's all it did, that would be great. But WobZip also lets you decompress files that are password protected, assuming you know the password, and can open files that are located online. So if you're not quite sure if you'll need all the files in that big driver download, go ahead and patch the URL into WobZip, then just grab the .INF you really want. If you're on pretty much any modern system, WobZip lets you download all your files as a more-compatible .ZIP archive, WobZip is free to use, no sign-up required, and makes a point of stating its "in development" status, so don't be surprised to see an occasional bug.
Whether you've been sent a simple ZIP archive, you need to create and share your own compressed files, or you're staring down the barrel of some obscure archive format you've never seen before, having the right file compression application in your corner is a must. Read on for a closer look at the five best file compression tools.
Windows only: ExtractNow is a free application with a singular focus: extracting your files lightning fast. Sometimes it's worth eschewing all the bells and whistles of more robust program for a feature that works extremely well. ExtractNow is a bulk extraction tool that supports ZIP, RAR, ISO, BIN, IMG, IMA, IMZ, 7Z, ACE, JAR, GZ, LZH, LHA, TAR, and SIT archive formats. Configure the basic settings, such as where you want the files to be extract to, whether or not to preserve the folder structure of the archive, etc. and from then ExtractNow becomes a drag and drop extraction workhorse. ExtractNow extracted the test files used in the screen shot above so quickly that I almost missed a screenshot of it in action as my hand traveled from the Enter to Print Screen key. ExtractNow is Windows-only donationware.
Windows only: Free virtual archive tool Pismo File Mount can help you cut down on unnecessary CD burning and folder space by mounting compressed and ISO files as virtual drives. There are lots of utilities and means to do this, of course, but Pismo offers the simple route. Just right-click on a disc image or zipped file and choose "Mount" or "Quick Mount," and you can assign the folder to, say, drive Z:, or just have its contents pop up in a window. Grab what you need, close it down, and you're done. Pismo File Mount is a free download for Windows systems only. Pismo File Mount
The Tombuntu blog points out a seriously helpful package available in Ubuntu's extended repositories that make creating super-efficient 7-Zip archives simple and fast, whether you're right-clicking or working with a command line. Run this command to install it:sudo apt-get install p7zipUsers of other Linux distros should find a similar package in their own sources. Once installed, creating compressed archives for storing or emailing is as simple as selecting the files, right-clicking, and choosing "Create Archive," and de-compressing just as simple. Add 7z (7-Zip) File Archive Support to Ubuntu
Most any savvy computer user is probably pretty handy with a free compression and archiving tool (like, say, 7-Zip), but not everyone they send files to will be. The Confessions of a Freeware Junkie blog points out that IExpress.exe, a built-in utility you simply type into the "Run" menu in Windows XP or "Start Search" in Vista, can create self-extracting archives to be emailed to anyone using Windows. Just choose "Extract files only" while clicking through the wizard interface, choose the files to be zipped up, and the end user only has to double-click to get them. IExpress also works as an easy way to convert batch files into executables. Need more info on IExpress? Check out Microsoft's help page on the tool. Did you know? Windows has a built-in tool to create self-extracting archives via 'Iexpress.exe'
Windows only: You'll often see a no-install, runs-from-its-own-executable program or utility get a special nod on this blog—and for good reason, as a jam-packed "Add/Remove" screen is not a pretty thing. But for those with a lot of one-use apps to wrangle and find, free utility ZipInstaller makes a lot of sense. It does what it sounds like—"installs" the files from their unpacked .zip archives to a dedicated spot, and makes their utilities accessible from the Start Menu (or Launchy or another favourite app-launcher). As the FreewareGenius blog points out, this has the added bonus of helping you remember you have the little guy available in the first place, rather than letting it collect dust in some corner of your Program Files folder. ZipInstaller is a free download for Windows systems only. ZipInstaller
Lifehacker alumnus Rick Broida posts a quick fix at the BNET blog for a quirk of Outlook 2003 that (still) hasn't really been addressed—compressed .ZIP files don't show up in the standard "Insert File" chooser used for email attachments. Rather than manually drag and drop every .ZIP file, Rick has this quick registry-tweaking fix:In Windows XP, click Start > Run, then type Command and hit Enter. In Vista, click Start, type Command and hit Enter.Type regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dllWait for a confirmation box to appear. Click OK, then type Exit into the Command window to close it.As always, making a backup of your registry file before changing it is highly recommended.
Outlook Fix: Attach Zip Files to Outgoing E-Mail