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Making Big Files Smaller

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, June 10, 2004

Making big files smaller. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. File compression utilities have been around for years. They can help you save space on your computer's hard drive…and make files faster to email. The capability to make and expand Zip files is built into Windows XP…but third party utilities…such as WinZip and StuffIt…let you do even more. StuffIt was originally created for Macintosh computers….but today…more of its sales are coming from Windows users. Alladin Systems senior product manager Matthew Covington…says the new version 8.5 includes tools that let you automate back-ups…

"It's a little bit beyond the scope of what you think of for a traditional archive product, yet we think it's basically connected to the kind of tasks people are already doing with StuffIt products. We really look…what are people doing with StuffIt and how can we make it easier for them to do that. And adding schedulers, adding ways to search for files in archives, adding ways to manage all the collections of CDs you end up with when you're burning archives to CDs, we just thought these were natural extensions."

You should know that some kinds of files can be compressed more effectively than others. For instance…utilities like StuffIt won't save you much room on JPEG digital picture files….because they are already compressed. The deluxe version of the software for Windows sells for under 40 dollars. Ironically…the top of the line Mac version is twice the price. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.