to zip or not to zip?

May 15 | 2012

… that’s the question. Well, most probably would not even bother to ask, since the ZIP format is the most common when it comes to archive files. The real life zipper would be the perfect analogy. When it comes to zippers, people always have stories to share: sometimes it gets stuck and and cannot be opened or closed, sometimes it breaks, mostly in situations we’d rather not want it to happen. Then once one discovers that buttons get the job done much better, zippers belong to past and there’s one more great excuse for another delightful shopping marathon. 

Software-wise, the ZIP format can also be easily replaced with “tar.bz2”. fixed with a free open source app called. Otherwise, tar.bz2 files can be opened by simply clicking. To create an archive, there are plenty of apps, but on OS X, the easiest and fastest way is using the command line. Open Terminal (under Applications/Utilities) and pick to type in one of the commands above.

tar cjvf archived_files.tar.bz2 file1 file2 file3 (compressing files)
tar cjvf archive_files.tar.bz2 folder/* (compressing files in specified folder)

And while we’re at it, you can also open tar.bz2 files using the command line:

tar xjvf archived_files.tar.bz2 (extracting files)
tar xjvf archived_files.tar.bz2 -C folder/ (extracting files in specified folder)

For those who are lazy typers, copy&paste makes your life easier, but you might want to replace the folder/filenames with your own. 😉

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