NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Quarterdeck ZIP-IT 4.0
Doug MacDonald, co-President, July 98
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Everyone uses "zip" files. The "zip" compression algorithm is the standard for DOS and Windows-based PCs, just as "TAR" files are the "standard" compression mechanism for Unix (and Linux) operating systems. Quarterdeck's "Zip-It 4.0" is an excellent utility that combines all of the advantages of a full 32-bit "zip" compression system with the convenience of full Windows functionality. As a useful bonus, it includes TAR, LHARC, and ARJ compression and decompression capabilities. The Quarterdeck product also has some unique capabilities that make it worthy of special consideration.

With "Zip-It 4.0," you can drag and drop files into the "Zip-It" window, you can right click in Windows 95 Explorer or File Manager to perform zip functions, and you can view compressed files without expanding them through use of "Zip-It's" internal viewer, the application that created the file, or an external viewer of your choice. You can even run compressed executable files without extracting them from their parent archive. If necessary, you can edit compressed files with their creating application also without extracting them first. "Zip-It" can be fully integrated with most Internet browser packages, which permits its compression, decompression, and viewing functionality to be called from within the browser itself.

According to Quarterdeck, all "Zip-It" files are 100 percent PKZIP compatible, which means that you can exchange compressed files with others who do not have "Zip-It" and be confident that they can use their "compatible" program to extract their contents. You can also use "Zip-It" to send self-extracting archives to friends who do not possess any kind of file compression program. Additional functionality includes the ability to search for specific files in all "zip" files on your hard drives.

One particularly useful benefit of this program is the ability to check out the contents of "Zip" files on the Internet or in a local network if the Internet or network site is equipped with Quarterdeck's "I-Zip" server technology. This system allows you to look through the contents of a "zipped" archive on the Internet and download only the files in the collection that you need. This can save substantial download time! Just how common "I-Zip" server technology is on the Internet, I was unable to ascertain. The idea is an excellent one, and if the necessary software is not too expensive I can see why Internet site operators might well be inclined to include it for their own convenience as well as for that of their users.

"Zip-It 4.0," like some of the other "combination" compression utility packages, has the capability to take large files and compress them across several floppy disks or other removable media. I used "Zip-It" to create a backup of one full partition on one of my hard drives, and I was impressed with it's ability to take almost 600MB of file data and compress it to one and one half 100MB "Zip" cartridges! While this drive did contain some database and other highly "compressible" files, the results are still worth noting! Depending upon the backup software you are presently using and its ability to compress data, "Zip-It 4.0" might be a good replacement.

In summary, "Zip-It 4.0" is a useful addition to any computer user's utility set. It provides superior versatility when compared with competitive retail and shareware products. Information provided by Quarterdeck suggests that the estimated street price of the "Zip-It 4.0" is $39.95 with a $10.00 mail-in rebate. If you have an earlier version of "Zip-It," you can obtain an upgrade for $19.95. No rebate is available on the upgrade. "Zip-It 4.0" is available as a part of the same CD that contains Quarterdeck's "CleanSweep Extra Strength 4.0" program. This set lists for $59.95 for new users or $29.95 for users who are upgrading from an earlier version of CleanSweep. Access to this useful compression program makes purchasing the "CleanSweep Extra Strength 4.0" package that much more attractive!

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