Hey all,

So basically over the last couple hours I was going over my back ups, and thinking "OK, I think it's time to just pop these things into an Archive, Compress it, save some space, and have them in one big archive instead of all over the place" and started messing with some tools to do it.

Currently I'm using 7z as my choice in archive formats since it seems to not only work quickly, but I can compress the crap out of it.

I wanted to do some tests though. I mean really, where is the fun in just using WinZip or something everyone else has when there are better ways out there?

Here was my "rules" while picking something:

1. It HAS to be Cross Platform. I don't use ONE OS, I use... Well if you include Linux as a generic term and not different versions, that is one, though I use like 4 distros on a few different machines (Slackware on two machines, Debian on two machines, SUSE, and Mandriva on others) but I also use FreeBSD sometimes for other stuff, so it had to work there too, which isn't even a problem, but, also, it had to work on Windows.

I wasn't sure what kind of stuff you could use in Windows since basically, from the get go of my computing life, almost everyone seems to use Zip as the preferred style. Mostly WinZip. Then I see my Wife using Rar stuff, so I'm like OK, some people do use something else at least.

In the Linux and BSD world, you probably see Tar a lot. (You know, those Tarballs everyone is so fond of making out of software in .tgz or .tar.gz format) but I wasn't exactly sure what I'd be able to find.

On my Linux and BSD machines, I was starting to use either Bunzip2 / Bzip2 which has a LOT more compression that Tar seems to pop out, but taking more CPU cycles, or I would end up using 7Zip which was starting to grow on me. Mostly because of the options and choices I had when using them.

But I had to first find something that would actually work in Windows. I started searching and found that basically the exact same thing I had been using on Linux and BSD, also had Windows versions.

Another rule was "I want the files to be decently sized, yet not take forever".

If you've used more than just WinZip in your life, you know what I mean. Sure you can make something small, but it'll take hours to complete on anything but new machines. So what to do?

I started to search around Google, and found that Windows has a lot more to offer these days than it did when I first started using Archives. If you'd like a funny story to poke fun at me with, I had no idea what WinZip was for a while when I first got a Computer, and being that the first machine I had was running Windows 95 in 1999 because, well, I was broke, I had to download stuff. XP has a ZIP thing built in, but before that, you downloaded stuff.

So some friends of mine who were sending me stuff were sending ZIP files of everything, and I'm like "WTF is this?" and that basically introduced me to Archives and Compression. I had no idea. I only had a computer for a few months at the time, so I really didn't know. They told me about Win Zip, and I grabbed it and started using it, but never really USED it used it. I'd open stuff they sent me, but I never cared much about disk space or Compressing stuff to save space.

So obviously now, I have a LOT more stuff backed up than I did back then, which was basically MP3s and pr0n lol.

But now, I have GIGS of MP3s, and probably 5 Gigs of plain text files, and a crap load more. (Backing up Configuration files, entire directories, and some HDs to give you an idea of the space I take up on a machine lol).

So anyway, I'm looking at my Windows options because I want something I don't need to sit around and toy with to much, because before I'd have to download the files off my Server, and then, realize I had to un-compress them on Linux, and then send them back to Windows so it would work, and go from there.

So again, back to google, look up everything, and see that PeaZip was a tool that could handle most of the file types I used, and think "OK, I'll give it a try, and while I'm here, they seem to have 7z stuff too, and others"...

So I grab a bunch of them, and start toying around. Zip files are fine and all that but I don't really think they are the best option.

7Zip, PeaZip, TUGZip, WinRar -

I grabed these to start out, and kind of liked the fact that 7Zip's File Manager could not only open up my Linux / BSD compressed stuff, but it wasn't slow either.

PeaZip was also pretty nice, and so was TUGZip. I think PeaZip grabbed me though, it was the only one that had some of the nicer features, and exactly what I was looking in terms of speed and usefulness, so I've now been using that to make my back ups!

Here is something I think anyone here could find a use for; PeaZip not only can make the 7z archives, it can also do BZIP2!!!! So now, I've found a tool that not only can READ the archives on my server, it can make some for me to upload right inside Windows, no head aches!



I highly recommend this one.

So now that I'm finally done talking this much, a simple question of preference:

What are the tools you use for Archives? What do you use for Compression? Do you have any preference over which type you like?