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III. Computer Science > 19. Compression

Chapter 19. Compression

Mark Jason Dominus

You are probably familiar with Unix compress, gzip, or bzip2 utilities, or the DOS pkzip utility. These programs all make files smaller; such files are compressed. Compressed files take less disk space and less network bandwidth when you move them around. The downside of compressed files is that it they are full of unreadable gibberish; you usually have to run another program to uncompress them before you can use them again. In this article we’ll see how file compression works, and I’ll demonstrate a simple module that includes functions for compressing and uncompressing files.


  

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