Monday, October 02, 2006

Zip Archive Horror

Compressed archives..they've been around since the dawn of the pc age. I still remember that "Games" floppy disk my dad made me. It had a stunning 3 games on them: 2 Accolade racers and King's Quest, which I never played due to the fact that virtual death scared me. They were packed in a zip format, to fit the disk. No problem, since my daddy was a stern teacher and I was a sharp kid.

Until the day that (due partly to the infinite reliability of floppies) one of the zips corrupted. A feeling of disgust, dismay, disappointment and plain destructive urges towards anything in sight already got the best of me at such an early age. My stuffed animals still call that day "Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday".

As time went by, so did everything change in computerland. Except for compressed archives. People still have the uncontrollable urge to squeeze data in an as small as possible size. In a time where you can get external HDs with pocket change; eurekas, hurrahs and general feelings of well-being still accompany data compression.

The reason for this long rant? A corrupted compressed archive download. Of course. 4 files, totaling 720 mb and WinRar not knowing which file is corrupt. Employing all my 1337 computer skills built up by years of negating Windows operating systems, I tried shareware decompressors (btw, WinZip is no longer free), corruption fixers, tried renaming the files to rar - r01 - etc...All to no avail. I then tried redownloading the lot, which I thoroughly hate, and of course, again without result.

Getting close to deleting the blasted files due to 450GB absolutely stuffed with anime and DVD-size TV recordings (World Cup and Tour de France, both with a sour aftertaste but important enough to be kept), I tried consulting Google in a last ditch attempt, hoping that Larry Page and Sergey Brin's algorithms would rescue me. And so did it transgress. Gogole led me to 7-zip. And the damn thing decompressed flawlessly.

So to conclude. Got a nasty multiple file archive that's giving you the finger? Stick to it, and you'll eventually find a key that fits the lock. Don't redownload unless you're 100% sure you've got a corrupted file. Unless you have unlimited T1 access. Or if Google didn't exist.

No comments: