I just do not want to explain things that are very complicated. I think it is also important to explain things that are now somehow part of the basic computer knowledge.
Probably everyone born after 1980 will already have this basic knowledge.
But not the generation of my parents.
And I think that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
As a 30-year-old one you grew up with it. You had much more opportunities and time to deal with it and to learn how to deal with it.
The Over-30-generation did not always have it that easy in that respect.
That’s why, I’d like to return some knowledge with these “Basic” Blog articles.
Hand back? Why return?
That’s because my parents taught me a lot of basics. For example, how a spoon works. Or how to cross the street without getting hit by a truck. Or that you should not eat dough even if it looks terribly delicious.
All of this (and much more) is stuff without which I would probably not be in the world today where I am today.
That’s why I think you should not roll your eyes when you tell someone for the fifth time how to send an e-mail. After all, we (Nerds) did not know right after the first time how to perfectly swing the spoon.
I can imagine that as a parent it was sometimes quite annoying when you had to clean the kitchen for the fifth time, because the child has again spread the potato soup by spoon everywhere but just not in his mouth. And although he has been shown four times already how it goes with the spoon.
But now to the actual topic:
If you stumble through the Internet for a bit longer, you will inevitably come across terms such as “zip files”, “zip archive”, “rar archive” or “rar files”.
Behind this, in principle, is nothing is complicated. .zip and .rar files are files that anyone can create with the programs “WinRar” and “WinZip”. There are many more programs that can handle and create these files, but these two are the original programs.
The most simple way to explain this function, like many things in life, is an example:
Let’s say you want to send a friend an email including 20 photos of your last summer vacation. You will probably come across two “problems”. First, this e-mail should not consume too much disk space and second, the single upload (What an upload is can you read here: Downloads/Uploads – How the files come from the Internet and disappear again) of 20 photos is a little annoying.
Here are the advantages of WinZip or WinRar to light. Using these programs, these 20 images can be summarized in one file (which is why the files are also called zip or rar archives) and the required storage space of these 20 photos is getting even smaller (this is actually the main function). The 20 photos are therefore combined and compressed using WinZip or WinRar. In principle, you can also say you have packed the photos in a package and can now send the whole package instead of 20 individual photos.
The “packaged” files can be added to your e-mail in one go and then consume less space in the e-mail.
The only “disadvantage”: Your friend who receives the e-mail now also needs WinZip or WinRar.
He has to unpack the received file namely to get back to the photos contained therein.
So before we can work with zip or rar archives, we need to download the appropriate program. I recommend using WinRar because it supports both zip files and rar files.
Hints for our lovely english readers: Basically, many of the articles on Nerdiy.de are translations from the original german articles. Therefore, it may happen here and there that some illustrations are not available in english and that some translations are weird/strange/full of mistakes or generally totaly wrong. So if you find some obvious (or also not obvious) mistakes don't hesitate to leave us a hint about that in the comment section.
Also please don't get confused, that instead of a "dot" often a "comma" is used as decimal separator. 🙂
To download WinRar we visit the link of the manufacturer page: https://www.winrar.de/download.php
If you are not familiar with downloads yet, I recommend this blog article: Downloads/Uploads – How the files come from the Internet and disappear again
There are many basics explained in detail again.
Of course, after you have downloaded the installation package for WinRar, you also need to install it.
If you are not familiar with installing a program yet, I recommend you this blog article: Installing programs
There are many basics explained in detail again.
Now that the preparations are done, it’s time to pack our first files. Of course we also need something that you can pack first. For this I have created a folder and inserted 20 photos in it.
You do not know exactly how to create folders and insert files into them? Then I recommend you this blog article: Basics of navigation in Windows Explorer There are many basics explained in detail again.
The photos in this case only serve as an example. You can package any type of file in a zip or rar archive.
You now know how to create rar archives.
But who now knows how to pack files in Rar files, of course, must also know how he gets his files out of these again.
There are several possibilities for this. I explain here again, in my opinion the easiest or quickest possibility.
You now know how to compress files or pack them and unpack them again.
In the next optional steps, I’ll show you how to protect an archive with a password and how to create a self-extracting archive. A self-extracting archive has the advantage that you do not need to have WinRar installed on the computer where you want to unpack the rar archive.
Protecting an archive with a password
Behind it hides a precautionary measure. Because if you mistype your password (the characters of the password you entered are not displayed in the text field), it could happen that you provide an archive with an unknown password and thus exclude yourself from your archive. Therefore you have to enter the password twice if the entry is hidden (the check mark “Show password” is not set). WinRar then checks whether the same password has been entered twice in both text fields and only then continues.
The hook “Encrypt filename” I recommend to set as well. It also causes the files contained in the archive to be displayed after the password has been entered.
After you have entered your password click on “OK”.
Then you come back to the previous dialog box. If you also confirm this with “OK”, the compression process starts exactly as described above.
To unpack a password-protected archive you will be asked for the password for this rar archive before the unpacking process. After you have entered this, the unpacking process runs just as it runs without password protection.
Create a self-extracting archive
You now know what rar and zip archives are, how to create them, how to unpack them, how to provide them with a password or how to create a self-extracting archive.
Have fun with the project
I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂
P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂