PKZip 32-bit version 2.5
Review by Al Giovetti, 11/16/96
Price: $49 (upgrade $29)
Genre: file compression utility
Release: November 1, 1996
Developer: PKWare
Publisher: PKWare
Phone: 414-354-8699
Requirements: Windows 95 and NT

History: PKZip is one of the oldest and most trusted utilities that remains to be available as shareware. PKWare was founded in 1986

What’s new: The new version 2.5 supports Windows 95 and NT long file names. Create self-extracting Windows archives. This allows creation of archives that do not require PKZIP for Windows to extract files from the archive; self-extractor can create a program group and register extensions in Windows 95. Create spanned .ZIP archives. A spanned .ZIP archive exists over more than one diskette or other removable media. Span self-extracting Windows archives.

Drag and drop files from the File Manager or Windows Explorer into an open archive within PKZIP. Recognize .ZIP archives imbedded with authenticity verification by PKZIP for DOS v2.04g. Retain and restore Windows 95 and Windows NT long filenames. Create new, open and test existing, and extract files from .ZIP files within the Windows 95 and Windows NT v.4.0 Explorer.

Click the right mouse button to activate a menu of the most often used features in PKZIP for Windows. Have multiple .ZIP archives open simultaneously. Quickly and easily copy or move files between different .ZIP archives without having to extract those files. Convert archives to, or from, a normal .ZIP, a Windows self-extracting or a DOS self-extracting file.

View files from within an archive without extracting individual files. Add, edit and view .ZIP archive comments. Easily uninstall PKZIP for Windows, restoring your system to the setup previous to installation.

What’s good: The utility compresses and uncompresses files with a number of commands. The compression saves as much as 90% of the file space. You can store a 10 to 15 MB program or data file on a single 3.5 inch floppy disk.

Compression can be used to backup files and applications. The program is intelligent enough to only compress into a backup those items that were changed or added since the last backup.

Compression of the files and directories is another option. PKZip allows the user to retain the entire file structure as it was on the computer. When you restore the file with PKUnzip the entire file structure is restored.

Compression of the files can span multiple disks. If one disk fills up the program prompts you to put in another and continue. When decompressing with PKUnzip the entire process is reversed prompting you for the next disk.

Reviewer: Norvin quotes Mark Edwards who reminds us that "everyone uses the algorithm."

Norvin Leach, PC Week, volume 13, number 45, November 11, 1996, pg. 28

Al Giovetti, The Computer Show, 1615 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD, 21228-5022, 410-747-0396