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TreadMarks FAQ for Zip UnZip Programs

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or... How to acquire an unzipping program...
for unzipping those player created mods for the tank game,
TreadMarks, by LongBow Digital Arts.
or... just general unzipping of zip files on your computer.
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2 rants,
many links,
and explanations ...

[[ First Rant ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

If any one mentions winzip, I'm going to have to slap you upside your head... only kidding :)
[[ You are one Beautiful person!! Absolutely Gorgeous!! ]]
There are plenty of good, free, zip unzip programs !!!!!! ( notice many many exclamation points ) . winzip costs money, and there are better ways of spending your money than purchasing winzip. It's costs $29 dollars. Save your money, download one of the free zip programs from the links below, and go out and buy you and a friend / wife / husband / lover / pet dog, a nice dinner!!


[[ Second Rant ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

When you download a mod file for your TreadMarks game, you will notice that the file has a .zip extension to it. An example... say you download, but when you look at it, if all you see is TM-mod-awesome-weapon, without the .zip file extension. then you should quit what you are doing and go enable file extensions in windows. This is actually a security hazard in windows, and virus writers can take advantage of you and give you a virus by sending you a file with double extensions... ie: virus.jpg.vbs    if file extensions are not enabled, then the file virus.jpg.vbs will look like virus.jpg  and windows will tell you that virus.jpg  is an image; instead of what it truly is : virus.jpg.vbs : a visual basic script file ( the .vbs extension )   Files with double extensions are a dead giveaway for viruses and trojans and worms.

Here is a tutorial on how to enable file extensions in windows!
Examples are shown for win95, win98, winME, NT4, windows2000, and winXP.
You really should enable file extensions!
It's very easy to do.

Ahhhh... i feel much better now.


[[ Download and Link Section ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

Before you can unzip a file, you need a program that can uncompress a zip file back into its original form.
a brief history of the zip compression format is here
Below are 10 free programs that will unzip files :
you can go to the web site and download the program there,
or you can get it directly from me.
7zip home page *****   download the 7zip program : 920KB : freeeware
zip central home page *****   download ZipCentral : 1.29MB : freeeware
IZArc home page *****   download IZArc : 3.04MB : freeeware
iceows home page *****   download iceows : 739KB : freeeware
FilZip home page *****   download FilZip : 1.5MB : freeeware
freezip home page *****   download freezip : 247KB : freeeware
Power Archiver was once freeware, but is now shareware. v6.11 was the last freeware version.
download power archiver v6.11 : 2.04MB : freeeware
as far as i can tell, easy zip 2000, does not have a home on the www.
however, it is still a good and useful zip program.
download easy zip 2000 v3.5 : 1.78MB : freeeware
download easy zip 2000 v4.6 : 1.73MB : freeeware

freeware is above
shareware is below

If you must spend some money on a zipping program, your money will be well spent on these programs:
Power Archiver home page   $20 shareware
Power Zip home page   $24 shareware.
However, your $24 gets you unlimited free upgrades to future versions.
Servant Salamander home page   $20 shareware      back down to zipping with servant salamander
alpha zip website   $29.95 shareware
alpha zip is pretty cool and easy to use. and... and... the author or alpha zip is buddies with the author of the file manager, 2xplorer. it is, indeed, a small world we live in. 2xplorer is no longer being developed. it is replaced by xplorer˛. there is a free version and a professional version of xplorer˛. the free ( lite ) version is also pretty cool, there really is no reason to ever use windows explorer. you know, with 10 to 20 different programs out there for file management and handling zip files, it's hard to make up your mind what to try. alpha zip and xplorer˛ are great programs written by two guys who are friends in real life. that makes a difference to me, so support them if you can!
the xplorer˛ website   19.95 Euros shareware.

[[ Explanation of the Zip programs ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

2 quick notes here...
Servant Salamader is a file manager with zipping and unzipping capabilities.
FreeZip does not have a Window GUI ( graphical user interface ) ; with FreeZip, all you can do is "right click" on a zip file and unzip it. I will write more about these 2 programs farther down on this page. These are the 2 program that I use.
So, how does one decide which program is best for your purposes....
All of the other programs mentioned, are window programs written for creating, uncompressing, and dealing with files that have been "archived", ie: a file or groups of files have been compressed to save on hard disk space. The main advantage here involves sending and receiving files over the internet. Compressed files use less disk space on web servers, and downloading compressed files, over the internet, takes less time. Sounds like we have a win-win situation here. This is also why the mp3 music format ( similar to the ogg vorbis music format) is preferred over other music formats; the same song in .mp3 or .ogg format takes up less space than other music formats, ie: the song was compressed while retaining good audio quality.
A compressed ( archived ) file does you no good unless you can restore that file back to its original state. This is what the above programs allow you to do... uncompress and unarchive the file or groups of files so that they are now useable on your computer.
All of the above zip programs have nice windows with big buttons. When you double click on a .zip file, with the left mouse button, the program will open up and display the contents of the compressed .zip file for you. Then, all you need to do is click on the button labeled, "extract", and your program will unzip / uncompress / unarchive the files for you; the only decision that you need to make is where to store the uncompressed files. Normally, a "browse" button appears allowing you to click and browse to the location where you want these files to reside.
Personally, I find all of this browsing to be a hassle. Most of these programs also have "right mouse button" click options. When you use your mouse and "right click" on a file ( ie: move your mouse cursor over a file and click once with the right-side button, as opposed to the left-side button used for double clicking ), a small menu pops up giving you different options. This window is called a contextual menu, and will present different actions that you can perform on the selected file that you "right-clicked on". "Right-clicking" on different files will present different actions and options for you. The content of the file, based on its file extension, determines what actions and options appear in the pop up menu. "Right-clicking" a text file (.txt) versus an mp3 file (.mp3) versus a zip file (.zip) will result in different menu options popping up. When you "right-click" a zip file, there should be an option to "Extract Here". This is what I always choose to do. This process immediately unzips your file into the same folder that the .zip file resides in. Simple and easy! No browsing and no decisions to make about where to put the files. This is also handy, since all files related to that zip archive are kept in the same folder.
zip central right click   right clicking with zip central v4.01

But I got off track about how to choose a program... well, it comes down to personal preference. Installing and uninstalling different zipping programs should cause no harm to your computer. Find one that you like and stick with it. If you have a preference to open source projects, then try the 7zip program. All of the other programs are written and maintained by an individual or small company.
zip central main window   zip

[[ The 2 Exceptions ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

This is what I do on my computer. Imitation is flattery. Thank you Thank you Thank you...
If all you want and need is a way to unzip files, then FreeZip is the way to go. There is no GUI ( Graphical User Interface ) and no big buttons to push. All you get is a "right-click" contextual menu. But that's ok, it's fast and efficient.
FreeZip's "right-click" contextual menu.
A little DOS box pops up showing you the files that are being unzipped.
When FreeZip is done, the DOS box closes by itself.
If I need to create a zip file, I use the file manager, Servant Salamander.
Sevant Salamander is a 2 panel, windows file manager. Since finding Servant Salamander, I have never used the windows explorer. Servant Salamader is an awesome program and I highly recommend it. It is shareware ( see above ). For a freeware 2 panel windows file manager, 2xExplorer is a great program!!    download 2xExplorer : 391KB : freeware    This is a screenshot of 2xExplorer.    use the browser's back button to come back here after looking at the screenshot.
creating a zip file with Servant Salamander is easy...
Servant Salamander can open a zip file as if it were a folder or directory, so copy any zip file you have when you want to create a new one... open it up in Servant Salamander, and just delete its contents. Now, the files and folders to be zipped are on one side, the left panel ( or it could be the right panel, makes no difference ) ; and the now empty zip file is on the other side, the right panel ( or it could be the left panel, makes no difference ) . Highlight the files and folders you want in the new zip file, press the F5 key, and click the Yes button. It's that easy.

Servant Salamander is now compressing your selected folders and files into the zip file.

When it is done, highlight your new zip file, press the F2 key, and give the zip file any name you want...
remembering, of course, to keep the .zip extension.


A couple of notes here about relative path names versus full path names...
When using the other zip programs for creating zip files, you need to remember to use "relative" path names, instead of "full" path names. These zipping programs allow you to choose either when creating a zip file. Always choose relative, which is what Sevant Salamander defaults to.
This is a path name... some people might call this a "directory path".
C:\My Documents\TM community content addons\unzipped\ Addons\objects\sculpture\tetra
This is the logical tree structure of how windows keeps track of where everything is, in your computer, on your hard drive.
on my hard drive labeled C:
I have a folder called My Documents
which has a subfolder called TM community content addons
which has a subfolder called unzipped
which has a subfolder called Addons
which has a subfolder called objects
which has a subfolder called sculpture
which has a subfolder called tetra
which has some files in it.... tetra.luv and tetra.lwo
Let's say that you want to create a zip file of everything in the Addons folder.
That's 5 levels down in the directory structure.
C:\My Documents\TM community content addons\unzipped\Addons\
When the people who download your file, go to unzip it, all that you want the people to see is the folder "Addons".You don't want them to see
C:\My Documents\TM community content addons\unzipped\ Addons\
which is the full path you needed to get to the Addons directory to zip it up in the first place. If you choose the option to use relative path names, your zipping program will ignore the directory structure up to the folder that you are zipping, ie: it will ignore the front part of the path name:
"C:\My Documents\TM community content addons\unzipped\"
and only include the folder and subfolder's path in your zip file...
In other words, the zip program starts remembering the path of the files and subfolders "relative" to the start position of your zipping process... in this case, your start position is the folder "Addons". So the zip program starts remembering the path of the files and folder "relative" to the folder "Addons".

zip central path choices   relative path
  vs full path
  with zip central.
  always choose
  relative path.

[[ Final Note ]] §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

Actually, I can't think of much more to add at this moment.
Unzipping a file is pretty easy.
Double click on the zip file and click the extract button
right click on the zip file and choose to extract or extract here.
That's about all you need to do.
I suppose I could have said this at the very beginning, so thank you if you are reading this sentence.
So go download one of the programs I mentioned above, install it, and don't worry ... be happy.
oops, i just thought of one last item...
if you try to unzip a file, and you get an error message that says the file is corrupt; most likely, what has happened is... that the zip file did get corrupted. For the most part, this happens with files that get downloaded over the internet. When you download any file over the internet, the web server, holding that file, will break up your requested file into many small pieces; and those many small pieces will then get transmitted over the physical network cables, that make up the internet, and finally end up at your computer. Your computer will then reassemble all of those many small pieces back into the original file that you requested and recieved from a web server. These many small pieces can number into the hundreds, and quite often, into the thousands. So that one file you want to download, will be broken into thousands of little pieces, sent over hundreds of miles of network cables, and then reassembled by your computer once it receives all of those little pieces. This is a process we all engage in daily, and give little thought to, since it has proven so reliable. However, every great once in a while, one of those little pieces will get scrambled or lost or dropped or something.... Your computer might think it has received the complete file; but if you ever get a "corrupted file" error message, then something happened to one of those little pieces, and the only way to correct the error is to go back and re-download the file again. It's not an elegant solution; it's not even a pretty solution. You just have to delete the bad download and go get it again.

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you can blame me for this FAQ on zip / unzip programs.
TM nickname : harmless
a.k.a. Michael Hallsted
my email for sending flames:
today's date is : Friday, April 30, 2004


back to the main TM download index!!

TreadMarks Tutorials / FAQ's by me.

TreadMarks FAQ for AddOns Mods
TreadMarks FAQ on Taking In Game ScreenShots
TreadMarks FAQ for Zip UnZip Programs
TreadMarks FAQ for Enabling File Extensions in Windows
TreadMarks FAQ on Installing or Updating ASPI Drivers
A review of a virtual cdrom drive program!

go ahead... email me... like i care ;-)   mikey{:-)
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