What the heck should I do with my ZIP files?
What the heck should I do with my ZIP files ?
Huh? Okay, okay. You've just downloaded a really cool supermodel screensaver called "Destiny" and you're dying to see it. But, what's the deal? The file is called 763.ZIP and you can't do anything with it. Let me explain.... Destiny is an awesome screensaver. It has lots of super cool graphics and noises that will curl your hair. That's what make it such a great screensaver, but the whole thing takes up 1.6 megabytes of space on your hard drive. Well, that's not too big of a deal - but when you're sending files over the internet - size makes a difference.
That's where "zipping" or compression comes in. In order to files to transfer faster and take up less "space" in cyberspace, big files are compressed, or squeezed down to take up less room. This squeezed-up file gets a new extension on it (you know, those three letters after the period in a filename?) -- .zip. Hooray! Now your screensaver is smaller. But now what? Well, once you've downloaded the file to your computer (and hopefully you've scanned it for viruses), you can "unzip" or decompress the file to its original size.
Okay - how do you do that? Well first of all you need the software. We've given you the links to two very popular applications - WinZip and PKZIP. If you go to either site, you can follow their directions to download a copy of the software and install it to your hard drive. When you're ready, come back here and I'll show you how to UNZIP "Destiny" (or whatever other screensaver you want to unzip).
Okay - you're back! I'm going to show you two different ways to unzip your files. Follow the directions for the application you're using.