Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Alan German
My quest for
quality open-source software and freeware has moved on to
look at file compression utilities. The industry leaders,
PKZIP (http://www.pkware.com/) and WinZIP (http://www.winzip.com/), are not expensive (around US
$30), and work extremely well. But, is there a free
product out there that will give similar results? Well,
give Zip Central a try. I think you will be pleasantly
The interface is very similar to the two commercial
products, featuring both a menu bar, and a task bar with
icons for frequently used operations such as: New,
Open, Add, Extract
and Convert (to .exe). In addition,
there are icons for Test (to check the
integrity of an archive file), Install
(to install a file such as setup.exe contained in an
archive file) and Cancel. Presumably,
the latter button is used to abort a compress/uncompress
operation that is in progress. However, the speed at
which the program completes such tasks may make this
button normally redundant.
Using the program is simplicity itself. For example,
pressing the Open button, brings up a
browse dialogue box. Once the desired ZIP file is
identified, a list of the files contained in the archive
is displayed in the program's main window. Pressing the Extract
button then brings up a second dialogue box in which a
target directory can be selected to which all of the
individual files in the archive will be copied.
Alternatively, one or more files in the archive can be
selected prior to opting for the extraction process.
button functions in a very similar way, with dialogue
boxes providing browsing for a directory in which to
store a new ZIP file, and for the selection of the files
to be included in the archive. With an archive file open,
and its files visible in the display window, the Add
button will allow the selection of files to be added to
Many more features are available from the program's menu
system including disk spanning, and a range of options to
configure various aspects of the program. There is an
extensive help file that is both well structured and
contains concise information on a variety of topics. In
addition, while the program's operations are really
intuitive, a nice feature on each dialogue box is an
integrated help pane that provides basic instructions on
the current task.
According to the program's web site, the software has not
been updated since January, 2002. While some may see this
as lack of on-going support, I take the view that if the
software works well - and it's free - why worry?
Version 4.01 (freeware)
Johan Savås http://zipcentral.isCool.net
Click here to view the
full OPCUG website with frames.
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
comments or suggestions to the .