4.0586 Mac Compression Utilities (1/54)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 15 Oct 90 20:21:11 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0586. Monday, 15 Oct 1990.

Date: 11 Oct 90 09:40 -0330
From: dgraham@kean.ucs.mun.ca
Subject: Mac compression utilities

A few minor additions to Richard Goerwitz's helpful article on
compression utilities.

1. Stuffit (not stuff) is a compression utility written by a
teen-age whiz kid named Raymond Lau. After many shareware releases,
it is now a commercial program called Stuffit Deluxe. It compresses
files by means of different compression algorithms (LZW, Huffman, etc)
and will also archive files in groups and decode or encode files in
Binhex format. Because of the migration of Stuffit to the commercial
sector, it is being replaced by a new shareware compression utility
called Compactor, which I haven't tried yet, just as Stuffit replaced
an earlier utility by Harry Chesley called PackIt.

2. Binhex, as Richard says, is a means of reducing Mac binaries
to 7-bit ASCII for network transmission. Mac binaries, not being
intended for real computers, are not likely to interest devotees of
other operating systems, and so most of these people are not likely to
need Binhex for anything. Richard is quite right to point out that Mac
users wanting to transmit something to non-Mac users should choose
another format such as uuencode. I seem to recall that Binhex deals
not only with the peculiarities of the Macintosh character set, the
upper part of which is non-ASCII, but with the fact that Mac binaries
store what they need in two 'forks' (data and resource), unlike
programs for other computers. Naturally...

3. Various of the utilities (Unix and MS-DOS) to which Richard
refers are indeed available for the Mac. At least that is my
understanding; I haven't needed any of them myself, since I seldom
have much to do with real computers. :-) I notice that some of them at
least are available from the Mac archives at Princeton (MACSERVE@PUCC)
and Rice (LISTSERV@RICEVM1) to which Adam Engst referred, including:


(These are the files to ask for from the server at Rice.) While
uuencode does not (yet) live at Rice, as far as I know, I gather
someone has recently implemented it for the Mac as well. If so, it
will no doubt turn up at Princeton and Rice in due course if it hasn't

4. While Icon has been implemented for the Mac, the version
available from Arizona unfortunately requires MPW (the Macintosh
Programmers' Workshop) in order to run, which means that you have to
lay out quite a bit of money. There is also a commercial release from
Catspaw which I understand is very good, but again it costs...

Hoping I haven't made too many booboos in this,

David Graham