<file format>

1. A single file containing one or (usually) more separate files plus information to allow them to be extracted (separated) by a suitable program.

Archives are usually created for software distribution or backup. tar is a common format for Unix archives, and arc or PKZIP for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows.

<operating system>

2. To transfer files to slower, cheaper media (usually magnetic tape) to free the hard disk space they occupied. This is now normally done for long-term storage but in the 1960s, when disk was much more expensive, files were often shuffled regularly between disk and tape.


3. archive site.

Last updated: 1996-12-08

Nearby terms:

Architecture Neutral Distribution Formatarchivearchive site

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