… .arc files?
I was thinking about this the other day while watching the upgrade to Tessa 19.1 on my computer.
It took me back; way back. Back to the days when we all used modems to dial up to connect to services. And, people like me ran a Bulletin Board Service (BBS) just as a hobby. In the beginning, at least. It turned out to be a way for some of my students to hand in assignments electronically.
There’s a lot of technical stuff that goes behind the story and the Wikipedia does it justice.
Essentially, in my case, there were two really important reasons to use files in .arc format.
- often I’d want to sent two or more files to the recipient. In my students’ case, it was their program along with their test data
- since connections speeds were so slow 300, 1200, 2400, 9600 baud, I’d like to be able to use the fact that .arc files were compressed so that it didn’t take so long to transfer the file. And, curse you wet phone lines
The whole process was anything but seamless. It was all done at the command line (we didn’t need no stinking GUIs back then) so you had to make sure that the program you were using was either in the directory where you were doing the deed or that it was in your search path. What you really needed to do though was to make sure that the file/files were in that directory so that you could make your .arc file.
Once created, it was a matter of sending it wherever it was intended. Oh, and the recipient needed to know what to do with a .arc file. If they couldn’t unarchive it, it was just a worthless collection of bits!
For a Sunday, date your own self and chime in…
- did you ever use a utility to send and receive .arc files? (there were lots of them)
- did you ever use .arc to compress a bunch of files for backup purposes?
- did you ever use .arc to compress files so that they’d fit on a floppy disk?
- did you ever host your own or be a subscriber to Bulletin Board System?
Please don’t make me feel like I’m the only oldie here and share your thoughts about .arc files – even if it’s to say you’ve never heard of them.
This is part of a regular Sunday series of posts. You can access them all here.
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