In thinking about all the free and open source tools I use, one seems to run underneath the radar: 7-Zip.
7-Zip will compress, expand, encode, and decode more formats than you can shake a stick at. It integrates seamlessly with Windows Explorer, so you just right-click and choose the option you want, as shown below.
[That little fuzzy thing in the background is my dog, Thea. How I miss her!]
The fact that 7-Zip does so much and is free makes me wonder why anyone would pay $30 for a copy of WinZip. Instead, donate that money to Igor Pavlov, author of 7-Zip.
I decided to do just that. Heading over to the donate page for 7-Zip tells you that the “base donation amount is $50 or €40, but if you would like to donate more, just change the Quantity field”. Apparently, you can donate more than $50, but you can not donate less than $50 — donations must be whole-number multiples of $50.
This is a bit odd. I would think a minimum donation for a free product would be less than the retail price of a commercial product. I wonder how many people don’t donate due to this high number?
Considering that 99% of the archive files I receive are ZIP files, that Windows can compress and expand ZIP files (albeit slowly), and that minimum $50 price tag, I’m going to pass. If Mr. Pavlov would let me set a lower donation level, I’d be happy to oblige; until then, I have that weird feeling I get when there’s a minimum tip amount added to a restaurant bill.
I guess I’ll look for another free/open-source product to send my money to.