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What is 7-zip, and how do I use it?

Article ID: 457
Last updated: 15 May, 2012

Sometimes when downloading files, you may encounter .ZIP or .7z files. These are compressed files that are designed to take up less space and hold multiple files within one single file. You can then extract these files, or unpack them, to uncompress them and use them.

Here are some helpful tips to help you use 7zip for your files:

  • When you download a .ZIP or .7z file, it will do one of two things: ask you where you want to save it, or save to a default folder, like your Downloads folder. You can determine where it has saved to by clicking the window with the list of downloaded files in your browser window, right clicking the folder, and left clicking "Open Containing Folder".
  • When you want to use a file within the .ZIP or .7z file, you will want to extract those files before opening. You can do this by right-clicking the .ZIP or .7z file, and left clicking "Extract files to...", which will then open up a Windows Explorer windows where you may specify the location you want the files to be unpacked to. I would recommend creating a new folder in that directory, and then double-clicking it and extracting the files there.
  • To create a .7z or .ZIP file, select the files you want by holding ALT+Left Clicking the files to highlight them. Then right- click anywhere in the highlighted areas and select 7-zip: Add to archive. This will pop up a Windows explorer window for you to name and save your archive to.

7zip is free to download, and is available here:

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This is the process in which data is sent to your computer. Whenever you receive information from the Internet, you are downloading it to your computer. For example, you might have to download an upgrade for your computer\'s operating system in order to play a new game (especially if you\'re using Windows). Or you might download a demo version of a program you are thinking about buying from the software company\'s Web site. The opposite of this process, sending information to another computer, is called uploading.

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As computer users, we have become accustomed to icons that represent files, folders, programs, and other objects on the computer. Many software programs also use icons to represent tools, which are often found in the program\'s toolbar. While these icons can save screen space and make the program\'s interface more attractive, it can sometimes be difficult to tell what all the tool icons mean. While some tool icons are obvious (such as a printer icon to print and a scissors icon to cut a text selection), others are a bit more ambiguous. For this reason, programs often include tooltips that explain what each tool icon represents.

Tooltips are displayed when you roll over an icon with the cursor. It may take a second or two to display the tooltip, but when it does appear, it usually is a small box with a yellow background explaining what the icon represents. For example, in Microsoft Word, when you roll over the disk icon, the tooltip \"Save\" appears. This means clicking on the disk icon will save your document. In Photoshop, when you roll over the wand icon, the text \"Magic Wand Tool (W)\" appears. This indicates that clicking the the wand icon or pressing the W key will activate the magic wand selection tool.

Not all programs incorporate tooltips, but most modern programs include them as part of a user-friendly interface. Operating systems also support them in different ways. For example, Mac OS X will show the full text of a long filename when you place the cursor over the filename. Windows includes tooltips for the systray icons and also tells you information about each file and folder you place the cursor over. If you drag your cursor over different icons on your computer, you may find tooltips you never knew were there!

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This term is used to describe a preset value for some option in a computer program. It is the value used when a setting has not been specified by the user. For example, the default font setting in Netscape Communicator is \"Times.\" If you don\'t go to the Netscape preferences and change it to something else, the \"Times\" font will be used -- by default. Typically, default settings are set to what most people would choose anyway, so there\'s often no reason to change them. However, if you\'re one of those people who has to customize everything that you possibly can, then you can go ahead and change all the default settings you want.

\"Default\" can also be used as a verb. If a custom setting won\'t work for some reason, the program will \"default\" to the default setting. For example, say you\'re working on computer that is on a network and you print something when there is no printer specified. If you\'re lucky and don\'t get some nasty error message, the print job will default to the default printer and your work will be printed.

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Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system for personal computers. There are several versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows XP (for home users) and Windows 2000 (for professional users). Earlier versions of Windows include Windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME, and NT. All Windows platforms use a graphical user interface (GUI), like the Mac OS, and also offer a command-line interface for typing text commands.

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This term is used to describe the architecture of an integrated circuit. For example, the chipset of a modem card would be much different than the chipset of a computer\'s CPU. Processors themselves also have different chipsets. For example, a Pentium II and Pentium III have slightly different chipsets, and the PowerPC processors have other kinds. Though there are many different types of chipsets that reside in today\'s computer hardware, the average user does not need to know much about them. After all, as long it works, who cares? =)

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You are probably using a browser to read this right now. A Web browser, often just called a \"browser,\" is the program people use to access the World Wide Web. It interprets HTML code including text, images, hypertext links, Javascript, and Java applets. After rendering the HTML code, the browser displays a nicely formatted page. Some common browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, and Apple Safari.

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A computer script is a list of commands that are executed by a certain program or scripting engine. Scripts may be used to automate processes on a local computer or to generate Web pages on the Web. For example, DOS scripts and VB Scripts may be used to run processes on Windows machines, while AppleScript scripts can automate tasks on Macintosh computers. ASP, JSP, and PHP scripts are often run on Web servers to generate dynamic Web page content.

Script files are usually just text documents that contain instructions written in a certain scripting language. This means most scripts can be opened and edited using a basic text editor. However, when opened by the appropriate scripting engine, the commands within the script are executed. VB (Visual Basic) scripts, for example, will run when double-clicked, using Windows\' built-in VB scripting support. Since VB scripts can access and modify local files, you should never run a VB script that you receive as an unknown e-mail attachment.

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Stands for \"Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.\" These two protocols were developed in the early days of the Internet by the U.S. military. The purpose was to allow computers to communicate over long distance networks. The TCP part has to do with the verifying delivery of the packets. The IP part refers to the moving of data packets between nodes. TCP/IP has since then become the foundation of the Internet. Therefore, TCP/IP software is built into all major operating systems, such as Unix, Windows, and the Mac OS.

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Just like real world folders, folders on your hard drive store files. These files can be documents, programs, scripts, libraries, and any other kind of computer file you can think of. Folders can also store other folders, which may store more files or other folders, and so on.

Folders allow people to organize their files in a way that makes sense to them. For example, a college student might store all her photos in a folder named \"Pictures,\" all her papers in a folder named \"School Work,\" and all her financial information (including the tens of thousands of dollars in student loans) in a folder named \"Finances.\" All these folders might reside within a folder called \"My Documents.\"

The computer\'s operating system also uses folders to store data such as system files, library files, and user preferences. Often, the folders that the system uses are locked, meaning users cannot alter their contents.

While folders can store several gigabytes of data, folders themselves hardly take up any space on the hard drive. This is because the folders are really just pointers to files and other folders, telling the computer where they are located. The compilation of folders on your hard drive make up the \"directory structure,\" or overall organization of your hard drive. For this reason, folders are also referred to as \"directories.\" Thank goodness for folders, because without them our hard drives would be pretty cluttered!

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A window is an area on the screen that displays information for a specific program. This often includes the user interface GUI as well as the program content. Windows are used by most applications as well as the operating system itself. A typical window includes a title bar along the top that describes the contents of the window, followed by a toolbar that contains user interface buttons. Most of the window\'s remaining area is used to display the content.


  1. Web Browser windows:
    The top of a typical Web browser window contains a title bar that displays the title of the current page. Below the title is a toolbar with back and forward buttons, an address field, bookmarks, and other navigation buttons. Below the toolbar is the content of the current Web page. The bottom of the window may contain a status bar that displays the page loading status

  2. Word Processing windows:
    A window used by a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, typically includes buttons for page and text formatting, followed by a ruler that defines the document area. Below the ruler is the main page area used for entering text.

  3. Operating System windows:
    Windows used by the operating system typically include navigation buttons along the top and shortcuts to folders and other locations on the left side of the window. The rest of the window is used to display icons or lists of files and folders.

Most windows can be opened, closed, resized, minimized, and moved around the screen. The close, minimize, and zoom buttons are located on the title bar (on the right side on Windows and the left side on Macs). Minimizing a window will close the contents of the window, but store a reference to it in the Taskbar (Windows) or the Dock (Mac). Closing a window will make it disappear completely (so you may be asked to save your changes first). To move a window, click on the title bar and drag the window where you want it. To resize a window, either click the Zoom button in the title bar or click the lower right-hand corner and expand or contract the window to the size you want.

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Stands for \"Voice Over Internet Protocol,\" and is often pronounced \"voip.\" VoIP is basically a telephone connection over the Internet. The data is sent digitally, using the Internet Protocol (IP) instead of analog telephone lines. This allows people to talk to one another long-distance and around the world without having to pay long distance or international phone charges.

In order to use VoIP, you need a computer, an Internet connection, and VoIP software. You also need either a microphone, analog telephone adapter, or VoIP telephone. Many VoIP programs allow you to use a basic microphone and speaker setup. Others requires VoIP phones, which are like regular telephone handsets, but typically connect to your computer via USB. Analog telephone adapters allow you to use regular phones with your computer. IP phones are another option that connect directly to a router via Ethernet or wirelessly. These phones have all the necessary software for VoIP built in and therefore do not require a computer.

The largest provider of VoIP services is Vonage, but there are several other companies that offer similar services. While Vonage charges a monthly service fee, programs like Skype and PeerMe allow users to connect to each other and talk for free. However, these free services may offer fewer connections, lower audio quality, and may be less reliable than paid services like Vonage.

VoIP is also referred to as IP telephony, Internet telephony, and digital phone.

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IPv4 is the current version of of the Internet Protocol (as of late 2006). Each computer or device connected to the Internet must use an IP address in order to communicate with other systems on the Internet. IPv4 distributes IP addresses in a 32-bit format, which looks like Each three-digit section can include a number from 0 to 255, which means the total number of IPv4 addresses available is 4,294,967,296 (256 x 256 x 256 x 256 or 2^32).

Because the number of systems connected to the Internet is quickly approaching the number of available IP address, IPv4 addresses will run out soon. (Nice planning, guys). When you consider that there are over 6 billion people in the world and many people have more than one computer connected to the Internet (for example, at home, school, work, etc.), it is not surprising that roughly 4.3 billion addresses is not enough. Also, as mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs begin to use Internet access more often, they will also require unique IP addresses.

To solve this situation, a new IP system, called IPv6, has been developed and is in the process of replacing the current IPv4 system. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit, which means there are exponentially more addresses available than IPv4. During this transitional process from IPv4 to IPv6, most systems connected to the Internet are assigned both an IPv4 and IPv6 address.

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A file is a collection of data stored in one unit, identified by a filename. It can be a document, picture, audio or video stream, data library, application, or other collection of data. The following is a brief description of each file type.

Documents include text files, such as a Word documents, RTF (Rich Text Format) documents, PDFs, Web pages, and others. Pictures include JPEGs, GIFs, BMPs, and layered image files, such as Photoshop documents (PSDs). Audio files include MP3s, AACs, WAVs, AIFs, and several others. Video files can be encoded in MPEG, MOV, WMV, or DV formats, just to name a few.

A library file is a unit of data that is referenced by a specific program or the operating system itself. These include plug-ins, components, scripts, and many others. An application is a program, or executable file. Programs such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple iTunes are both applications, but are also files.

Files can be opened, saved, deleted, and moved to different folders. They can also be transferred across network connections or downloaded from the Internet. A file\'s type can be determined by viewing the file\'s icon or by reading the file extension. If the file type is associated with a specific application, double-clicking the file will typically open the file within the program.

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Stands for \"HyperText Transfer Protocol.\" This is the protocol used to transfer data over the World Wide Web. That\'s why all Web site addresses begin with \"http://\". Whenever you type a URL into your browser and hit Enter, your computer sends an HTTP request to the appropriate Web server. The Web server, which is designed to handle HTTP requests, then sends to you the requested HTML page.

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Every computer system and device connected to the Internet is located by an IP address. The current system of distributing IP addresses is called IPv4. This system assigns each computer a 32-bit numeric address, such as However, with the growth of computers connected to the Internet, the number of available IP addresses are predicted to run out in only a few years. This is why IPv6 was introduced.

IPv6, also called IPng (or IP Next Generation), is the next planned version of the IP address system. (IPv5 was an experimental version used primarily for streaming data.) While IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, which increases the number of possible addresses by an exponential amount. For example, IPv4 allows 4,294,967,296 addresses to be used (2^32). IPv6 allows for over 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 IP addresses. That should be enough to last awhile.

Because IPv6 allows for substantially more IP addresses than IPv4, the addresses themselves are more complex. They are typically written in this format:


Each \"hhhh\" section consists of a four-digit hexadecimal number, which means each digit can be from 0 to 9 and from A to F. An example IPv6 address may look like this:


Because IPv6 addresses are so complex, the new system also adds extra security to computers connected to the Internet. Since there are so may IP address possibilities, it is nearly impossible to guess the IP address of another computer. While most computer systems today support IPv6, the new Internet procotol has yet to be fully implemented. During this transitional process, computers are often assigned both an IPv4 and an IPv6 address. By 2008, the U.S. government has mandated that all government systems use IPv6 addresses, which should help move the transition along.

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The iPod is a portable music player developed by Apple Computer. Though it is an Apple product, the iPod can be used with both Macs and PCs. The iTunes software, also created by Apple, is used to organize and transfer songs and playlists to the iPod. Both iTunes and the iPod support a wide variety of audio formats, including MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF. MP3 is the most common audio compression format, while AAC is the format used by the iTunes Music Store. WAV and AIFF are nearly identical formats that store CD-quality audio.

Since introducing the iPod in 2001, Apple has released several new versions of the popular device. These include iPod, iPod mini, iPod Special Edition, iPod photo, and iPod shuffle. iPod mini is a smaller version of the iPod that comes in various colors and stores fewer songs. iPod Special Edition is a variation of the basic iPod (the first being a black U2 iPod with the signatures of the band members on the back). iPod photo is an iPod with a color screen that allows users to store and view a library of photos as well as play music. iPod shuffle is an extra small iPod that only holds a couple hundred songs and does not have a screen.

All iPods store data on an internal hard drive, except the iPod Shuffle, which uses flash memory. This means each iPod, including the shuffle, can also be used as a hard drive. Aside from being a music player, the iPod can serve as a backup device, a basic organizer, and an alarm clock. To transfer files to the iPod, you must first connect it to your computer using a USB or Firewire cable. iTunes can automatically transfer your playlists and songs or you can change the program\'s preferences to manually update the iPod.

Because of its superb interface and unmatched ease of use, the iPod has become the staple product of the portable music player market. Granted, the \"cool factor\" of owning an iPod has certainly helped it gain popularity as well.

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Stands for \"World Wide Web.\" It is important to know that this is not a synonym for the Internet. The World Wide Web, or just \"the Web,\" as ordinary people call it, is a subset of the Internet. The Web consists of pages that can be accessed using a Web browser. The Internet is the actual network of networks where all the information resides. Things like Telnet, FTP, Internet gaming, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and e-mail are all part of the Internet, but are not part of the World Wide Web. The Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the method used to transfer Web pages to your computer. With hypertext, a word or phrase can contain a link to another Web site. All Web pages are written in the hyper-text markup language (HTML), which works in conjunction with HTTP.

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Stands for \"Wide Area Network.\" It is similar to a Local Area Network (LAN), but it\'s a lot bigger. Unlike LANs, WANs are not limited to a single location. Many wide area networks span long distances via telephone lines, fiber-optic cables, or satellite links. They can also be composed of smaller LANs that are interconnected. The Internet could be described as the biggest WAN in the world. You could even call the Internet a Super WAN BAM if you wanted to. Or maybe not.

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Windows users will see this term a lot when looking for files on the Internet. A zip file (.zip) is a \"zipped\" or compressed file. For example, when you download a file, if the filename looks like this: \",\" you are downloading a zipped file. \"Zipping\" a file involves compressing one or more items into a smaller archive. A zipped file takes up less hard drive space and takes less time to transfer to another computer. This is why most Windows files that you find on the Internet are compressed.

To use a zipped file, you\'ll need to unzip it first. PKZIP for DOS, or WinZip for Windows, are some popular programs that can unzip files for you. Fortunately, these programs can be downloaded for free from Web sites like Macintosh files are most often \"stuffed\" into Stuffit files (.sit), which can be \"unstuffed\" using Aladdin\'s Stuffit Expander.

The term \"Zip\" also refers to a product by Iomega. The company makes a removable storage device called a Zip Drive. Depending on the model, these drives can hold 100, 250 or 750 MB Zip disks. They are usually used for backup and for transferring large files to different locations. However, Zip drives are not as fast as hard drives, so it is usually not a good idea to run programs off them.

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Stands for \"Internet Protocol.\" It provides a standard set of rules for sending and receiving data through the Internet. People often use the term \"IP\" when referring to an IP address, which is OK. The two terms are not necessarily synonymous, but when you ask what somebody\'s IP is, most people will know that you are referring to their IP address. That is, most people who consider themselves computer nerds.

Article ID: 457
Last updated: 15 May, 2012
Revision: 1
Views: 5642
Comments: 0
Posted: 15 May, 2012 by -- .
Updated: 15 May, 2012 by Tabora J.
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