packed fileA file in a compressed format. Many operating systems and applications contain commands that enable you to pack a file so that it takes up less memory. For example, suppose you have a text file containing ten consecutive space characters. Normally, this would require ten bytes of storage. However, a program that packs files would replace the space characters by a special space-series character followed by the number of spaces being replaced. In this case, the ten spaces would require only two bytes. This is just one packing technique -- there are many others. One disadvantage of packed files, however, is that they can be read only by the program that packed them because they contain special codes.
Some modems automatically pack data before transmitting it across communications lines. This can produce faster communication because fewer bytes need to be sent. However, the modem on the receiving side must be capable of unpacking the data.
Packing is often referred to as data compression, particularly when it involves data communications.
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits
The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »
With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC
Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »