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.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
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 »Sharing Threat Intelligence
A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »Smiley Faces and Symbols
A text smiley face is used to convey a facial expression or emotion in texting and online chat conversations. This Webopedia guide shows you how... Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »