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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
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1. file format A single file containing one or (usually)
more separate files plus information to allow them to be
extracted (separated) by a suitable program.
Archives are usually created for software distribution or
backup. tar is a common format for Unix archives, and
2. operating system To transfer files to slower, cheaper
media (usually magnetic tape) to free the hard disk space
they occupied. This is now normally done for long-term
storage but in the 1960s, when disk was much more expensive,
files were often shuffled regularly between disk and tape.