Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Windows File System Compression Had to Be Dumbed Down

Raymond Chen:

I noted some time ago that when you ask Windows to use file system compression, you get worse compression than WinZip or some other dedicated file compression program, for various reasons, one of which is that file system compression is under soft real-time constraints.


The requirement that a file compressed on one system be readable by any other system allows a hard drive to be moved from one computer to another. Without that requirement, a hard drive might be usable only on the system that created it, which would create a major obstacle for data centers (not to mention data recovery).

And one of the limiting factors on how fancy the compression algorithm could be was the Alpha AXP.

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