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Home > Categories > Software > System Tools > WinRK review

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Score: 8.0/10  [1 review]
3 out of 5
ProdID: 830 - WinRK
Developed by M Software


WinRK product reviews

WinRK is a new high performance file archiver. Built from the ground up for better compression and security, it provides the best platform for managing and creating file archives.

WinRK supports all the most common archive formats in use today, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR and ISO. WinRK's ZIP support is fully compatible with both the Zip64 standard and the new WinZIP AES encryption standard. This means that ZIP files created with WinRK can take advantage of file and archive sizes of over 4GB, along with strong encryption capabilities. The ZIP deflate and deflate64 algorithms have been improved as well, providing 10-20% smaller archives in most cases, without loosing any compatibility!

WinRK also provides a new high performance RK archive format. This format was designed from the outset to remove many of the limitations of older archive formats, and so provides much better compression and security than other formats. It supports a virtually unlimited archive size, which makes it ideal for very large backups. It also provides compression options ranging from fast and efficient, all the way to a 'spare no cost' approach which provides the very best compression ratios in the world.

One of the most interesting innovations that WinRK brings to archiving is a modern user interface design. Many of the most popular archivers require unintuitive dialog boxes to be carefully navigated in order to add files to an archive, or even to extract files in some cases. WinRK provides a much more intuitive interface that treats archives in much the same way as a CD-burner treats CDs. This means that files may be scheduled to be removed from, or added to an archive at the same time so as to reduce the time taken actually performing the modifications. This can be especially important for very large archives. It also means that no restriction is placed on modifying archives, even for so called solid archives. Archives may have files removed or added at any time.

A new addition to WinRK is support for a Plugin API. This allows developers to extend WinRK by writing DLL plugins which support different archive formats. Support is also provided for new compression algorithms to be plugged directly into the WinRK format, allowing codec developers to leverage the full potential of the WinRK format with very little extra work.

WinRK combines many of the expected standard archiving features with a new and more powerful GUI interface. Some of the features included are:

    •  Powerful and intuitive CD burner inspired interface.

    •  Full support for several standard archive types, including ZIP, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, TAR.GZ, TAR.BZ2, ISO and RAR (read-only).

    •  Completely new and redesigned RK archive format providing many new features:
    •  - New, state of the art compression algorithms, providing the worlds best compression ratios.
    •  - Intelligent analysis of file contents, allowing even better compression ratios for common data types.
    •  - Support for text dictionaries for several popular languages, again improving compression ratios.
    •  - Encryption with 128bit block ciphers. Choose from Square, Rijndael and Twofish.
    •  - Multiple volumes spanning essentially any number of volumes (max 2^31) and volume size.
    •  - 64bit file and archive sizes, allowing for arbitrarily large archives.
    •  - Essentially unlimited number of files in an archive (max 2^31).
    •  - Unicode filenames.
    •  - Intelligent solid archiving.
    •  - Full ability to modify and update solid archives, including removing files.
    •  - Plugin SDK supporting plugin archive handlers and codecs for the RK format.
    •  - Flexible multi-lingual SFX support.

    •  Backwardly compatible with the original rk v1.04 archiver through read only support of RK archives.

    •  Full internal unicode support, providing faithful reproduction of file and archive names on all unicode file systems.

    •  Support for creating self extracting ZIP and RK archives.

    •  User interface easily localised to different languages.

    •  Support for viewing CJK text even on European Windows versions.

    •  Shell integration, including drag and drop and right click menu options.

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Product reviews...

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Click here to read the profile of tucker

Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 27th of December, 2005

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 8.0/10
Score 9 out of 10
Score 8 out of 10
Ease of Install:
Score 9 out of 10
Ease of Use:
Score 6 out of 10

How about that, a little software team developing some globally-acknowledged compression systems, proudly boasting the best compression ratios around, able to compress the same amount of data into the smallest space possible, beating out it's nearest competitor (a package called Squeez) by around 3.5%... now THIS, I had to see for myself...

A quick visit to the website via a link from industry-linked SlashDot.org gave me my first big surprise... it's a KIWI company, based in technocentral Palmerston North. What a shocker! And then again not... after all, NZ is seriously world-beating by nature Wink Icon and of them all, Palmerston North seems to be leading the pack of NZ cities when it comes to 'more than meets the eye' technology leaps.

A quick download of the trial package, which is fully featured but with a 'just to bug you' splashscreen and a 30-day cut-out, and I was away. installation was simple, double-click, pick a place, and away we go. A few minutes later and I was setting up the comparison datapacket... 132Mb of assorted files, comprising mainly of image-based files, such as jpeg, gif, mpg video, avi media and about 5% textfiles and MSWord docs... as this is the average 'composition' on the testbench machine, which doubles as a DVD-authoring minilab.

Once it was all set up under the right-click context-menu, I started the testing... each compressor was run at it's default right-click-triggered settings, meaning that test was based upon the actions of Joe Public user, not a technogeek's usual 'probe and tweak' behaviour... Here's the comparitive chart... which led to my second biggest surprise... I will leave it to the chart to explain...

WinZIP 26.78 sec 7.60%
WinRAR 143.78 sec 7.58%
WinRK 2664.94 sec 12.12%

With a stunningly compressed package, WinRK certainly lives up to the hype of being able to pack anything tighter than it's peers... but will ya look at the time it took to do it!

The GUI scared me, frankly it did. It has all the info and tools you could possibly EVER want in an archival package, but the display and 'feel' of it takes quite a bit of getting used to. This is NOT for a beginner to play with... the concept was apparently inspired by a CD-burning tool's GUI... and I have my suspicions which package that was... and bluntly... it's over-done, heavily overdone. However, careful clicking of various tiny, inoffensive arrow-gadgets, and all the tools you don't want will simply slide away into discrete frame-mounted panel icons... though they have a nasty habit of reappearing at the most frustrating times. I have my doubts about it living up to the hype of being 'intuitive'...

Overall, though it really isn't the best option for Joe Homeuser, if you are a multimedia author, imagefreek, artist or digital scrapbooker... or just end up hoarding all those thousands of holiday digital photos... this really is the best out there, barring none! It will pack what you have as tight is it is digitally possible without losing any data in the process... but it will take all night to do it. If you are just slapping a few files together on a regualr occasion, to email out to a client, friend or website... stick with what you know.

Guest comments...

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