Zip files used to be ubiquitous when I started playing with computers in the early 2000's. These days the .zip file format is still around, but Zip compression is more commonly found in other places – Android's .apk, and Microsoft Word's .docx use Zip compression underneath. Web pages are also compressed using gzip before being sent over the network.

Back when I was first introduced to Zip files, WinZip was the primary way users managed their archives. But the first Zip client, and the file format itself was invented by a programmer named Phil Katz in 1989. In the years to come Zip compression would become the de facto means for compressing files before transferring them across the internet.

This blog post dives further into the history of Zip compression and how it works internally.