#info# 07/97 Fire News by Fire Staff
#info# 07/97 Fire News by Fire Staff
. v9- f1RE.gRAPHICS
..:: Combustin out...
I dont want to say much this month. All I want you to do is look at the art, but there are still some things that need to be mentioned.
Our vga department has taken a bit of a new direction over the past
month, and this is thanks in large part to the efforts of our own Fathom. Because of his help and dedication lately, hes been given an official
role as CO-ordinator of the vga division, and will be working together
with me from here on out.
I havent done much editorializing since becoming president of fire, but I find that I now have to. Recently, the powers that be who control the
ACiD Artpacks Archive dir on cdrom.com decided to allow only packs
compressed with the .RAR format. I was reluctant at first, but I
eventually decided that it wouldnt be that huge a deal to create two archives if it meant saving some of the space on the artpacks dir.
Not long after, though, I learned that when used for artpacks, the .RAR
format saved barely any more space than the widely used .ZIP format, and nowhere near the 8-15 promised.
Packing with .RAR is simply a huge waste of time for me and all of those
who must find a RAR uncompressing program just to see the pack. I
encourage you to look at the stats for zip, rar, and several other
compression programs when used for recent art packs, and decide for
yourself. The stats compiled by Silverthorn, along with some extra
background info, can be found at the bottom of this news file.
Also of import, www.fireweb.org is finally up and running. Check it out. The gallery and history should be completed very soon, and a redesign of the site is planned to be completed in the next month or two.
- God among Lice
Heres the rest of the story:
..:: The warming and bright light of a merciless sun...
... shines down on the great plains of ansi art, only reflected by the
eager bodies of a few... the Golden Bees are back...
No member roster changes this month except for Silverthorn who was moved to inactive status on his own request, and Vade79 who couldnt cope with senior staff status and was moved to normal artist status again...
but who in fire is normal?
we kick your ass, you better admit.. obey the masters, creep.. have a
look at the pack and fear the airborne power of the Golden Bees...
we are back...
- nail
..:: AAAH. Attack of the killer 3s...
This month, fire hires has undergone some drastic changes. First off, I
fathom am helping God Among Lice out in the hires coordinator position so as of this month, we are CO-ordinators. Along with a change in
leadership comes a big change in our member list.We have aquired a great deal of talent this month, adding contrast to our lineup.
The first of our three-letter-named recruits is Kyo. He came to us from
fuel, and you can count on seeing good anime pics out of him in the
months to come! Coming from the alleyways and building walls of San
Francisco and Berkley comes IMG. With his witty and light hearted
characters, he adds a new side to the hires team. Although hes new at
the computer medium, his art is amazing, and destined to get better as
time goes on. Also joining us this month is Sid. His intelligent art
brings fire a new, dark and cerebral side. I personally admire his
artistic skill.
All this talk about the new members almost made me forget the sudden
burst of quality from our already existing members. First off, numb is
back and better then ever, showing off a small example of the hopefully numerous pieces to come. Im a big fan of numbs art, and glad to see
her jump on the activity train. July marks the release of personal
bests by myself and God Among Lice. Im very pleased with the way my
pic for this month thats two months in the making, if anyones
counting :P came out, and I know God Among Lice is excited to release
his also. Leaving us this month for Twilight is Flux. We wish him the
best. All in all, July marks the month of the fire Hires revolution.
Let it be known, were not stopping here.
- fathom
..:: Back from Alascii...
First off, I want to apologize to anyone, mainly God among Lice who
didnt know where I was last month. Id also like to thank Baphomet, for actually releasing during my absence. Now onto the news..
This month we got a lot of new members and as with any group said
said farewell to some members who left us..
Skatter left us to join Remorse, Point Blank joined for about 2 days and then left for Remorse, Empty left for Remorse,noticing a trend here? and Discofunk left to continue on his quest of being a member in every
group in the scene. New members this month are Radical, from Fuel who
brings great pic skills along with him, Deadpool from Cia, who shows a
lot of talent, and FrgnFruz, thats his full nick joins us from Awe
with his unique coloring techniques, also a late acquisition, Warhawk
comes to us from the dismantled group Basic and brings his excellent
oldschool skills along.
Thats pretty much it for this month. Im not sure if my email account
is working, so if your unable to contact me through email or on irc
then you can direct any apps/questions to Haji or The Emperor.
- pariah.thetemple@juno.com
..:: Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
Im quite proud of the pack that weve released today. A special thanks goes out to all those who put in the extra effort this month. Look for
more to come next month.
- God among Lice
88b ,qdbp,
.. yyy yyy 8,,dP 8b the RAR conspiracy
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lli,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,qdP,,,,,,,,,,,,l .
SSlllSlSSS8888888888b 8888888888888888 HAJI
S 488bp
b, 88 iii:::: ::.... .. .
SSSSSbpiiiiiii:::::... .. .
Recently, a small controversy has arisen due to Radman and Cos decision
to move the Acid Artpacks archive over from .ZIP to .RAR compression.
The following messages were received by Silverthorn, and, in response to
them, he compiled the following charts and information to compare the
actual performance of several common archivers and some that arent so
common, as well. Ill elaborate further below.
On Tue, 22 Apr 1997 12:07:36 -0700 PDT Christian Wirth
radman@wcarchive.cdrom.com wrote:
I am writing to inquire if youre interested in joining our scene
movement towards a new compression format. Actually its almost two
years old g RAR Russian Archiver can offer up to 40 better compression
on graphics and sound files than ZIP or ARJ. Usually though typical
for artpacks it does about 10 to 15 better.
Mindcrime/Blade kind of jumped the gun on us, but all of ACiDs
divisions are going RAR May 1st ACiD VGA, Avenge, Remorse, pHluid as
well as Blade and probably Mistigris and a few others.
Anyways -- A couple of the major tracking music groups have
moved to this format becasue of its abilities to compress sound so well,
as well as alot of cracking groups who RAR first then ZIP -- I guess only
because BBSes dont fully recognize RAR files. Artpacks is made to handle
RAR files first.
Lastly... Our poor archive is running out of room : 10 to 15
savings on a couple hundred megabytes of files makes all the difference.
Check http://artpacks.acid.org main html, were 90 something percent full :
RAR supports authentication and ANSI zip comments without the need
of a device driver loaded. Cool stuff. SFXs also supported.
look forward to talking to you soon, let me know if youre interested I
can support you with a registered RAR program that will say whatever you
want on the AV line.
RaD Man
ACiD Productions
As you can see, Radman based his decision largely on the anticipated 10-15
compression increase of .RAR over .ZIP. The next message, sent to Fire as
a group, announced a slightly more conservative estimate.
On Wed, 04 Jun 1997 12:36:41 -0700 radman@acid.org radman@acid.org wrote:
Just writing to notify yall in advance that artpacks.acid.org will be
switching to manditor RAR compression for all uploads as of July 1st due
to space limitations. RAR offers up to 30 better compression than
PK-ZIP, with an average of about 8 better.
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of WinRar 2.01 which was just
released. 2.00 is available on
Take care,
Here are silverthorns findings:
compression report - by silverthorn@videotron.ca
* zoo cannot archive 0 byte files
* maximum compression used when available
* all ansi/ascii comments in the archive header where removed
* same format archive where recompressed to provide maximum compression
format version status* platforms
zip 2.04g dead all os
arj 2.50a alive? dos/win/linux
pak 2.51 dead dos/win
lha 2.55b dead dos/win
arc 5.32 not pkarc dead dos/win
zoo 2.1 dead dos
sqz 1.08.3 dead dos
uc2 revision 3 pro alive? dos
hap 3.00 dead dos
rar 2.00 alive all os
The status column indicates whether the compression form is still being
developed and maintained. It is important to note that WinZip *IS*
currently continuing where pkzip left off, so pronouncing it dead is
a bit permature. :
Heres a compression comparison for some typical art packs. .RAR is used
as the 0, or standard value.
fire results
6-08-97 23:59 1,781,326 fire0697.arc 45,603 +
6-09-97 8:38 1,739,982 fire0697.arj 4,259 +
7-10-97 23:49 1,740,703 fire0697.hap 4,980 +
6-09-97 8:38 1,739,376 fire0697.lzh 3,653 +
7-10-97 23:44 1,755,435 fire0697.pak 19,712 +
7-10-97 23:44 1,735,723 fire0697.rar
7-10-97 23:44 1,739,655 fire0697.sqz 3,932 +
7-10-97 23:44 1,733,646 fire0697.uc2 - 2,077
7-10-97 23:44 1,740,152 fire0697.zip 4,429 +
7-10-97 23:44 1,767,961 fire0697.zoo 32,238 +
acid results
6-01-97 22:41 1,235,148 acid-58.arc 15,396 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,220,859 acid-58.arj 1,107 +
7-11-97 0:13 1,230,815 acid-58.hap 11,063 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,220,612 acid-58.lzh 860 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,229,811 acid-58.pak 10,059 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,219,752 acid-58.rar
6-13-97 13:49 1,220,036 acid-58.sqz 284 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,216,890 acid-58.uc2 - 2,862
6-13-97 13:49 1,221,938 acid-58.zip 2,186 +
6-13-97 13:49 1,236,416 acid-58.zoo 16,664 +
ice results ansi
5-03-97 20:53 330,198 ice9704a.arc 73,031 +
5-03-97 20:44 263,965 ice9704a.arj 6,798 +
5-03-97 20:44 253,049 ice9704a.hap - 4,118
5-03-97 20:44 265,645 ice9704a.lzh 8,478 +
5-03-97 20:44 278,987 ice9704a.pak 21,820 +
5-03-97 20:44 257,167 ice9704a.rar
5-03-97 20:44 264,695 ice9704a.sqz 7,528 +
5-03-97 20:44 260,018 ice9704a.uc2 2,851 +
5-03-97 20:44 263,418 ice9704a.zip 6,251 +
5-03-97 20:44 322,400 ice9704a.zoo 65,233 +
ice results vga
5-03-97 20:45 1,331,003 ice9704b.arc 39,507 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,301,205 ice9704b.arj 9,709 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,326,880 ice9704b.hap 35,384 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,304,025 ice9704b.lzh 12,529 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,311,212 ice9704b.pak 19,716 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,291,496 ice9704b.rar
5-03-97 20:43 1,299,732 ice9704b.sqz 8,236 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,297,790 ice9704b.uc2 6,294 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,300,790 ice9704b.zip 9,294 +
5-03-97 20:43 1,332,040 ice9704b.zoo 40,544 +
fuel results ansi
7-04-97 0:17 222,376 fuel14.arc 68,839 +
7-03-97 21:40 159,636 fuel14.arj 6,099 +
7-03-97 21:40 146,919 fuel14.hap - 6,618
7-03-97 21:40 160,285 fuel14.lzh 6,748 +
7-03-97 21:40 177,920 fuel14.pak 24,303 +
7-03-97 21:40 153,537 fuel14.rar
7-03-97 21:40 160,557 fuel14.sqz 7,020 +
7-03-97 21:40 152,338 fuel14.uc2 - 1,199
7-03-97 21:40 160,132 fuel14.zip 6,595 +
7-03-97 21:40 217,729 fuel14.zoo 64,192 +
fuel results vga
6-04-97 2:36 2,141,850 fule14v.arc 23,090 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,121,399 fuel14v.arj 2,639 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,133,240 fuel14v.hap 14,480 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,121,787 fuel14v.lzh 3,027 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,130,924 fuel14v.pak 12,164 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,118,760 fuel14v.rar
7-04-97 1:00 2,120,215 fuel14v.sqz 1,455 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,114,654 fuel14v.uc2 - 4,106
7-04-97 1:00 2,122,360 fuel14v.zip 3,600 +
7-04-97 1:00 2,142,808 fuel14v.zoo 24,048 +
As anyone can see, .RAR compression *is* better than .ZIP. It is extremely
important to note, however, that, at least for ansi art packs which is
what were all concerned with the performance gain of .RAR over .ZIP
does not average anywhere near 8 percent, much less 10-15. In the
examples above, the savings were around 5K, which is about one half of
one percent of a 1MB art pack! Thence, if the Artpacks archive contains
1GB of art packs, then converting the ENTIRE site over to .RAR would only
save 5MB!
In conclusion, while .RAR is a slightly more efficient compression
algorithm, the gains from using it are miniscule when compared to the
problems that converting to a new compression scheme would cause. The
entire BBS world revolves around pkzip, and it does for a reason - everyone
has it, every BBS soft in the world supports it, and its extremely easy to
use. I urge all group administrators to seriously consider the accessability
loss incurred by switching to a less mainstream archiver. Progress for the
sake of progress is not always a good thing. If its not broken, dont fix
Thence, stick to .ZIP. If everyone does that, so will the Artpacks
archive. : Fire certainly is.