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Seriously, stop installing WinRar

This article has only one purpose, to freely promote a quality, free software and open-source . The issue? It seems rather not popular for the mainstream audience.

Please note though that I’m not affiliated to this software nor with their authors. This article is to pay respects to an excellent piece of software that I find useful everyday.

If you don’t like long stories, just click on the link below to head to the official 7zip website:

7zip’s official website

Download and install it, then click on the Window’s start menu, lookup for 7zip, right click on it and start it in administrator mode by clicking on “Run as administrator”, once the 7zip window will appear, click on the top-menu “Tools” then “Options” and finally on the plus “+” button as highlighted in the screenshot below. Finally, just click “Ok”. This will setup 7zip as your default compressed files manager.

7zip options window with file associations

Here your go. You can now enjoy an unlimited free software that’s lightweight, fast and awesome. For those who want to read my story, continue below.

Why 7zip is better?

Let’s start with the simplest point, it’s FREE. 7zip is free and open-source software, which means that all of its source code is made public and anyone can view, modify and alter it. The advantage besides your saving you money is that you are sure that you have a software which does not potentially collect your private data. Also, that there is a community which will maintain the software and will ensure that that it is “compliant”.

“Yes but WinRar has an ‘infinite’ trial period so I don’t pay anything.” Yes, you do not pay anything, but that does not mean that you comply with the WinRar license agreement. In addition and above all, it is a closed software, you have no idea how it uses your data for example.

However, this argument may not hold up for you. So to justify a little more my rant in front of the aberrant use of WinRar in spite of a free competitor such as 7zip, here is a situation I’ve witnessed the other day.

A friend in front of me wanted to open a .rar file, he double clicks, it has the famous window of “Your trial period is over etc..”. He extracts his files, closes the software and realizes that he still needs the file so re-opens and still has the trial period window.

You would say to me, it is just an additional click, or it could have extracted via the contextual menu of the file, but I will answer “Why when there is better!”.

7zip offers the possibility of doing the same thing more quickly. But not only in terms of interface, also in terms of decompression speed. See for yourself this performance test that I found on reddit

7zip vs WinRar performance test

On this test, 7zip is faster and offers better compression rates compared to WinRar.

But why 7zip is so unpopular?

This is the question I asked myself, and I remember seeing a video (I can’t find it anymore) about WinRar which lit a lightbulb in my mind. WinRar’s strategy and the endless trial period also keep it popular. Indeed, people install it, bypass the little message and that’s it. Being so popular, this software is installed at the enterprise level. However, a company cannot afford to use “endless trial” software and that is where they will buy WinRar licenses.

This article is therefore intended for you, everyday user and for companies who waste money on such software.

DOWNLOAD 7ZIP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Improve your work environment with FiraCode

As a developer, you give a lot of attention to your workflow. In this article, we’re going to discuss a really subtle workflow tool that can be a game changer.

TL;DR: Go to FiraCode repository, download, install and apply to your IDE. Follow the installation instructions here.

Your IDE’s font matters, A LOT

Right now, you might be looking with a lot of skepticism to this whole article telling yourself why font matters. It’s just an aesthetic choice and so on. But here’s a simple example :


Monospace fonts compared to Fira Code

I took two fairly known monospace fonts; Courier New which is the default monospace font on Windows (usually, don’t take my word for it) and Consolas which is the default PowerShell in my Windows 10. As you might already see, Courier New is the worst when we want to differentiate 1 from l and 0 from O.

This is just an example, but what I’m trying to explain is that we should not waste our time trying to figure out if the symbol we’ve written is easily intelligible from another. We are supposed to read and understand code as fast as possible to work comfortably.

FiraCode improves your work environment with ligatures

FiraCode is not just an elegant typeface, it uses ligatures (a very simple typeface concept) to make the developer’s life way easier. Below an example of simple code with the three precedent fonts :

Monospace fonts compared to FiraCode in VSCode

As you can notice, FiraCode with ligatures makes this JS snippet much more legible! Of course, you’ll have to try it in your IDE and see for yourself.

You can learn more about Fira code over here :

https://github.com/tonsky/FiraCode

And you can check the supported IDEs you can apply it to with the install instructions here.

Finally, please don’t forget to support the developer on Patreon for his amazing work.

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