Wed, 03 May 2000 07:26:27 -0400
PKZIP AUTHOR DIES
by Dave Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phillip W. Katz, 37, died on April 14 from complications
arising from a long-time illness.
As a young man, Katz released the PKZip file
compression program in 1986. The program
revolutionized the world of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)
and the fledgling Internet.
I remember getting my hands on the very first public
version. I was able to compress copies of my dBASE,
Lotus 1-2-3, and WordPerfect files on to a single
diskette. All I had was an IBM PC-XT and an IBM PC
Portable ... storage space was at a premium. As new
versions were released, I'd eagerly download the
updates and rezip my files just to get an extra five
percent more compression.
When transferring files online with my high-speed Hayes
1200Kbps modem, every bit of extra compression meant
a few minutes saved.
I even got to try the program before I paid for it. PKZip
was the first shareware program I ever registered.
Katz became famous for pioneering the shareware
concept of software distribution. Users were invited to
download and try new software. Only if they liked the
program and decided to continue using it were they
obligated to purchase the software.
Phil, I never met you in person, but I'll miss you.