Friday, August 1, 2008

Bad Engineer #4

I created a poster document on my computer and have been trying to get it printed through the internet by a printing company. This means I've been struggling with file formats and transferring huge files over the net. There have been lots of problems but this is what has me scratching my engineer head:

A 24 inch by 36 inch, 300 dot per inch, 24 bit color resolution, TIFF image computer file turns out to be 227 MegaBytes in size. This is what the graphics program creates and saves. This is what you have to deal with on your hard-drive, when copying, or transmitting by net or email.

However, if you use pkzip and put it into a compressed file (zip folder) it turns out as 13 Megabytes. Those of you who've used jpg or gif to compress your images know each time you do this you lose a portion of your image in lost resolution. However, I can then unzip the pkzip file and once again have my full resolution 227 megabyte TIFF file that is identical to the original. Now you'll say "no big deal, we all know about pkzip", but think about this. . .

Why didn't the graphics program save it that way in the first place?

I don't mean why didn't it take the large TIFF and pkzip it. I mean why isn't the TIFF file format that small to begin with? If programmer's optimized their file formats to begin with, pkzip would essentially do nothing and be unneccessary.

No comments: