How to archive or zip a folder with a command line so you can transfer it

I had to figure this out myself and thought I’d share what I’m doing.

Make an archive:
tar -cf TargetFile.tar Foldername/
The c flag tells it to create an archive.
The f flag tells it that you’re making an archive from files.

Compress it:
gzip TargetFile.tar

And the resulting file is:


If you want real good compression and so on, you’ll need to play around with the flags, but this will do when you simply need to transfer quickly. I tested on a big folder of about 250MB, the .tar file was 285MB and the resulting .tar.gz file was 211MB.

What’s that word mean?

Simply type the following into Google:
define: tome
That will give you a list of definitions for the word “tome”, taken from Wikipedia and lots of other places.

Look for the definition that fits. You can’t divorce the word from the context that you found it in.

I like doing this, as it’s very educational without requiring real effort into learning. The Wikipedia excerpt shown when you lookup the definition of “blog”, is:

A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary

Did you know it came from “web log”? Having blogged for a few years, it’s of particular interest 🙂

In the Firefox internet browser, this can be done very quickly:

  • Press Ctrl and t to open a new internal window in Firefox. The cursor is now in the navigation bar at the top where you enter URLs.
  • Press the tab key, and the cursor skips across to the google search box.
  • Type in define: antidisestablishmentarianism and hit enter.
  • Look through the definitions provided. If you understand what the word means, then press Ctrl and W to close the tab and go back to whatever tome were reading.

This does need you to use some keyboard shortcuts, but really I’d recommend you start using them. There’s a simply reason geeks like shortcuts – they’re FAST, like REALLY REALLY FAST!

From time to time, I do still check a real paper dictionary as there is one on my desk within easy reach. If I’ve jumped out an article to check a meaning, I’ll use this quick method so I can skip back to reading immediately. Otherwise, I like the distraction of a real dictionary :).