1. <file format> A single file containing one or (usually) more separate files plus information to allow them to be extracted (separated) by a suitable program.
Archives are usually created for software distribution or backup
is a common format for Unix
archives, and arc
and Microsoft Windows
2. <operating system> To transfer files to slower, cheaper media (usually magnetic tape
) to free the hard disk
space they occupied.
This is now normally done for long-term storage but in the 1960s, when disk was much more expensive, files were often shuffled regularly between disk and tape.
3. <networking> archive site