Archive – Culture and society – Technology

We explain what a file is and the types of files that exist. Also, how is a computer file composed?

What is the file?

The concept of the archive comes from the Latin archived. It refers to the documents produced by natural or legal persons, public or private, to exercise their activity. The International Council on Archives proposes this definition. It contrasts with Elsevier (which focuses on the conservation of the document) and with the Spanish Historical Heritage Law (which refers to the use of the archive).

The documents can be books, photos, and newspaper clippings, which are essential when undertaking a historical research activity. Libraries are the quintessential archive repositories and must have good classification and distribution for efficient use.

The word, however, has extended its use; the places prepared to house and guarded large amounts of information are known as archives. Some countries have General Archives, which house information regarding the history and culture of their peoples in an organized way.

In many cases, the archives also fulfill the function of preserving and helping to restore the documentation they have. The verb “archive” is often used to imply the closure of a process, for example, when saying ‘the case file has been ordered.’

Archive in computing

In the computer field, the information element of a sum of records (byte combinations) is called a file. They .”.”.”are this name because they are the digitized equivalents of the files described above. So much so that many of the “files are now being digitized to reduce their physical size and make them easier to organize and search. Computer files, in general, have some characteristics in common:

  • Name. Each file is identifiable with a name, which cannot match another file‘s exact location.
  • Extension. The files carry an optional extension, which often indicates their format.
  • Size. They are made up of a series of bytes that determine their size. It can reach kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes.
    Description. In addition to the name and extension, they usually have other characteristics. Within these features may appear file protection, which means limited permission for reading or modifying.
  • Location. All files belong to a particular place on the computer (or circumstantially outside of it), the so-called storage space. Most are stored on hard drives, ordered d driveshically foin folders and subfolders. There is a path to that location, starting with the referenced disk (C: D:).
  • Format. How the file will be interpreted depends on its design, among which are the text, executable, data, image, audio, and video formats, among many others.

The way computers organize files is often called file systems and depends on the operating system you are working with. Files can be executable or non-executable, depending on whether they work on their own (such as a PC game) or require another application to load them (such as a Word document).

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