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Subject: IP: PKzip creator Phil Katz dead at 37

The Associated Press

M I L W A U K E E, April 22

A man who developed one of the world's most popular pieces of computer software has died at age 37.

Phillip W. Katz died of complications from chronic alcoholism, according to the Milwaulkee medical examiner's records.

Katz's file-compression software is used around the world.

"In early days, compression was all done with software because there was no hardware to do this stuff," said computer science professor Leonard Levine at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "So Katz put together a program called PKZip, the Phil Katz zip program."

The compression software made communication between computers faster and less expensive.

"His program was instrumental in inexpensive, dependable communication," Levine said. But, he added, "what I felt was most important about it is the fact that you can get it for free and not pay for it."

Nearly all program files downloaded from the Internet have the suffix .zip, meaning they are compressed in the format Katz developed. <snip>

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