I just found out Phil
April 22, 2000
I just found out Phil Katz died on April 14. Those of you who go back with computers to the days of DOS probably know him better by his initials PK, as in PKZIP. That utility, and its many later clones for DOS and Windows, made it possible for many otherwise prohibitively-large files to be exchanged. A humble, command-line utility, to be sure. But certainly one that's had a far-reaching impact.
Without the ubiquity of the .ZIP format on the PC platform, I believe that the distribution of applications like those early builds of Mosaic and Netscape would have been severely restricted. And the successes that were made possible by his work probably can't even be counted. Makes me wonder why iD software doesn't set up a scholarship in his memory...
His legacy might be too technical for most 'net users to understand, but at least his family will be able to say that he helped play an important role in the birth of this new communications medium. He was 37.