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One day in 2003 I was backing up my hard drive and thought gee, what I really need is an archive program that compresses a list of files into individual archives. So I did a search for "batch zip programs" and found something called Batch Zip Toolkit. It did everything I wanted.. but it did a bunch of other stuff I didn't really care about.. and it cost $20 to register. I thought why should I pay $20 for something I can write in under a month? Roughly 30 days later a program called Debigulator was born.

In hindsight my time is worth slightly more than $20 a month but it was an interesting challenge nonetheless. I was fairly happy with the first version of Debigulator, it worked for me but maybe wasn't great for others. Out of nowhere in 2007 I got the itch to revive Debigulator to make it more accessible. The first iteration of this effort is Debigulator 1.1, it's remarkably similar to the original but a tad simpler to navigate. It also sets the program up for a future 2.0 version which I have some interesting plans for.

-Archives files into individual archives.
-Writes archives in either .zip or .jar format.
-Save/load sessions, useful if you want to run the same backup job multiple times.
-Verify that the contents of archives match original files.
-Totally free and open-source.

60-Second User Guide
The images below are thumbnails, click for full-size versions.

Alright so the first step is obviously running the program. If you have the Java runtime environment installed on Windows you can just double-click the icon for Debigulator to run it. Otherwise, from a command-line you can run: "java -jar Debigulator_<version>.jar".

Choose the files to archive. In the upper-left pane there are buttons to change the current directory. Select files and use the add buttons to put them in the list of files to archive.

You can remove items in the list of files to archive by selecting them and using the remove button, the remove all button does what you'd expect.

Select the destination directory for the archived files. Use the buttons in the lower panel to browse for a location. Check the sync to source directory checkbox to make the output directory the same as the current source directory.

At this point you can create the archives (next step) unless you want to set some additional options.

The archive type list lets you select what type of archives to create, chances are you'll want to stick with 'zip'.

The action after archive list lets you select what to do after creating archives. The default is to do nothing. You can change it to verify the archives (which can take a while), delete the source files, or delete the source files after verifying them. 

Press either of the advanced settings buttons to launch the advanced settings dialog.

From the advanced settings dialog you can configure the following:

Automatically save current session on exit - fairly self-explanatory.

Append archive names with date - add the date to the name of output archives, useful if you're regularly backing-up files that change often.

Append archive names with original extension - adds the extension to the output file, useful if you're backing-up files with the same name or something.

Enable debug logs - probably only useful to someone modifying the program.

Click either of the run buttons to start creating archives. A progress dialog will display, click OK when it's done.

If you're going to run the same backup job a lot you can save the session. The saved session contains all the files and settings you've selected.

Debigulator 1.1: Executable jar file and documentation (350 KB)

Source code is available on the Debigulator Google Code page.

Java Runtime Environment

Online Javadoc API

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