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We had the phone guy over. We have three outlets but only one was hooked up. So while he was working I was outside. Doing nothing. Just mucking around. With Xfile.
First I found a bunch of 'user images' at /Library/User Pictures. On a hunch I copied some out and dropped them on our TIFFCompress. Big savings.
The phone guy was still working so I dug into /System/Library with Xscan listing all \.tif files. I got 809. I selected all those at 10,000 bytes or more. I dragged them to a home area directory. There were some name conflicts as the same filename is used in several directories. I got 125 files transferred.
Before dropping them on TIFFCompress they took 6,532,188 bytes in 13240 blocks. After dropping them on TIFFCompress they took 2295539 bytes in 4904 blocks.
I just saved 8336 blocks or over 4 MB of disk space.
LZH compression is NOT lossy. It's freaking self-evident when saving TIFF files but for who knows what reason it's not always used - and not always used by Apple either. Repeat: there is no loss when saving this 4 MB of disk space.
Now I could not replace these files as they're marked by root and I don't want to get into that business just yet. But one wonders if there is some way to tell the supplier that they should stop treating user disk space as a trash heap.