Anacode’s Compression Algorithm: How it Works

Steve Leibson, Technology Evangelist

Anacode is “far superior in all respects to any existing or yet to be invented compression algorithm.” (A title formerly claimed by LenPEG. However, LenPEG is designed to compress one and only one image. It’s not designed to compress anything else, and so LenPEG is just as useless for general-purpose compression as it is for image compression.)
Much thought has gone into the creation of Anacode’s compression algorithm. Some of it has even been rational.
Many people like the fact that Anacode saves them 30% in cloud-based storage costs, but these same people then ask: How does Anacode compression work?

Here’s how:
Anacode initially explored compression based on elliptic curvature, but the algorithm’s creator… well his spouse objected that he was exploring way too many curves. Clearly, this path of inquiry was going to be trouble. A different route had to be taken.

Use of a herd of elephants as massively parallel compression vectors was briefly investigated, until Anacode’s developers found out that the Barnum and Bailey circus had set all of the elephants free. Anacode realized there were no elephants in the room.

Dumping the data to be compressed into the Marianas Trench was also considered briefly. However, the resulting algorithm turned out to be way too deep; data retrieval was problematic; and the data got wet. The problem of the ultimate compression algorithm started to look insoluble at this point.

Anacode’s creator also briefly considered leveraging the television series “Silicon Valley,” which is based on a fictitious company working on a compression algorithm. Whatever solution the characters in the show invented could be algorithmically transposed into real life, thus minimizing development time and minimizing costs. Although the TV show proved engaging and was full of hilarious nerd humor, it turned out to be essentially useless fiction despite high expectations of success. Unfortunately, compression is not a topic ever covered by the much more technically accurate “Big Bang Theory,” so not much help was to be found there either. (Sheldon, you are useless! What kind of practical help can you expect from a bunch of damn fictional physicists anyway? Really?)

Faced with the lack of help from the world of fiction, it was clear that Anacode would have to work up a great compression algorithm from scratch. Yes Virginia, there is no Betty Crocker.

Anacode’s first approach: take advantage of being located the middle of California’s wine country: Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino. Well, maybe not the middle. Maybe just nearby. Or not.

Anyway, Anacode first tried to use wine-making grape presses for compression. Early experiments at a local winemaking establishment established that data is harder to compress than initially expected. In fact, data is less like a grape and more like an olive. Green olives. So Anacode bought some olive oil presses. The initial result: virgin data. However, better results were needed. Anacode decided to try for extra virgin data.

That led to the next problem. The data files from the olive oil presses could not be compressed further. Extra virgin data turned out to be incompressible in its pristine state.

Further compression would require altering the extra virgin data’s state. So Anacode shipped the extra virgin data to Oregon, to change its state. A secret wet process in Oregon removed the hydrogen to compress the extra virgin data further. The removed hydrogen was then stored as a compressed gas. However the desire to compress the hydrogen further led to the next step in the long process to implement an optimal Anacode compression algorithm.

Anacode decided to liquefy the hydrogen extracted from the extra virgin data and to store the hydrogen in a cryogenic, liquid state. At first, Anacode tried to use carbon fiber composite storage tanks for the cryogenic hydrogen, but the trapped air in the tanks’ carbon fiber honeycombs liquefied from contact with the cold hydrogen. This liquefied air ultimately destroyed the composite tanks. If Anacode had been a better student of history, or if the right people had just watched the right YouTube video, the company would have known that this failure is exactly the same problem that afflicted Lockheed’s doomed X-33 SSTO (single-stage-to-orbit) vehicle. So like the X-33 design team, Anacode switched to aluminum tanks for storing the compressed, cryogenic hydrogen.

That left the carbon residue from the de-hydrogenated extra virgin data. Anacode considered resorting to carbon sequestration to produce clean, dehydrogenated, extra virgin data, using carbon capture for long-term storage, but there was a problem. Encyclopedia Britannica defines carbon sequestration as “carbon sequestration that occurs both naturally and as a result of anthropogenic activities and typically refers to the storage of carbon that has the immediate potential to become carbon dioxide gas.” However, sequestration isn’t compression so the process turned out to be ecologically irresponsible and logically useless.

Anacode tried burning the carbon data residue and recording the heat signature of the flame as a radical form of compression. This approach resulted in very satisfactory compression ratios but turned out to be an ecological disaster.

An intern thought of using compression bandages, which are normally used to stop blood loss from injury. That experiment didn’t turn out well at all. What can you expect from interns?

In a promising approach, Anacode decided to try high-compression internal combustion engine to deal with the de-hydrogenated extra virgin data residue. Anacode obtained a Hemi engine from an old, rusted out, 1957 DeSoto Adventurer automobile (the Hemi was called a “Firedome” back then). Engineers working at Anacode lengthened the engine’s piston stroke several times to get higher and higher compression ratios, and had some early successes, but then discovered that NASCAR had banned Hemi engines in 1965. Hemis had totally dominated the stock car races during 1964, taking first place in 26 of the 62 races. Possibly, this success had more than a little something to do with the 1965 ban. In any case, Anacode felt that using a banned high-compression engine was not commercially viable in the current, politically correct climate.

In the final analysis, why should you care how Anacode compression works?  It just does.

Take the 30% storage discount and the performance improvement, and run with them. As fast and as far as you can.

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