Michał Sapka's website

Tar Is for Tape Drive

One of the things I never knew I wanted to know:

tar creates and manipulates streaming archive files. (source: man tar(1))

Tarball is a file standing for the drive:

A tar archive consists of a series of file objects, hence the popular term tarball, referencing how a tarball collects objects of all kinds that stick to its surface. (source: Wikipedia)

This explains two things I never got about tar:

Tar is one of the things where computer archeology makes things clearer. Nowadays, we often forget that computers have a history and a lot of things we take for granted need to be invented. Many quirks can be understood if we explore the past a bit.