What is a Tarball?

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A tarball is quite similar to a zip file in windows. There are a number of programs you can use to open tarballs, here are the most common:

Windows

Mac

Info from Mikma on the Ace forums:

Here's some info how to extract them on Macintosh:
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/182
or open Finder ->Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal: tar zxvf filename.tar.gz

More info

You can find more info on tarballs on Wikipedia