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After a bit of poking around, it looks like the binary format is pretty simple to parse. Mark Adler's answer is correct - the strings Compress[] returns are just zlib-compressed data. If you have Python installed, this function should take a compressed string and return the actual serialized bytes: pyDecompress[c_] := ...


It is using the zlib format followed by Base64 coding, and then preceding the resulting string with "1:". So to use it externally, you can strip the "1:", do Base64 decoding, and feed the result of that to a zlib decoder. However what you get out may not be immediately useful. I compressed the result of D[x^x, {x,9}], like one of the examples in the ...


Since Mathematica 8.0 we are in luck and there is a command called CreateArchive that can do this for us. Documentation: CreateArchive.

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