Get your hard drive ready and let the downloading begin! One of the Web's greatest attractions
is its abundance of available downloadable programs. In addition to free files and utilities,
you can find demo versions of many new programs and updates of programs you already have.
Most files are either free or free for a limited
time. Freeware and public domain software are free
for you to use indefinitely. Shareware (try before
you buy) and demonstration (demo) software let you try out a fully or partially operational program.
If you like the shareware, you can pay a fee and get
a legal copy. If the demo looks good, you can buy the full version. Most software you download
is compressed, so this article explains how to
download and uncompress your files.
|1 Create a download folder
Organizing your downloaded files into a folder is a must. First see if you have a
folder called C:\My Download Files. In Windows Explorer, look for the My Download Files folder
on your C drive. If you see it, go to Step 2. If you
do not have a folder called My Download Files, you can create one. Using Windows Explorer,
highlight a hard disk drive such as C:, and choose File|New|Folder. When a folder titled
New Folder appears, right click it, and choose Rename.
Type My Download Files or another name that makes
sense to you.
2 Download a file using a browser
I've selected a memory game called Remember This to add to your collection. Open
your web browser and go to www.monkeysword.com/ remember/. Read the directions and click
Download Remember This. A window opens that asks, "What would you like to do with this file?"
or something similar. Click Save it to disk or
Save (depending on your browser). When the
familiar Save As window appears, navigate to your
newly created download folder (C:\My Download
Files) and click Save. Then click OK. The browser downloads a file
named remember.zip. Watch and wait until the file
has finished downloading.
3 Prepare your file for installation
Like many of the files you will download, the Remember This file ends in .zip. A zip
file, also referred to as an archive file, is an
individual file that has files stored within it. When
multiple files are combined into one zip file, they are
also compressed in size, which saves hard disk
space and shortens your download time. Before you
can install your new brain builder program, you
have to unzip (open up) the zip file to use the
files stored within it. Although other utilities are
available, I recommend WinZip for unzipping files.
If you already have WinZip installed and ready for use, go to Step 6. If
you don't have WinZip, follow the instructions in Steps 4 and 5 to
download and install it.
4 Download WinZip
Open your web browser and go to www.winzip.com. Click Download
Evaluation Version and follow the directions in Step 2.
(Note: This version of WinZip is shareware;
registration costs $29.) Put the file in your download
folder (C:\My Download Files) just like you did with
the remember.zip file. Unlike the Remember This program, the WinZip file is an .exe file, which
you can run and install without unzipping.
5 Install WinZip
Double-click Winzip80.exe and follow the instructions to install WinZip. I suggest you take all
of the suggested default settings and scan all your
drives for favorite folders. WinZip can then easily
access your download folder. Now you can use the
WinZip wizard to unzip the remember.zip file you
downloaded in Step 2. You may wish to read the
WinZip instructions before proceeding so you know what
to expect. If you closed WinZip, click the icon to
restart the program or choose it from the Start menu.
6 Run the wizard
WinZip has probably been set up to launch using wizards, which present each step of the
process in a series of separate windows. Step through the
wizard. It asks you to select the remember.zip file
and also choose a location for the unzipped files. Be
sure to take note of where it places them!
7 Install your file
WinZip places an open Windows Explorer window on your desktop with the files inside.
Archives that you download may have one or more
files within them that can help you learn about the
program, install it, and understand what to do if
you want to continue to use it. Most files include a
readme file generally called Readme.txt. Double-click it
to open it in Notepad or WordPad, so you can read
details about the program and how to install it.
Congratulations....you've successfully downloaded
a file, and a whole new world is available to you.
The Internet can be a great source for software
solutions. You can try out programs and keep your favorite
programs up to date by learning to download and
install their latest versions.