It has often surprised me how very few PC owners make use of the vast amount of Shareware and Freeware software available on the Internet. This is no doubt because many would not know what to do with any files they do succeed in downloading, or are wary of collecting a virus. My PC is continually monitored and protected by an update fully paid AVG Anti-virus. Any Anti-virus should warn you as soon as you even download anything before you attempt to install it. First of all I must warn against downloading anything unless you know exactly what it does, and also how long it is likely to take to download, which can be estimated if you can see the size of the file. Much of the software available comes in the form of .ZIP,.RAR, or .TAR files needing unpacking. Beware some files automatically install software as soon as you click on them with Windows or Linux, most ask if you want o Run or just SAVE for future use. This also applies to a great deal of the software supplied on the CD/DVDs. Some of this can alter the setup of your systems, but be difficult to uninstall afterwards. You should have no trouble with all the free simple programs and games from my site at

When you install software it will probably ask where the files etc are to be Saved on your disk drive. I suggest you allow it to be saved where suggested, otherwise you may have problems later when you install an updated version. Often you will be asked when you run some free software if you want to download a new version. Take care to prevent it downloading and installing extra software you may not want, such as Google Chrome or an alternative search engine. Once you have downloaded a ZIP file, you may need suitable software to unzip the contents such as Winzip, but all the latest versions of Windows and Linux should have the facility to unzip compressed files included. You can see the contents by just clicking on a compresses file, which may include a HLP or TXT file to read by just clicking on it even before it is all unzipped. Depending on the size of the window, you may be able to drag the contents onto say your desktop, for copying elsewhere later. Alternatively use File/ Extract all to save the contents, noting where they are saved. This is where a new Temp folder becomes useful. Watch if you need to decide such as to set the file associations of the software, so that when you click on a file the software opens it such as a JPG or MP3 etc. If you cannot find a file after being unzipped, you may need to run a search under the START. If you see a warning a file is corrupted after downloading, just delete it and download another copy. Beware it may not be clear from some sites, whether some software is for Windows or MAC / Linux.

You may find one of the files is INSTALL or SETUP, which when activated, will often install the software in Program Files with Windows, maybe after asking your permission. So you may need to use Add/Remove Programs with Windows in the Control Panel to uninstall it afterwards. Such software cannot be copied to another PC unless you use the original files, so try to keep all original ZIP files on CD/DVD as Backup. Otherwise like my Freeware above, with Windows you may need to copy the unzipped Folder / files to say a new folder like say Tools. Then right click on the EXE file that runs the software, and create a Short cut to be placed say on your Desktop. Never copy any such software into the Program Files, or Windows may refuse to run it. Generally the only software I have found contains something suspicious are games, so beware.

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