Half of the fun of using the is finding great inexpensive or free software programs. The Internet is filled with programs of this type, but you have to know what you are looking for and understand the different types of programs. Who doesn’t like a freebie? There are plenty of free programs available but it is sometimes difficult to determine just what kind of program you are dealing with.
1. Public Domain Software - This is a
program that you can copy freely without any fee involved. It has no
copyright restrictions, so you can copy, modify, and even sell it.
Shareware is probably the most common type of that is available for downloading from the Internet. Shareware can best be described as “try before you buy” software. Like freeware, shareware is copyrighted. You can copy it and use it on a trial basis. However, if you want to keep on using after the trial period, which is usually 30 days, you are expected to pay for it.
To try a shareware program, you just download it from the Internet.
There are several different types of . First, there is that type that is a complete program. You can try it and can actually keep using it forever. However, the author of the program asks that you register it and pay a fee. The fee is usually less than a shrink-wrapped program that you find on a store . The author of the software relies completely on your honesty to pay for the program.
The second type of shareware program is one that is fully functioning for a certain period of time (usually 30 days). After the time has elapsed and you have not paid your fee, the program gives you gentle payment reminders. Whenever you use the program, a small pop-up window called a nag screen will appear reminding you to pay. Or a scrolling bar with a payment reminder will appear on your screen. In most cases these nagging reminders become so aggravating that you are forced to either pay the fee or stop using the program.
The third type of shareware program is also fully functioning for a set period of time. At the end of that time period, the program simply stops working.
When you download a shareware program, you will usually find instructions for registering your software and paying the fee. Once you register and pay for the program, you are ordinarily e-mailed or sent a special code, called a key that unlocks the software to stop the nag screens or to make it functional again.
There are many advantages to shareware:
1. It is little risk. If you don’t
like it, just uninstall it.
There are also disadvantages:
1. It is difficult to determine which
products are good ones. The “try before you buy” can become a
Programs of this type often come with a built-in help function and sometimes come with a manual that you can print out. In other cases, the manual is available with your registration, although there may be an extra fee involved.
You will also find another type of program on the Internet, called a demo program. These may be retail-type programs like those that you would find in a computer store. Like some shareware, they may be fully functioning programs that are only usable for a certain period of time. They may also be programs that seem complete but have disabled features. For example, a word processing program may seem fully functioning, yet the printing capabilities will be disabled. This will allow you to try the program, but force you to purchase the full version if you want to print.
All of these various types of programs are found throughout the Internet. If you know the manufacturer’s Web address, you can go directly to their site to download the software. You can also visit some of the Web sites that have become download sites. One of the most popular of these is called Tucows. This site has a great collection of software and provides local Tucows sites, which allow you to choose a download site from within your geographic area generally resulting in faster downloads.
Two other favorites are the ZD Net and PC World. Both of these sites have extensive search engines to help you find the software that you are looking for. They also use a rating system that can help you determine just how good the software really is.
Drivers are Important
A driver is a that the computer operating system needs to understand how to operate an attached device. The driver is very important because it also acts like a translator between the device and all programs that use the device. Every device attached to the computer including keyboard, mouse, printer, webcam, and scanner needs a driver. Drivers are important to properly functioning equipment.
Drivers can sometimes become corrupted. Sometimes new drivers are needed to update the functioning of attached equipment. If you are having trouble with any peripheral device, surf over to the website of the manufacturer and see if there are new drivers available for your device. The website will give you instructions for installing a new driver if there is one available.
© 2007 Palm Lakes Village, Inc. All rights reserved.