Monday, June 30, 2008

Top Tricks for Safe, Smart Downloads, Part 1

Posted by Vishnureddy at 4:38 PM

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I download lots of files, and I'm guessing you do too. Besides videos, I'm always looking for smart utilities and trialware to grab.

You might want to take a few minutes and read my just-released Hassle-Free PC column, coincidentally titled, "Top Tricks for Safe, Smart Downloads." It's loaded with recommendations for safer, easier downloading.

Downloading Commercial Software
I remember walking into an Egghead store, a long-gone chain filled with shelves of what also doesn't exist much anymore: shrink-wrapped software. Downloading commercial apps has become the norm--and it's hazardous. If you have to reinstall the app, and didn't keep a copy, you may be charged a fee for a fresh download. It's called an Extended Download Service and it's crazy, I know, but Symantec and Broderbund both do it. Read more about this lovely new way to annoy customers in "Say So Long to Shrink-Wrapped Software."

The first thing you might do once you download a program is to copy the registration code into a text file and then burn the software onto a CD. If your drive's big enough, just stash the downloaded software in a folder (I cleverly call mine "originals"). I need to be a tad more organized, so I created a spreadsheet that lists the name of the program, the version, the registration code, and the download URL. If you're worried, you can password-protect the Excel spreadsheet.


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