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Places to Download Freeware, Shareware, & Demos
So, you want to check out some software, but you don't know where to look. Most software companies who have an internet address also have demos you can download. You can also check out freeware, which is software that someone has written & gives you full permission to use for free, & shareware, which are demo programs, sometimes full functioning & sometimes with things disabled, where the author gives you permission to use the software for a set amount of time with the understanding that you will purchase it from him if you continue to use it. There are many places on the net that you can go to download such programs. The only extras you may need are the PKunzip program & to set up a separate sub directory to keep you downloads in so it will be easier to keep track of them.
For those who don't know how to download, all you need to do in most cases is to click on the link on the web page. If the link takes you to a "Page not Found" error, simply hit the back button on your browser, right click on it, & choose the "Save" option. Once the download gets started, you will be asked if you want to open it or save to disk. Choose save to disk. The next thing you should see is a pop-up of the directory that it thinks you want to download it to. If this is ok, hit the OK button. If not, find the proper sub directory & then hit the OK button
You have downloaded a program, now what do you do with it? First, put a copy of it into a new sub directory. This is because some programs are compressed into a single file & will need room to uncompress before they are installed. This is especially true for any program that ends in .zip (shareware.zip). You will need to use the PKunzip program on it to decompress it. Once it is decompressed, look for a file called Install.exe or Setup.exe. Then, if you are in Windows (any version), just double-click on that file. If you are in DOS, just type the name of the file (usually "install"). Some programs that you download for Windows only need the file to be run to install, but why take the chance that it is going to need to be decompressed & end up with a messy download directory?
Although most of the places I listed have games, I tried to concentrate on places that had a lot of educational shareware, demos, & freeware. This is by no means a definitive list, but it is large enough where you can probably find almost anything you want.
Places to Download From
Educational Software Companies on the Internet is a list of your favorite software companies. Many of them have demos of their programs available for you to download.
Apple Macintosh K-12 Learning Games offers Mac & IBM software in Math (grades K-8), Chemistry (grades 5-12), German, Spanish, French, & Italian (grades 4-12), Latin & Homeric Greek (grades 4-12).
Children's Software & More! has lots of children's programs for both the Mac & the PC.
Educate Online World Wide Shareware Sites is a large list of sites that have educational shareware. This list seems to be mostly sites that have PC software.
The Edutainment Company has lots of titles, specials & bargains, as well as demos of many popular programs for the PC & the Mac.
Educational Software for Teachers and Students has the VG English grammar program Mastery Learning Grammar for Dos & Windows 95 & Testnet, which allows you to create tests for any subject, including foreign languages.
Jumbo is just what it implies - a huge site of shareware aimed at both PC's & Mac's.
MacintoshOS.com Educational Shareware has lots of Mac only shareware titles.
Shareware.Com is C/Net's Shareware listing. Also check out Download.Com which is also from C/Net. You can find demos, shareware, & freeware in both for the Mac & the PC.
Tucows offers IBM utilities. Although this doesn't strictly relate to homeschooling, you may find something you need here for cruising the net, tweaking your computer, or putting up a home page.
Winsite has a large collection of shareware/freeware/demos for Windows systems only.
ZDNet Software Library - Top Rated Software has over 10,000 files for both the PC & the Mac. These are the same people that bring you magazines such as FamilyPC & PC Computing.
If you have any questions, comments, or anything you would like to add, please feel free to e-mail me!
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