The top 10 list is defined by category.† In some categories, thereís more than one file per category.† Unless I recommended to download all, youíll be fine no matter which one you download.
Some of the software listed below is bundled with Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer, so you may already have it installed.† But even if you do have them, donít discount their presence on the list.† Chances are pretty high you donít have the latest version.
The top software download are either:
1) Browse the web
Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Communicator 6.0 ††chances are youíre using at least one of these and have an older version.† You need the latest version to view the coolest pages.
2) Unarchive downloads
WinZip-- Shareware ($29) To speed up download times, most software online is compressed in an executable format (EXE), and some is archived as a ZIP.† For ZIP files, youíll need an unarchiving program.† WinZip is one of the most popular and easiest to use.† After downloading a ZIP file, use WinZip to unpack all the contents of the archive.
3) Listen to MP3ís
Winamp--Free Itís the standard player for listening to MP3ís.† But thatís not all.† Itís expandable.† Change the color and design of the player or make colors dance on your monitor to the beat of the music.† Add functionality like audio mixing fading, control of your music via joystick, and lots more.† All those features are a part of Winampís skin, visualizations, and plug-ins.† Find the features here.
4) Watch video
RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime-Free Theyíre the three standards for listening and watching streaming audio and video on the Web.† Donít just download one.† Get them all.† Unfortunately, thereís no one streaming standard.
*Warning: Real will try to trade you up to its Plus Version.† That version costs money.† Donít buy it.† The free one will give you just as good a picture.
5) Watch animation
Shockwave and Flash Player--Free Download the Shockwave player to play games on the Web.† Download the Flash Player to see most of the animations online.† You may already have both when you installed your browser.† Even if you do, youíll want the latest version.
6) Protect your system
McAfee VirusScan-(Demo $30) and Norton AntiVirus-(Demo $40).† You need to protect your computer form viruses.† Viruses enter your computer from download software, email, and floppy disks you exchange with friends.† The good new is you can protect yourself while still not know anything about online security.† Just set up either program, and itíll do all the work for you behind the scenes.† Itís important to have the latest virus definition files.† You can set up download schedule within both programs to automatically do it for you.† If you donít itís like not having the antivirus program running at all.
7) Chat with friends
AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ--Free †The two most popular online chat programs are both owned by AOL.† Run either one and then create a Buddy List (a list of your friendsí online names).† Both programs will find your friends and let you know when theyíre online.† When you see the presence of an online friend, initiate a chat via video or even play games.
8) Browse images
ACDSee- Shareware ($50) Whether youíre importing pictures form your digital camera or scanner, or just downloading the latest Mandy Moore snapshot form the Web, this is my favorite program to manage and view all types of images.
††††† 9)††† Editing images†
Shareware (under $100) Yes, you can edit and manipulate images like a pro with no knowledge of darkroom techniques and without spending $400 on Adobe Photoshop.† The latest release of Paint Shop Pro offers auto image-editing features that let you look like a professional photographer.
10)† Read formatted documents
Adobe Acrobat Reader-- Free Adobe Acrobat Reader is probably already built into your browser.† Almost all formatted documents online are produced in the Adobe Acrobat format.† To view and print them, you must have this plug-in.† I have found the reader to be most useful when downloading and printing out appraisals, tax forms ECT. For those and many more downloads go to: http://www.zdtv.com/zdtv/superguides/downloads/ Scroll down to downloads and choose.