Internet Site Review

By Larry Anders, Librarian, Tampa PC Users Group

I recently got my reminder email from William that the articles for this month’s newsletter were due, so the pressure was on. While I was pondering just what to write about this month my email notification chimed-up and there it was, DOWNLOAD.COM.

As Librarian for the TPCUG in years past (before the popularity of the Internet), my job was to collect, categorize and have available to our members all the software I could acquire, and it was a chore to haul that collection to each general meeting. Then the Internet came along and made my collection obsolete. But I’m not complaining because the quality and quantity of software out on the World Wide Web is excellent and so much easier to access now for everyone.

One of my favorite sites for software is, a part of CNET, which is a major force on the Internet today. It doesn’t matter if you use a PC or MAC, Windows or Linux, or even a handheld computer; it’s all there for you. It’s a software geek’s paradise. (Now you know why I like it.) You can download to your heart’s content, and a lot of the software is actually free (another reason I like it), or Shareware, in which case you can download for free, try it for a period of time and if you like or need it, you can buy it. Now, you can’t get a guarantee like that off the shelf. And the price is fair. You don’t pay for all the fancy packaging or advertisements that the "big boys" do.

When you log-on to DOWNLOAD.COM, one of the first things you see is this week’s top picks. As I was writing this article the top picks were:

The software for the PC compatible is divided into 11 categories, which are:

Each category is broken down into several sections and each category lists its most popular download, new releases and DOWNLOAD.COM’s own picks. So if you want to take the time to go through all the thousands of programs or just look at the most popular titles, it’s your choice. And you don’t have to download every program to find out what it’s all about. There are thorough descriptions and product specs on all of the programs with links back to their home sites if what you find on DOWNLOAD.COM is not enough for you.

I could go on and on but I think if you will just take a few minutes to go to you’ll see what I’m talking about. If you haven’t been there, you owe it to yourself to see what’s available for the download at DOWNLOAD.COM, but be careful… it’s addictive! u