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Its a bit dated, but most of the freeware and shareware sites in this story by Time Digital, which has since become OnMagazine.com, are still active. There are sites for PC and Mac users and developers, from childrens software to high level Java programming.
A division of c/net This is the largest collection of downloads on the net, and a lot of the content would be considered freeware or shareware for Mac and PC. There are also daily features on useful or fun downloads, a list of whats new, a list of whats popular, and the sites own recommended downloads.
This site also identifies the type of operating system you are using and directs you towards the most appropriate sites.
For example, using a Mac I was directed to iTunes 2.0.03, a newer version of the popular iTunes MP3 program that allows you to create libraries, burn CDs, and download music to your iPod if you dont know what iPod is, visitwww.apple.com .
Other software I was directed to include Geneforge 1.0, a $25 role playing game that you help to create; ICQ 3.0, a chat program that allows you to set up private chat rooms with friends and associates in cyberspace, and that alerts you when anyone is logged on; OmniWeb 4.0.6 for OS X, a new Web browser that allows you to take advantage of all the multimedia features in the OS X operating system drag and drop functionality, keyboard shortcuts, shrink-to-window zooming, and a browser window you can change to suit your style.
There are literally hundreds of c/net picks to choose from, all of which have been tested and rated by other users.
Audio, video, and communications
http://messenger.yahoo.com , http://messenger.microsoft.com , www.aim.com
While instant messaging may be the bane of the cubicle police, its one of the most popular features available get one. Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL make the most popular versions, but get whichever one your friends have otherwise it wont work as well. The later versions of these programs support Web cams, and multi-connections and its all for free.
To get the most out of your high-speed Internet connection, youll want to download Flash and Shockwave. They can play games, music, cartoons, and Web sites with built-in sounds and graphics.