(Note: A word about distinguishing between the Windows 95 Explorer and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Windows 95 Explorer is the system tool that helps you examine and access your entire computer; files; directories; drives; desktop, etc. In contrast, Microsoft Internet Explorer is the browser you can use to surf the Web.)
If you use the Windows 3.1 or 95 File Manager, highlight your C: drive, and then click on these menu items, one after the other: File | Create Directory. Type download into the name box that appears and click OK.
Step 2: Download a file using your browser
Go to http://www.hotfiles.com – a site that offers vast amounts of shareware. ZDNet's Gates Does Windows 95 (file name: zgdw95.zip) will be the file we will download. Search for "zgdw95.zip." When you get the Search Results page, click the link to ZDNet's Gates Does Windows 95 v1.0. Click Download Now.
(Note:zgdw95.zip is a utility program where Microsoft CEO Bill Gates uses
a sledge hammer to demolish your old Windows 3.x desktop, uncovering the
new Windows 95 desktop. This program will run on both Windows 3.1 and Windows
Each program in the ZDNet library occupies its own page with a description of the program, its rating, size, and system requirements.
If Netscape shows you a message click on "Save File." The "Save As" window appears, use it to move to the C:\download folder and click "Save." Watch and wait until the file has finished downloading.
Step 3: Prepare Your File for Installation
While some files end in .exe and automatically install or explode into many files, most files you will download will likely end in .zip.
Since programs almost always include more than one file, think of the trouble it would be to download many files just to get one program to install. A zip file, also referred to as an archive, is an individual file that has files stored within it. When multiple files are combined into one zip file, they are also compressed in size, which has the further benefit of saving hard drive space and shortening download time.
Before you can install ZDNet's Gates Does Windows 95, it will be necessary to unzip (open up) the zip file in order to use the files stored within it. While other utilities are available, we recommend WinZip for unzipping files, and will use this popular shareware program for our exercise.
If you do not already have WinZip, do a search for WinZip and download it to your computer's C:\download folder:
When the download is complete, use Explorer or File Manager to move to your c:/download folder. The WinZip file (either winzip16.exe or winzip32.exe) is in the form of an .exe that can be run and installed without any additional help.
Double-click on the file you just downloaded to install WinZip, then follow the easy "wizard" step-by-step instructions. We suggest you take all of the suggested default settings and scan all your drives for favorite folders. Your C:\download directory can then be easily accessed by WinZip for the next step.
Step 4: Use WinZip to open zdgw95.zip
Let's use the WinZip wizard to open the "Gates Does Windows 95" file we just downloaded. You may wish to read the WinZip instructions before proceeding, so you know what to expect. If you have closed WinZip, click on the icon that was created to restart the program.
WinZip has probably been set up to launch using Wizards, which are interfaces designed to make it easier to use new programs. They present each step in a series of separate windows, with options and decisions for you to make before you click Next to proceed. If you're using the WinZip Wizards, you can expect the following windows:
WinZip Wizard Welcome–Welcome to WinZip Wizard. Click the Next button.
WinZip Search –Click OK and select Zip File [zgdw95.zip] Look for and highlight the zgdw95.zip file by single-clicking on it. Press Next.
WinZip Wizard - Unzip [zgdw95.exe] WinZip suggests that you unzip zgdw95.zip into a new directory called c:\unzipped\zgdw95. It is a good idea to have a special directory for each file you unzip, so things don't get confusing. Click Unzip Now to take the advice of the Wizard.
WinZip Wizard - Unzip Complete Congratulations!
Step 5: Install "ZDNet's Gates Does Windows 95"
If you used the Windows 95 version of WinZip, it will have placed an open Windows 95 Explorer window on your desktop with two files, gdw95.scr and gdw95.txt, inside.
If you used the Windows 3.1x version of WinZip, you will need to use File Manager to navigate to c:\unzipped\zgdw95, where you will see two files, gdw95.scr and gdw95.txt, within.
Files that you download generally will have one or more files that can help you learn about, install, and understand your obligations if you want to continue to use the program. Examples of files that can be opened using Windows Notepad are readme.txt, file_id.diz, vendinfo.diz, and, as with our example, gdw95.txt (product name.txt).
When you double-click on gdw95.txt, the file should open in Notepad. Now you can read all about the screen saver and how to install it. The instructions suggest that you unzip the files into your Windows directory, but since we've already unzipped them into c:\unzipped\zgdw95, you will need to drag each file into your C:\windows directory.
Just follow the instructions in the gdw95.txt file for Windows 95 and 3.1 users, and enjoy this ZDNet exclusive.
The Internet is a great source for finding software gems. By tapping into the Web's motherlode of software, you can try programs to see if you like them before laying out that hard-earned cash, and keep your favorite programs up-to-date by learning to download and install their latest versions.
Most of the files you come across will fall into a few different categories. Freeware and Public Domain software are free for you to use, although you may be required to send the author a postcard or do a good deed in return. Shareware and Demonstration software allow you to try out a fully or partially operational program. If you like it, you can buy the full version or legitimize your copy by paying a fee.