August 14, 2008

How to Download and Install Mac Software

This is a very limited "How to" on downloading, installing and running software from the internet.

In general, be careful about downloading software from websites you might not have reason to trust. Once you're ready to go, these tips might be of help.
  • When you click the "download" button, a box will typically open giving you the option to save the file to your computer. The file is usually a compressed version of an installation package. If given the option to select a directory, I usually save it to my "Desk top." This makes it easier to find.

    Try to note the name of the file being downloaded to help finding it later.

  • After the download is complete, find the installation package (hopefully on your desktop). If you have trouble finding it, it might have an extension .zip or .dmg. If you wrote the file name down, you can search for using the magnifying glass (spotlight), usually in the upper right of your screen (type .dmg or .zip or the filename).

    Tip: Open your Finder, Go to desktop, and you might see the new file. You can sort the files by date.

    Tip: F11 moves all of your open software aside so that you can see your desktop.

  • Once found, Double-click and follow the instructions. In some cases the first file you clock on will simply unpack/unzip another "installation" file, either on your desktop or in a pop-up box. You'll then need to double-click this installation file. Follow the instructions, which usually ask you to agree to the conditions of the licensing agreement (sorry, we live in a corporatized world).

  • After it says "Installation Complete," or something like that, you are sometimes given the option of starting the program. Other times, it simply finishes. Then what? How do you run the program?

  • Running the new software: Sometimes, the new software creates an Icon on your desktop. Other times, you'll need to use Finder, click on "Applications" and try to find a file with an appropriate name and the extension .app The application file might also be stored within a folder.

  • Finally, if this is a program you will use a lot, you can drag and drop the .app file to your "dashboard," the list of programs often located at the bottom of the screen.

    gdaeman_scroll_small

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