Free For All

helpful hints

If a site lists several files, a few tips will help you identify the right one. Look at the file's extension. If it's an .exe or .com, it's a program. A .jpg, .gif or .tif is a graphic, and a .doc, .txt or .faq is a document.

The file's name may include its directory and subdirectory, preceding the actual name and separated by slashes. Often, the directory parts will give you some idea of what the file is and what platform it's for (WINDOWS or MACINTOSH).

File-searching is still hit-or-miss. Because there's little or no duplication between the sites, your best bet is to start with one and work your way down the list.

Robert Schmidt is a computer and business writer in Culver City, California.

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Free For All.

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