By Sandra E. Eddy

Download affordable shareware to experiment with various small-business programs.

SoftSeek (http://www.softseek.com/) provides links to shareware and trial versions of programs. Click on the Business & Productivity link and then click on a subcategory. When you find a program in which you are interested, click on the program name to reveal a page of information, including links to the developer's Web site. You can find most of the shareware mentioned in this column at SoftSeek.

Windex: The Windows Index (http://windex.daci.net/) organizes business programs under two categories: Personal Information Managers and Business & Productivity Applications. The entry for each program includes the program title, a link to the developer's Web site (from which you can download one or more programs), and a description of the program.

Shareware.com (http://www.shareware.com/) provides links to various programs. To find business shareware, type a keyword or phrase and click on a search button. The results include the file name, date, the file size, and a description of its features.

ZDNet Software Library (http://www6.zdnet.com/) is a large library of shareware that includes hundreds of business titles. Each entry includes a program name and synopsis of its features, the date it was added to the library, a rating (by the writers and editors of Ziff-Davis magazines) of one to five stars (or NR for no rating), and the number of times it has been downloaded, which serves as a measurement of a program's popularity.

Jumbo (http://www.jumbo.com/) offers shareware, freeware, and trial versions of software. Click on business, financial, or another category on the home page, select your computer operating system, and then click on a subcategory to reveal a list of shareware programs.

Intervue Digest's Egallery (http://www.eqp.com/id/egallery.html) is a valuable directory of many shareware sites. Each entry includes a long review of the featured site by Joseph Delgado, the creator, editor and Webmaster of Intervue Digest, a magazine with an online site.