Don't write to tell me everybody you know has no trouble downloading. Bless you and your friends. But the rest of the world is standing at the iron gates.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983
Coping with downloads in their twilight time
September 24, 2012
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, The Post-Standard
I have good news. Downloading is going away. It's yesterday's news. Let's give a cheer.
The demise of downloading will pull ordinary computers into an age of enlightenment. I've always thought of downloading as punishment for bad deeds I must have done as a child. Where do they go? What do I do with them? What's a ".SIT" file, and how come only old Mac users know about it? Why should I have to figure out what a "RAR" is? Or who can tell me what's the best way to deal with a "ZIP"?
Power users know all these answers, or at least they think they do. But all downloading does is put everybody else in a sort of prison. Don't know how to extract a DMG from a ZIMAGE? Can't RAR when you're cooking steak rare? Think "SIT" is what you do when you get home from a busy day? To the dungeon!
Already, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users know what's going to replace downloads. App Stores are. You choose something and a few seconds later it's installed on your device. Apple does the same thing for Macs now, and Microsoft will have an app store for Windows 8 shortly.
Don't write to tell me everybody you know has no trouble downloading. Bless you and your friends. But the rest of the world is standing at the iron gates. It's dark down in that hole.
So this week, while we're all waiting for nirvana, here are three big mistakes just about everybody makes now and then when downloading. And three easy solutions.
1. Not knowing where downloads go. Make a download (or downloads) folder, anywhere. Just keep it where you can get at it. And right click on every download link and specify the destination as that folder. (Yes, you have a choice of where things go. Use a right mouse click.)
2. Not remembering what you downloaded. Don't get silly about this. Just look in the folder you created. Voila! (or Viola!, as my musician friends say), there it is.
3. Not deleting the "container" file after the download. ZIPs (and other compressed stuff) contain files. They're extracted when you double click the ZIP, and so on. That's great. But the ZIP (or other, you know) is still there. It will stay there until you've met your maker unless you delete it right away.
Even these simple tips seem complicated. I just can't wait until downloads go away.