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More About Downloading, Compressed Files,
and Helper Applications
from RJ Cooper
(Use your Back button to get back to the page that brought you here!)


Modems, in general, are still not that speedy, with an average speed of 28.8, or 28,800 Bits Per Second (BPS) or about 3600 characters/sec maximum, if the Net is operating at its highest speed, which it never is. Typical max speeds are closer to 1500 or 1.5K. At that rate it would take about 67 seconds to download a 'small' 100K file! Even with the newer 33.6 modems, the speed of the Net itself still keeps us moving at a 'crawl', considering a 100K file, when it comes to sound, pictures, and animations, is puny. Cable Modems, just making their appearance, download data at up to 6 MEGABITS per second, yielding transfer rates of very acceptable times. If your cable company is supporting Cable Modems, I would look into it.

Compression is the method that everyone uses to deal with the speed constraint. I compress 'em & you decompress 'em. Some browsers know how to decompress (extract) all by themselves. If your browser is capable of doing this, hopefully, it will ask you where you would like to put the extracted files. If it doesn't, then your browser probably put the files in whatever folder (directory) you were in at the time of extraction (decompression). Always take note of where you're saving things!

When a browser can't do something by itself, like decode an encoded file, or decompress a compressed file, or play (view) an RJ Movie file, that browser will turn to a Helper Application. Hopefully it will not be necessary to learn about Helpers and your browser will simply ask you where you want to Save the file. Unfortunately, with many browsers you must teach which Helper App. to use with which type of file. Usually, there is a Configuration, Options, or Preferences area within your browser that lets you teach it this important information.

Macintosh Users (click right here to skip to Windows instructions)

Mac files on my pages are encoded in a Net-standard format named BinHex. This format preserves necessary Mac-specific information over the Internet. You will need to download and Save, and then decode. There are 2 options for decoding:

Option #1 - Using Stuffit Expander for Mac

1) In many cases, your browser will simply ask you where you wish to Save the file. This is true for either Mac or PC. If it does, then skip to 2) or 3). If it doesn't, then here are the steps to take, in Netscape as an example, if you need to configure your browser to ask you where you want to save the file.

2) If you are on a PC when downloading then, 3) Now it's time to decode the file with Stuffit Expander for Macintosh. (If you do not have this great utility, which comes with the Netscape 3.0 download, you can find it if you search the software libraries of America Online, CompuServe, and a dozen other places on the Net.) 4) Double click on the installer and follow the directions.

Option #2 - Decoding Internally with your Browser (Mac only)

1) If you are downloading on a Mac, another option is to configure your browser to decode the file internally. I would suggest performing the following before you download a BinHex file the first time. You only need to do this once.

2) If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) , you might have to do something similar to the above, but since I don't have IE, you're on your own.

3) Double click on the decoded installer and follow the directions.


I use two formats for my files on my web pages.

1) Some files are self-contained, ready to download and then double click on, and contain everything for that title. All you need to do is click on their link on the web page, Save to a location you'll remember, and then you can simply double click on them from My Computer or Explorer (Win 98, 95) or File Manager (in your Main Group; Win 3.1).  Demos of this type include OnScreen and Biggy..

2) Other files are in self-expanding Zipped files. Once again, just click on their link, Save to a location you'll remember, double click on them. The difference for these types is that after they self-expand, you will be left with at least 4 files including a <setup.exe> or <install.exe> file.  Double click on that file and the software will install itself. Downloads of this type include all the other demos.

You should create a folder on your hard drive named RJ and Save all the .exe file(s) there, so you don't lose them. Once you have installed the title, you can delete the installer file(s). There should be a new Program Group in your <Startup|Programs> (Win 95) or Program Manager (Win 3.1).

You can do this! I have confidence in you.
Now use your Back button in your browser to go back to the page that brought you here.

RJ ;-)

Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Downloading

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