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Confusing about downloading and installing

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by grandpaw7, Apr 17, 2004.

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  1. grandpaw7

    grandpaw7 Thread Starter

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    I guess I just don’t understand the difference between downloading a program and installing it. I wasn’t able to find a good explanation online. One place said this:

    "Downloading - This is moving a file that's on the Internet onto your computer. Just click a download link on a web site and save the file to your hard disk."

    Installing - When you install something, you basically "put" the program on your computer so you can use it. Normally this is done via a setup program or "wizard" to make installation easy. Once you're finished installing a program, you can usually run it from your Start Menu, Programs area.

    So it says that both terms mean putting something on your computer. That’s confusing to me.

    After I download a program from the web, do I need to still need be connected to the download website to install it? If I shut down without installing it, is it still there for me to install when I boot up again? If I partially download and get interrupted, is the partial download still on my camputer?

    Thanks for any clarification. grandpaw7
     
  2. MustBNuts

    MustBNuts

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,016
    Install software is usually made up of many files all packaged up to appear as one file. The idea is that when you double click the file (in order to install it), the program automatically moves all the packaged files to the appropriate places on your hard drive.

    If you think of install software like a suitcase, when you open it (double click it), some of the contents of your suitcase go in the closet, some in drawers, some in the bathroom, etc. The idea of installation software is that the person(s) who wrote the software have built it so that when you double click on it, it worries about where the files need to go, you don't. But the software won't work until you unpack it.

    Other downloads are just files, pictures, documents, music. they are not necessarily packed, and if you double click, your own system will see if it can figure out which of your existing applications can view/play the file(s).

    Most of the time, installation files have everything you need to install the application. If you disconnect from the internet, you can still install the software normally. Microsoft, as an example though, sometimes gives you a tiny install package, that when you double click on it, goes out to the internet to get the rest of the files it needs to put on your computer. Most of the time, the installation will let you know if you still need your internet connection.

    Hope this helps,

    MBN
     
  3. grandpaw7

    grandpaw7 Thread Starter

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    Yes, MBN, that does help, and thanks. grandpaw7
     
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