Jim Knopf at IBM is credited with starting "shareware" in 1981. He started a database where "freeware" or independent software developers could offer their software on line on an "honor system" for payment. This opened up the availability of inexpensive software for the masses. With the advent of faster speeds and number of users, this distribution is now very widely used and accepted.


The best for link:, plus a very good section on the rules of buying or offering shareware.

CNET DOWNLOAD.COM Easy to find, perhaps the best "shareware search engine on the internet."

GARBO Based at the University of Vaasa in Finland, this site has an extensive collection of MS-DOS programs.

MACUPDATE A comprehensive site for Macintosh programs, offering reviews, search capability and lists of new and popular programs.

SOFTWAREVAULT.COM Allows searching of a database of Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and Linux programs; has a list of new titles and some software reviews.

TUCOWS Perhaps the most popular "shareware" site on the internet.

ZDNET SOFTWARE LIBRARY The Microsoft magazine of the internet offers perhaps the best and most latest software available, free or "low cost."