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The best way to download pictures from your camera to your computer involves removing the memory card from the camera and plugging it into a card reader (either built-in to the computer or connected via USB or FireWire). This is likely to be faster than connecting the camera to the computer, and won't run down your camera's batteries.
Once the card is plugged in, it will appear to your computer as a removable drive. You can use the operating system's drag&drop facility to copy pictures from the card to the computer's hard drive, the same way you copy any other files. Or you can use any photo cataloging program such as Picasa.
With most recent computer systems, you don't really need the software that came from the camera manufacturer.
Connect the camera to the computer using the USB cable that was included.
Put the camera in the mode for viewing pictures already taken (not sure if necessary).
Turn on the camera.
At that point, the computer should recognize the device. It may take a few moments to configure itself properly.
Then the computer should make the camera available just as if it were another disk drive (or flash drive). You should be able to drag or copy photo files from the camera to the computer. You will first need to navigate through the directory/folder structure of the camera -- the photos are not in the root directory.
If you haven't tried already, try changing the batteries to high-drain Nimh or Energiser 2800MAh batteries. I had loads of problems with my camera until I put stronger batteries in it, now it works wonderfully again.
Get the images off the card.
Plug to your computer and download them.
Then reformat the card in the Camera.
If your computer is a Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista you will not need any extra software to do this.
Windows can do it all by its self.