Recently, a reader lost one of his software programs. To be quite honest, I can't figure out how people can "lose" software, but apparently they do. Here are a couple of possibilities.
1. You deleted your desktop shortcut. Deleting the shortcut does not delete the software itself unless you specifically tell Windows to remove the software. It's likely the "lost" software is still on your hard disk somewhere and you just deleted the shortcut for it. You could search in Windows Explorer and find the folder that contains the software. Most software is loaded in a folder that exists under C:\Program Files. Within the software's program folder will be a file that ends .exe. This file generally is the "executable file" that runs the program. For example, my copy of Adobe Acrobat is located in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe. Right click and choose Send to Desktop (create shortcut) to put it back on your desktop. If it's not, you could do the same search in Google and see if it's available on one of the many download sites out there.
2. You (or someone else) really did delete the software. In that case, you need to find the original program CD or download package and reinstall it. If it was downloadable shareware, do a Google search for the program name and see if you can track down another copy. You also can search through sites such as Download.com and see if it still exists.
In this case, the software the reader had lost was freeware and he couldn't find it again for that nice price. It's worth noting that sometimes freeware evolves into paid software. For example, I have an old FTP program that used to be freely available everywhere. Now it costs money. In a moment of wisdom, I saved aside my original download package and burned it to a CD, so I never have had to cough up for a new copy. It's the same old story: if you really like program or your data, back it up.