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Installing 1st apk without ADB

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http://androidforums.com – I can’t afford cell phone service more than Tracfone for my used HTC Hero, so I’d just like to use the HTC to run apk apps. I understand I need to get some kind of apk installer on the HTC. However, not having a phone-Internet connection, I have to install (including my first app, an apk installer) from my SD card or via USB. I’ve read I can do that with the Windows adb program, but to get at that progran I read I have to install over two gigs of Eclipse (whatever that is), SDK, Java itself, and then the Java updates. Is there no other way I can accomplish this? Would flashing my HTC (General)