A card reader is a device that has slots to fit the various camera cards, like the one that your camera uses to store pictures. You could buy a card reader, plug it in, put your camera card into the card reader, and pull the photos off that way.
I never use the software with my camera, and I have a Canon as well. I plug the camera into the computer via USB and turn it on. Then, on the back of the camera near the viewfinder, there is a switch: one way lets you take pictures, the other lets you view them. Switch it to the 'view' part so that you could cycle through your pictures. Windows automatically detects my camera and I use the wizard to copy pictures over.
If the wizard doesn't appear, after plugging in your camera go to My Computer. You should see your camera on the list (it may say Removable Storage Device, but mine says CANON). Double click it; you'll probably see a folder with the same name. Double click that. Find your pictures (my camera creates several folders and sometimes there are pictures in all of them) and drag them onto your desktop or into My Pictures folder or wherever you want them.