Officially started in 1998, I.T. Mate is a collection of websites, software and services - provided as a means to allow those that could not otherwise afford to pay, to have access to everything they need. Whether in need of a particular application, service or simply technical support, if it's not already provided here I will either point you to it, or provide it for you myself.
During it's early day, I.T. Mate was known as simply "I.T. Mate", providing technical documentation and support for everything from AOL to Microsoft Windows. This was dropped from the site in 2001, after realising I simply could not afford the necessary time to keep it up to date. Instead I began focusing primarily on providing services and software.
There are currently several websites within I.T. Mate, that allow you to use the services provided, these can be found via the "Services" menu. Those that have been coming to our sites for a while will most likely notice two significant services missing, iHost and of course, the free hosted forums. The former of the two was withdrawn due to abuse some time ago and the latter, withdrawn approx 2005-6 as I didn't have time for the re-write.
Why I.T. Mate?
The main reason for the name was identification. One name allows for identification for all of the websites provided by myself, as coming from one "entity", rather than seperation between the sites. This in my opinion, allows for less confusion.
The very first site developed was "Michael Jackson The Man - The Mystery", originally hosted by Angelfire way back in 1998. A year later, the 'Unofficial AOL Support Site' was born. This site was developed after my growing concern about the lack of support and reliability of the support, AOL representatives were providing (and from what I have heard - still provide). As such, 'The Unofficial AOL Support Site' developed into a site that was dedicated to helping AOL members with any problems they had with the AOL software.
As time went on, the AOL support site was developed into Ur I.T. Mate. This time, instead of sticking with AOL, it aimed to deal with providing support for all technical related issue's.
In 2001, Michael Jackson 'TMTM' was given a major face lift and moved from Angelfire. Not long after that, I developed our now closed S-NAS website, dedicated to naming and shaming spammers. This site was not a huge success and was subsequently closed down in January 2004.
This was also around the time Ur I.T. Mate became I.T. Mate.
Cost and catches
The question of costs and catches comes up quite frequently (which no doubt, will not suprise you). The reason everything is provided for free however, is not because of some misguided conception that I will be able to cover the costs using "other means" (e.g. adverts, malware), but because that is what the internet is about - giving. It is the very essence of the word "free" and does not deserve the label that it has since become. In other words, providing freely, without catches or costs, help's both the internet and yourself to become properly acquainted, without regret, worry or hesitation.
A question I get frequently when explaining this is "how do you cover your costs then?", the answer is two-fold. All costs associated with these provisions (be they services, software or hosting) are covered both out of my own pocket, and via donations by those that feel able and comfortable to do so.
Those that wish to help toward costs may do so by clicking here (as mentioned, this is completely VOLUNTARY!).
The man behind the curtain
A few people have asked me just what it is I do for I.T. Mate and why I am the only one that seems to be associated with it. The answer is quite simply, I.T. Mate is a "one man show" as it were. Everything you see, download and/or use carrying the "I.T. Mate" name, has been developed and is maintained by myself.
Contrary to popular belief (and this goes especially to third party companies that insist on spamming me), I.T. Mate is NOT a company - never has been and most likely, never will be. There is no secret support team to answer your e-mails, no 'invisible developers' to save me a little work, it's all developed, provided, maintained and supported by one person - me.
Below are sites and mirrors designed, maintained and/or hosted by I.T. Mate for third parties. (all links open in a new window)
Clif Notes Freeware and Website Reviews
Official Helen Benoist Website