Back in the day, many moons ago when visiting the world wide web was a pleasant experience, Ian “Gizmo” Richards was the freeware guru. They were exciting times, when new and innovative freeware abounded, and Gizmo was at the forefront of the freeware revolution. His weekly freeware newsletter quickly gained popularity and the name “Gizmo” became synonymous with freeware reviews and discussion.
In those days, Gizmo’s TechSupportAlert website was very basic, merely acting as a repository for his newsletter archives. Then, after Gizmo was lured onto bigger and better things, the website was completely revamped, hugely expanded, and handed over to a group of energetic and dedicated volunteers. TechSupportAlert (aka Gizmo’s Freeware) quickly established itself as the go-to place for freeware reviews, recommendations, and discussion, with the volunteers continuing to practice Gizmo’s established doctrine — safety and users first.
Time passed and the web slowly but inexorably transformed from those early days of freedom and innocence into a commercial instrument where dollars dominate. Many smaller websites were forced to close down during this period and now, sad to say, Gizmo’s TechSupportAlert can be added to the list.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts we announce the closing of Gizmo’s Freeware. After due consideration, we’ve decided to shut down this site tentatively by 15 July 2021 after which it will not be accessible anymore.
I first signed up for Gizmo’s freeware newsletter some 12- 13 years ago and have been a member ever since. That was also about the same time I first started writing articles for publication. I submitted several freeware reviews to Clif Sipe (aka Clif Notes), who was the other notable freeware guru at the time, and Clif was kind enough to publish them in his popular newsletter. I never submitted anything to Gizmo, as there was no way of doing so at the time, but we did occasionally discuss freeware via email exchanges. It’s fair to say that I have been associated with Gizmo and freeware for a very long time and this closure hits home hard.
Gizmo’s Freeware has been a fantastic resource for a long time. However, unfortunately, freeware has stagnated somewhat with very little in the way of new or innovative freeware being released for quite some time and established popular products already dominating in just about every genre. I’m sure that this, along with other factors, has contributed to the decision to close down Gizmo’s Freeware.
It’s always sad when a once-popular website is forced to close down, and especially so when it means a valuable and nigh on irreplaceable resource has been lost.
So, it’s farewell to Gizmo’s Freeware, a great loss, and an absolute shame. We will miss you.
NOTE: The TechSupportAlert (Gizmo’s Freeware) website can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine. Visit the Wayback Machine, type techsupportalert.com into the search box, and hit Enter. Then click on the most recent date.