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Saying "goodbye" to .Mac

Tonight, we will all say "goodbye" to .Mac, a service that has been a small part of Apple for almost 8 years. iTools, .Mac's predecessor, was launched on January 5, 2000 at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco and was a free service that included a HomePage, iCards and the much coveted @mac.com e-mail address that is commonplace today (as well as the forgotten 'KidSafe,' which was a database of kid friendly websites Apple compiled so you could make sure your children weren't up to no good on your Mac). As more users came to the service and the cost of bandwidth went up, Apple began charging for the service and called it .Mac.

The name ".Mac" was born at the Macworld Expo in New York on July 17, 2002 and provided several new services including: a beefed up iDisk (with a dizzying 100 megs of space), Backup, and a free copy of Virex. On September 17, 2002, Apple announced that it would discontinue the free iTools service in favor for .Mac.

That brings us to, well, tonight. Apple is scheduled to take down .Mac and replace it with a newer, rebranded service named "MobileMe." While some scoff at the name, TUAW can't help but see the other side of the picture: look how far iTools has evolved over the past 8 years. So, join us in saying, "So long old friend, we hardly knew ye."

Do you have a favorite story to tell about iTools or .Mac? Be sure to mention it in the comments below! Apple is scheduled to take down the .Mac service between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. pacific time.

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