With WinXP or 2000, you just plug in the ImageMate and off it goes as a mass storage device. With Win 98/Me you need drivers which are on the included CD-ROM. I just installed an ImageMate dual reader (CF & SM) today and it's a no-brainer in WinXP. It isn't all that much more difficult in Win98/Me--just follow the directions.
It is not necessary to use the camera software to download photo images with a card reader or camera-to-computer cable. In fact, I've never looked at the Olympus Camedia software for my Oly 3040Z and may or may not install Nikon View 5 for the D100 when it comes.