ViewFinder software released freelyBy Peter Naulls. Published: 15th Apr 2005, 17:33:58 | Permalink | Printable
Free upgrade for everyoneJohn Kortink today on the ViewFinder list announced "Version 1.63 of the ViewFinder software is now available ... This release 'donates' the features formerly known as 'pay' features (bank switching and (Radeon only) overlay support) to everyone."
The original ViewFinder was launched nearly 5 years ago, allowing much larger screen modes on RiscPCs via a podule with an AGP slot which let a standard PC graphics card to be fitted. The Viewfinder product was eventually discontinued around February last year.
The ViewFinder was arguably the most important RiscPC hardware upgrade in the limbo between the demise of Acorn and availability of Iyonix and Omega machines, giving a new lease on life to many RiscPCs and opened new possibilities for RISC OS users and developers alike. Later upgrades allowed Rage 128 32MB cards to be used up from the initial 8MB, and still later, faster and larger Radeon graphics cards.
John states that there are no major changes in this version apart from it now being free - after reaching a point of stability with the firmware upgrades, John had started charging for further versions which included feature additions. This includes DVI-D output for Radeon which, we conclude from John's wry comment, works just fine.
It's not clear if there are many ViewFinders still available for sale from dealers such as CJE: they sometimes show up second-hand, but owners tend to hold onto them tightly. If you're still holding out for a super cheap and fast new RISC OS machine, then if you can find one, a ViewFinder might just be the ticket in the interim to squeeze more life out of your 12-year old RiscPC.
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