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When TEK1608 Met Viewfinder

By Chris Williams. Published: 18th Feb 2003, 19:33:54 | Permalink | Printable

"TEK and Viewfinder now Friends" sez Artexsoft

TEK boxIt's like that soppy film "When Harry Met Sally" except not, because they were fictional romantic characters and this article is actually about graphics hardware and funky software. Jan Klose, of RISC OS games house Artexsoft yet emailing from his Deck13 address, today alerted drobe.co.uk to the fact that their TEK1608 real time war game is now compatible with Windfall Enginnering's Viewfinder graphics card (which essentially allows an ATI AGP graphics card to sit on the Acorn podule bus).

"TEK players have happily reported that thanks to the latest viewfinder upgrade 1.52, the game is now running very well with this special graphics card", muses Jan. "TEK is displayed without any optical problems. Thus, Viewfinder users can now safely buy TEK, and TEK players can safely buy the Viewfinder card".

Viewfinder software and drivers are stored on the card in FlashROM and updates are simply uploaded to the card by the end user having obtained the upgrade from the Windfall website. 1.53 is the current version of the Viewfinder firmware and costs 20 euros under Windfall's current support system (download now, pay later). The Viewfinder card has to work hard to provide a transparant layer between software expecting the Acorn VIDC video system and the faster, better ATI graphics card; it appears a breakthrough has at last been reached for TEK1608 players. Now, about that demo..


Artexsoft Windfall Engineering

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Now all I need is for it to work on my Iyonix ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 19/2/03 1:31AM
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I emailed Artex about that today - I wonder if it's a simple recompilation issue or if a lot of work would need to be done. The fact that it works with the ViewFinder card says to me that the game uses proper OS calls for graphics. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 19/2/03 2:31AM
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Simon: I bet it does not use proper OS calls for graphics. It simply writes to screen memory as most games do. I think the issue is with multiple screen banks and bank switching, which was the main thing added to the ViewFinder software in the >1.50 versions. But you are right: If it runs OK on a ViewFinder, it should not have any problems on Iyonix, at least graphics-wise. However, I bet a lot of it is ARM-coded, which is a lot of work to update.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 19/2/03 9:38AM
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