Windfall withdraws PCI kitBy Chris Williams. Published: 20th Jan 2004, 01:08:51 | Permalink | Printable
Nobody caredIn September last year, Windfall Engineering announced details of their PCIFace kit. This week, however, Windfall have abandoned their PCI interface for RiscPCs.
"Today I've withdrawn Windfall's PCIFace, the PCI-to-podule-bus interface for the Risc PC, due to lack of interest", John Kortink of Windfall revealed to the Windfall mailing list.
Windfall also developed the Viewfinder graphics card that allows selected 'off the shelf' AGP cards to be fitted to RiscPCs and A7000s. Perhaps Windfall's slightly erratic end user support policy could have contributed to the blamed "lack of interest".
John also quipped: "How this reflects, in general, on the drive left in the market to develop PCI card drivers for RISC OS machines is probably pretty clear."
What John failed to clarify is that he was obviously specifically refering to the lack of interest in developing PCI drivers for legacy, aging dinosaurs like the RiscPC and the A7000. If a user really wants to get the most out of using RISC OS and PCI, surely they'll upgrade to a new generation of machine that boasts a post-Acorn era architecture? God knows where emulation fits in there.
But what have Iyonix and Omega users got to look forward to? Or rather, what have Iyonix users got to look forward to? There's Simon Wilson's PCI TV card that's still excruciatingly unreleased to the general public. There's also CinoDVD which is still in development and includes a driver for some SoundBlaster PCI sound cards. We've also heard of SCSI and internal modem PCI drivers promised, but it's still very much a 'wait and see' affair for this year.
You might conclude that there's sadly a drought in drivers for RISC OS machines, or you might decide that given the size of the market, these developments are a fine start. As for the RiscPCs and A7000s, well they should be grateful enough that they have AGP support.
At least this product discontinuation will leave Windfall more time for them to develop drivers for the latest generation of RISC OS computers, right?
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