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Windfall Engineering closes down

By Chris Williams. Published: 19th Feb 2004, 18:43:34 | Permalink | Printable

Punters offered last chance buy

Windfall logoAs dramatically announced this afternoon, Windfall Engineering is throwing in the towel and shutting down its operations. Windfall notably produced and manufactured the Viewfinder range: a set of ground breaking podule cards that provide an interface between off the shelf AGP based ATI graphics cards and native Acorn kit. Windfall also, for a short time, sold a similar PCI-to-podule interface called PCIFace.

RiscPCs fitted with Viewfinder cards can exceed the limited graphics capabilities of Acorn's VIDC20 chipset and run screen resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 in 16 million colours with 2D acceleration. The latest supported ATI Raedon cards also boast dual head and TV out capabilities.

In an email to Viewfinder users, echoed on the Windfall front page, Windfall's John Kortink explained: "To give potential customers a last chance to purchase ViewFinder (it will no longer be manufactured after Windfall has closed down, if you want one then, you'll have to get it second hand), we're having a final 'ViewFinder sale'."

Windfall have slashed 50 Euros off their Viewfinder price list, provided you get your order in before March 15th. Dealers need not apply.

Timeline
The Viewfinder was first available in May 2000 and was fitted with an 8MB ATI XPert 98 graphics card. In 2002, the Viewfinder 2 was launched, which included a 32MB ATI Xpert 2000 Pro card.

Over the years, there were a number of scuffles between Windfall and a particular quarter of the userbase, with some developers spinning off their own Viewfinder patches and configuration software to replace Windfall's offerings. There were also issues with mailing lists and charging users for firmware updates.

Despite the textured and bumpy history of the Viewfinder, as a product, it is most certainly an impressive feat of electronic engineering. Regardless of your opinion on Windfall's level of customer service, cramming an AGP interface into dinosaur Acorn kit and doing it well requires a level of skill the RISC OS market sadly cannot afford to lose right now.

As for future support, John Kortink told drobe.co.uk this evening that he will be offering support, "for at least a year. Quite likely even longer than that."

Links

Windfall Engineering website - final pricings etc.

Previous: Castle tweaks T'n'Cs
Next: PCI TV card progress

Discussion

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What happens to any stock they have after the deadline?

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 19/2/04 6:51PM
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perhaps they're planning to burn em!

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 19/2/04 6:54PM
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Perhaps CJE will have get the remain stock :-)

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 19/2/04 7:01PM
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For some reason the offer is not open to dealers

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 19/2/04 7:05PM
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Knowing JK, I'm actually suprised that the offer's open to *users* :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 19/2/04 7:25PM
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Quality customer support

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 19/2/04 7:53PM
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As well as his technical (as opposed to public relations) achievements, John K also deserves considerable respect for being one of few people to indulge in extended public exhibitions of loathing for both the Iyonix *and* the Omega.

A breath of fresh air, even if slightly unrealistic!

(Of course, I probably shouldn't be confusing the company with the person, otherwise I'd have to mention John's very valuable software offerings as well).

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 19/2/04 8:25PM
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Well I can't say I'm surprised at the anouncement, but what a huge waste of talent. Just think of what he could do with the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 19/2/04 9:00PM
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At least he is not lost for RISC OS: [link]

"Looking for, a BBC master and/or A3000, near Amsterdam"

I think, he still likes to play with (old) Acorn's

Now he has hands free and he has proven he can do almost impossible things, so maybe he can save one of the RISC OS machine builders.

Who will offer him a job? Castle or MD?

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 20/2/04 8:26AM
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Curses !

I just paid full wack for my 128MB ViewFinder from CJE Micro's - Not that I am dissatisfied with it - It's a truely impressive piece of kit.

I'm sure Chris will not mind me mentioning my review of the top of the range ViewFinder, currently featured on AcornEvolution. www.acornevolution.com

I agree with egel that both Castle and MicroDigital should consider offering John Kortnik work.

ViewFinder has features that are still not yet available for either the Iyonix or the Omega.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 20/2/04 11:01AM
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Has anyone fitted a ViewFinder to the Iyonix? That'd be pretty funny in a way.

 is a RISC OS UserClades on 21/2/04 3:05PM
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Not really, because it wouldn't do anything useful; its software not being 32-bit, and other various technical reasons.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 21/2/04 5:30PM
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"Has anyone fitted a ViewFinder to the Iyonix? That'd be pretty funny in a way." heh. Someone's got a warped sense of humour. :D I think that creating a super-Iyonix with toasters & pizza ovens would be more cool though. Something to gawk at. :)

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 21/2/04 8:56PM
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Some Iyonix systems already have a 64MB graphics card (can't remember if this is news or not).

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 21/2/04 10:14PM
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It is now :-)

with the advent of RISC OS 5.05 it is possible to have other NVidia GeForce2 MX400 cards

however you may find that the red and blue are swapped over due to the way that RISC OS handles RGB (thanx chocky)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 21/2/04 10:54PM
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The last of the Viewfinders has been shipped yesterday.

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 29/4/04 9:07AM
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