Viewfinder firmware 1.51 issuedBy Chris Williams. Published: 20th Dec 2002, 11:05:35 | Permalink | Printable
"Kid, are you gonna pay for that?"As the saying goes, there's no such thing as an unpaid midday meal. When Windfall Engineering (developer of the Viewfinder graphics card), re-enabled support for Viewfinder users back in November, they did warn that they might charge for future firmware updates for the graphics card, despite making bug fixes free. Well, one completely free bug fixed FlashROM update was made available soon afterwards, now here comes the first one you have to pay for.
What is amusing is that the update, namely version 1.51 of the Viewfinder module, is available on the Windfall website for 'free' download by anyone who wants it; however, you are expected to "play fair" and pay for the update if you do indeed download and use it. And for your 20 euros, you get..
- Bank switching via OS_Byte 112/113
So, does it work?
Well, having tried the new version of the software with the bank switching, the results are mixed. Most of the software to use this feature are games and graphical demos, so it's these I've tried. I didn't really keep track of what didn't work before due to OS upgrades and so forth, so the comparison might not be entirely fair. However, there is a definite improvement in the number of games that now work. Some games do show rather bad flickering, and display the mouse pointer - e.g. HOMM II. Others completely fail - TEK for one. Acorn Arcade will be happy to learn that Asylum works fine.
Is it worth my 20 Euros? If it were just left as it was, then probably not. But if we look at the history of ViewFinder development, John has shown no mercy to bugs, and the software has steadily improved; and I would expect the bugs in this version to soon be quashed, probably without extra cost. And since this will also lead to other ViewFinder features, many will consider 20 Euros well worth it.
Viewfinder support page
Viewfinder purchasing page
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