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Username: md0u80c9
Realname: Andrew Hill
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Message board post:

>Excellent new articles about Micro Men. Thanks. >Reminds us why we already miss the old Drobe so >much :-(

Definitely. Though if we get new articles to The Archives with the same frequency that we have since its inception, I think I could live with the new version ;-).

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 12/10/09 11:25PM
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On ARM-powered computer firm in RISC OS port talks :

But presumably if the form factor allows, the boards would be better housed in a 3.5" or 5.25" drive bay, rather than making them artificially larger?

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 2/9/09 11:58PM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

The core role of Select is OS development, not hardware support/driver development. ViewFinder previously had to be supported as an exception because no developer was available to maintain a then-obsolete but highly valued podule and OS changes forced a compromise position. A side-effect to the OS is the development and progression of the graphics abstraction interface, which has been extended over the last few Select releases (and now covers more functions than covered by the original 4.XX driver).

This week's activities suggest VF is now in active development - and new hardware/driver developments are usually logically the responsibility of their author, just as would be the case with any other new hardware.

Given that John is actually developing the software here, not the hardware, clearly his development time is significant and reflected in the upgrade price. Suitable Radeons can be purchased for pretty decent prices, so John's predominant charge here is for changes to his driver.

RO6 is in no way broken by the release of a Radeon driver for VF under 4.XX - the previous options of the VPod or R128 ViewFinder still exist.

ROL run a business - so assume /all/ work has to at least break even for it to be worthwhile. Which either means to support a new feature either prices go up, or other features aren't developed.

Would you therefore accept, say, an equivalent 50 euros price hike to Select to cover additional driver development costs (allowing the purchase of cards at 49 euros)? This simply reflects the upgrade price John is presumably putting on his time for equivalent development.

Or instead, should other OS development be slashed back to cover it, and non-Radeon owning RO6 users (ie. all current subscribers) be paying for an update they don't currently use, and in the case of some users (VRPC) will never use?

Or, should it be left to the original developer as to whether he wishes to create Radeon support on RO6 at a later date?

Not suggesting a right answer here - just pointing out the straightforward problem of finite resources and development rationing.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 25/8/09 10:35PM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

Significantly rarer than the R128 version AFAIK (JK would be the definitive source of course!) IIRC, John released a Radeon variant shortly before he stopped supporting the ViewFinder - so logically there shouldn't be many of these around at all!

Each card (Mach64/R128/Radeon) works totally differently to the others, and unhelpfully many different varieties of the same card (eg. different manufacturers of the Rage 128) exist and behave differently too. This is probably why the ROL driver supports only a subset of cards (most R128s) - development time for three drivers and their different card varieties becomes quite prohibitive.

Mach64 support is pointless - a quick trip to EBay or a RISC OS dealer should be able to pick you up a R128 AGP card for very little. An Ebay search just now suggests purchase prices of £5 for these cards. Caveat emptor - note that not all varieties will work, but for that price you can afford to buy an unsupported variety once or twice; RISC OS dealers will no doubt charge more but at least guarantee finding a working variant.

Some people also get utterly confused as to which card is in the machine (assuming R stands for Radeon, or 'It's ATi so it must be a Radeon'), which doesn't help! Generally Mach64s had 8MB RAM, Rage 128s had 32MB RAM, and the Radeon 9200 which I think John supplied at one time has 128MB RAM. I think on the original driver *ViewFinderInfo told you more about the card.

Hope that all helps.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 24/8/09 3:04PM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

No. JK's driver AIUI works by patching the OS's graphics routines directly. The ROL driver uses the abstraction interface provided. The video layer in RO6 works quite differently and the code is in totally different places. The reason that OS6 kills the original VF driver on startup is simply that if the original driver manages to initialise on RO6, it stiffs the machine completely. Of course this happens way before you get to the *command prompt, so it kind of renders the machine unusable :-(.

I'm doubtful of the benefits for the workload involved of updating the R128 driver (given one exists) nor for the Mach64 (given its obsolescence), but I'm sure John could write a very nice video driver for RO6 for the Radeon if there was interest - with the added benefits discussed earlier in the thread :-).

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 24/8/09 2:06PM
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