A Brazilian developer threatened with legal action by Creative for making its soundcards work better with Vista has had his work reinstated on the company's website. Daniel Kawakami, better known by the moniker Daniel_K, modified a range of Creative's drivers to make the company's soundcards work smoothly with Windows Vista. …
Now if we could only get him writing Handspring Visor drivers.... :-(
DanielK could pave an entirely new path to fame by writing drivers to make Handspring Visors work with Vista... (I guess I'll just have to break down and write my own).
"However, like most monolithic companies, they approached the whole thing with little tact; publically calling out Daniel_K and covertly threatening him with legal action."
Ah, OK. The big company can behave like that and, when they back down because the fecal matter hit the spinning thing, the little guy has to be the one being magnanimous in victory. Riiiight. He could, of course. But why shouldn't he want revenge? He is not gaining anything anyway, so what has he got to lose? Just refuse to further distribute the modded drivers, with a big notice on his site explaining why. And let the geeks go complain to the manufacturer. Does not solve the problem of the people, of course. But Daniel_K has no obligation towards the people to begin with.
That's true, mostly only geeks must have heard of this. I don't know. Why are Creative even backing down, then? What I do know is that many lay people come to their local geeks asking for advice, no? Hell, I'm not even a "card carrying geek", just a biologist who works with computers a lot, but people keep asking me all kinds of questions about hardware and software. Now, what will I say to them if they ask me about which sound card to buy, or which one NOT to buy? ;-)
Penguin because this would obviously never happen in FOSS land.
@ Fair play to Creative on this one
What exactly did you expect them to do when their sole purpose for existing (making money) was impacted?
They would have said anything. This is not fair play, it's called being a predator for money.
PR own goal by irrelevant company
Having used Creative products since the original Soundblaster it is remarkable how they've managed to descend to the situation today where they pretty much fail to deliver any new technology with decent features and quality that you would fork out money for. These days I have an X-Fi in my Vista gaming rig for the entire reason that the 3.5mm audio jack being 15cm lower is handy. Yes, it's that useful.
There's genuinely no point buying an add-in card these days. There might still be, if these guys produced high quality drivers and features that would be mildly useful but Creative are spending less and less on R&D as they shovel out cheap speakers and web-cams by the truckload. It's not a brand I think we'll shed too much of a tear for.
AWE 32 GOLD in XP
I have an Awe 32 gold. Thought my soundfonts were awesome (What's MIDI?). Then I upgraded to Windows XP.
No audio. Why? They decided that no one wanted to use SPD/IF in XP. I could have sound, but only out of the analog jacks. I had a nice back and forth with them which ended at me screaming at a tech support guy who said ISA cards don't work in XP.
Granted, you eventually have to EOL a product, but the $20 drivers from 4Front Technologies for the same soundcard work fine under Linux 10 years after I initially purchased them.
Creative suffers from nocturnal emissions of the anal variety.
To reiterate my comment from a 'sister' site
Decent Hardware, Crap drivers.
IMHO, Creative have made some decent hardware - particularly the EMU10k/10k2 based stuff. Good for gamers, good for musicians, generally good quality at good prices.
However - their drivers and software bundles have been universally crap - buggy, bloated and underpowered. And that's without even touching on the Vista debacle.
I still use one of the original SBLive! cards and a later Live!Drive for music production alongside a 'pro-level' audio I/O board.
Fortunately, I don't have to use their godawful software thanks to the kX Project - www.kxproject.com.
If you've got an old card knocking around, go try them out, they're bloody great!
Why do I get the feeling the US office got a very bad and evil legal letter threatening a possible class action lawsuit over false and misleading advertising for what they sold and was labelled on the box there was no print warning users their drivers were a crock of shit alpha 2/beta 1's and most of the features would not be available if you upgrade the operating system and fail to mention that the drivers are only supplied for the life of the sales run of the particular model of the card in question for one specific M$ OS ?
Or how soon they forget , that the promised Linux open source drivers have yet to materialise for any of their cards from way back when they first promised that it would be so !
Too little too late.
Creative has shown it is a two faced company. Why would an apology letter from a bunch of people who talk out both sides of their mouth be enough to make amends?
I will never buy another creative product again.
I had a Zen that failed within 6 months. Sent it off to Creative for a repair. It took them 3 weeks to acknowledge receipt. I had already put a claim in to the Royal Mail at that time.
After 6 weeks and constant chasing by me, I emailed their press office to get their UK address to complain to Trading Standards re: Sale of Goods act. Only then was something done.
I got refunded for my player, and all the accessories I bought (was offered for the player only originally, but I had £70 of accessories), and the postage costs. I got nothing for the 10 weeks of arsing about it took.
And to add to that, instead of sending the unit that had been sitting in Poland for week to Creative Ireland, they sent it to me, so that meant more chasing.
I liked the Vision M, but after that pisspoor customer experience, I will never, never, never, ever buy Creative again.
They are reacting to the danger of competition... too late
They are simply recognising that from now onwards, they will have competition. Dan K, do not go near them, they want you back on board to STOP you from competing. Simple as that. Go for it Dan, set up a Brazilian competitor and give us what we need, a company centred upon the needs of the customer.
Good Hardware, Bad Software
I've had a love/hate relationship with Creative kit over the years. The hardware itself is very good quality. I love my Audigy Platinum, but the drivers have always been second rate and badly supported.
I've not been planning to buy any more Creative gear since a few years ago, but I might consider it if they make Daniel_K the head of driver development.
and another thing...
I've never understood hardware manufacturers attitudes to people writing their own open source drivers. There's a huge number of talented developers out there that would happily debug and fix any open source drivers if they existed, for free! But no, "any information about how the hardware works is our property and you ain't having it!" It was a real pig of a job writing an nVidia driver by reverse engineering the Linux driver, which was itself reverse engineered from the Windows one!
Creative's beancounters ..
...have probably sacked all their decent driver developers.
After all it's only a bit of code, those guys in India could knock it out for next to nothing in a couple of weeks - couldn't they ?
Aureal didn't go under because of crap software or hardware
The reason they went out of business is because they pissed all their partners off by starting to make their own cards! If they didn't do that, they may actually be with us today!!
Pity, better sound quality, better tech, better drivers that didn't come with stupid gimmicks... ah well..
This is the problem with drivers
You purchase hardware with plenty of potential, the vendor decides not to implement all the features leaving you with a crippled product.
This is where Linux tends to excel, hardware support (where vendors make the info available or where it can be reverse engineered) is better than Windows. Support for hardware becomes obsolete very quickly.
This is why
This is why I believe it should be a legal requirement for companies to supply Source Code for drivers with every piece of hardware, as a pre-condition for the privilege of being allowed to sell it.
If companies lose out because they can no longer force people to "upgrade" to a "new, improved" product (which, in reality, is only differentiated from the original by software) - I say SCREW THEM AND THE BIKE THEY RODE IN ON. How is that practice not fraud?
It's time these companies got a sharp reminder of who pays their wages.
@Enough is Enough
Out of all of creatives faults this can hardly be held against them can it?
This is basic practice right across the board, apple,nvidia,ati,amd,microsoft etc etc