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[CPC] Daniel Kawakami, also known as Daniel_K, explains his feelings about Creative.

post #1 of 9
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Source: http://www.custompc.co.uk/news/60234...own/page2.html

Creative landed itself in a bit of a PR nightmare when it recently tried to get heavy-handed on driver modder Daniel Kawakami, with thousands of people signing a petition to Creative, and many more expressing negative feelings towards the company. Whether driver modding is right or wrong is a hot topic, and Daniel Kawakami has now chosen to give his side of the story.

‘I'm NOT a cracker [or] a hacker,’ Kawakami told Custom PC, ‘just an enthusiast modder with basic assembly knowledge.’ As he points out, ‘modding is a common practice among enthusiasts, and I don't recall some company threatening a modder.’ Kawakami gives the notable exception of mods that allow an exclusive feature to be enabled on a competitor’s product, such as enabling SLI on a non-SLI chipset. He also points out that other mods, such as ‘the GeForce to Quadro mod,’ have also been published on review sites.

So how did it all start? Kawakami explains that it all kicked off ‘when Creative released the first beta of ALchemy for X-Fi cards, saying it used X-Fi's advanced capabilities (EAX5). After some investigation, I found an EAX5.0 check, patched it and it worked! Sometime later, they released the final version of ALchemy X-Fi and the paid version of ALchemy Audigy. I was really mad at them; they didn't release a new Audigy driver and were charging Audigy owners for software that runs on top of bugged drivers. What is the point of that? Then I modified the X-Fi ‘free’ version of ALchemy, not the paid version.’

Kawakami readily acknowledges that he was in the wrong when it came to modding ALchemy, but asks: ‘what is the point of improving ALchemy and charging for it when it requires an improved driver?’ He explains that the mod was ‘my protest against Creative.’

One of the major issues surrounding the driver mods was that Kawakami asked for donations so that he could buy hardware to support his work, such as a used Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 for $15 USand a new Audigy SE for $60 US. He also points out that computer hardware is expensive in Brazil. ‘An X-Fi Xtreme Gamer costs about $240 here, with taxes and shipping,’ says Kawakami, while ‘the same card can be bought for ~$80 in the US. I just can't spend my money buying new hardware that I won't even use.’

However, Kawakami also admits that ‘later, I tried to encourage donations to release the DDL feature for X-Fi and Crystallizer for Audigy. I said something like: "the more people donate, the faster I'll release.â€â€™ Kawakami explains this move, saying that ‘was so eager to modding that I didn't think straight. I was hoping to get an X-Fi ASAP,’ although he says that he does ‘recognise that I deserve some criticism for that.’

The list of Kawakami’s mods in Creative’s drivers is exhaustive, and they mainly concern Audigy cards under Windows Vista. Kawakami explains that ‘Creative purposefully modified the Audigy drivers to disable some features when Vista is detected, and also purposefully introduced some bugs to prevent some XP utilities from running. I did a complete analysis of the driver to determine where all the checks and bugs were introduced and started modding.’

He lists the features that he’s successfully enabled in the Vista driver, which include:



Dolby/DTS decoding

CMSS, CMSS2 and Stereo Surround (originally only CMSS was available, but this setting also affects ALchemy/OpenAL and Kawakami notes that it’s thus particularly useful)

Advanced EQ and Special FX presets
DVD Audio

Hardware MIDI synthesizer (Kawakami says he wrote a small utility that automatically detects and changes the default Vista MIDI Synth during driver install or can change it later using its GUI. Some media players let you choose the MIDI synthesizer)

Equalizer

WaveRT


Kawakami also enabled some features for Live! Cards, including ALchemy support and hardware MIDI. ‘They purposefully ruined the Live! support in Vista,’ explains Kawakami, with ‘2.1 speakers setting resulted in distorted sound.’ His solution was to investigate the drivers and after ‘discovering the culprit,’ he says he ‘replaced it with one from the last XP version and the problem was fixed.’ He also added gameport support for Vista on older cards, which isn’t included in Creative’s drivers.

He certainly doesn’t have a lot of respect for Creative since the incidents on the Creative forums. ‘They publicly threatened me,’ says Kawakami, ‘just to show their arrogance.’ He explains that ‘if they had contacted me by email or private message, I would do the same thing (remove everything) and no one would know about their dissatisfaction.’

He also points out that there was no need for Creative to remove everything that he’d posted on the forums even if it was unrelated to the modded drivers, and that Creative didn’t recognise any of his hard work. ‘If they can’t provide better drivers,’ says Kawakami, then ‘let people make their own choice.’

We’ve still yet to receive any kind of response from Creative about this, but Kawakami says that he’s been told that he can continue with his mods, ‘except the “forbidden†ones, and that he’s also ‘allowed to receive donations.’
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post #2 of 9
Interesting to hear it from the source.

His donations seem to be not out of greed, but out of necessity to develop better drivers.
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post #3 of 9
I like to look at it as money received for the time spent, not the product delivered.

At any rate, it's pretty damn pathetic when some random guy can write better drivers than an entire company. Crash and burn, Creative.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegend View Post
Interesting to hear it from the source.

His donations seem to be not out of greed, but out of necessity to develop better drivers.
Yeah, although he was pirating software that Creative wanted Audigy owners to pay for. In accepting donations it could be construed as though he were making money off of Creative's software (even if he is only buying new hardware to continue driver mods).

I am not taking either side here, just stating what I said above for what it's worth.
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post #5 of 9
Nice read. For the record? His drivers are awesome...
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liability View Post
I like to look at it as money received for the time spent, not the product delivered.

At any rate, it's pretty damn pathetic when some random guy can write better drivers than an entire company. Crash and burn, Creative.

Fire the guys who know what they're doing, we need a people person team!
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post #7 of 9
I still wouldn't say that creative is incapable of making drivers, its obviously the decision of some CEO that spends all day on the golf course.
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegend View Post
Interesting to hear it from the source.

His donations seem to be not out of greed, but out of necessity to develop better drivers.
I couldnt agree more..

Perhaps we at ocn Should start a petition for the sake of DK....


My god his drivers are amazing.. I have personaly tested them and man!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'd personally say, they should fire their so-called driver team and just let Daniel_K do them.
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