Forte 5-Jul-2009 12:04 PM
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Belkin's R+D department waas here in Rochester up until December.

Back in the day, there was Forte Technologies. They created the GF1 and drivers on the PC for them. This is the Gravis Ultrasound soundcard.

Forte wanted to get into VR stuff, so they split off a side company, eTek Labs, but they split it up backwards, and Forte kept the VR headset market. eTek went on to do contract work for various companies. In the mid 90s, AMD hired them to do the drivers for their new "AMaDeus" sound chip (a clone of the GF1, register set and all) which is commonly called the "Interwave".

eTek worked with AMD and Reveal to make the reference soundcard for them. Eventually Gravis picked up on this, and made their own version of the card, with copatibility in mind, and named it the "Gravis Ultrasound PnP" (yes, Gravis was not the original customer)

eTek continued doing other things Sound card DOS driver for a PCI sound card (by posing as a memory manager, and intercepting the DOS calls, sending them to the PCI card), some various other contract work for Compaq, etc, etc.

They continued on eventually eTek got bought by Belkin, and became their exclusive R+D department until this past december.

Now, the Forte side of things was a bit bumpier... Forte eventually folded, without enough sales of the VFX-1 to keep it afloat they got reincarneted as "KaoTek", and eventually as "IIS" (iirc), which got renamed to "Icuiti" then renamed to Vuzix who are still around today, making wearable display thingies.

While at eTek, I worked on more of the testing and debugging side of things. I created a small DOS app that let you navigate around the Interwave memory space, exploring the data structures, RAM, ROM, waveform buffers, soundfont, registers, etc. I'm not sure that it was ever even used internally, but it was really cool.

I helped make some modifications of MikMod with Leibow, in his conversion of it to a MCI-based sound engine for Windows. By pushing a bunch of U4ia mods through it, I found a few bugs and accuracy issues in the MikMod source we had (2.x), and fixed them. This substantially improved its stability, and made it sound a lot more Amiga Accurate. (So, Thank you, U4ia too!) (I admit, this was mainly for selfish reasons. I wasn't really supposed to be working on that. I just wanted my mods to sound good.)