Glad Systems Flash View. (Evaluation)
by Tom Benford
A three-quarter-length American-made board with 1MB of video RAM already installed, the Glad Systems Flash View offers affordable Windows/GUI acceleration.
Like the CSS MaxGraphic/16, the Glad Systems Flash View has an extra-edge connector on its top side. According to the Flash View documentation, this feature connector is an "auxiliary video connector which provides support for future video applications." A bold notation in the system-requirements section of the manual advises that any other VGA or non-VGA video board in the computer system must be removed or disabled prior to installing the Flash View, thus confirming that it cannot be used in concert with another video adapter. A single 15-pin D connector is located on the board's metal mounting bracket.
The software includes drivers for Windows as well as for AutoCAD, AutoShade, VersaCAD, Generic CAD, Microsoft Word 5.0, Ventura Publisher, WordPerfect 5.1, Lotus 1-2-3, Symphony, GEM 2.x/3.x, and several other applications. Setting up the drivers for Windows is simple and straightforward. But installing drivers for some of the other applications may require manually copying the required files from the driver disk into the application's subdirectory and then running the application's configuration utility to activate the newly installed drivers.
Jumpers are provided for adjusting configuration parameters to optimize the monitor and other system components and to resolve any device conflicts that might arise. To install the board, you simply insert it into any available three-quarter-length 16-bit slot and load the driver software.
The user's manual provided with the Flash View is among the best of those for all the boards covered here. It's well written, exceptionally well organized, and great in its troubleshooting advice. You'll also appreciate the plentiful technical information, component illustrations, and jumper-setting diagrams and charts.
With regard to performance, the Flash View was a pleasant surprise. Applications under Windows 3.0 typically ran two to three times faster with the Flash View card than with the review system's Oak Technology VGA board. Flash View is a no-frills board that comes in a plain package and does exactly what it claims: It significantly speeds up video processing and provides excellent image resolution without flicker even in the superextended video modes. These factors make the Glad Systems Flash View a highly attractive and affordable choice for those looking for more speed in Windows and other GUI applications.