No special firmware, only the standard fischl releases, usbasp.atmega8.2011-05-28.hex.
Yes, that Uwezi solution will work when you don't remove the three solder bridges on the back of the programmer.If you use the standard fischl firmware then you will need to remove the three solder bridges.Either way they both work.
On that betamcu USBASP programmer, you need to jumper the two J2 pins together next to the MOSI pin on the 10-pin header. This will pass the reset pin from the header to the reset pin on the mega8L chip. Then you should be able to program it.
The error you are getting indicates the m8l is not being reset. When you attempt to use avrdude on the m8l does the LED on the programmer turn off? If the LED stays on, then the m8l chip is not getting the reset signal.
my usbasp look the same but have a yellow power led that is on all the time. in fact i dab it with black nail polish to dim the glare. if its like mine and theres no light then probably its a bad usbasp? or bad usb port?