You should have kept digging. Supercard+ was not first because I had Supercard before that. Supercard also was not first because the Shadow was before that, and the Shadow was not first because ECHO was long before that. When the Shadow failed, I was contracted by Megasoft to try to salvage it. I used my ECHO software along with a hardware jumper to 'fix' the Shadow so that it was basically my ECHO board. ECHO was created in 1984 and was the first drive RAM expansion product created and sold by a company called UnderWare, which later became Final Source Software. I knew Vic and Dave because we were distributing their PSIDAC products. ECHO was actually created as a byproduct of a board that I made for the 1541 to give me the ability to copy the 2K drive RAM into an 8K RAM, that could be moved to another memory location and examined. This is how I was able to look at drive copy protection code. I showed this modified drive (which has a digital track display that the Shadow's GT display was based on) at CommVEx a few years ago.ckoba wrote: ↑Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:05 amWell, to be absolutely fair, the Supercard is neither his idea nor his design. He may well secretly agree with you, but his ego (and his "borrowed" design") won't let him back down.
I did a bit of digging. In the 26 February 1986 issue of Ahoy! (and that date was chosen at random), there are two multi-page advertisments for Megasoft wares (pages 16-17 and 20-21). The first pair hawks "The Keymaster" (a parameter copier that couldn't copy itself) and the infamous Shadow. The second pair is the more standard Megasoft block-ad affair. The "Track Trap" is on the second page, right beneath the "Copy (de)Protection Manual (third edition)". Note that another copy utility on the same page has "by Jim Drew" under the title, so it is likely safe to assume that "Track Trap" was not written by him, but by others. I'll get to that in a minute.
I saw a copy of the "Track Trap" once. It was a pamphlet of instructions on how to add RAM to your 1541 to duplicate raw tracks. Not written nor designed by Jim Drew, but rather a company in Portland called PSIDAC and comprised of two people: Vic Numbers and David Thom. The same guys that wrote the (de)protection manual, actually. The PDF for the manual is on bombjack; I've not been able to find a copy online of "Track Trap", and suspect it may be rather rare. It would be interesting to see what logic family was used there, and thence if Jim just copied that too.
So there's circumstantial evidence that people were expanding the 1541's RAM to go the whole-track route *while* Megasoft was still doing "The Shadow" thing and long prior to Jim's "SuperCard" invention.
Jim wasn't first, nor best. There's a wonderful copyright notice from Bryce Nesbitt out there, allowing most of the known universe the freedom to use snippets of code he posted -- except Jim Drew, who he believed was a prolific thief. Commodore agreed in threads still available via Google groups (and you'll notice that Jim does not deny the allegations above).
Keep in mind that I have always been a historical documentation freak. I have binders of documentation for every single product that I have ever created - hundreds of them. I have exact dates for prototypes, release dates, release notes, source code, etc. I even have the PCB artwork and schematics for every board. I don't have to "deny" any myths that were created by the competitors, I still have proof to this day for everything I have ever done. I will be doing a presentation on this subject at CRX in July in Las Vegas. Bruce Q. Hammond (Bryce Nesbits partner on StarDos) will be there along with Nate Lawson (who has all of SSI's documentation from their era). Come to the event and you will a great history lesson on the turn of events, who was first at what, etc.