Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

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macnoyd's picture
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I've been looking for one of these boards for years and haven't seen any around.
Got the WildCard 1 and 2, but the Wildcard Plus is a relative unobtanium item.

If anyone on this forum has one of these, let's talk.
Most of you don't know me, but I'm the one who reverse engineered the EDD Plus card.
There are other Apple ][ cards I've done but haven't published yet.

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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

I'd be happy to help out. I believe I have a wildcard stashed away. I would need to verify it is a PLUS variant. And I have to finish up the expansion chassis photography first.

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

Maybe i have the time in summer to also come up wth reengineering the Apple //e Diagnostic Card, if there is enough interest....

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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

@Macnoyd, are you going to produce any more copies of that card for sale?

As a general idea to throw out there, in my opinion two of the more interesting and hard to get cards for the Apple II were the Apple issued Video Overlay card, and the Computer Eyes video signal (still image) digitizing card. I have the second one (software and manual), and know that at least one other 'Fritter member would like to have one.

macnoyd's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

Yes, I am looking to replicate the Wildcard Plus card to the board level.
That (in my opinion) was one of the most clever designs for capturing a "memory copy" of
an application running in an Apple ][, though it had it's inherent problem of not being able
to store everything from the original disk. Still, an impressive piece of engineering for
it's time. In some cases, copying a program became less complicated than the cracked version.

I've already documented an early version of the Computer Eyes board. (I built a prototype
for test that works successfully) I still have the original board. My documentation method
was quite old (I did this years ago) so I'll have to update it to current standards. Smile

When I reversed engineered the E.D.D + card, I didn't order prototype boards because I already
had an original (I did it for myself) and I wasn't involved with Applefritter at the time.
But you'll notice Reactive Computers picked up on it and re-created the board and added R/W LED's.

I remain searching to find someone who has a Wildcard Plus card. Please contact me if we
can work together on this. Thank you in advance.

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

Hello all together,
instead of starting discussion about which task has priority....
probably it might be more interesting to instead treat this thread as a kind of "wish-list"
or also as "planning task list" - checking out which cards should come on the list,
find out which cards are completely availiable with hard- and software and documentation -
to find out if reengineering is possible .....

and then create/join groups to solve the task ( similar to the moutain expansion box )

and then open for each card on which reengineering will be done an own thread ....

i guess that when the task / i.e. thread for a card is started - in that thread it can be found out,
if there is enough interest to start a "run" or if just the documentation of the reengineering is done -

if there is not enough interest for a "run" and then just publish the gerberfiles to permit those,
who are interested to order with that data a single ( but much more expensive ) prototype board order at a PCB-manufacturer...

if there is not enough interest then there won´t be enough people joining for the task of reengineering and
that card will be anyhow "dead" and kicked off the tasklist because it won´t turn to an own thread....

and if there are enough persons for a "run " - then it´s a part of the task within that single thread to collect orders, get the ( cheaper because more cards being ordered ) "run" from a PCB-manufacturer organized and then solve the orders....

if i would for example do the task on the IIe diagnosis card i´d expect rather only people with several IIe´s or local user-groups with IIe owners to be interested for getting a card, because that would permit to do better and faster service on the units....

just a proposal....
sincerely speedyG

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

macnoyd wrote:

I've been looking for one of these boards for years and haven't seen any around.
Got the WildCard 1 and 2, but the Wildcard Plus is a relative unobtanium item.

If anyone on this forum has one of these, let's talk.
Most of you don't know me, but I'm the one who reverse engineered the EDD Plus card.
There are other Apple ][ cards I've done but haven't published yet.

Hello macnoyd,

the other question is: is the card really needed ?
i´ve got in my library for thousends of programs the correct parameters to crack the copy-protection by naming the protection schema, the requested copy program, and the correct nibble / sector checks...
i never used a wildcard, because it does not permit to copy programs with overlays
( i.e. programs that are only partialy in memory and then reload other parts from disk )
only early programs didn´t protect the reload of overlays if they had copy-protection....

you should bear in mind that the wildcard only deprotects that part that is at the very moment in memory....

just a point to think about...

and second... it probably would be nice to list here the cards on which such a task has been done....

speedyG

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macnoyd's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

Hello speedyG,

Re: is the card really needed?
I guess you could ask that question about a lot of cards for the Apple II, including the
expansion chassis given it's limitations, but (for me) its not a question of need, it's
more a want. I've got lots of cards like that, such as the CFFA which obsoletes about
every form of storage media for the Apple II. (or Apple 1 for that matter)
Still, having these important and (for the times) ground-breaking pieces of hardware is
part of my passion for the early Apple ][ series.

I'm well aware of the limitations of the Wildcard's capabilities, but that never discouraged
me from owning or obtaining any. I guess I could say the same for several other cards I have.

Your idea of prioritizing specific hardware pieces is a good one, but for me "today" I'd like
to take on the Wildcard Plus card as a personal project of interest, regardless if the masses
are behind it. It's one of the few cards I don't have and would really like to do this as
a current project.

As always, your efforts are appreciated by all who have passion for the legacy Apple II's.

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Looking to reverse-engineer a Wildcard Plus card

Hello macnoyd,

i never had any doubt on the reason for reengineering tha card.... i just wanted to spot out that it´s
capabilities have often been overvalued and it´s limitation often ignored......
so lets just wait and find out if the required stuuff is out there ( surely... ) and if one of the owners
is member here and willing to cooperate and grant the requested pictures and other stuff to solve the job...

in the meantime i´ll start according to the posting above a new thread

"reverse engineering apple interfacecards"

as starting point for different cards ...

that thread then can operate as jump and starting point for single tasks
to get the general topic off from this thread...

and make this thread remain specific related to the wildcard only....

sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....