The two production houses in Portland, Oregon (where Megasoft, Utilities Unlimited, Epyx, Synapse, and other companies' disks were produced) had a generic "copier" script. It would dump a disk blindly and create the master image from that. I was quite surprised at how good this really was. The *only* thing it had to be told were about 1/2 track usage and weak bit usage. Other than that, it could generate a working disk simply by reading a master disk. Once read, the data was just stored for retrieval later. I could call up and order a 1000 disks and then go pick them up the next day.
By the way, the mass duplicator system (competitor to TRACE) that I worked on at Central Point Software could also blindly dump a disk, figure out what disk format it was, and generate a proper master file. This was a very advanced form of the option board and CPS sold a LOT of those systems to smaller software houses because it was very affordable and extremely reliable.
Last edited by JimDrew; 07 March 2014 at 00:22.