Me again. I read that latest link's info. Thanks much for that!
About this ...
> Tac-Scan exists only with the author Joe Sengir,
> he contacted Ward years ago to say he had it but
> I don't believe he ever made the cart available to
> dump otherwise Ward would have done it and
> made it available.
Just to throw more info out there -- my memory is that (as you say) no one ever gave me that ROM image and/or cart. If someone had given it to me, but told me to hang onto it, and I actually had it, I would say that's the case. But I remember that particular archiving adventure sort of "just ending" and not going any further. (That I was aware of, in any case. Not sure what others have or haven't done, regarding that particular cart, in my absence?)
As for the idea (mentioned elsewhere) regarding making cart dumps but not sharing them: in my experience, that almost never happened. Not on the VIC system, anyway. (Maybe once in a long while on something like the Arcadia 2001 system / family.) My memory of things is that, pretty much, the guys we were once getting VIC-20 cart loans from, knew what we were doing, and were all for releasing any stuff that we dumped. I never tried to trick anyone, or anything like that. But the subject, as I recall it now, anyway, almost never came up. (Probably because I'd made the technical part of my way of dumping VIC carts a non-secret -- so anyone that wanted to archive their own carts, and store their own dumps, could do it all by themselves and didn't need further help from me, on that.)
But on other system's carts -- especially the big mess that was the unrelated global "family" of consoles that looked nothing alike, and that had carts that looked nothing alike (see DP Collector's Guide on the Emerson Arcadia 2001) -- on the 2001, yeah, once in a very long while someone would want to buy a $$$ cart for themselves, for dumping purposes; sell it again; and have me hold onto the ROM image until some set time had passed, or whatever. But even there, it was very unusual, in my experience. I preferred to be a straight-forward, "what you see is what you get" kind of archiver. Which partly means that if I promised someone I wouldn't release something, then I wouldn't do it. But back then, it was probably easier to get things than it is now -- and the idea of people making me make such promises, back then, almost never happened.
I guess I'm just throwing that info out there, in anticipation of future "what's lurking on your hard drive" questions. And the answer, as Mayhem had already apparently assumed, was that I don't have any more VIC cart images hidden away. So whatever hard-working guys like Mayhem are telling others still needs to be archived ... or located ... within the VIC-20 library: I'm confident that info is correct, and a lot more up to date than I would know how to make it, at this point.
Switching subjects, a bit -- and getting more technical:
Some other minor tidbits I'll throw out there might include the idea that, in my experience, only a handful of EPROM chips ever really seemed to be "dying" out, of something like "bit rot". Some were; no doubt. But I think it was probably more of a case of someone "following the manual" and burning a particular chip's contents too quickly. I was always paranoid, and used the slower, more standard, less-hasty burning processes, whenever I'd burn an EPROM image. ("Every difference makes a difference" is a saying I wish I had known about, ages ago! It explains so much of the "magic" of processes!!)
But with that aside: my single biggest hassle factor, in figuring out if a cart was going to "read, cleanly" so I could get a good stable reliable cart dump, was the dirty-ness of any metal-to-metal contacts. Cart slot connectors and pins, mainly -- but sometimes also (if cleaning the cart slot really well didn't help) checking to see if there's sockets on a cart's board; and if so, wondering if the chip's legs were in bad need of cleaning; and/or the female sockets for the pins needed attention.
Over in the Bally Astrocade world, around 2008, as a favor for a friend, I had done some things like soldering a broken-off leg back on (well, a replacement made out of regular old tinned single-conductor wire, actually) to dump a bare EPROM. It refused to give stable reads, etc., etc. until I'd really cleaned the heck out of all the pins/legs, and fixed the missing one. But once the corrosion and such were dealt with, I managed to get a nice clean dump of something really rare. I mention that instance ("Fawn Dungeon" on the Astrocade -- a "back in the day" homebrew) because the pin's cleanliness DID pass a visual; and DID pass that "test," more than once -- but the reads were highly unstable and varied all over the place, every time I tried to read that EPROM's contents. To the less experienced person, the consistency of the inconsistency, as it were, might have looked like a case of "bit rot"? But it wasn't. Perseverance paid off, on (really, really!) cleaning things.http://www.ballyalley.com/pics/hardware ... ngeon.html
Anyway ... just throwing some random thoughts out there, for others who might be more active than I am, on archiving; and maybe wonder about what tricks I might have used. Basic attention to things like dirty contacts solved most issues I ran across, back in the day.