Were copy protection schemes and methods as complex and artful on other contemporary platforms (Atari & Commodore) as they were on the Apple II?
I got to reading through some of the 4am writeups and each one is enlightening as entertaining. It's really great to see how they worked and what we (as shitfaced bratty kids) were up against when trading games in gradeschool. Some of these schemes are downright devious and scarily complex beyond all kids' understanding. I clearly recall long nights of trying different bit copiers that a-l-m-o-s-t did the job, but would end up failing in some incomprehensible and unknowable way.
It's interesting to see how they're circumvented and what the differences in the "final product" are. Because - typically back in the day some cracks wouldn't save hi-scores or have defacements. Some wouldn't work with data disks either. These newer 4am jobbers address most of those early shortcomings.
I'd venture to guess that about 40% of the early cracks are incomplete or not fully functional. However they *are* part of history and we often remember and associate and feel nostalgic about some of the intro screens in conjunction with whatever game/ware we're revisiting.
Also having had the other 8-bit rigs like C64 and Atari800, I don't ever recall such artful "cracktro" screens. Often on these machines it was just a bit of text. There's the demoscene intros, but I believe that's demo material and not necessarily true cracktro stuff. This even extended to the ST and Amiga. Intro screens didn't really go away till PC gaming took off.