I find this an interesting debate. Scott/Josh have said before they don’t consider it copy protection, but really it’s not worth trying to solve unless you have the manual, ergo it’s copy protection by default. Actually I seem to remember the fact that it was a kind of copy protection being an accident. I’m sure SpaceQuest.Net will clear it up.
And- if you DO have the manual, it’s simply a very easy logic puzzle. If it tells you a chip is IRK 5 and Repentium, then all other chips CANNOT be IRK 5 OR Repentium, etc etc. Just draw a 5 by 5 grid and it’s a piece of cake.