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Practical Computing Supplement October 1983


Address: Cheshunt Buildings, Bateman Street,
               Cambridge CB2 1 LZ
Telephone: (0223) 313479
Telex: 81546
Company founded: 1982
Number of employees: 5
Origin of company name: To pinpoint location of
Turnover in 1982: Not yet traded for a full year

Jupiter Cantab was founded to market Jupiter Ace, the first low-cost microcomputer to run in Forth rather than the usual Basic. After selling several thousand machines by mail order the company moved out into the open market, both at home and overseas. Initially it followed the market, concentrating primarily on games playing applications, but during the last few months it has become clear that the real future for the machine lies in serious control applications and educational functions. It is to this end that present and future developments will primarily be dedicated. Several such projects are already being undertaken.

The Jupiter Ace is a tiny machine which in some respects resembles the Sinclair ZX-81, but there are some major differences. First, the keyboard is moving key, not the membrane type. Second, the Ace uses not Basic but Forth as its native language. Third, it comes with 19K of RAM, though 16K of this is in a separate Sinclair style pack which plugs into the expansion bus on the back. At around £90 the Ace offers one way of learning Forth. As Forth is a powerful control language — it was invented to drive an astronomical telescope
Steve Vickers at the Personal Computer World Show September 1983
The Ace could also be used for industrial control operations such as driving robots. which the picture shows. The Jupiter Ace is in the bottom left-hand corner.
Practical Computing Special Supplement October 1983 Cover    Practical Computing Special Supplement October 1983 page 32