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The company was founded in 1982 by two ex-Sinclair Research staffers, Richard Altwasser and Steven Vickers. Their machine was, externally, remarkably similar to the ZX Spectrum, with a copycat rubber keyboard. It also used the same Z80 processor. The Ace's video output was limited to monochrome like the ZX-81.
The £90 Ace was a flop in both the UK and US markets: the Forth language, although considered powerful, was not as popular or accessible as the already well-established BASIC language featured in competing microcomputers. In the US it was sold as the Ace 4000.
The company went bankrupt in November 1983 and its assets were sold to Boldfield Computing Ltd in 1984. The remaining hardware was sold-off into 1985. Boldfield Computing Ltd also commissioned some software for it, including various games, database, and spread sheet software. Documentation to this exists and is held by the current owners of the brand.
The rights to the Jupiter Ace remained with the original directors of Boldfield Computers Ltd, having been specifically excluded from the sale of Boldfield’s IT solution business in 2006, so the Jupiter Ace IP and brand, moved with the original directors of the company.
During 2015 Andrews UK Limited purchased the brand from the original directors, as well as the remaining physical stock, and archive of Jupiter Ace items. Further to the purchase of the Jupiter Ace brand, Andrews UK Limited, registered ‘Jupiter Ace’ as a UK trademark, both in terms of the name ‘Jupiter Ace’ and the Jupiter Ace logo. This finally bringing the brand full circle to its rightful place, as one of the original UK retro computer brands. The CEO of Andrews UK Limited – Paul Andrews – has previously brought to market other retro brands and computer consoles successfully, such as the original Sinclair Spectrum ZX Vega console, before resigning from the company they created Retro Computers Ltd, along with fellow director Chris Smith in April 2016, before the campaign closed for the second product the Vega+ console. They had nothing further to do with that company it being left in the hands of its remaining director David Levy.
Andrews confirmed in Summer 2016, that the Jupiter Ace brand will be the basis of a new range of technology innovations to be announced.
- "The Future - The Jupiter Ace". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
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