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Jade Computer Products -  History

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Don Smith started JADE in 1975. The name came from Joann (Don’s wife) and Don,  Electronics or JADE.  The business was a local retail and mail order firm for electronic components located in Hawthorn CA. He advertized extensively and when the home/hobby microcomputer era started off he advertised extensively in magazines like Byte, InfoWorld etc. The company made a point of participated in all of the early computer trade shows nationwide as well.

In 1979 a guy named John leaper came in and re-vamped things building it to be one of the most popular mail order and retail computer companies of its time. Reflecting the computer focus, he renamed the company to Jade Computer Products. As the company grew and sold many S-100 boards from a number of manufacturers they started to contract out the design of their own boards. The were labeled as from Jade Computer Systems.  Most were fairly straightforward being similar to other boards at the time but with a price advantage. However their "bus probe" and FDC boards did stand out.

At one point Jade had a number of stores in the Los Angeles area and one up here in Sunnyvale.  The latter survived into the 80's selling PC clone components.

Apparently a number of people at Jade got their early training there and went on to  to setup their own retail companies. People like Heath Kline - (Priority One Computers),  Ray Chapman and Jeff Rose (JDR Electronics).


Jade S-100 Boards
Bus Probe    8K Static RAM   Z80 CPU   64K RAM   FDC   1P2S   PSIO


This page was last modified on 10/25/2013