Jacaranda Software

Company Meta:
Worked on:
Goldfields (Developer, Publisher), Pieces of Eight (Publisher), Raft-Away River (Developer, Publisher)

Jacaranda is the Australian imprint of U.S. publishing company, Wiley.  In the early 1980s, the company was run by an “inspirational leader”, John Collins.  Collins decided that there might be a place for materials for the computers that were then beginning to appear in schools.  He appointed Roseanne Gare to set up a new department, which was “intended more to explore the waters than to make money, though to everyone’s surprise the new department ran in the black from year one”.

During the 1980s, Jacaranda Software published some 25 titles of educational software.  In the early 1990s, there were major changes at Jacaranda which resulted in an alteration of its activities, including largely moving out of the primary education market.  Though the software department was continuing to run profitably, the decision was taken to close the department down.

David Smith, Bruce Mitchell, and Steve Luckett decided they would continue to write software for schools, and they bought the remaining stock, rights, and equipment from Jacaranda, setting themselves up as Greygum Software.

Other games developed:

Gold-Dust Island, Quick-Cartage Company, Scavenger Hunt, Sheep-Dog Trial, Cunning Running, Dinosaur Discovery, Wordsmith, Cave Surveyor, Wordswork, The Tycoon Itch, Transformations, Vote 1, Zoopak, Bush Rescue, Vegetable Patch, Terra Australis: Voyages of trade and discovery, Cardsharp, Kraken: A deep-sea quest, Crossing the Mountains, Jacaranda Maths 10 Software, Maths Bingo, Clockwise: Time activities for the whole primary school, Desert Quest.

Do you have a memory or thought to share?

5 thoughts on “Jacaranda Software

  1. Hi. I have a copy of Terra Australis as an Apple II diskette….but I have no way of ripping it. Any idea how I can?

  2. Aurora, assuming you don’t have a functioning Apple II, you need a floppy drive and interfacing controller to image the disk. I use a controller called Kryoflux for this purpose, however this is not a cheap operation if you are only imaging a single title. Are you based in Sydney?

  3. I uploaded some of the Jacaranda Wiley Apple II disks here:-
    You’ll find Gold-Dust Island, Quick-Cartage Company, Scavenger Hunt, Dinosaur Discovery…
    I’m sure I have more, maybe one day I’ll dig them out!

    Attached image:

  4. Ahh, thanks for posting. Pity about the rectangular (write protect?) sticker on your Gold-Dust Island floppy… and about the missing floppy sleeve. Here, use this recreation, which should come out to scale when printed at 300dpi. Print on some thick A4 paper (perhaps 120gsm or so), score/fold and glue (you probably should use acid-free glue).

    Attached image:

Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence