Dragon 32 (Chess Box)
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The Dragon 32 was a home computer built in the 1980s. The Dragons were very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo); they used the same processor, the same version of Basic, and games cartridges for the Tandy worked perfectly well on the Dragon. However they were one third of the price, costing £199.50 (including VAT). The Dragon was produced by Dragon Data, Ltd., in Port Talbot, Wales. The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, which had 32 and 64 kilobytes of RAM, respectively.
Many Dragon 32s were upgraded by their owners to 64K. A few were further expanded to 128K, 256K, or 512K, with home-built memory controllers/memory management units (MMUs).
A broad range of peripherals existed for the Dragon 32/64, and on top of this there were add-ons such as the Dragon's Claw which gave the Dragons access to the BBC Micro's large range of accessories (a particularly important factor in the UK home market). Although neither machine had a built-in disk operating system (cassette tapes being the default data-storage mechanism in the home computer market at the time), DragonDOS was supplied as part of the disk controller interface from Dragon Data Ltd. The numerous external ports (by the standards of the time), including the standard RS-232 on the 64, also allowed hobbyists to attach a diverse range of equipment.
An unusual feature was a monitor port for connection of a computer monitor, as an alternative to the TV output. This was rarely used due to the cost of dedicated monitors at that time. The port is actually a Composite Video port and can be used to connect the Dragon 32 to most modern TVs to deliver a much better picture.
The Dragon used analogue joysticks, unlike most systems of the time which used less versatile but cheaper digital systems. Other uses for the joystick ports included light pens.
Manufacturer: Dragon Data Ltd
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH1367. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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