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The Dragon 64, launched in 83, was exactly the same computer as the Dragon 32, except that it had 64k RAM instead of 32k, an OS9 operating system and a RS232C connector.
Aside from the amount of RAM, the 64 also has an RS-232 serial port which was not included on the 32.
A minor difference between the two Dragon models is the outer case colour; the Dragon 32 is beige and the 64 is light grey. Besides the colour and the Dragon 64's serial port (and the model name stickers, of course), the two machines look exactly the same. The Dragon 32 was upgradable to Dragon 64.
The Dragon 64 we have was one of the very last ones off the production line, but it has a Drgon 32 top! If any one has a 64 one they can let us have, please email email@example.com
The Dragon 32 was a home computer built in the 1980s. The Dragons were very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo), and were produced for the European market 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.
The Dragon was built around the Motorola MC6809E processor running at 0.89 MHz. This was the most advanced 8-bit CPU design of the time, having, among other things limited 16-bit capabilities. In terms of raw computational power, the Dragon beat most of its contemporary rivals (which were based on the older MOS Technology 6502 or Zilog Z80), but this made little difference in a market where graphical capabilities and software library were much more important to consumers.
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.
Serial No: 007779 LT
Kindly donated by Robert Wiseman
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH5772. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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