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A screenshot of the DRAGON 32 ..

The DRAGON 32/64 was a popular 1980's home computer! The DRAGON (very similar to the TRS-80 Colour Computer or 'CoCo') were produced for the European market by Dragon Data Ltd. in Port Talbot, Wales. Also released in the US, by TANO of New Orleans. The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, either 32 or 64 kilobytes of RAM.

The DRAGON comes with a Microsoft BASIC interpreter in 16Kb of ROM. Unlike a modern PC with the operating system on disk, a Dragon starts instantly when powered up.

Once powered up you are presented with the OK prompt, telling you the computer is ready to receive instructions. The flashing square is called the cursor and shows you where you are on the line.

The computer works in two different modes, immediate (it will obey the command at once) and deferred (it will store a set of instructions and run them as a program). A good example of the immediate mode features, are the simple calculator functions.

Give it a try, type PRINT 12 + 7 and then press the ENTER key. The screen should show you your anwser. If you made a typing mistake you will probably get a message ?SN ERROR this means a 'syntax error' has occurred. In other words, the computer does not recognise something, usually because it has been spelt wrongly.

Click here to learn more about BASIC and how to operate the DRAGON ..

These days, there are really only two options if you want to get hold of a DRAGON 32 or DRAGON 64. There are a number of retailers on which often sell retro computers (including DRAGON) at premium prices. Remember these machines are over 30 years old and it's pretty amazing that so many of them still work.

The other option, which appeals to most people, is to get hold of an emulator. There are a number of really good emulators online, but I would highly recommend XROAR. For more information, please visit their website. The aim of this website is to help you get up and running with either the real hardware or an emulator.

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