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The South American Remixes: The Drean 16, 64, 64C and 128; DC-320

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Intending to use pictures or text from this page? Please read this notice. Last modify 21 January 2018.

During the 1980s, import-export laws in many countries in South America were such that it was unbelievably costly and difficult to import foreign-manufactured computers. It was this environment that led Brazilian company Unitron, for example, to develop their own line of Apple II and Macintosh clones, which were domestically manufactured and therefore not subject to import laws. Many companies similarly developed their own local versions of popular foreign computers, from completely reverse-engineered designs all the way down to blatant ripoffs and copies, and Commodore computers were not immune.

The Drean 16, 64, 64C and 128

Views of the Drean 64 and 64C (.jpg, courtesy Pablo Trincavelli)
64 and 64C Portrait (51K) | 64: Portrait (29K, this computer is actually standard beige but the colours are not quite correct), Case Badge (10K) Mainboard (61K), VIC-II 6572 (24K), PAL Jumper (29K) | 64C: Portrait (36K), Case Badge (6K), Mainboard (83K)

Drean 16 (from an unknown eBay auction): Portrait (55K) | Box (55K) | Complete Set (72K) (showing a more conventional "Drean Commodore" 16 box)

Introduced 1984? (possibly 1986 for 128 and 64C)
Hardware, Graphics and Sound Identical to original model(s) with PAL-N video. The Drean 64 uses the VIC-II PAL-N 6572; the 6573 is PAL-M and the 6569 is PAL-B. On the other hand, the 128 is actually an otherwise unmodified NTSC unit per Jorge Pedreira, allegedly to avoid potential system incompatibilities since it was targetted at business users. Presumably the 16 used a standard 7360/8360 TED with board modifications.
Eventual Fate Released in Argentina.

Thanks to Pablo Trincavelli for almost this entire entry.

Drean, according to Pablo, is an Argentinian company (still in business today, visit their Spanish-language website) that then, as now, made the majority of its revenue on production of home appliances and electronics. Unlike many of the South American clone computers, Drean's line of Commodores was created with the full approval and support of Commodore itself. During the 1980s, Drean and Commodore entered an arrangement to make Commodore computers, and these were produced at Drean's factory in San Luis to obtain the tax bonuses offered by the Argentinian government for manufacturing there. (In reality, they were actually only assembled in San Luis, not manufactured, as Drean simply imported parts and boards from Commodore and then created their own localized cases, shielding, boxes and packaging.) There is no evidence they were further localized except for "ENC." (short for encendido, or "on/ignition" in Spanish) labels for the power LEDs. The reason for Commodore's partnership with Drean seems unclear, but given the unfavourable import climate in other nearby countries, Commodore may have had a similar impetus.

A certain amount of part recycling or interchange must have occurred, as there are Drean 64Cs with the original brown breadbox keyboard, and breadbox 64s (the picture colour of the brown breadbox is a little overexposed) with the grey 64C keyboard, both depicted in Pablo's picture.

Drean 64s and 64Cs are by far the most common now. The 16 was produced in very limited numbers, and the 128s have all but vanished. Interestingly, the 1541 was simply imported directly (but see the DC-320 below), and Drean never created a localized Amiga either. Although Drean still manufactures home appliances, the Commodore experiment in Argentina died as the 64 itself faded, and Drean is not known to have manufactured home computers past 1990.

Drean DC-320

Museo Tecnológico y de las Técnicas (Latin American systems)

1541 clone drive, probably based on the Oceanic OC-118 and allies (Excelerator+ and so on). It is unknown how many were sold. On the thumbnail page linked immediately above, the DC-320 can be seen on the second image.