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One of the UK's biggest PC manufacturers, Tiny, has stepped up its State-side operations with the opening of 32 West Coast showrooms. It plans another 65 by the end of the year. US customers will also be able to order online or by phone. Tiny has built its reputation on in-store help - customers can try out the range of computers available and staff are asked to respond to queries in simple English. The basic computer will start at $799 and this will include a 466MHz Celeron, 15in screen, 48x CD-Rom, speakers, 56K modem, Windows 98 and Lotus software. The company also offers the whole consumer kit deal from printers to videomail. "We're very motivated to appeal to the American consumer who has a strong sense of 'value purchasing'," said Neil Stevens, product and marketing manager. "In this respect, the US home-computing and small-office needs are very similar to those in Europe." We've no idea what Neil is on about (isn't he supposed to speak in plain English?) but The Reg is still sceptical about Tiny's chances of success. First of all, Americans buy American and it's not as if there isn't a pretty darn good choice already. Secondly, what self-respecting American is going to buy a PC called "Tiny". Has Neil never been to the US? Big roads, big cars, big burgers, big hats, big buildings, big guns, big big big big. The words: "I'm gonna get me one of them those Tiny computers" are about as likely to be heard as "Oh I'd love a nice cuppa tea". May we suggest rebranding the PCs to something more evocative. Like "Muddafudda". ®

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