Tiny Computers

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Tiny Computers
Former type Private
Industry Computer hardware
Fate Administration
Founded 1996[1]
Defunct 2002 (brand used until 2005)
Number of locations 150+ (UK)
Parent OT Computers (1996-2002)
Granville Technology Group (2002-2005)
Website www.tiny.com (now defunct)

Tiny Computers Ltd. was a British computer manufacturer based in Redhill Business Park in Salfords, Redhill in Surrey, England.[2] The company went into administration due to 'substantial' losses in January 2002[3] and was subsequently purchased by rival OEM Time Group.[4]

History[edit]

Tiny Computers enjoyed great success during the latter half of the 1990s, having retail units throughout the UK as well as launching in the USA and the Far East. The company claimed to have sold 400,000 units in 2000,[5] and signed a contract worth £40m with Scottish manufacturer Fullarton Computer Industries in August 2001. Tiny cited reduced air freight fees and a shorter, more efficient supply chain as their reason for choosing a UK-based firm over Asian OEMs who had lower base costs.[6]

However, due to increasing competition in the consumer PC market their profits eventually began to fall and in 2002 they went into administration and were subsequently purchased by rival TIME.

Innovations[edit]

Home theater PC[edit]

In March 2001 the company released one of the first Home theater PCs, called the Takami system.[7] The PC was contained in a flat case with a similar form factor to a VHS player, and was intended to be placed under a television rather than at a computer desk as was typical during the 1990s. Bundles including a plasma TV and other home cinema equipment were also sold.

Despite its innovative nature, the Takami was not a commercial success, with only 5,000 units being sold during 2001.[8]

One of the opening screens in the Tiny Trainer e-learning package.

Tiny Trainer[edit]

In 2000, in an attempt to make computing easier for those who had little to no experience with PCs, Tiny commissioned e-learning company VSI Communications Group to create a 'virtual mentor' named Tiny Trainer. An interactive animation ran automatically when the PC first booted up and gave users a brief introduction to computers in general, the Windows operating system as well as Tiny's own online services.[9]

Tiny Trainer was based on the same technology platform as VSI's Mentor interactive help series, and was tightly integrated with a Tiny-specific Windows ME version of Mentor that also came bundled on Tiny's computers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company details for TINY COMPUTERS LIMITED". UKData.com. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Company Overview of Tiny Computers". Businessweek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  3. ^ McLean, James (2002-01-30). "Tiny Computers pulls the plug". ThisIsMoney.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Tiny Computers Captured By Time". Sky News. 2002-01-30. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tiny Computers swallowed up". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2002-01-30. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Contract win brings Tiny boost". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2001-08-14. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Blincoe, Robert (2001-03-13). "Tiny shows off home entertainment box". The Register (via Wayback Machine). Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Blincoe, Robert (2001-10-16). "Tiny's home entertainment boxes disappoint". The Register. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "British Computer Maker Bundles Mentor(TM) to Reduce Support Costs". PRNewsWire. 2001-03-05. Retrieved 20 November 2014.