Egg on faces as Elan turns into Flan

by Ralph Bancroft

Some people to the microcomputer business, have thick skins. Either that or they have an enormous sense of humour.

Take Elan Computers, the company that promised (Issue 29) to produce by April a machine called the Enterprise that would have 256 colours, 64K RAM expandable to 3,9 Mb, 672 by 512 graphics resolution, four-voice stereo sound, built-in joystick and a lot, lot more for an all-in price of 200.

More than a few people refused to believe that the company could make the machine and/or deliver it on time. Flan Computers was adamant that it could. But this pales into insignificance compared to the latest credibility crisis to hit the all-new micro maker. It is having troubles with the Flan name.

PCN asked marketing director Michael Shirley whether it was true that the company was changing its name. 'Yes. We have signed exclusive distributor deals in 20 countries now and found out that we could not use the Elan name in some of them. We therefore decided to change the name so that the machine would have the same name throughtout the world'

So what is the new name then? 'I can tell you that from now on the company will be known as Flan Computers.' Would you care to speIl that? 'F-L-A-N' But why? 'Well, some magazines have already started to refer to the micro as the Flan Enterprise.' (This is thought to be a reference to a typographical error on the contents page of a monthly magazine. The then editor is now Elan's software manager.)

'Also, the company already has an established corporate identity and the changes required because of the new name are minimal.'


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