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Travel-Write.com: The Cybercafe Goes Cold

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When I first started Travel Notes we had Cyber Cafe listings on every country page.

I later wrote an article (Internet Cafe Guide) to feature the growing number of Internet Cafe directories; that I even used myself, when travelling.

Now The Coffee Has Gone Cold

How things have changed.

Much of what I wrote back then, with a great deal of enthusiam, now seems like cold coffee with three-day old cream curdling on top.

While many of us used to look for places to get our e-mail on the road because our computer work-stations were left at home, we can now slip a small netbook in our bag and pick up a wireless network in our hotel bedrooms before breakfast; sometimes even for free.

There are plenty of other wireless connection possibilities available when out and about for the day, and it's even possible to access the Internet and Google Maps from smart phones; whether your're travelling on a train, a bus, or sitting on the back of a donkey.

And to think that I did most of my travelling before I'd even heard about e-mail; when the only postcards I sent were ones with stamps on them, and tweet was something birds did.

Now telephones are put to the eye more than the ear, and looked at more than listened to; as a new generation of flashpackers tweet and upload videos to YouTube, faster than the old dial-up modems could crackle and gargle out their high-pitched tones.

Looking Back

When I was first thinking about getting on the Internet to learn HTML and inflict the world with my Web presence, I used a local Cybercafé to find out what it was all about.

I was an Internet geek right away; looking at what webmasters were doing by peeking at the source code. I had a new computer to play with at home, but was not yet connected with the wide world online.

We bought Internet magazines to find out about websites we might be interested in, and went down with our list of URLs on a Sunday morning and stayed there until well into the afternoon.

It soon became apparent that some of the websites needed us to register with an e-mail address. The cybercafés offered e-mail addresses, but as I hardly expected anyone to write to me, it seemed pointless to pay for an account.

Somewhere we read about free e-mail, and got connected. With these web-based (Yahoo) accounts we could keep the same address if we ever left the sheltered harbour of the Cybercafé, and went into the troubled waters of ISPs ourselves.

There was still something about viruses I didn't like the sound of, and would rather keep them away from my files and programmes.

Next step, a home on the Web. In two or three weeks we had become Cyber Citizens, and all it costed was access charged by the hour, and a few coffees; with two sugars.

Now it seems the Internet has taken over our lives and I find myself looking for WiFi connections, even on the phone.

By Michel.

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If You're Still Looking For Internet Cafes

Cybercafes.com:
Linked in with cities.com and worldnews.com for city information and country news. Actually, the people behind this seem to have secured a whole range of domain names for sport, fashion and business. Quite an amalgamated database of active server pages.

American Cyber Cafés:
Click on the imagemap to get the returns for a state you're intersted in. No messing with cybercafe details, you get links straight to their sites.

Curious Cat Cyber Café Connections:
Curious attempt at cyber copy cat.

Cyber Cafés of Europe:
Updating of content seems to have stopped around 1999.

Cybercafe Search Engine:
Started around 1997 and needs some serious link-checking if it's still to be taken seriously.

Ernst Larson's Internet Café Guide is no more, although he did write The Book.

Gnomon Publishing's Australian Internet Café Guide never became the authority it aspired to be.

The Internet Café Database always lacked the human touch as it's fully automated. Cybercafés listings are basic and you'll probably already have what your looking for from one of the better rated Netcafe guides listed above.

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