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This is a sincere question

Would you find it odd to walk into a place that billed itself variously as an "internet café" and a "cybercafé" in the year 2008, only to be told "Sorry, [we] don't have wireless [internet]?" This happened to me on Sunday and I am still trying to figure out whether I am the crazy one.


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Comments (15)

I've been in McDonald's burger joints and no-name roadside diners in Montana that have (free) wireless Internet. Any self-respecting so-called Internet cafe should offer some kind of pay-for-play wireless access.

What did they have? VT-52 terminals? I too think it odd that they wouldn't have wireless - it's not hard to put in.


Maybe they have terminals that are pay-per-hour. Free wifi would cut into their revenue.

The café in question offers no wifi, free or otherwise.


Was it that one on Jasper across from (I'm approximating) Edmonton General? I've never been there, but it looks kinda dumpy...


Well, as a matter of strict interpretation, if they have a pot of coffee available for pouring and a computer, of any kind or capacity, hooked to a working internet connection, then I suppose they can call themselves a cybercafe and an internet cafe. And if they can serve a sandwich, and the guy behind the counter can recite the dialogue to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", then they can call themselves a dinner theatre, too. It depends on just how badly they want to make fools of themselves.

As to your question, no, Mr. Cosh, you are refreshingly sane. It's those people that may be crazy.

Daniel Murphy:

Nope, it wouldn't surprise me at all. Last week, in New York City—in Greenwich Village no less—I walked into an internet café and discovered that they had no wireless internet at all; their sole link to the internet was a couple of long-in-the-tooth PCs on which one could rent time.

Of course, even if they had wi-fi, that's no guarantee it would work. My hotel promised wi-fi, but it didn't work on my floor (the 26th) and I ended up sitting on a bench (albeit a comfortable bench) in the elevator lobby of another floor (the 33rd), answering my e-mail. I chose the 33rd floor because: a) the tech support people told me to try another floor (thanks a lot, guys); and b) Nikola Tesla died on the 33rd floor of this very hotel.


Well Tesla wanted wireless ELECTRICITY for all, transmitted through the air. So he would approve.

Isn't the idea of an Internet/Cyber cafe starting to look superfluous and dated? Like a "food restaurant", or a "heated mall"?

Well, put it this way. I can take my adorable little Chinese craptop to the skidder Safeway on 118th Ave, i.e., pawnshop row: they offer free wireless (and an in-store Starbucks). I can take it to the crackhead-plagued Humpty's diner near the Royal Alex: they have free wireless there. I haven't checked but they may even have it inside the hospital. They don't advertise this service, but these places, by definition, are now patently more "cyber" than the self-styled "Internet cafe" I visited on the weekend, which is already paying for a ton of bandwidth and whose total cost in labour and parts for introducing wifi would run to about $20.

So I'm pretty sure I am NOT the goddamn crazy one.


It wouldn't bother me, because I always carry an RJ45 cable in my laptop case, because the number of hotels whose "internet" capability is a connector in the wall is still significant.

Tangentially, I *prefer* the wired connection; wireless, even with the latest and greatest standard (which many don't support), is insecure.


Yes, I would find it strange, and I've never had it happen in 2008. However, in 2007 I was in a place in Vancouver that is a computer consignment store with an "internet cafe" in a side room. There were several functioning PCs with internet connections available for rent -- but no wireless. For complexicated reasons I needed to use my own laptop. I turned it on and it connected to the wireless of someone living in an apartment nearby. I had a coffee and sent the messages I had to send.

For complexicated reasons I needed to use my own laptop.

Can't imagine why you'd need a reason more complicated than "It's my computer, goddammit, it's set up the way I like with all my browser plugins and software prefs and all my files are on here."

The Edmonton network is quite patchy, especially in the University Area. At 3rd on Whyte, located on Whyte Avenue, our free wireless extends across the street and around the cafe. There are still some cafes in town however, that either don't have wireless, or have a paying policy in place.

Mike Schneider:

> I *prefer* the wired connection; wireless, even
> with the latest and greatest standard (which
> many don't support), is insecure.

Hardwire is also, in many cases, considerably faster.


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