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February 2, 1999

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Internet Cafe Comes to Mobile

by Dave Baxter

With the popularity of the Internet comes Internet Cafe. A cyber cafe or Internet cafe is a place to hang out to do anything from surfing the net to talking with friends anywhere over the Internet, all while enjoying either hot or cold beverages. One activity of people who go there is playing multi-user games over the network with other people in the cafe or other people around the world through the Internet. What you can do is limited only to your imagination.

Bites & Bits is Mobile's example of an Internet cafe and is located in the Skyland Shopping Center at the intersection of Government and Azalea. It is a modern cafe like most, but with an atmosphere and emphasis on computers. It neighbors the Racer Computer Shop, which is visible through windows in the wall. The front inside has a floor of tables and chairs.

baxter2.jpg - 6433 BytesThe tables are quite unique as they have motherboards under their glass centers. Walking from the front door and off of the lower floor, about three steps up to the top floor, there are: the bar to order from the coffees menu, the desk for their print shop services, and most importantly, the network of computers. To the back, behind a glass cabinet, you can see the network server and the link to the outside. The link outside to the Internet is through a wireless service by satellite called Cyberwave (http://www.mobileinterlink.net), which is faster than a T-1 line. In the back corner are the restrooms with signs that read "Hardware" and "Software," which I found to be quite witty.

Currently Bites & Bits sells coffees and cookies, but plans to expand the menu to lunch- type food items, such as soups and sandwiches. People also bring their own food in from the outside and sometimes alcohol, but the cafe itself does not serve alcohol since it does not have a liquor license. It does host birthday or other parties; the parties last two hours and include the regular stuff like invitations, balloons, etc., but also provides a digital camera for use to take pictures of the party and "image editing fun."

Other things you can do at Bites & Bits include using the computers, print shop services, desktop services, graphic design services, and web page design services. It is unlimited what you can do there. If you wish to visit their web page the address is http://www.bitesnbits.com; you can also send e-mail to bits@bitesnbits.com.


The Harbinger, P.O. Box U-980, Mobile, AL 36688-0001