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Tech Helproom


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Advice needed for setting up internet cafe


MikeSA

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I intend setting up an internet café and would appreciate any advice. What computer specs would be ideal and what pitfalls to avoid? Am I correct that low-spec machines would suffice as customers would only be browsing and not wanting to play high-end games. Is there software available specifically for internet cafes would it be imperative to install Windows 8 on all the machines or would I get by simply with Windows XP or an open source operating system?

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wee eddie

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Sharm: I come from the Café side of the Market, so can only guess at whether an Internet Café is still economically viable. That does not mean that there are not Internet Café's still being run by enthusiasts, for rather less return than most folk would consider adequate.

FE says that he knows of many, and I don't doubt that, given an area where Internet is not common then those that live there and those that are visiting will be a potential Customer Base.

My guesses at suitable sites, would be 'Tourist Honeypots' (but customers would be for a single visit only, so continuous promotion would be necessary) and Metropolitan Universities. On the University side of things - If most of the Students commute from home, then forget it, they have internet at home, there needs to be a vibrant Campus life based on Students living in "Digs".

Also areas where there are large numbers of Young People living in Shared Accommodation.

There must be other sources of Custom but my analysis, when I was thinking of setting one up, fell down on Items one and two. Someone else did use the site, that I had investigated, as an Internet café and failed within 6 months - They didn't even make the first years Accounts.

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spuds

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Where I live there as been a massive expansion of student accommodation, and virtually every landlord is now providing broadband facilities as part and parcel of the tenancy. This I suppose provides the right environment for anyone wanting to study or general usage to family and friends, and without the constraints of being confined to a Internet Cafe with perhaps limitations?.

So why the need for Internet Cafes nowadays, because access to the internet is getting far easier for most people.

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Sharm12

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So if students are able to access the internet from elsewhere, either from their accommodation or their university campus, this means that the main customers internet cafes will get is tourists?

One internet cafe owner has told me that his main customer base is people who need to quickly check something while out and about, or print off tickets for travel/vouchers. Is that sort of customer going to be around for a while longer? Or will smart phones stop any need for this too.

Thanks for all of your comments.

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spuds

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Technology is progressing in leaps and bounds, and while there are wifi hotspots and other broadband connections being made readily available on the likes of trains, taxis, aircraft,hotels,even public places the business user or indeed anyone now has the possible advantage of usage.

From my own observations, its perhaps the person who cannot afford or perhaps doesn't need a laptop 24/7 who might still use the Internet Cafe. But as I stated earlier, in my hometown the need for Internet Cafes have moved on considerably, and the business's have closed or transferred to other use.

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Forum Editor

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"...people who need to quickly check something while out and about, or print off tickets for travel/vouchers."

Near Field Technology (NFT) in smartphones is going to make that kind of thing obsolete. Your smartphone will know when you have entered an airport building, and it will automatically display your boarding pass for the check-in staff to scan. Likewise, theatres will scan your ticket directly from your phone,as will all kinds of other ticket issuing locations.

There are hundreds of Internet cafes in London, and at least a couple of dozen in Manchester City centre. There are thirteen listed in Edinburgh Yellow pages, and I imagine other cities are much the same.

What the future holds is anyone's guess, but for the time being it seems that Internet cafes are alive and well.

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Forum Editor

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Sharm12

I've deleted your email address from your earlier post - it's not a good idea to publish contact information in a public web forum.

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Sharm12

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So even the printing side of internet cafes will eventually become unnecessary?

Yes it seems clear to me that although most no longer make their income purely from the internet cafe side of the business, profiting often from the computer repairs and maintenance sides, there are many still around and surviving.

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spuds

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"there are many still around and surviving".

As I may have suggested earlier, that would all depend on the city, town or area. there might be hundreds of Internet Cafes in London, but the major city near where I live seems to have reduced considerably.

Some of these original business's have long gone, while others have had to change route to survive. Some have gone in for computer repair, others have gone in for printer ink refilling. Again, even these moves seem to have their casualty rate, especially if they are town centre bases, with increased rents and rates, being a major burden?.

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TV-Repairman

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"I'm a journalism student and I am currently looking at whether internet cafe's.."

I wouldn't normally comment but a "journalism student" ought to know that there's no apostrophe in "cafes"!

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lotvic

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To save other puzzling - TV-Repairman's post about cafe's refers to Sharm12's post May 10, 2013 at 10:15AM at bottom of page 1

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