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Suggestions for Internet Access from a bar

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OK heres the situation:

I'm hoping to change my career and become a bar owner. I want to give internet access and I want to use linux. Unfortunately until tyme gets his Island I still live in the real world and need to keep my full time job ;-)

 

My idea is the access should be free (so long as you are buying) but I need a way to easily limit the access for non-geek barstaff. Room is limited but I also need something that can't be screwed over so I'm looking at a CD distro modified to run through a proxy server.

It also needs to be multilanguage etc. so each 'user' would be a language.

 

I was thinking of using Xboxes (with boot from CD) since M$ mightest well subsidise the access. They shouldn't have called it an X box unless they wanted X running on it (:-))

 

So any ideas, what would you want? Its a French bar so its just as much as coffee shop as a bar ....

If you think its a waste of time say so (but say why). Would you mind to pay (so I can recover part of the DSL costs), perhaps a subscription or per use or what. Its not meant to be an internet cafe, I just want to provide a service to a largely student population.

 

Any ideas gratefully received and possibility of modestly paid work if someone can suggest anything blazingly good!

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OK heres the situation:

I'm hoping to change my career and become a bar owner.  I want to give internet access and I want to use linux.  Unfortunately until tyme gets his Island I still live in the real world and need to keep my full time job ;-)

 

My idea is the access should be free (so long as you are buying) but I need a way to easily limit the access for non-geek barstaff.  Room is limited but I also need something that can't be screwed over so I'm looking at a CD distro modified to run through a proxy server.  

It also needs to be multilanguage etc.  so each 'user' would be a language.  

 

I was thinking of using Xboxes (with boot from CD) since M$ mightest well subsidise the access.  They shouldn't have called it an X box unless they wanted X running on it (:-))

 

So any ideas, what would you want?  Its a French bar so its just as much as coffee shop as a bar ....

If you think its a waste of time say so (but say why).  Would you mind to pay (so I can recover part of the DSL costs), perhaps a subscription or per use or what.  Its not meant to be an internet cafe, I just want to provide a service to a largely student population.  

 

Any ideas gratefully received and possibility of modestly paid work if someone can suggest anything blazingly good!

 

Some ideas, not much about computers but..

 

As a frequent coffee shop patron, make sure you put alot of effort into decor and ambiance. That will draw the "cool" crowd. Here's some ideas..

 

1. Mirrors (large mirrors with written poetry on them)

2. Brown leather/ dark place with bright colors

3. allow dogs if you can

4. pretty fashionable women and men serving coffee

5. Customer support. Buy from the counter but also have employees bring it out if needed. In the evenings, take orders from tables.

6. Music /very important!

 

Regarding computers, I wouldn't go to overboard.. Just try a few and see whether people are coming to use it or coming to drink coffee. Just make sure your connection is decent.

 

Also, ghost/image your systems. You can easily restore them daily or whenever needed to remove crap. Can also offer accounts for frequent customers where they can store their stuff (up to a point?)

 

Webcams/chat... Even one or two cams.. or allow users on one computer to talk to another computer... kinda like a dating scene thing. Put the computers in different areas (not next to each other).

 

Webcams again, streaming to the internet.. Mom, log on and look at me!

 

Webcams again, a rotating webcam.. just ideas..

 

Of course.. good coffee! Never take coffee from the pot until its done brewing heh!

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You obviously think like me....

sofa's, good cofee and dogs are pretty much normal in french cafes.

I have another idea on the music :twisted:

Webcams are kinda funny, Id have to have a official warning sign, we have them at work in the video conference rooms. Strange, you'd think people would realise they were on video in a video conference!

 

Your right on on the customer support too. The place I wanna do internet access is downstairs so it would be the ambient lighting..... but i toyed with the idea of being able to order on-line!!!!

 

Also next to live band area where I was going to run streaming video at night when the bands are playing.....

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i second cannon's suggestions.

 

for info an getting linux on the xbox, check this out: http://xbox-linux.sourceforge.net/index.php

 

however you need a modchip.....extra cost :-/

 

i dunno how it is in France w/smoking (cigs), but def. have a smoking area if the whole place isn't smoking. like i said, i don't know Frances deal on smoking. i just know in america every place and it's neighbour is no-smoking. real pain i tell ya.

 

and if i ever make it around to Paris I'll have to stop in. That is, before I get my island!

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If they are for is internet searching you could get a couple of mini-atx (shuttle) PCs. Even a fairly slow VIA chip will be able to run an OS and browser quite happily.

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gnome and mozilla firebird!!!! hehehehehe..........and you might what to allow access to gaim, in case they want to tell their friends to come by!

 

you could also modify the gaim code slightly so that when they start a new conversation, it makes the other person aware of where that person is messaging from. just a quite advertisement at the beginning of the conversation, but not constant bugging or something. and maybe make it part of their info, just for some ideas. heck...maybe i'll pull down the gaim code and see if my brain can still read and write code....

 

oh oh, i have more ideas....

 

offer email addresses! setup a mail server in the back or something, and for like a small one time fee or for people who are regular patrons, let them have their own e-mail address. they could check it on the bar computers or use webmail when at home!

 

more ideas may be forthcoming...you never know

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If I could ban smoking in public places from the entire city/country, I would! The coffeeshops I frequent have smoking areas set aside, but outside on the walk, smokings is allowed. So I have a choice of sitting inside on a nice summer day or putting up with the smell of cigarette smoke. I'm not really too concerned with the health concerns but I hate the smell of nicotine and tar, bleh!

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i understand and respect other peoples dislike for smoke. if i notice someone being bothered by it i'll put my cig out. and i don't smoke _at all_ around young kids. unfortunately it's hard to regulate smoking outside, being that it's an open space and such. but at the same time, i do smoke, so, i guess i'm prejudice to that side of the fence.

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I don't know what kind of place you want to open but I think you can dispense with cannonfoddr's suggestion for pretty, fashionable men serving coffee :lol: . Just hire a bartender with big tits :lol:. That's what always keeps me coming back. But seriously, if you're catering to a student crowd, do anything you can to get some nice looking women to frequent the bar,ladies night specials, ect. If there are hot babes in the bar, the guys will pack the joint.

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How bout using "dumb terminals" where patrons only have access to a moniter and keyboard?

 

Setup one server that only you have complete access to and employees/special customers would be able to log in for special access rights. Walk-ins could have only "guest" access. I think I have seen articles posted on doing this, but I don't remember where.

 

As for your job --- I would draw up a business plan, get all ideas together, plan your finances, etc, while keeping the job and then just go for it. Devote your full attention to it and leave the real job.

 

Don't do as I did not do 10 years ago. I had the opportunity to open a local business but, money was hold up for me. I decided to wait until the money situation was better, but in the mean time, someone else came along and opened a similiar business and today they are doing quite well. Today I am still at my real job, but "deeper in the hole." The kicker is that they wanted to hire me for freelance work recently.

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How bout using "dumb terminals" where patrons only have access to a moniter and keyboard?

 

Setup one server that only you have complete access to and employees/special customers would be able to log in for special access rights. Walk-ins could have only "guest" access. I think I have seen articles posted on doing this, but I don't remember where.

 

I will be trying to setup a LTSP server and client tonight, actually i installed the server last night and had the client box but i forgot i would need a serial mouse and a AT keyboard which i didn't have at home.

So tonight i will see how it performs, from the website it sounds really promising.

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IBM just had a sale on refurbished terminals running linux. Under 200 US dollers. Integrated 12 inch monitor,keyboard,mouse and of all things a phone. Small foot print and a safe environment. Check with them if you get a chance.

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How bout using "dumb terminals" where patrons only have access to a moniter and keyboard?

 

Unlike a "coffee bar" or "internet cafe"...you will be dealing with those who intake an intoxicating beverage. Consider the patron who gets a little out of hand, cut off...then gets mad and starts on the equipment..."I'll show you..."

 

Alcohol brings out plenty of ugly.... terminals won't be cheap, but they will be much better than having to rebuild a box...

 

Then there will be the idiot who thinks pouring a beer into the floppy slot will be funny...

 

I like the idea, but alcohol, computers and idiots...I have a bad feeling about this.

 

Those who remember the late Walter Payton...greatest running back in football (until recently). He opened his own dance/bar/diner (50's theme) called "Studebaker's" in Schaumburg, IL to get in you had to be over 25 (I forget the age, but 21 was not old enough) and there was a dress code...why...Walter wanted a higher class client...I was in the palce some 20+ years ago...pure class...

 

Well food for thought...(if I am seen as a spoil sport so be it, I am old enough to have seen enough foolishness...back in my days a computer took up a whole room, we didn't have electronic games, we talked to computers with punch cards , our records were vinyl...)

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Hey thanks for everyone. Its good to see so many people coming up with similar ideas I have already thought of. Kinda makes me feel like it'll work.

Tyme, You'll like Paris/France. (The bar is in Montpellier though in the South).

Cannon fodder: I'd give France a large berth if other people smoking bothers you. (no judgement on either of these even if im biased like Tyme :-) but you really won't like it. )

 

cjc: Yeah, I know the access will be turned off at night and the PC's inaccessible all of the time.... Also will probably just have a keyboard and mouse accessible.

mtweidmann: Yeah thanks, i have a shuttle as my entertainment centre at home. Cool !!!!

 

pmpatrick: Its non PC but as a barman friend of mine did say, tits sell beer :-)

 

 

Special thanks to Scoopy ... Thanks, I did the same as you a few years back and this time Im looking at the work while getting it going scenario. (Thats why my time is limited :-))

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It's funny, when I'm in Europe where everyone smokes, I know I just have to deal with it. But when I'm at home, I hate it. Weirdly enough, they are passing a law to ban smoking in public places period. And now a bunch of polititions are trying to amend the law to allow smoking in bars and what not. The old argument, no smoking in bars will kill business is bullshit. People who like to party will party smoking or not. Drinking is what they are really after :)

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