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The fee for using a computer is generally charged as a time-based rate. The early history of public access online networking sites is largely unwritten and undocumented. Two 16bit computers connected to Online service networks through telephone lines. Gregori installed coin-operated computer terminals in coffeehouses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The terminals dialed into a 32 line Bulletin Board System that offered an array of electronic services including FIDOnet mail and, in , Internet mail. Over the weekend of March 12 - 13 in the theatre at the ICA, Pope ran a Cybercafe which consisted of multiple Apple Mac computers on cafe style tables with menus of available services.
Usage is generally charged by the minute or part of hour. An Internet cafe will generally also offer refreshments or other services such as phone repair. Internet cafes are often hosted within a shop or other establishment. They are located worldwide, and many people use them when traveling to access webmail and instant messaging services to keep in touch with family and friends. There are also Internet kiosks , Internet access points in public places like public libraries , airport halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing.
Many hotels, resorts, and cruise ships offer Internet access for the convenience of their guests; this can take various forms, such as in-room wireless access, or a web browser that uses the in-room television set for its display usually in this case the hotel provides a wireless keyboard on the assumption that the guest will use it from the bed , or computer s that guests can use, either in the lobby or in a business center.
As with telephone service, in the US most mid-price hotels offer Internet access from a computer in the lobby to registered guests without charging an additional fee, while fancier hotels are more likely to charge for the use of a computer in their "business center. For those traveling by road in North America, many truck stops have Internet kiosks, for which a typical charge is around 20 cents per minute. In the early days they were important in projecting the image of the Internet as a 'cool' phenomenon.