I was told off by the Internet cafe owner for downloading Safefox web browser on the computer I was using in an Internet cafe. I was told" you are not allowed to install any software on our computers. We do not allow it."
I was in an Internet cafe in Liverpool on Monday,and I was using their computers because I did not have my laptop with me. I left it at home and so while I was on holiday,I was using Internet cafes. A decision which I now regret. Because they only had Internet Explorer and an old version of Firefox 4, so I downloaded and installed Safefox web browser on the computer I was using. Because I use Safefox at home on my computer and it is better. But to my surprise the manager of the Internet cafe came over to me and said"could you not install any software on the computer,we do not want you to break it."
I told him that I only installed Safefox web browser,which he had never heard of,because I have it on my computer at home. And that is what I use. But he told me that they do not allow anyone to download software on the computers,not even web browsers.
And I wanted to install Aim Messenger and Google Talk, so I could talk to my friends online, but the manager of the Internet cafe would not let me. And all they had was Skype and Yahoo Messenger,which I cannot use and neither can my friends. And I don't have a Skype account and my friends do not either. So I was not able to call my friends on Aim or Google Talk because,the staff at the Internet cafe would not let me install it. And the cafe owner knew that I had installed Safefox,because he saw me on the master computer. He has on his desk,which records everything you do on their computers.
I used to use Internet cafes before I got my first computer,a Netbook last April 2010. And when I used to use Internet cafes to do my blogging and write my websites and record videos on You Tube. I have had problems . Once I was turned away from an Internet cafe I had been to before by the shop keeper. Who told me that the computers were not working. But other people were sitting at the computers. I have websites about Hezbollah and Lebanon and media in the Middle East. And in Internet cafes the shop keeper records everything you do,and knows every blog post you write and every site you visit. And every forum you post on. So I am sure it was because he saw me writing my blog posts that,that was the real reason he did not want me in the Internet cafe.
But blogging sites and video sites like You Tube and My Space do not care what you write about, or make videos about,as long as it is not porn or obscene content.
But in an Internet Cafe it is a different story.
You have no control in an Internet Cafe. They can make what rules they like. They can block websites. They can stop you going in there and they can throw you out any time. And they treat us adults like children. They deny us open time. They tell us what we can and cannot do. And their computers are slow and not working good. If you went to most Internet cafes I have been to, you would hate it.
And the staff know nothing about computers. I am not a computer expert but they make me feel like a genius. When I used to make videos in Internet cafes before I got my own computer. Anyone who has made a video in an Internet cafe knows how difficult this is. You have to speak into the mic so quietly because everyone can hear what you are saying. And you worry who is listening and worry that you might disturb some one else on the other computers. And that they will tell you to shut up. You worry that the Internet cafe owner might not like what you are recording, or reading, or writing about.
It is possible to blog and make videos from an Internet cafe, but difficult. Some Internet cafes will give you open time.Where they put you on a computer, but don't turn it off until you have finished. But others will not give you open time,only set time. Where you tell them how long you want on the computer and pay before you go on. But set time is difficult, because you do not know how long it will take to write that blog or forum post. And you could be in the middle of doing some thing important and your time runs out. And by the time you have got to the till to ask for more time. They have cut you off. And all of your work is wiped from the computer.
And then there were the time when the person siting next to me was rude to me. And that upset me and I could not work properly. I did ask to be moved to another computer and they let me move. But I was still upset, and could not concentrate on my websites.
And one Internet cafe has this sign up and above every computer that says" anyone caught viewing sites that we do not approve of will be instantly barred from the shop." And in the Internet cafe owners eyes, that can mean going onto a website such as My Space because the owner in his ignorance thinks that it is an offensive site. When it is not. So then you worry that if you go to on You Tube or Facebook,that you might be breaking their rules.
That is why I got my own computer last year because I was fed up with all of the problems I was having with Internet cafes. But I could have had my own laptop a long time ago before last year. And saved a lot of wasted time and money and aggravation.
And my advice to anyone who has not got their own computer and is just using Internet cafes to do their blogging and forum posting is. That you need to get your own computer now. Because you will never have the best experience of the Internet from an Internet cafe. The computers in most cafes are slow,they are not looked after by the owners. The software that they have on there is out of date, and there could even be viruses on the computer. And you have got rules. And they record everything you do. Do you really want the Internet cafe owner to see your email address and maybe your password? And for him to see every site you visit?
But if you have your own computer-no one can tell you when to get on or off the computer. No one can stop you going on it when you want to. No one can tell you not to install software. And you don't have to ask anyone permission before doing anything on your own computer. And you have got your privacy. Where as in an Internet cafe you have not. And in an Internet cafe there are other people sitting next to you. Who can also see what you do,as well as the shop keeper at the desk.
So you need to get your own computer. And there is no excuse not to have one. As now most people own laptops and Netbooks. You don't need a full sized computer. A laptop or Netbook does all that a computer does and better. And they have come down a lot in price and are now very cheep. And so are the broadband contracts with Internet service providers,quite reasonable in price. And even if you are hard up,just get a second hand laptop.
And it is true to say that if you don't have your own computer, and are just using Internet cafes. You are not your own boss.
And I am going back to Manchester again on Friday. But I have bought a T.Mobile broadband USB stick. So I can get mobile broadband while I am away from home. And this time I am taking my Netbook with me. So this trip will NOT include a visit to the Internet cafe. I will use my own laptop,with my own pay as you go mobile broadband. And many hotels have public wifi you can connect to,if you have got your own laptop or Netbook with you. So I will have that choice as well.