More things that just had to happen
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 00:35:35 PDT
Subject: More things that just had to happen
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Todd Kover <kovert@cs.UMD.EDU>
Forwarded-by: Omar Siddique <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Cafe offers chomping ground for computer crowd
DALLAS, Sept 28 (Reuter) - Diners suffering separation
anxiety from their computers at meal time now have a place
where they can plug in and eat.
In what may be a glimpse of the lunch hour of the future,
the just opened High Tech Cafe greets patrons with a computer
voice that asks, "Non smoking, smoking or modem-ready?"
The restaurant offers outlets for the lunch-time crowd to
hook up lap-top computers and chat electronically while
munching. A fax machine is also at the ready.
The cafe, located in the high-tech Infomart office
development in Dallas, was designed at zero cost from mainly
non-working computer parts and labour donated by the many
computer experts in the building.
Infomart is a technology centre where companies showcase
products and services in a large glass and steel structure
modelled after the Crystal Palace in London, which was built
for the first World's Fair but burned down in 1936.
Infomart wanted to serve its customers "all the way down
to lunch", said spokeswoman Virginia Campbell. As people
become more mobile with their computers, demand for services
such as those offered by the cafe will grow, she said.
"When you walk into the room, you almost have the effect
of being inside a computer," chef Michael Mudrone said.
Overhead light fixtures are made from computer monitors,
table vases are filled with keys from keyboards and floors are
built from assorted computer parts with signs "Danger High
The plants are fed information instead of water, the chef
Client servers, the la yperson's wait-staff, greet diners
with "How did we interface today?" or "Would you care to
download some megabyte chips and salsa?"
The spread sheet, more commonly known as a menu, lists "CD
ROM-ano chicken", "version 7.0 shrimp caesar", "virtual
burger" and the "BASIC spud" -- a baked potato.
The dessert menu is presented on a lap-top. "The graphics
on this programme are so real you could eat right off the
screen," Mudrone said.
High-tech confections incude "The 17 Disk Array", a
17-layer chocolate cake, and "The LAN Mine", a cookie crust
filled with ice cream.
The bar area is separated from the dining room with a
screen of mother boards, network cards, modem cards and video
cards arranged so as to create a path on a conceptual
superhighway, said Kevin Bennett, an architect at Infomart.
The most popular "info-galactic" drink at "The Space Bar"
is the VGA Monitor, a concoction of Southern Comfort, vodka,
sloe gin, amaretto and orange juice. Movies like "Star Wars",
"Star Trek" and "Robocop" are shown on a screen.
"This restaurant will grow with technology," Mudrone said.
He is already planning to roll-out a new version of the menu.
"Watch for a new product announcement next year," he said.
[For a restaurant it sure sounds nauseating. I wonder who's doing
their P.R. work ... Canter & Siegel? -psl]
© 1994 Peter Langston