Want to surf the Internet while munching food and drink? Try the new Hard Drive Cafe in Idaho Falls.
The cafe serves food and drink and offers customers 11 high-speed computers linked to the Internet."We're picking up new customers every day," said Parrish Worrell, who owns the business with his wife, Madeline, and Mike and Sue Charboneau of Wendover, Nev.
Computer time costs $3.95 an hour Sunday through Thursday, and $5.95 an hour on Fridays and Saturdays. When a party of four comes in to chat online, it ends up costing less than a movie date, Parrish Worrell said.
"Chat rooms," interactive sites where people can converse with total strangers by typing messages back and forth, are most popular with younger people. Other customers are just curious about the Internet.
The cafe has 13 part-time cyberhosts, or waitresses, who help customers and monitor them to make sure they aren't chatting in some of the Internet's more con-troversial rooms or calling up images that would taint the cafe's family environment.
When business is slow, the staff gets to use the equipment for free, but business is seldom slow anymore.
Nathan Saunders, a Bonneville High School sophomore visiting for the first time, said the cafe was "totally cool." He was especially impressed with the virtual reality helmet on one of the machines that allowed him to play "Doom" or "Descent" in a completely different way.