Opinion: Ecommerce trailblazer Eva Pascoe on how tech is still transforming retail

Eva Pascoe

Twenty-five years ago, Cyberia opened as the first cafe with full internet access in the world, located at 39 Whitfield Street in London’s Fitzrovia.

Created to give Londoners a glimpse of the newly accessible internet, Cyberia was a warm, non-geeky place, infused with the smell of coffee from the second Lavazza coffee machine in town (the first was at Bar Italia, of course).

The cafe was originally an internet training centre equipped with six Dell computers, which was all we could manage as nearly every visitor needed a one-to-one tutorial.

Email, FTP, Gopher and the early Mosaic browser with a handful of art and music pages were available to keen newbie cybernauts. Early visitors were mainly men, so I set up women-only HTML courses to encourage take-up by women.

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