HERMISTON - There's a new branch on the cookie tree: Wireless Internet.

Arloa's Cookie Tree in Hermiston, a longtime fixture on the early morning breakfast circuit in town, has added state-of-the-art technology to its menu.

A new device enables anyone with a laptop to hook-up to the Internet without plugging in any electrical cords or phone tools.

"People are wanting to get access to the Internet for a hundred different reasons," said Arloa's Cookie Tree owner Bob Shaw. Shaw admits he has not always been as computer savvy as he is now, but that having the wireless connection makes doing business easier.

"You don't have to take your time in the middle of the day," Shaw said about people bringing in their computers and getting caught up on work or play.

Shaw has one computer router that plugs into a modem in one corner of the building. From that one tiny router he is able to send a blanket DSL Internet connection signal through the whole store. What this means is there could be 50 people on their lunch breaks all merging with the information super-highway at the same time, without tripping on a hundred extension cords. The DSL connection means that Internet screens whiz by at an fast rate.

Shaw wanted to use this technology as a service to the customers who come into the Cookie Tree on a regular basis and there is no charge for the service. Shaw said a lot of people don't even believe him when he says this service is available and that starts up his own computer just to show them.

Don't worry though, Shaw isn't planning on leaving the cookie business to get into high-speed technology.

"We're in the food-service business," Shaw said. "This is just a tool to use for your business."

Brook Griffin can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 ext. 1309, bgriffin@eastoregonian.com.

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