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At Your Fingertips

Inventor assistance is only a Web site away.

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This story appears in the March 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Never before has there been so much free information available to inventors chasing the American dream. The Internet now makes it possible for you to collect all kinds of information anonymously and without having to disclose your idea in the process.

First, let's dispel the notion that you must own a computer to access the Internet. This is not true. Most public libraries now provide access to the Internet for free or a small fee. And most colleges and universities have Internet access. If you are a student or an alumnus, chances are your school will allow you to log on to the Internet. You may also have noticed that a new cottage industry has entered the marketplace: Internet cafes. At these high-tech coffeehouses, you can buy a cup of coffee and instead of listening to music, you can surf the Net. These cafes generally charge around $6 per hour for Internet sessions. All Kinko's stores nationwide now have Internet terminals for the public to use for $10 per hour. And, finally, at many airports, you'll see Internet kiosks located near gates to give jetsetters a quick Internet session.

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