Kids Reacting To Old Computers Hurts My Heart

Kids today, with their graphical user interfaces and high DPI mice. Why, when I was their age I was getting kicked out of Radio Shack for making the computers spew out endless streams of curse words. 10 Print “Sadness”; 20 Goto 10.

If anything, this latest “Kids React” video from The Fine Bros makes me want to pick up an old Apple for the kids, so they can learn how to use computers the proper way. And by the proper way I mean oh my god I’m my dad.


  • Before I watch it, is it as painful to watch as they normally are? With most of the reactions being overreactions to stand out?

    • Yeah. It’s crap like every other kids react “AH MAHGADZ A CEEEEEEE DAAAAAAAAY!!!!! WOOOOOW WHATS IT DOOOOOOO”

      • I don’t remember acting like that when I was a kid (if I did it was for advanced technology).

        I have never seen a record player, but as a kid I was aware what one was and how it worked. If presented with one I was smart and understanding enough to know it was a precurser to CDs and casettes. I wouldn’t freak out and have trouble contemplating its existance.

        In a way it’s a cause of concern. People my age don’t have trouble dealing with technology outside our time, but kids today have trouble dealing with technology that isn’t inside theirs? Will these kids have trouble with technology in 10 years?

        • I think it’s probably a case of technology advancing so much in such a short amount of time. A record player isn’t that dissimilar to a cd player, but an old Apple II is of an entirely different nature to an ipad. A similar, though still not nearly as dramatic a leap would be if you were put in front of an even older computer that used punched cards and asked to make it function.

          • An old Apple II shouldn’t be compared to an iPad (which is an entirely different product), it should be compared to a desktop PC because that’s what it is.

            And at it’s core it’s not that dissimilar to a modern desktop PC. It still has a monitor, keyboard and mouse. You still interact with it in much the same way even if the user interface is vastly different.

            Kids these days must be really stupid if they think a desktop PC looks like a tablet.

          • That was my point, an Apple II cannot be compared because it is of a entirely different nature, but heaps of younger kids these days interact solely with an ipad or iphone. To them, that is what a computer is. Even put next to a modern laptop with a mouse driven GUI is such a different experience that experience in one doesn’t give any insight into the other. So for @neo_kaiser to say that they wouldn’t act that silly if put in front of a record player, when they probably have experience with CDs and DVDs and other disc based media is not comparing like with like.

          • I don’t know how punch cards work and I won’t be able to use the computer. But I know it is part of our history and I wouldn’t freak out over it.

          • Okay, but did you know it was part of our history when you were that age? The Apple II came out in 1977, so that’s almost 40 years now. 40 years before I was interacting with computers, they were literally using vacuum tubes. That would have freaked me out personally.

    • It was painful to see PC programs referred to as ‘apps’, although that might just be my age showing…

      • Would you be less insulted if they used the word application? if so the only problem might be the use of abbreviations with technology.

        • My understanding, and my usage of the word “app”, is not just simply an abbreviation. To me, an “app” is a smaller program that is designed to run on mobile devices, and an “application” is a larger scale program designed to run on full computers.

          • That distinction mainly comes from Apple using the term ‘app’ exclusively with its mobile products. The term has been used as a short form of application in IT and software development for at least 30 years, particularly for menu names and directory names where the full label wouldn’t fit.

          • Well that’s your problem then. Application has long been abbreviated as “app” when referring to non-OS software packages for use on desktop PCs. Never heard the phrase “killer app”?

        • In my day, we called them programs, and were happy to! After walking uphill both way to school in the snow to hankcrank our computers… 😉

  • I think giving anyone an old computer with no knowledge or command sheet would garnish the same enthusiasm as giving someone a phone with no battery.

    • would garnish the same enthusiasm as giving someone a phone with no battery

      They’ll plug it in 5 minutes before leaving for work thinking it’ll make a difference?

  • The annoying thing about this, is the kids who tried to touch the screen.

    Like, to me, that is just stupidity. When I was a kid, and given a new thing to play with I didn’t just sit there acting like it was something else. I sat there and checked the whole thing out, trying to figure out how it worked.

    These kids aren’t just kids from the current age, they are stupid kids as well. My kids will be taught about the technology of the past, so that they can truly embrace the technology of the future.

    • Good attitude. My boys play SNES, N64 and old games all the time. I planned on doing it so they could appreciate games on a different level, but as it turns out I didn’t need to force them to play anything. They love retro games as just ‘games’ without the ‘retro’ prefix .

      • Don’t your kids also love the Star Wars prequels because they’re more advanced than that old shit nobody is interested in anymore? 😛

        • HAHAHAHA! You know it’s not true. The other day I burst into my eldest’s room and I was like “ARE YOU WATCHING TJE PREQUELS!!!???” And he was like “no dad I promise, it’s porn, see?” And I was like “ok then, carry on.”

          I won’t have any of that in my house.

          • Yeah, you might be able to control that in your house. But outside your house?

            How do you know your kids friends aren’t letting him watch it at their house? Or at school? Sneaking off to behind the gym, part of a crowd watching it on someones iPhone.

          • I’ll know. The moment they watch the OT and lose all respect for Darth Vader … I’ll know it has happened.

            In all serious though, they actually don’t like the PT. Their favourite it ROTJ. I have tried to show them the prequels and they’ve always gotten bored and wandered off. But I still remember their first viewing of the trench run in ANH, they sat, glued to the screen, I thought they’d stopped breathing!

          • Lose all respect for Darth Vader? They, they couldn’t have! There was admiration, I felt it!

            But that trench run doesn’t have poop, how can kids even remotely enjoy it? We have focus groups and charts detailing how we make our movies now. See the Lorax? The Once-ler had to be a hipster.

          • I think film makers think that if a orange and blue 4 headed CG rhinoceros doesn’t jump out of the screen and skullfuck the audience for 90 minutes, the Gen Y’ers will just get bored and start texting.

    • I think that’s completely unfair. Young kids are brought up these days with the expectation that screens are touchable with probably 90%+ of their technology time interacting with a touch screen, it’s perfectly reasonable thing to try. You could spend a long time teaching your kids about vacuum tubes and punched cards and other old outdated technologies, but I don’t know how practical it would be.

      • I think that’s completely unfair. Young kids are brought up these days with the expectation that screens are touchable with probably 90%+ of their technology time interacting with a touch screen, it’s perfectly reasonable thing to try.

        BS. This is just a lazy excuse.

        My daughter is 4 and can interact with both computers without touch screens, and devices with touch screens like phones and tablets. She knows the difference, and she’s known the difference for a while, too. She doesn’t try to touch the screen of a computer thinking it’ll do something.

        If she can tell the difference between a touch screen device and a standard computer, then most other kids can too.

        Do these kids try to touch their TV screens to change the TV channel too?

        • I’ve seen heaps of kids try to touch the screens of laptops and computers the first time they’ve been introduced to them. My daughter is the same age, and I’m sure she’s tried to wake up the laptop by touching the screen once. My wife has even done it in a moment of forgetfulness. Once I tried to drag and drop a file from one computer to a laptop that was sitting next to it. Once, when I was particularly tired, I even tried to move the mouse cursor down, off the screen and on to my physical table, to copy and paste printed text in a book that was sitting in front of me. I’m serious. I don’t think I’m stupid and I don’t think these kids are either.

          • My point is, you need to teach them what the differences are.

            I honestly can’t remember what my daughter did the first time she sat in front of a computer, but I did teach her from an early age that you use a mouse and keyboard with a computer, so she is now 4 and now knows the difference between a computer and a phone or tablet. A school age child honestly should not be wondering how to use a computer, or be trying to operate a computer with the screen, as they should already know how to use it.

            I go back to my previous example of a TV. No child that I’m aware of tries to operate a TV by touching the screen. They know that’s what the remote control is for. The same thing should apply to computers.

            It’s 2014, not 1980.

          • Well kids aren’t brought up with touchscreen TVs, but they are brought up with touchscreen computers (not just ipads, 2 of my friends have touchscreen PC’s in their kitchen of all places), so it’s not a great example.

            Really (I think) only two kids touch the screen, the dramatic girl who’s obviously acting it up for the camera taps on the screen while saying “hello?” as a bit of a joke, not because she thinks it’s a touch screen. The other, younger kid touches the screen while pointing out there’s nothing there, maybe thinking he can wake it up, who knows.

            I just don’t think it’s fair to say these are stupid kids.

    • ” When I was a kid, and given a new thing to play with I didn’t just sit there acting like it was something else. I sat there and checked the whole thing out, trying to figure out how it worked.”

      And that’s exactly how these kids tackled it… Touching the screen is part of figuring out how it works. Sure, some of them didn’t look at the back of the computer to find the on switch but they had a good attempt at figuring out how to work the computer.

  • Whenever one of these videos is posted, there’s always a few people that will attack the kids for not understanding how old tech works. Think about that for a moment. The pace of technological advancement is higher today than it has ever been and continues to accelerate, and these kids are growing up in a world where the tech they learned 3 years ago is obsolete, let alone something from 40 years ago. They don’t have the benefit of a few decades of experience with what is essentially the birth of home computing like we do, yet some of you attack them for being stupid or trying to learn and solve problems based on their own experiences instead of based on yours?

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people? They’re kids. Your attitude is disgraceful.

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