back to article Watch: Kids slam Apple as 'BORING, the whole thing is BORING'

Show an Apple II computer to a bunch of kids and film their reactions for YouTube. What could go wrong? If there's one thing more annoying than children, it's creaking old technology. So those of a sensitive disposition should probably look away now, because one viral-video team has decided to combine these two weapons of mass …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course it's crap to kids of today and would have been the same reaction whether Apple, Commodore, BBC et al. When we were young it was all new and all we had - we may carry some of that nostalgia forward but would you trade one for your high-spec gaming rig, Macbook Pro Retina or Playstation 4 - no didn't think so.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Yep, get a modern car driver to talk positively about a horse and buggy from the 19th century, compared to his car full of electronics... Its boring.

      Yeah mate, but that buggy will probably still be in running order in another hundred years, whereas his techno marvel will probably have suffered chip rot within 10 years.

      1. Semaj

        Old horse o.o

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Turned into glue to try and hold the car together. ;-)

  2. Immenseness


    I couldn't watch it as it was cut together in the dreadful "4 words at a time then switch" to someone/something else format.

    My eyes, my ears, my brain! Arrggghhhh!!!

    I also turn off the news when they start doing that. I'm looking at you radio 4 PM.

    Beer helps, have one on me everybody!

    1. ThomH

      Re: Gah!

      Read: El Reg commenter slams YouTube video as 'DREADFUL, the whole thing is DREADFUL'

      I think your mistake was expecting information. The approach of this sort of thing is to give you a title that suggests an obvious conclusion, show a bunch of disjointed clips that jump straight to that conclusion, then expect you to feel a warm glow due to the lack of cognitive dissonance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gah!

        @ ThomH

        It's a witch, it's a witch, burn him, look, he's got a witches nose and everything...

        'Is that a carrot?'


        As for the vid:

        If there's one thing more annoying than children

        Trick question, there is nothing more annoying than children, especially those who think that history is a boring channel on TV. Mumble, grumble, get off my damn lawn...

    2. OliverJ

      Re: Gah!

      Agreed. Nevertheless, I watched it to the end, and there are some gems hidden inside. Like the reaction of the kid with the funny hat when he's being told that the switch to power on the ][ is to be found on the back: "Argh...! Pffft...!"

      Quite cute, actually.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And in 30+ years their kids will be saying exactly the same. Touch screen - how quaint.

    Ever think the people making these videos etc. are keen to get A P P L E in the title / keywords for hits ];->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's Hamill. He thinks he's funny.

      1. Ted Treen

        Does he?


        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Does he?

          He hasn't read the comments

    2. Geezheeztall

      "Ever think the people making these videos etc. are keen to get A P P L E in the title / keywords for hits ];->"

      The original youtube post is called "Kids React To Old Computers". The equipment is described as merely being old, without any brand name dropping. There's no "Apple" keyword conspiracy - Only here at Reg.

  4. frank ly

    When I were a lad

    I used to play all day with a stick and a hoop and I was happy and grateful for it. Kids nowadays.......

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: When I were a lad


      We would have LOVED to have a hoop, people with hoops were posh.

      All WE had was a broken twig, but we were happy!

      </Yorkshire accent>

      1. Arctic fox

        Re: When I were a lad

        This is surely not the room for an argument.

      2. AbelSoul

        Re: When I were a lad

        > "We would have LOVED to have a hoop..."

        "We used to get up half an hour before we went to bed..." etc.

        1. OliverJ

          Re: When I were a lad

          ... you forgot to mention the twenty inches of snow. And having no shoes.

          1. thomas k.

            Re: When I were a lad

            ... and uphill both ways.

      3. king of foo

        Re: When I were a lad

        You too? Did you also play poo sticks? We didn't have a bridge nearby but we did have a dog so were able to improvise.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: When I were a lad

          @King of foo

          I lived a couple of miles from Pooh's bridge. I've actually played pooh sticks on the Pooh's bridge.

          We didn't have to resort to flinging stinky sticks around.

      4. big_D Silver badge

        Re: When I were a lad

        A broken twig? Luxury, luxury!

        When I was a kid, I'd have to roll up into a ball so that my brothers could play football!

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: When I were a lad

      I saw this a few days ago as I entered Panguitch, Utah on a set of roadside signs

      We kicked a ball and climbed trees

      Nowadays, kids can't play

      Without Batteries.

      {or something along those lines}

      Very apt methinks.

      1. Bjorg

        Re: When I were a lad

        Sounds like you missed the last sign:

        Burma Shave

  5. midcapwarrior

    say what

    "What they didn't have any difficulty doing was speaking on camera, proving this writer's suspicion that Americans are trained to act on telly from the minute they emerge from the womb"

    So do Brit kids run in horror when they see a camera/

    1. Uffish

      Re: say what

      My ones certainly did. Home movies - meh.

    2. Ralph B

      Re: say what

      > So do Brit kids run in horror when they see a camera/

      Yeah. It's probably evolved behaviour.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Olden stuff

    I keep a Mac Classic in the computer room (a room that itself an alien concept now with portable laptops and tablets) for old times sake.

    I worry that should I reproduce, my offspring will not see the interest in the daft looking beige box in the corner. Mostly black and white and a tiny screen.

    The II is interesting in that they managed to shoehorn a Mac Finder like UI into it, almost a decade before the Win95/Pentium era.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Olden stuff

      Apple II or Apple ][

      I was conned into buying this due to hype. Had to add a card for 80 columns and lower case.

      Had to add a Z80 card to get a real OS and a better selection of applications.

      Had to add 8" floppies. Even in 1980 / 1981 the Apple Floppies were slower and 1/2 storage or less than others.

      Lisa was under powered and not enough resource. I guess they got it right with Mac.

      I think even for people in late 1970s the only useful reason for an Apple II was Visicalc.

      We switched to Supercalc on CP/M.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Olden stuff

        The Apple II had a great advantage in that you could build your own peripheral cards for the bus. Using Assembler, Basic, or Pascal they drove interfaces like home Blackpool illuminations and disco lights. In the office we debugged the comms Front End Processor for awkward contingency faults. One Apple II emulated the VME mainframe and another one did synchronous protocols to emulate the terminal side. In contrast "Lisa" was an application "appliance" - which Apple seem to have made their market aim ever since.

        The neighbours' kids loved playing the games - but never showed any interest in programming. At most they learned how to modify some Basic variables as "cheats".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Olden stuff

          VME - how modern. Now George 2 there was an OS.

      2. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: Olden stuff

        " I guess they got it right with Mac."

        Actually, no. The original Mac was 128K, no hard drive. No expansion slots either. People had to remove the CPU and plug in a daughterboard in it's place. The daughterboard would take the original CPU and add memory and a hard drive interface.

        Meanwhile, the great god was blathering on about how great it was to have a standard. Everybody could run everything the same - or do I mean run not much - 128k after all at a time when IBM compatibles were running megabytes.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Olden stuff

          My first Mac at work was a Fat Mac with a 10MB hard drive attached to the external floppy drive port.

          I then progressed to a Plus with an external 20MB SCSI drive. The company eventually gave me an SE/30 with hard drive, before we moved over to only Windows based PCs.

          At one time I had a Mac Plus, HP Vectra, HP 150, HP 125, DEC Rainbow and Burroughs PC running BTOS on my desk.

        2. deadlockvictim

          Re: Olden stuff

          IBM-Compatibles at the time were not that much more powerful and many were considerably less powerful, in both RAM and processor power (8086, 8088 and 80286, if I remember correctly).

          The original macs had a large overhead to drive the GUI and that cost in both RAM and CPU cycles. Furthermore, the Motorola 68000 processor was beefy for its day (early-mid eighties) and out-performed the Intel chips that were around. Indeed, Sun Microsystems chose to use the Motorola chips for their workstations around that time.

          If anything, Apple got it right the Apple ][. It was a runaway success. The Macintosh could have died a sudden death in the mid 1980s if the Mac II (with expandibility), PostScript & laser-printers and the DTP revolution hadn't started around then. The initial compact macs were not easy to expand, nor designed for expansion and this greatly limited their appeal.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Olden stuff

            Also the 68K family were programmers chips. They had a clean and simple instruction set and memory mapping, compared to the travesty that x86 assembler turned into with each new generation.

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    Who taught these children ??

    I think a behavourial science student would have a field day with these children. Modesty was obviously not a prime candidate thoughout their upbringing and what's with the Soap Opera theatrics.

    Contemporary society : I want everything, I want it now , it has to be easy, it has to be free.....and most importantly I don't want to have to be made to think....

    I am still thrilled by older technology, it is always a reminder of man's ever evolving ingenuity. Unfortunately these kids appear to take very little pleasure in being given something new to learn. I always imagine how quickly people like this will become stuck/frustrated as soon as they are confronted with the slightest problem...

    Additionaly the test/experiment appears to have been badly misguided..... The presenter didn't really help, he presented things in a manner which was not conducive with the desire to explore or to learn. It was almost as though he wanted them to get stuck/confused.

    1. Billa Bong

      Re: Who taught these children ??

      Ok, firstly this is hardly a clean-room experiment designed to show a child's desire to learn as you suppose - it's a pure shortened time frame reaction test of "here's something called a computer, but not as you know it". They're comparing what they know to something they've not experienced before with the same label, and as such after some confusion (natural) quickly come to the conclusion that it's not what they expect it to be, and there the experiment ends by design.

      Being thrilled by older technology yourself is fine, but kids just don't have the capability to understand that: They have yet to have a real ongoing experience of innovation and product improvement which is usually a prerequisite to taking an interest in how things were *before* they were born. That's why 7 year olds seldom watch the antiques road show.

      I put it to you that if you put a 1970's computer in a room with a child of this age from a society with modern experiences of PC's, with no interactive instruction but all they needed to get it working (including manuals, disks, etc.) they would *still* quickly become bored and file this object under "uninteresting". They would quickly recognize it as an object like a computer and start making comparisons to what they know about them... (a) doesn't seem to want to work (if they were children with programming or shell experience they may get it to do something, but most children don't fall into that category), (b) it's missing vital parts (a mouse or touch screen is standard and they have no experience of other forms of control-input, which a modern keyboard on Windows/KDE/etc isn't).

      They can't even use their imagination with this thing, though I bet if you left it 15 minutes you might get some ascii pictures being typed...

      However, if you put this in a room with someone who'd never seen a computer before I would fully expect a different result...

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Who taught these children ??

        "they have no experience of other forms of control-input, which a modern keyboard on Windows/KDE/etc isn't"

        Mostly true. But I have a hilarious counterexample - a twelve-year-old, who discovered an IBM Model M keyboard at about ten. He promptly seized it for himself and chucked other input devices away. Complaints about the clacker noise are usually met with a shrug and a terse reply "oh, but you can close the door then".

        Last time I checked, he had found a PC version of Elite and was quite annoyed. No, not at Elite, mind you. At those modern games - all eyecandy and no content to speak of.

        There's a geek born every minute, I tells ya.

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Who taught these children ??

        @Billa Bong

        As much as I understand what you are getting at, I would argue that if such were the case then even the mere "pencil" should have been forgotten about long ago. As much as our keyboards replace the pencil I still take the time to write in a real book with real paper.

        What I think my comments were trying to highlight was the apparent lack of fascination or adventure of these childern. The fact that they have been given old computers should not really have any bearing.. Would they also be "bored" with classic cars, classical instruments or even "books".....

        I believe that fascination, exploration and discovery of things old or new is something that is, and probably always should be, very high on the ladder of a child's evolution. Hell, it still is very high on mine....

        Or maybe I am just growing old and don't realise how the the world has changed since my youth...

        1. Billa Bong

          Re: Who taught these children ??

          @ Khaptain

          I value your comments, and reassess my own. Pencils, like empty cardboard boxes, can form the basis of a whole range of games without any effort or prerequisite knowledge, and therefore will never be "boring" in the way you suggest. Imagination plays a big part with these items. This computer requires a lot of effort to start it doing even the most simple task and doesn't leave the imagination much room. Different situation.

          I've taken my children to a fair few places where there are some classic or vintage cars. They appreciate the aesthetics of them ("it looks different" and is interesting for about 2 minutes) but the principle of the car being "old" doesn't factor in because they have no knowledge or experience of the difference (there's not in reality that much difference in how the thing operates, and they're not allowed to drive it), so again this is an incomparably different situation.

          Imagine an experiment where I take adults and sit them down in their current job but only provide items from the 70's. How long before fascination turns to frustration, particularly if their job function hasn't changed to suit the environment - this is more akin to a child's perception in these experiments.

          Your feelings and arguments are legitimate for an adult and I'm not disputing that, but we're shaped by our own experiences and children don't have as much and are therefore much more shallow.

          Confession: I have absolutely no child psychological background other than what I picked up in my own experience from having kids and my own observations of how children react to things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who taught these children ??

      One of my books scavenged from the charity shop is "1001 Wonderful Things". A collection of pictures with short texts - showing the natural, artistic, architectural, and latest technical wonders of the world. Judging by the early Marconi and Osram thermionic valves and the commercial aircraft - it was published some time in the 1930s. Many of the then high-tech things look very Heath-Robinson even when viewed through 1960s eyes.

      Another interesting book is a recent reprint of the 1902 and 1906 mail order toy catalogues from Gamage's department store. Some of my childhood tin railway trucks inherited from older cousins were "O" gauge - but I had never realised there were also the larger "1" and "2" gauges. The steam operated toys and various hard projectile guns are presumably no longer approved.

      It will be interesting to see what the current generation make of them.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Who taught these children ??

        "1001 Wonderful Things"

        Thanks. Seems like it's still a good book for the young & curious. But rare.

        For more amusement, try "Victorian Inventions" by Leonard de Vries.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Who taught these children ??

      Contemporary society : I want everything, I want it now , it has to be easy, it has to be free.....and most importantly I don't want to have to be made to think....

      Hard times are a-coming for these. Hard times. Most will die off clamoring for free money. Which they will get in abundance...

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: Who taught these children ??

        Free money - as corosive to white people as it has been demonstrated to be for aboriginals. So when the new govt decides to fix the problem, eg simple measures like work for the dole, do the social reformers jump for glee? No, of course not. They scream about the "social inequity", that unemployed people could have their dole cut, but not rich people. And these are just the ones you pay for with your taxes. The "socially aware" media are far worse.

    4. Daniel B.

      Re: Who taught these children ??

      I think it depends on the kind of kid you're showing this stuff to. There will be kids interested in working on older stuff, probably just for the "how did they do this without current tech?" value. Maybe an Apple II isn't that good to spark that question on a kid, but I've seen it happen with mechanical stuff. That is, stuff like a mechanical calculator; that'll garner a lot of interest. "Wow, this thing can add, subtract, multiply and divide without using electricity? No microchips? Cool!!!"

      An Apple II probably would garner more attention if you can show at least basic stuff working like "phonebook program" or something like that. I know my dad was able to make me get interested in his age-old TI-59 calculator as a kid.

    5. John Bailey

      Re: Who taught these children ??

      "I think a behavourial science student would have a field day with these children. Modesty was obviously not a prime candidate thoughout their upbringing and what's with the Soap Opera theatrics."

      Nah. they would have seen it all before... The girl at the start who simultaneously turned her head as the blanket was removed saying "whaaat iiiiis iiit" in her best "I can't decide if I'm supposed to be confused or disgusted, so I'll be both" voice was so bloody contrived, it may as well be scripted. Not even looking at what she decided to be mystified by before she started speaking. Watch her eyes, she was concentrating on her line.

      I stomached about 2 minutes of it.

      These are kids who have obviously been coaxed to act up for the camera. And as much as I enjoy making fun of Americans, this is pretty much universal. I could go to any UK class room and find the same personalities to bring out.

      It isn't even contemporary society. Just the most self centred part being presented.

      Allowed to freely express themselves, kids are fascinating to talk to. And get a smart one engaged, you can practically see their brain light up.

      This was "be funny for the nice man with the camera" behaviour.

      Anybody notice the kid who liked pushing buttons got so much less screen time than Miss Walmart checkout girl of the year 2034?

      Right.. Proceed with fanboy rage.. I could use a good laugh after that.

  8. Billa Bong

    I'm showing this to my kids...

    They'll never complain about our 3 year old laptop with the broken hinge again...

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    How things have changed

    According to the subtitles, the Apple Lisa was the first (1983) personal computer with a GUI.

    They were sued by Xerox for copying the look and feel of the Xerox Star (1981). Xerox lost - because you cannot own look and feel. Later Apple sued Microsoft for copying look at feel, and lost (Microsoft referred to the Xerox vs Apple decision). Thirtyish years later, we can see how things have changed: a rectangle with rounded corners, four rows of icons, glass to the edge of the device and the colour black.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: How things have changed

      You're pushing it rather to describe the Xerox Star as a personal computer. It didn't use a microprocessor (using TTL logic, or bit slice chips in later versions) needed a file server and a print server to be any use and cost $16,000 just for the terminal, back when a secretary earned $12,000 per year.

      The Apple vs Microsoft case proved that copyright wasn't a good way of protecting designs, so the Apple vs Samsung case was over two issues, design patents (the shape and design of the physical device) and utility patents (the way certain things were done in software), neither of which prevented competitors producing phones that were distinct from Apple's design, but Samsung decided they could make more money copying the iPhone as closely as possible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How things have changed

        Further to that, PARC had nicked most of the ideas from SRI and other institutions. Engelbart demoed the mouse in '68 and Sutherland published his thesis, which included Sketchpad with its GUI in 1963. It also included the foundations of what became object orientation, which is also ascribed, wrongly, to PARC. The minute anyone spouts Xerox (it's PARC), you know that they haven't got a clue and are merely regurgitating crap they read on the internet...

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: How things have changed

      Myth 1: Xerox did not sue Apple until much later, and that suit was mainly an attempt to settle primacy in aspects of GUI design at a time when patenting in IT was still a very new idea. Apple PAID for access to the PARC research. In shares. Shares that would be worth staggering sums of money today.

      Myth 2: PARC's GUI was lovely and polished and ready to roll into a (relatively) low-cost consumer / corporate desktop computer. Not true: It was actually very crude and certainly not ready for a consumer or business desktop computer. The first Xerox Star machines cost an absolute mint—even more than Apple's own Lisa range.

      A hell of a lot of additional work was needed. Guess who ended up doing that work? Hint: people who used to work at PARC and moved to Apple. (Drag and drop*? That was invented at Apple, along with overlapping windows and a number of other features we take for granted today.)

      Myth 3: The WIMP GUI concept was some kind of closely-guarded secret. Utter bollocks: it was already a well known idea—see other replies in this forum—and the PARC people sure as hell didn't invent it.

      What PARC *did* do was create a working implementation that could be *seen in action*. THAT is what gave Steve Jobs (and, later, Bill Gates) their moments of epiphany: it's all very well *reading* about graphical user interfaces, but it's a lot easier to understand the concept when you actually see one in action and play around with it.

      * (not object linking and embedding, which was implemented first at PARC, but the 'drag an object with the mouse and drop it onto something else' user interface itself. As I said, the original Star environment was nowhere near as complete and polished as people seem to think it was.)

  10. h3

    I think Hipsters are generally the rudest people in the UK. (I am white so I don't get the racist ones being bad to me so perhaps they are worse).

    As a group they seem to lack any basic manners.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    That kid who keeps talking to it and saying crap like "Answer a math problem", what does she normally use!? Does she think she's Scotty?

    1. SoaG

      Didn't we all at that age?

  12. TooOldToCare

    The 70's?

    I remember remembering the 1970's. Not sure if I enjoyed them


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 70's?

      As with the 60's, if you remember them, you were n't there, though Thatcher left a fairly indelible scar unless, like me, you were lucky enough to be working far, far way at the time..

      1. lurker

        Re: The 70's?

        Erm.. Thatcher was only elected half way through 1979. Although she can surely be blamed for many things, her misdeeds were perpetrated in the 80's, not the 70's.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: The 70's?

          And even those "misdeeds" were mostly down to the hoi polloi still believing Britain had some sort of empire to exploit instead of finding itself a rainy resourceless island exhausted by wars and fake money.

          Just like today, only less bad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The 70's?

        The 70s in Britain were marked by inflation, strikes, power cuts, three day weeks, and merged companies going effectively bankrupt. However it was also the time when it was becoming common to go to work in any of several overseas countries. Most of the 70s I saw through the prism of newspapers arriving several weeks after the events. I still have a feeling that it was the optimistic decade that promised so much - and in some ways we have gone backwards ever since.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: The 70's?

        Ah, I see that your selective memory is hard at work then.

        For my 'selective memory' episode, lets start with

        Six quid a week pay rise for everyone.

        Petrol Ration books being issued

        Let the (train arriving maybe next year due to strikes) take the strain (need a Jimmy Saville ICON here)

        and finally,

        The then Labour Gov cancelling my Degree Graduation Ceremony... To help the economy.

        My Dad who was a lifelong Labour member and trade unionist tore up his party card in disgust. Any Red Rosette wearing canvassers who came to solicit his vote after than got a real ear bashing.

        rose tinted glasses all round folk...

    2. Richard Jones 1

      Re: The 70's?

      I remember the 70s I bailed out of the country to escape the Wilson years when everything that mattered kept shutting down due to strikes. I worked overseas for years after that and every time I came back it was to find the streets paved with rotting rubbish as the bin men were on strike again. Or, I tried to use the trains, all run by those masters of transport Broken Rail. I remember one week the trains broke down every day for a two hour hiatus. In high dudgeon I stormed up to the station master's office and warned him I would use a very rude word. Shocked at the threat he huffed and puffed and then I spoke one word Maintenance. I left his office leaving a stunned silence before they could resume playing at not running trains.

      Oh yes I remember the turn over from the 1960s into the 1970s, short time, blackouts, strikes, shortages, thank god I found a way out of the mad house.

  13. Crafty volt 7

    The 70's

    Didn't get the 70's!? Splutter! Shock!! horror!!

    'Twas about the hair, nappy pins through facial targets, metal objects with needles attached to various appendages and the exploration of a new depth of stupid in a futile attempt to out IQ dead ferrets....

  14. NomNomNom

    We are very close to the 2070s being closer than the 1970s

    In 100 years time when people talk about "the 70s" everyone will have a different idea than we do

    1. Chemist

      "We are very close to the 2070s being closer than the 1970s"

      Nom-inally !

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's sad but kids like this will struggle to design processors, PCBs and do anything without someone at a university telling them how to.

    The DIY element of computing will die. You'll only be able to run software someone else has approved first.

    1. Michael Hawkes

      Are you expecting children to already know how to design processors, PCBs, etc., before they go to college?

      Do you have incredibly high-standards, or do you believe this knowledge is passed on genetically?

      1. Mike 16


        @Michael Hawkes:

        Are you expecting children to already know how to design processors, PCBs, etc., before they go to college?

        Not many, but some. There were a few of us "designing" processors on paper and chalkboard back in the day (mid 1960s), with heated discussions over the economic benefits of dynamic logic versus the higher reliability of such things a dual-rank shift registers. Of course we didn't _build_ anything, what with transistors being a couple bucks apiece and even tubes being out of the question in the quantities required. Not saying we were "average" or even "normal", but we did exist, as do "kids today" who can field-strip an Arduino and do unanticipated things with it. Some have geek-parents (mine were a secretary/bookkeeper and an auto mechanic), some find their own way. I do concur that most schools exist to quench the spark, rather than the thirst.

      2. Fluffy Bunny

        It wasn't that uncommon in the '70s.

  16. Sporkinum

    Every time I watch one of these videos, I feel ancient. However, I love the fact that I grew up through those times. I remember going over to a neighbor kid's house and playing with the apple they had. Ended up a mainframe operator in the military, and bought a black and white sinclair for my first computer.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most kids today are as stupid as most kids of the 70-ties, and as most kids of every decennium before and after that. So who cares? Not me.

  18. TRT Silver badge

    Mmmm... What would they have done with a PET, I wonder?

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge


      Given themselves a hernia, I suspect. Man, but those things were heavy - I've owned cars made from thinner steel. I sold one on eBay a couple of years ago, shipping it wasn't that expensive, but it was difficult to arrange, as it was above the weight limit of most of the headline courier companies.


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I was a lad in merica...

    ... there was never a more glorious time to be alive.

    The previous decade had encouraged women to cast off everything that bound them.

    There were mass demonstrations to burn bras.

    Women's fashions had turned to halter tops , but the bra technology to match was at least three years behind the fashions.

    Those were the days, lads.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When I was a lad in merica...

      You didn't mention hot pants.

  20. Stevie


    The 1970s were a great time to be alive and for the sap to be rising.

    Anyone who doubts this should watch the Roxy Chick segment from the otherwise forgettable 'Flashbacks of a Fool'.

    Also: Elton John, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Steely Dan, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Gryphon, Caravan, Curved Air reunion, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Peter Gabriel goes solo, Van Der Graff Generator, GRIMMS, Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, Mike Oldfield, 10cc, Rick Wakeman, Pink Floyd.

    All producing their best work - all stuff that had never been done before (except, arguably, Rick Wakeman). The Who invented rock opera and made it popular, The Stones were at the top of their game pumping out hits that *still* get airplay today (and they still play the damned things live come to that). Yes sang gibberish songs and people loved them. Keith Emerson took his Hammond Organ to be serviced and was shown the door because the PR-clueless dolt running the shop felt that one should simply not stab one's Hammond Organ with an SS stiletto on stage.

    Pete Aitkin and Clive James' Live Libel.

    The Old Grey Whistle Test. Radio North Sea.

    Alien. Cripes, John Hurt exploded and Ian Holm was *NO SPOILERS*

    For the very young:

    Star Wars.

    For the British:

    Servillan, every Monday night, trying to catch Blake's Seven (though by the second season there were only six and none of them were named 'Blake').

    Roger Delgado was *THE* Master (even though Anthony Ainley played him for many more episodes in the 80s).

    Two words: Felicity Kendal. The Good Life was probably the best comedy of the decade, but I won't fight over it because there was so much good stuff on.

    Tommy Cooper's inimitable conjuring. Eric Morcombe's & Ernie Wise's treatment of their guests and Oh! Those plays.

    Peter Sellers' Clouseau.

    Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition. Then everyone did.

    I was thin and the women were young and beautiful. All of them.

  21. Rick Giles

    Just like the rest of the (Third) World

    "What they didn't have any difficulty doing was speaking on camera, proving this writer's suspicion that Americans are trained to act on telly from the minute they emerge from the womb"

    You always mistake our confidence as something else.

    But, when things go titsup, you come crying with your hat in your hand looking for aid.

    God help the rest of you the day we get a President in office with a spine, a set of gonads and isn't afraid to fly the Double Eagle at the world.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Just like the rest of the (Third) World

      The Texan Free Confederacy will NEVER follow your DC Muppet, punk! We didn't lob a few 100 Megatons at the southern tip of Manhattan so you can start it all over again!!

  22. YumDogfood

    "Computers? Beep beep beep. Does not compute! What use are they?"

    Speaking as a kid (~13yo) who used to design processors (74LS181 FTW!), burn EPROMS with my home made device, and burn holes in the carpet while etching PCBs - Don't underestimate the kids. You show them the widest range of things in the hope of sparking an interest, and then let em' freely choose. Show them the wide open possibilities and not the soft bigotry of ignorance and presumption.

    Title is what someone said to me as a kid. I've never forgotten it.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: "Computers? Beep beep beep. Does not compute! What use are they?"



      Kids are *born* wanting to learn. Our education systems beat that desire out of them, because most teachers are mediocre at best and fall back on telling, not guiding. Guiding is harder, but a lot more rewarding.

      The world's education systems are still fundamentally based on precepts invented by the Victorians. This really, really needs to change, but it will require major upheavals.

    2. Stevie

      Re: "Computers? Beep beep beep. Does not compute! What use are they?"

      Upvoted. Would have done so twice for the Station V3 reference.

    3. Stevie

      Re: and burn holes in the carpet while etching PCBs

      Ah, yes, but now the EEC has made everyone stop even thinking about using "dangerous" chemicals at home.

      Last year I suggested on a UK-hosted model railway forum that someone strip paint off a plastic model using cheapo brake fluid and was yelled at for promoting the spread of dangerous poisons. Then I suggested that denatured alcohol might be a useful de-greasing agent and got yelled at again.

      I wasn't suggesting anyone drink the stuff afterwards ffs, but the clonethink mindset was under full sail and the gunports were open.

      I shudder to think of the aneurisms suggesting people etch their own PC circuit boards would induce in that crowd.

  23. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    "What they didn't have any difficulty doing was speaking on camera, proving this writer's suspicion that Americans are trained to act on telly from the minute they emerge from the womb"

    Actually, I suspect this has more to do with the US education system. I don't remember ever being asked to do a "Show and Tell" session in class at school when I were a lad, but these—and other public speaking / presentation skills—seem to be much more commonly taught in the US.

    In the UK, even into the 1980s, the underlying philosophy in education was that the public education system was primarily intended to train up good, obedient little worker drones who knew their place. The managers, politicians, etc., came mainly from the Eton and Oxbridge set.

    The upshot of which is that British school-leavers tended not to have quite as much self-confidence as their US counterparts.

    This situation does appear to have improved since my school days, but I think the US is still way ahead on this.

  24. messele

    Built into a beige case with all the beauty of a wet Milton Keynes morning

    Both the Apple II and Milton Keynes were somewhat revolutionary in 1977. Compared to lesser objects of desire in the late '70's, like your mum, both were, and still are, things of beauty.

    Rain just makes things even better.

  25. LaeMing

    Not an iPad

    A colleague at work's son spent most of his third year wandering about touching any flat shiny surface available and sadly declaring "Not an iPad".

    (He had access to an iPad at pre-school).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Come on now its not only kids that have no idea about old systems, some people still think that the 5.25 disks on my desktop are... a kind of CDs..

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was happy to see part of this

    As quick as all of these kids were to *act* displeased with the technology, notice the joy on some of their faces when they typed 'print 2+2' and got '4' back.

    It is nice to know that some subset of people will always have a fundamental interest in making computers do stuff, regardless of what era the computer was from or what they're making it do. These are the people who are going to be pushing things forward.

    Some of the others... couldn't hurt to start teaching them how to make a Frappuccino now.

  28. TeaLoft

    "It's very hipster," said one child. "Kind of like a a boxy telly."

    I watched the video just to see if an American kid actually used the word "telly". My doubt was justified. And the "hipster" comment? A different kid said it, which is not what the quote in the article would have you believe. But whatever. It makes a better read, I guess.

  29. Snapper

    Shame on you!

    Dear The Register,

    Poorly thought through click-bait.

    Please stop.

    Yours Sincerely

    The Snapper

  30. David 138


    Its nice to see that at least one kid was interested. You have to worry that we will eventually run out of interested people and just be left with the iPhone generation who are clueless when the "Cloud" stops working after the last engineer dies.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: heh

      "Its nice to see that at least one kid was interested. You have to worry that we will eventually run out of interested people and just be left with the iPhone generation who are clueless when the "Cloud" stops working after the last engineer dies."

      I wouldn't worry much. Our generation hardly distinguishes it's self as technical savants. Twelve o'clock flashers exist. As do the geniuses who use their computer until it finally stops booting before they bring it for repair..

      The kid who gets more fun from grabbing a screwdriver and taking stuff apart than playing with it will always be with us.

      The kid who takes stuff apart, if nurtured will also learn to put it back together again.

      The kid who puts stuff back together will also figure out how to make it better.

      And that my dear.. is where engineers come from.

  31. Ascylto


    Slow news day?

    C'mon Reg, come into the 21st Century!

    Your anti-Apple skirts are showing. No wonder you're not invited to their shows.

  32. denogginizer


    Are you listening Tim? The Register is mocking you for Apple's tech from 35 years ago.

  33. NotWorkAdmin

    Actually, I rather liked these kids

    While it might seem easy to mock them for being horrified at the UI, if we didn't have people scream for an easier way to interact with computers we'd still be at the command line. My personal dislike of Apple aside, Apple did improve their UI. The fact an iPad comes with no instructions, compared to my first PC that came with a DOS instruction manual 50mm thick is progress.

    1. Bladeforce

      Re: Actually, I rather liked these kids

      Dumbing down kids is not a great thing at all

    2. Zack Mollusc

      Re: Actually, I rather liked these kids

      Hehehe, this hit a nerve with me. I have been using Win8.1 today and when I wanted to turn the thing off, I ended up ( after flailing around the desktop and swiping the corners of the screen etc ) opening a CLI box and eventually finding 'shutdown/s'.

      Pro Tip: if you want to reboot, use shutdown/r

      Tomorrow I might try and find a text editor.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nobody wants Apple anymore.

    We have some Apple donuts in the coffee area at work, they have been there for two days, no takers...

  35. Bladeforce


    ...give them a board game and they are all over it like flies. Maybe technology with kids really isn't as great as its made out to be

  36. Infernoz Bronze badge

    Ad trolling

    FFS I'd find punched cards and core memory boring, because they are tired and obsolete, duh!

    Must be a slow news day.

  37. DerekCurrie

    "At least it's better than Flappy Bird"

    So children. Do you yet have pity on those of us who grew up with these clunky old antiques as the Gee Whiz modern computers of our day? Just wait until you get geezerly and younger people call the stuff we use now 'boring'.

    The future is relentless.

  38. saundby

    When I was teaching, till last year, I'd take in an Osborne 1 each year. The kids were fascinated, they loved it. I took in magazines from the day showing the buzz it generated, explained why it and it's price were exciting at the time, then turned to the hardware. After a tour of the bits and ports, drawing analogies to hardware they're familiar with, I'd let them take turns operating it with different programs. The floppy disks often ended up being the star of the show, the kids loved the Steampunk quality of them, craning for looks into the slots to watch them start & stop, and the head movement.

    The proof of things came not when I was standing there, but later. Many went home to tell their parents about it & start conversations with their parents about old computers. One was given an old XT from the garage to put in his room, another started a father-son project to restore an old Kaypro, another came back to tell me my Osborne was crap because grandad had given him a Pet. Other parents remarked frequently about talking to their kids about the bad old days of computers. Often old systems were pulled out of closets & old software fired up again. One young lady with an interest in art discovered Deluxe Paint, for example.

    I remember one fellow lamenting that he'd gone looking in grandmother's garage for an Osborne, but she'd only turned up an Amiga, darn it all. Should he let her foist it off on him? I let him know he'd hit the jackpot, offering to provide him with software for it, if needed. He got it home, then had occasion to brag about his Video Toaster and Lightwave system to friends--apparently grandmother had been in video production, and was mentoring him on her old system. He'd set up scenes and animations, which she then transferred to more modern hardware for rapid rendering.

    Every year this happened, from one class period with an Osborne. It was one of the best lessons in the class.

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