Generation Y Tries To Understand Technology From The 1980s

What happens when you take a few kids from the early 21st century and show them technology that’s no more than 30 years old?

Well, this:

FILED UNDER: Humor, Science & Technology,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Vast Variety says:
  2. tps says:

    @Vast Variety:

    Commodore 64

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    The first desktop computer I used was the Tektronix 4051 I was an engineer at Tek at the time.
    My first home computer was a Commodore VIC 20 followed by the Commodore 64 shown in the video. My next computer was a major investment – the original Macintosh.A few years latter I got my first PC loaded with Windows 3.1.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    Is this still considered generation 7? I was considered generation Y when I was a teen, and I am approaching 30…

  5. Neil,

    I simply refer to them as “Generation You Kids Get Off My Lawn”

  6. JKB says:

    My brother bought a totally basic 1999 Saturn. My niece just turned 16. A couple years ago, she was completely confused on how to roll down the manual windows.

  7. jd says:

    1. Motorola KIM processor evaluation kit with hacked add-ons.
    2. Commodore-64 with modem. Yay! BBSs and then the Internet!

  8. 1. TRS-80 Model III, the first home computer with floppy disk drives.

  9. Franklin says:

    @JKB: That’s pretty amusing. Plus, I was driving a similar car up until a couple months ago. No power *anything*.

  10. mantis says:

    Our first was the Coleco Adam, a bit of an oddity in home computing history.

  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    in 1970, I failed Calculus I at my university because I was not able to figure out how to write the equation formulae in Basic II, IIRC. I might have never entered the information age except that when I returned to graduate school, one of my teachers lowered the grade on my term paper because “it was marred by typographical errors and overstrikes.” I started writing my essays on the library computers using Symphony.

  12. Ron Beasley says:

    My current computer is running Windows 7. I like it so after reading the reviews of Windows 8 I bought an OEM copy of 7 for my next computer.

  13. Bennett says:

    I still remember my first video game, 4-D Boxing on our 486. First kid on the block to have a cd-drive and internet as well. Good old days of getting kicked offline by my step-mom picking up the phone. I’m 28.

  14. John Burgess says:

    The first computer I learned to program was an IBM 705, complete with magnetic core memory and punch card input/output. And did I mention FORTRAN? It was a USAF payroll computer.

    My first computer to own, though was an Apple ][.

  15. rudderpedals says:

    My first not counting the game console precursor in the 70s (the Odyssey machine I “earned” for learning how to swim was a Z80 (mountain view IIRC) in an IMSAI chassis. These were kits. The IMSAI box was wild to build since it used 100 pin S100 edge connectors, around 15 of them, each requiring careful soldering to the backplane, or 15000 solder joints that had to be perfect. The box needed all of those connectors since we were still buying 4K and 8K ram cards – also kits – that were super flakey dynamic ram.

    Other radio amateurs of a certain age and place may have similar stories.

  16. J-Dub says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That saying is outdated. They would have to get off the couch to be on your lawn. Maybe, “stop hacking my wifi signal” would be more appropriate.

  17. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Oh, man, we had one of those stand-alone Pac Man games. I loved that thing.

  18. My first computer was a Tandy 1000 HX. I think I’m younger than most of the commenters here, at 32.

    I love the video game bit, obviously. “How do I fire?” THERE’S ONE FREAKING BUTTON!!!!