What happens when today’s kids meet an Apple II

Personal computers have come a long way since the days of the Altair and the Apple I. While those computers were formative experiences for those of us who still remember when floppy disks were actually floppy, they’re nothing like the modern machines that people use today. So what happens when you sit today’s kids – who have been raised on a steady diet of Google, smartphones and ultralight laptops – in front of an Apple II?

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 10.16.21 AMThe Fine Brothers, a pair of YouTube comedians, did just that, and the reactions were predictable. The kids, who are between 6 and 12 years old, were shocked by the computer’s size, its lack of Internet access, and its lack of a graphical user interface and a mouse.

“I don’t get it,” one of the kids says. “I also don’t get the 1970s.”

When asked if they’d be interested in owning one of the machines, there was a common thread among the kids: they all have devices that are much more powerful – and more accessible – than an old Apple, with its monochrome screen and twin floppy drives.

On the bright side, at least they didn’t have to pick it up and drop the whole computer in order to make it work.

For some outtakes and bonus footage from the Apple II experiment, check out the video below.

  • JT

    Now I feel old. I have fond memories of my school getting its first Apple ][ when I was in 3rd grade, and being among the first students to get to play with it – there were two games (a typing game and a vocabulary-builder, hangman-style). Fun times.

  • Donder33

    I think part of the problem is that kids today do not learn to program in 6th grade. That is what we did with those Apple II’s in 5th grade, not play games or do math worksheets. Using a computer, tablet, or smartphone is not teaching anything about computers it is just consuming content.

  • Farrell McGovern

    The first graphical operating system was actually Xerox’s STAR’s operating system, which came into being in the late 1970s. The Apple’s LISA and MAC operating systems were both based upon Xerox’s STAR operating system.

    The oldest computer I ever ran was a PDP-8 which dated from the early 1960s!