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25th Nov 2016

21 things kids today will never get about computers

You've never known real pain unless you've used a dial-up modem.

1. Connecting to a dial-up modem meant listening to a barrage of screeches

And you couldn’t get on the internet if someone was using the phone, and vice versa. How did we cope? How did civilisation ever get this far?

Mind you, if you’ve ever listened to dubstep, you’ve kind of got the idea of the dial-up tone.


2. Getting broadband internet was a revelation, like flying through the internet on silver cyber wings


Photo: David Monniaux

That ethernet cable held such promise, such possibility.


3. Before Wikipedia, Microsoft Encarta was the fountain of all knowledge



4. Google wasn’t the only search engine – you had Lycos, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves


Bing? What’s Bing?


5. MS Paint was mainly used for mindless doodling and not much else



6. Theme Hospital, Age of Empires and Rollercoaster Tycoon occupied a lot of your time

age of empires


7. And if you wanted to do online multiplayer shooting, Counter-Strike was the one



8. If you had the internet but no games, you had to head to Miniclip or Newgrounds



9. If you had no games AND no internet, you were stuck with Minesweeper or Pinball


Yes, there was a time when you could have a computer without the internet. But who are we kidding? Pinball was awesome.


10. If your parents said you were wasting your life playing computer games, it’s a good job they didn’t see how much time you spent on The Sims

Look mum, I’m wasting my life by managing someone else’s virtual life!


11. If you wanted to chat to someone, you had to wait for them to come on MSN


Can you imagine Facebook allowing such anarchy on Messenger? End of an era, folks.


12. If you wanted to be a proper dickhead, you could nudge your friends to piss them off

Or repeatedly block and unblock them so you’d fill their screen with notifications.


13. Knowing how to turn people’s screens upside down was valuable information in school IT lessons


Photo: @ihaveshorthair


14. The mice all had balls in them, which obviously you would constantly take out and play with


Photo: @RossJohnson90


15. You could play some games with a joystick, but even back then no one bothered


Photo: @gamer_at_rc

What a relic. If you showed this to a kid today they’d probably try to hit you with it.


16. Webcams were actual cameras that sat on top of your computer, staring at you like an evil Big Brother, watching you all the time


Photo: Simon.zfn

“I see what you’re doing, young man, and I think it’s DISGUSTING” – your very judgy webcam.


17. You couldn’t just turn off your computer, it had to be safe to turn it off



18. The only way to transport your files was on a floppy disk


Photo: Free Stock Photos

Most floppy disks had 1.44MB of available storage on them. To put that in context, you’d need 711 floppy disks to have 1GB of space. To put that in context, to match a 64GB iPhone, you’d need 45,504 floppy disks.


19. If you wanted to access music online, you had to jump onto LimeWire and ‘acquire’ it



20. Which you’d then use to express your unique feelings on your MySpace profile


In case you’re wondering, this is What’s Up Fatlip? by Flatlip. It’s… okay. A very strong okay.


21. And then, when you finally got some time to yourself, you could sit back and watch some por-

“What’s going on in here?” GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT

Actually, that probably hasn’t changed.


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