Throwback Thursday: Teens React to Windows 95
Watch as teenagers interact with a 21-year-old OS for the first time.
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The teenagers are working on what looks like an early 1990s desktop with a Dell CRT monitor. The poor kids don’t even know how to turn it on. They keep pressing the power button on the monitor, instead of the case.
This video brought back so many memories of old computers and slow Internet connection speeds. Today’s teenagers will never know this struggle, and I’m glad they won’t.
The computer in the video uses a CRT monitor and a desktop case, a form even older than the tower case. Tower cases were just being introduced when Windows 95 was released. This was when CD-ROM drives became a standard part of computers. Before that it was 3.5 inch floppy drives…and before that, 5.25 inch floppy drives.
Look at the features of a popular system at that time, the Compaq Presario 4550:
- 56k modem
- 2 USB ports
- 4GB hard drive
As one of the kids in the video says, your cell phone is more powerful than that computer. Please note that as of this writing, the average price of a 4GB flash drive is $4.
In the late 1990s, AOL was an Internet powerhouse. As I’ve said before, I was one of those subscribers in the early days of the modern Internet. Those free trial CD-ROMs were everywhere – in your mailbox, at college bookstores, at computer stores. These kids are used to an Internet connection that is always on, waiting for a web browser or iTunes to be opened. They have no experience with modems and dial-up. They know nothing of Internet usage measured in hours instead of data.
When Windows 95 was released, Internet users were chained to their desks, connecting to the world through a phone line. The first wireless protocol wasn’t released until 1997, and the first official Wi-Fi standard wasn’t released until 1999. Today most people access the Internet on portable devices and Wi-Fi, even though there are still people who access the Internet through AOL dial-up.