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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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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.

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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.

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Old horse o.o

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Coat

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

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Pint

Gah!

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!

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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.

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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?'

etc.

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...

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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.

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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 ];->

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Anonymous Coward

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

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Trollface

Does he?

Why?

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Re: Does he?

He hasn't read the comments

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Meh

"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.

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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.......

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Happy

Re: When I were a lad

LUXURY!

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>

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Happy

Re: When I were a lad

This is surely not the room for an argument.

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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.

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Holmes

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.

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Joke

Re: When I were a lad

Sounds like you missed the last sign:

Burma Shave

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Re: When I were a lad

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

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Re: When I were a lad

... and uphill both ways.

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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/

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Re: say what

My ones certainly did. Home movies - meh.

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Re: say what

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

Yeah. It's probably evolved behaviour.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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Devil

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Olden stuff

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

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Devil

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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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Windows

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...

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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...

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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.

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Boffin

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.

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Devil

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.

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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.

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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.

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I'm showing this to my kids...

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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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