How-To Geek

The Kids Have No Idea What Old Tech Is [Video]

If you’d like to start your Monday off feeling old, check out this video of school children trying to figure out what to do with the technology of yesteryear.

The video is in French, with YouTube subtitles, but even without English audio you’ll have no problem understanding the bewilderment of school-age children as they try to figure out what to do with floppy discs, 8-tracks, and other relics of a technological yesteryear. Check out the video below:

We can only guess at what technologies from the present day we’ll be explaining to the children of tomorrow. “You did what to make a call? With a little battery powered box?”

Once Upon a Time with Vintage Technologies [YouTube]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/17/11

Comments (17)

  1. smokyjones

    So cool

  2. Chronno S. Trigger

    At least they know what a cassette is. I pulled one out of my desk a few months ago and it took me ten minutes to remember what it was. Doesn’t help that I down own anything that can play it.

    Oddly enough, I knew what every peace of tech in that video was.

  3. Dwhole

    Sad. I still have, and use, my original Game Boy. It makes me more sad to realize I lent some games to friends, and never saw them again. As for floppies (and cassettes) I say good riddance. Last week I popped an old VHS tape into an old VCR, and I got a taste of how terrible the medium truly was – static, noise, and the like.

    I know some people are into old tech (I included to a degree), but a vast majority was replaced for a reason. BTW, they should have shown pagers – those were sweet back in the day.

  4. TSH

    Follow-up video idea: software of yesteryear – Play Edition, and Work Edition.
    Give the kids a game-and-watch, some text adventures and Pong. Then see if they can do anything productive using Windows 3.1, a Mac Classic or Amiga.

  5. Erik

    They need to find smarter kids for their research group…

  6. Venessa

    I bet that if they had been operative (e.g., hook up the mouse, hook up the phone, have something to put the diskette into), the kids would have figured them out easier. How can they figure out what to do with the Game Boy if there isn’t any power going to it? Of course, finding a computer that takes that old floppy would be tough…

  7. dave

    Even I might have missed the portable 8 track player. I don’t remember them, maybe popular in Europe?

  8. gilteon

    I think the problem here is that these kids are too young to effectively reason out how these things could be used, not just that they’re too young to remember them. I also second that function is way easier to discern in a working device. Besides, their handling of the record player was actually fairly good. Of course, I had never heard of Laserdisc until I saw a whole collection of them in a library and thought they were records.

    Why is there a plunger on the 8 track player? Is that the eject button? I’ve only seen 8 track players in home and car stereos, never like this one.

  9. paulo ricardo

    very nice video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My nephew also said the same things that kids in the video…

  10. Martend.Baas

    We are living in a great age, I find it totally awesome that I did see technology evolving at a fast pace.
    Some years a go it was normal to have a walkman for music on the go, these days I stream music through the air to my telephone! We live for sure in great times!

  11. phil7782

    The plunger on the 8-track player is to switch between the 4 stereo programs.

  12. Jeff

    I still remember the old computer with the floppy drive in it and the game I used to love playing.. I miss my old computer and floppy :(

  13. Austin

    I remember the old games I used to play back in like 1995 that needed floppy disks (old style where they actually would flop) haha and the first disk with internet explorer on it that you could install for your computer….big stuff

  14. Zachary L.

    I’m only 15 and knew what everything was except 1 thing. I know these kids are much younger but……idk.

  15. Alex T.

    I’m 16 and I knew what everything was right away, except for the big yellow box thing, which I figured out by reading these comments. I just think it’s quite interesting to see how much technology has changed. And just think, in a few more years, people will be looking back at OUR current technology and saying the same thing like “what’s this big shiny circle for? (referring to DVD) or “What does that folding rectangle do? (laptop)

    I just think it’s kinda neat :)

  16. B Jay

    The techonology is developing at an increasing pace. But we should learn to use old stuff to as it might help us some day when the new stuff fails. And with everything connected to the internet, it is even easier to destroy our machines.

  17. ChanduZ

    (floppy)back is past next is future (what we bulit?)

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