'Kids React' drags out a vintage Apple computer

A functioning Apple II fails to impress the tech-savvy kids of today. No Internet. No apps. No mouse. Just floppy disks for everyone!

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Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

"Why does it have to make so much noise?" Kacey, age 9, asks. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Watching children try to use now-ancient computers seems simultaneously cruel and hilarious, at least according to the latest "Kids React" video.

In "Kids React to Old Computers" by production duo Benny and Rafi Fine -- also known as The Fine Brothers -- kids and teens are asked to use an Apple II computer without knowing anything about it first.

The kids are told to turn on the computer, which results in a lot of finger tapping on the the blank monitor. There's no mouse to click or keyboard button to press, so the kids try everything from voice commands to opening and closing the floppy disk drive in vain.

Once they're told the monitor has to be turned on from the back (then on and off again to play a floppy disk), the kids seem even more frustrated.

"You guys are crazy," Lucas, age 6, says in the video as he shakes his head.

The sheer size of the massive Apple II also dumbfounds the young users. "If you don't have a desk, where do you put this?" Jayka, age 11, asks.

When informed that the computer has no hard drive, Krischelle, age 9, asks: "Then why is it so big?" Good question.

The kids try to type something on the keyboard that will hopefully get them closer to playing a very pixelated game, only to be told to hit the reset button first. Then after learning that most of these initial home computers were mostly used for doing math, coding, and typing documents, their tiny minds are blown.

Of course, getting an old computer like this to do a math problem isn't as simple as they think. The kids have to type the word "print" before a math problem or the computer won't understand the command. After a few tries, the kids eventually figure it out, but not without getting frustrated at all the steps required to do a simple calculation.

"I don't get it," Tyler, age 9, says. "And I also don't get the 1970s."

Eventually they do get to play a game that would make half of us nostalgic and the other half cringe, though one of the kids has fun. "At least it's better than Flappy Bird!" Sydney, age 6, says.

When asked if the kids would want that computer now, only one kid responds positively. "Sorta," Dash, age 9, says. "It's pretty cool."

"Three decades ago I would have loved to have this," says Dylan, age 12. "But now it's just a footstool."

The video, which has amassed more than 6.5 million views since it was posted Sunday on YouTube, was made in partnership with AMC ahead of its new series about early computers called "Halt & Catch Fire."