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'It's prehistoric!' Today's teens react to Windows 95

Teens give Windows 95 a spin and learn about a time when dial-up Internet and patience were required to run a desktop computer.

Windows 95 gives teen actor Karan Brar a headache.
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Way before we all had easy-to-use laptops and Wi-Fi, there were desktop computers that used Windows 95.

Those of use who still remember using Windows 95 might recall how long it would take computers to boot up and the sweet sounds of a modem connecting to the Internet.

In this latest "Teens React to Technology" video from new-media production duo Benny and Rafi Fine (also known as The Fine Brothers), we see today's teens try to figure out how to use a computer running Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system.

"Windows 95 had its 20th anniversary last year, so we got our hands on an old system and showed it to teenagers who were not even alive in 1995," Benny Fine told CNET. "The results, were pretty great and also makes you feel quite old."

Teen actor Karan Brar, age 17, guest stars on the episode. Brar is best know for his roles in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" films and the Disney Channel TV series "Jessie" and "Bunk'd."

When Brar first turned on the old computer to get started he commented in the video, "Everything looks so dull and ancient."

Some highlights of the video include a teen thinking this was the first computer ever made, complaints of how long it takes to boot up, not understanding how to get to the Internet without Wi-Fi, and not knowing what a modem is.

"It's scary to think that Wi-Fi is like so vital to us now," Morgan, age 19, said in the video. "If you go somewhere and they don't have Wi-Fi, that's the worst thing that can ever happen to you."

While it's easy to mock the teens in the video for not knowing how to use the kind of computers that many of us older folks were used to back in the day, that doesn't mean they don't appreciate the tech relic placed before them.

"Those who know technology should know something beyond the current, they need to know part of the past," Ethan, age 18, said in the video.

Trying out Windows 95 sparked an interesting discussion about how technology has evolved, Fine told CNET.

"One teen reminded us all we may be upset with them for taking this old tech for granted, but it's not their technology," Fine added. "We may have felt the same way about things 20 years older than us when we were teens."