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The 20 Struggles Of Growing Up With A Family Computer

R.I.P. Computer Room. It’s time to step into the modern age with an Intel-powered tablet or 2 in 1 device.

1. For one thing, it looked like this:

Phillip Stewart (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: phillipstewart

The chair was never comfortable.

2. Or worse, it might've shared the kitchen or dining room — where everybody could see you.

Jeramey Jannene (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: compujeramey

"Can I look something up on Lycos in peace?"

3. Your parents had to log you in...

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...until you realized you could just click Cancel.

4. You learned how to play one-player games with two people out of sheer necessity.

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"OK, you move, and I'll jump."

5. You expressed yourself by choosing from half a dozen desktop themes.

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But you never forget the original wallpaper.

6. You played games on 3½-inch floppy disks.

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And sometimes it took five floppies to hold it all.

7. You couldn't even start a game without knowing some MS-DOS commands.

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8. This was considered a pretty good controller:

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As janky as it was, it still made you feel pretty cool.

9. Your mechanical mouse would not work without a mouse pad.

Dan Foy (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: orangeacid

Scroll wheel? Forget it.

10. You actually used this thing:

Nikolay Bachiyski (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: nbachiyski

It's called a trackpoint, btw.

11. Color printing was a luxury known to very few.

Konstantin Zinchenko (CC BY http://3.0) / Via

And when you got one, you'd print full-page photographs for fun.

12. You couldn't look up current events or movies because you had last year's editions of Encarta and Cinemania.

Ruben Schade (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: rubenerd

The MindMaze was timeless, though.

13. Dial-up was as good as it got.

Via Mike Licht (CC BY http://2.0) at and William Termini (CC0) via

And it still took almost three minutes to download 1 MB.

14. People learned web jargon through VHS tapes and reference books.

15. The best graphics were reserved for the screensaver.

GX387 (CC BY http://3.0) / Via

The coolest game you could never play.

16. You were only as good as your 3D pinball score.

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A constant source of conflict.

17. Installing a game sometimes took more than one disc — which got scratched or lost.

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"Disc 2 of 2 — Where is Disc 2 of 2?"

18. Your brother or sister would always eject your CD — AND NOT PUT IT BACK IN ITS CASE.

Jake Hume (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: windigo


19. Shutting down the computer meant turning off the power strip underneath the desk.

Dirk Haun (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: dhaun

But only when you saw this screen.

20. And finally, one computer meant you were always sharing it — with everybody.

Aaron Giambattista (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: taudiophile

"Hold on, my family wants to use the comp."

We've come a long way. Retire the old beige desktop for good — with Intel-powered tablets and 2 in 1 devices!