The Techno Hip: Do You Know How To Use A Computer?

The Techno Hip: Do You Know How To Use A Computer?

Low tech, high tech, and some mention of microchips and Star Trek. And that’s in the theme song alone.

Previously, on Retroist…

In case you haven’t already guessed by the title, this is the sequel article for the prequel video featuring a family made of vanilla-flavored whitebread, teaching us how to use the computer!

Guess who didn’t know the computer video existed? I would have done it in the correct order!


In 1997, the Jamison Family (as I said previously, not a real family, but one constructed out of vanilla-flavored whitebread) taught their friends Lisa and Andrew how to use the Internet. It was a world of 56K Modems, Netscape, and Windows 95. And it was AWESOME! Despite the cheesiness of the whole affair (or dare it become repetitive again – vanilla-flavored whitebreadness), the true nostalgia of it was the circa-early 1997 websites. Nostalgia won out, which is true 100% of the time.

In 1996, however, the Jamison family (yes, the entire family) made sure the chicken didn’t come before the egg, and taught us how to us the device that makes the internet accessible for the masses. Before cell phones and tablets, there was…THE COMPUTER!

But first, let’s be reintroduced to…

What do I have to do to get my own sitcom-style introduction, aside from make one on…THE COMPUTER!

Oh, I thought it was funny.


The Jamison Family!

Not Amy Poehler Mom, Sweater Dad, Dasha, and Peter!

Aren’t they…vanilla-flavored whitebread?

(It’s “Kick A Dead Horse Day” here, folks.)

Anyway, The Jamison Family! They taught us how to use 1997 Internet, but in 1996, they taught us how to use the computer. And they did it in a bland manner, with the same clothes from the sequel video.

The clothes alone are nostalgic. I had one of those shirts Dasha is wearing (in black and silver stripes), but I definitely didn’t wear a skirt like that (though it is super cute!). I went to school with plenty of boys who dressed like Peter, and girls who dressed like Dasha. And when their friends (Lisa and Andrew) came over in the Internet video, I definitely had clothes like Lisa, and EVERYONE dressed like the siblings in middle school!

But alas, to teach THE COMPUTER, the family doesn’t kidnap the neighborhood kids, nor do they coerce the hired help – I mean, children – into teaching the neighborhood kids about the Internet.

This time around, we’re keeping it in the family for this lesson!

Without further rambling…The Family Guide to Computers!

Let The Jamison Family Teach You About…THE COMPUTER!

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My Take

Because I did this for the last video, you’re going to have to hear my opinion AGAIN!

First of all, that theme song. You thought the Internet one was bad, this one says “microchip” alot. The only thing more annoying about this theme song is how many times you hear that one snippet of it.

But that’s just me getting warmed up.

Like the Internet Guide video, this one is full of cheese, mid-1990s clothing, and really bad banter. Like, worse banter than what was demonstrated in the Internet video. 90s sitcom children had better dialogue than these two!

Watching them “fight” over wanting a checking account was a laugh fest!

Seriously, Dasha? You’re eleven years old and were talking about Girl Scouts early in the video…now you want a checking account? Hold off on the adulting, it will be here before you know it!

As for Mom and Sweater Dad…

This isn’t natural! She just goes right on speaking and ignoring him, while dad is like “oooh here, let me rub your shoulders!” Seriously, Sweater Dad, she’s your Not Wife, and your Not Kids are in the room…trying to teach about THE COMPUTER! This instructional guide is family-friendly!

All of that Creeper Dad and awkward conversation aside, this instructional video discusses use of the computer through Windows 95. If you had Windows 95, then this alone is nostalgic. If you thought the Internet video conjured up fond memories of early internet browsing, this will make you misty-eyed…

Computers and the very face of the technology has become so much more since 1996, but this just really takes me back.

It’s technology, friends, not a sappy movie.

Alas, nostalgic where it needs to be, more entertainment than edutainment (it isn’t teaching us anything valuable in 2019), and full of unnecessary Not Dad/Husband moments and not-so-witty banter, The Family Guide to the Computer is a fun walk down memory lane for those of us still nostalgic for our Compaq Presarios set up in our 1990s living rooms, running CD-ROMs with Encarta Encyclopedia, Windows 95 startup music making us teary-eyed.

As for the Jamison Family (again, not a real family, but one constructed of vanilla-flavored whitebread), they’ll be back in A Kids Guide to the Internet. And since I covered these out of order, we already saw that. So, in that case, the Jamison family says goodbye, and they mean it.

You’ll never see them again, but you know how to operate a computer should a setup running Windows 95 just drops into your lap.

Allison Venezio-Preston

Allison is a Secretary by day, a writer/blogger by night (and during lunch breaks and in the mornings before work), a nostalgia geek (and a geek in general), worshipper of Thor (and Chris Hemsworth), and honorary Avenger (she has a pin, so it is official). She collects Funko Pops, loves anything that takes her back to childhood, and has confessed her love for Kenny Loggins. Oh, and she listens to Chicago...alot. If any of this piques your interest, she'd love for you to visit her personal blog, Allison's Written Words, where she talks about alot of the same stuff she talks about here, and more! She can be found at You can follow her blog on Facebook (, Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. (Her husband is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)

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