The 'Known Unknowns' of Gen Y

This story accompanies Head of the Class.

By Anne Freedman

Taking a page from Donald Rumsfeld and his various options to determine who knows what and when, we've put together a brief list of some incidents and items many Gen Yers -- typically designated as those born between 1977 and 1994 -- may be unaware of.

* Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to record something

* 8-track cartridges

* Watching TV on a network's schedule

* Not knowing who is calling you on the phone

* Polaroid instant cameras

* Changing the TV channel without a remote

* A time before Super Bowls, AIDS or cable news channels

* The sound of a modem connecting

* Dot-matrix printers

* Mainframe computer terminals

* Print encyclopedias

* Banks before ATMs

* When spam was a meat product (or Monty Python sketch)

* Typewriters

* Rotary-dial telephones

* TV before "reality TV"

Source for much of the list is a July 22, 2009 Geek Dad column by Nathan Barry on

Feb 1, 2010
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