Finally, the technology instruction video we didn’t know we needed, hosted by the “Friends” we always wanted!

My husband and I are currently doing a re-watch (for him)/re-watch/new watch (for me, since I didn’t finish the series originally) of Friends, inspired by us seeing Friends! A Music Parody in Las Vegas on our honeymoon.

In my time on Retroist, I watched two mid-1990s instructional videos about the computer and the internet. The common thread was that both videos starred The Jamison Family, a whiter-than-white slice of vanilla-flavored white bread, navigating the internet for us in the time of Cathode Ray Tube monitors, dial-up internet on 56K modems, and kids teaching their friends how cool the internet is.

Oh, and “The Jamison Family” was not a real family, but one constructed of vanilla-flavored white bread and thrown together for the purpose of getting your family to relate to theirs.

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The only thing that relates to this family is a box of white rice.

It was a magical trip through an equally magical time of computers evolving, and we had front row seats to it all. The video was instructional, but entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

It also had that jingle I couldn’t get out of my head for a week!

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Today’s instructional video on mastering the art of Windows 95…is entertaining for all the right reasons. Which are probably still the wrong reasons, but it is certainly a step up from The Jamison Family teaching us about the computer.

This video contains less Sweater Dad, 90s Mom, Dasha, Awkward Brother Peter, the living room model showroom at JC Penney, and the computer right in the middle of the room, and more Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston.

See? It’s already significantly improved!

Microsoft Windows 95 Video Guide is a slice of info-tainment, packaged in a 56-minute videocassette about how to operate Windows 95, with a gloriously mid-1990s feel.

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Filling in for The Jamison Family, we have two much more appealing individuals – Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston!

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One third of the friends everyone always wanted to have, teaching us how to use the newest Windows operating system!

Jennifer and Matty (as she refers to him) are visiting the corporate office of Microsoft, with the purpose of filming a guide to using Windows 95 (and meet Bill Gates), aided by Bill Gates’ “Secretary,” Bernice Keppelman. Bill, of course, is not available, but Bernice is happy to help!

It’s a journey through the world of right click, left click, renaming files, creating files, window washers who know a thing or two about windows, mailroom workers named “Chip” (“The Chipster”) who look like Bill Gates, Jeff Lee The Chinese Delivery Man with Windows Zen, and Joystick Johnny The Child Gaming Wizard.

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The video guide is in three parts: the “sitcom” portion featuring Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and a cast of characters all with the purpose of teaching Matthew and Jennifer how to use Windows 95. Part two is a review of what was covered in the “sitcom,” and part three covers the twenty most frequently-asked questions about Windows 95.

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There’s Seinfeld music beats (someone couldn’t get the license to use any of the music from Friends?), cheesy dialogue, and even cheesier characters. Contained within all of that, is an entertaining look at learning how to use a computer. If I had been given the choice of which instructional guide I would want to watch when I was learning Windows 95, it would be this one.

Taskbars, and emails, and shortcuts…OH MY! This is so very 90s! I had Windows 3.1 at home, and used Windows 95 at school. I was in sixth grade when this video came out, but this wasn’t the kind of thing they showed to elementary school students to teach them Windows 95. The Family Guide to Computers and A Kids’ Guide to the Internet were still about a year or so off when this was released, so we didn’t even have that.

So go on, click play, and recall how to use Windows 95!

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Could you BE any more schooled in Windows 95 usage?

Yeah, probably. But at least it was a fun (if not slightly cheesy, but not any more than the Jamison Family’s effort) way to learn!

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