Kim Komando Explains PCs, Circa 1994

In vintage video, one of techdom's most durable personalities assures worried people that PCs are just as easy as a typewriter.

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A video has been rocketing around the Internet — I came across it at Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish — which compresses a whole lot of video of Kim Komando teaching very basic information about computers into two minutes and forty-seven seconds. Judging from the products shown, I think it dates from between 1993 and 1995. It's weirdly transfixing.

Komando has to explain what a printer is, and keeps bringing up typewriters. She has a manner that reminds of Mister Rogers, if he were a blond lady carnival barker from New Jersey. And her primary goal is to reassure worried newbies that computers aren’t scary or impossible to understand. Here she is doing it…

Here's a full-length video of Komando doing her thing from the same era.

And a TV infomercial — hosted, inevitably, by an emotive man in a Cosby sweater — in which she hawked her VHS tapes.

Kim Komando is still at it, and though the big hair and shoulderpads are gone, and she’s more polished, her approach hasn't changed much. In this fairly recent clip, she addresses the burning question “What is a browser?”

I find these hugely entertaining, but I don't mock what Komando does, and I think the fact she's been successfully doing it for decades should tell us something. One of my favorite people in the world (hint: she gave birth to me) believes that her web browser is named “Google.” If there weren't a lot of folks in her boat, Kim Komando wouldn't have an enduring livelihood.