|See if you can determine by the FCC ID number, if it has one, what CPU it has.|
"...I vaguely remembered a time when we used it...." Your parent(s) may know what it has. Maybe they still have the manual for it ?
If it has something older than a Pentium, you could use it for Dos but it would be extremely difficult or impossible to use the internet with it.
Personally I wouldn't use a computer anymore if I couldn't use the internet.
Learning the older Dos (6.2 and below) is a steep learning curve. Most of the stuff you had to learn about it you don't need to know these days. Most of the books about the older Dos have been discarded years ago. 6.2 is the best one of those as far as I know, although there may be slightly newer versions that had limited use. There is a free Dos 7.x avaialble on the web based on the Dos in the background of Win 95 - 98SE, but it requires a lot more ram than 6.2 and below do. .
I was using a 486 DX/2 66 in late 1999 when I gave up on using the Internet and Win 3.1 and Dos 6.2 and 4mb of ram because using the internet had become too much of a load on it, and I built a new system - K6-III 450mhz, AGP 2X ATI Rage Fury video card, Win 98SE, I started out with 64mb of ram.
I tried 128mb and 192mb and 256mb with it and found it doesn't need more than 128mb. I was still using it, though I have faster computers now, with 98SE until capacitors on the mboard failed a few months ago.
It was zippy on the internet at first, but by the time it stopped working early this year most things on the internet loaded relatively slowly, and IE 6 , the max you can install in 98SE, is inadequate - I was using a recent version of the Opera browser instead or the last version of Netscpace Navigator. the last year or so I used it.
I just turned 60, born in 1951.
There was no TV in my city in Canada until 1954 - there were only black and white TV broadcasts here until 1960.
I graduated from high school in 1970
Integrated circuits were a recent new thing then,
Most people had TVs that used vacuum tubes rather than transistors etc.
There were only huge main frame computers by then - only governments and institutions and banks and large businesses could afford them,
If you wanted to work with computers, you had to learn how to use programming languagres and cope with having very limited amounts of time with main frame computers at institutions. I wasn't interested in that at the time. A friend of mine who had high marks in high school tried to learn about computers in university but did poorly for the first time in his life and was so ashamed of that he moved to the next province (I'm in Canada) - it was tough going to be good with computers then.
There were no personal computers in any significant amount until about 1983 here, and the better ones (IBM models mostly) were so expensive at first, mostly only businesses could afford them,
There were no personal computers in schools until about then - lesser computers than the businesses used - e.g. Commodore, Tandy.(made by Radio Shack) .
As I said above, my Dad didn't buy a computer until 1988, when the prices of them had dropped enough for him. I was about 27 - oops - 37. IDE hard drives were relatively recent. Most computers had MFM or RLL hard drives that required a hard drive controller card you installed in a slot. Most of them did not have automatic bad sector detection. Formatting them required reading the manual for the card.and Dos to run rom routines built into a chip on the card, and entering the locations of bad sectors on the drive from a list that came with the drive. There were programs that were used to detect new bad sectors when you were having problems so you could enter their locations or avoid using their locations via sioftware in which case the info was lost when you formatted the hard drive and the program had to be run again.
The earliest IDE drives had no automatic bad sector detectionn but it wasn't long before all of them did and they still do, and SCSI and SATA drives do - the locations of bad sectors are automatically swapped with the locations of spare good sectors.
Now, kids may be using computers before they can properly talk and read