One thing they will never know (unless they develop an interest in electronics or go for an EE degree) is the joys of getting down and dirty on a fundamental level with computer hardware.
Anybody remember the Kim-1
single-board computer trainer kits? Don Lancaster, who was one of the earliest computer hardware columnists, used to wax poetic about starting with one of these. I took his advice and never looked back. I spent many hours on this little monster back in the days when you did machine code in actual machine code. Assemblers? "We didn't need no steenkin' assemblers!"
Back then, a code monitor was considered pretty posh.
I cut my programming teeth on the 6502. After working out a simple program (and laboriously keying it in) you could actually envision the bits and bytes streaming down the circuit traces on that ugly green board. Almost felt like a mystical experience, except it came partnered with a pretty good neck cramp and watery eyes since it took forever to key the code in.
Much like the fans of vintage radios, there are people still in love with the Kim-1. Here's a link to one Kim-1 enthusiast site for anyone who's interested: http://www.kim-1.com/index.html
In looking back, I'm glad I was there when this stuff first came out. That being said, I wouldn't want to go back there for anything.