"Grandpa, were there computers in your time?"
Translation:Papi, est-ce qu'il y avait des ordinateurs à ton époque ?
It's similar to English in whether or not you can simply use inflection to distinguish a question. When the question is long, like this, with an extra detail (here about it being in a certain time) it's not best to try to only use inflection.
Imagine in English, if I asked, "Grandpa, there were computers in your time?" It might be understood, but not the best phrasing. With longer questions, it's best to invert the subject and verb, or in French, you can also use est-ce-que.