It can be interesting to look back at lifestyles and prices of several generations ago. However, I would suggest that we don't always have to look that far back.
For instance, in the year 2001:
The typical personal computer used a Pentium II running at 600 megahertz.
Very few personal computers had more than 128 megabytes of RAM memory.
Almost everyone used built-in 56,000 kilobit-per-second modems for online work. Broadband access was just beginning to be commonly available.
America Online was the most popular web and e-mail provider, claiming more than 32 million subscribers (versus 18.6 million in the first quarter of 2006 and still dropping rapidly).
The National Genealogical Society's annual conference was held in Portland, Oregon, with approximately 1,800 attendees.
The largest genealogy technology conference of the year was GENTECH held in Mesquite, Texas, with roughly 800 attendees.
If you wanted Internet access at a Starbucks in 2001, you would have needed to get the manager to let you tap into the store's phone line.