The difference between now and then, I guess, has to do with the Internet. Back in the old days there were not that many solutions when you wanted to save your information. Nowadays it's possible to send all the information to a cloud based server. A credit card sized computer is able to take care of it all. How nice! On the other hand one must remember security issues concerning cloud services.
Many of us started sort of IoT long time ago. Now it's time to take it further with computers like Raspberry Pi and Odroid C1.
My Commodore 64
My Odroid C1