I vividly remember thinking how cool it would be if all my files and data were available all the time, without having to shuffle through a stack of floppies.
Hey, it could be worse. You could spend hours shuffling through a stack of tapes, and some hours more waiting for them to load
I remember wishing there was a way to type stuff on my computer and have somebody else miles away see it. Multiplayer games were simply too impossible to imagine.Well...
(first three paragraphs).
As for Beth question, it's a bit of both, like cranioscopical. As I have to use the computer for my studies, it's clearly a mean to an end, but for years I've been using it as the end, and I think it would never cease to amaze me. Not only hardware, which I really like to dig into, but also software, and how people can still develop powerful yet simple programs that makes everything you want without a hitch, even those I've been using for years (foobar2000 or Opera). If I can, I give a try to software that I see recommended here, the case of a impressive program like Surfulater (really blew me away), or those that look appealing to me, either by its looks or features, or even by its name!
And then you have the immense ocean that the Internet is which, as Ralf says, change the perception and the way you do many ordinary things.