Back then all the hardware was roughly the same speed. You couldn't saturate your disk bus with a simple tar because your CPU and memory had latencies measured in 100ns-ms, your disk could catch up. Disks are still roughly the same speed as they were 10 years ago. Also, js and html have become bigger and more of it can be found on random websites. I remember a time when you would optimize websites to fit all text, graphics and code under 50-100kb (~1-2s load time). jQuery alone is that size now and we sometimes load several libraries in a page. Our network is faster but our disk isn't. There is also a lot more graphics and bells and whistles, we are back to the 90s with the flashing under construction and dancing skeletons but now it's in code.