Chapter 1. An Introduction to Parallel and Distributed Computing

The first modern digital computer was invented in the late 30s and early 40s (that is, arguably, the Z1 from Konrad Zuse in 1936), probably before most of the readers of this book—let alone the author—were born. These last seventy odd years have seen computers become faster and cheaper at an amazing rate, which was unique across industries. Just think that today's smartphones (for example, the latest iPhones or Android phones) are faster than the fastest computer in the world from just 20 years ago. Not to mention, the amazing feat of miniaturization: those supercomputers used to take up entire rooms; now they fit in our pockets.

These years have also seen, among others, two key inventions ...

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