What is the state of 'super' computers today?
as of 3/28/2001 anyway...
You might be surprised to learn that today's newest, fastest, and most powerful computers in use today, and in the foreseeable future, look a lot like your desktop machine, only LOTS of them hooked together. NASA Ames programmer Jim Taft invented the technique of shared memory multi-level parallelism that greatly simplifies authoring software for modern parallel-processor supercomputers by enabling easy communication across many CPUs. This process currently allows 512 CPUs (Central Processing Units, ie your 'engine' of your computer) to act together as if they were one big giant CPU. In the next few months the U.S. Army will hook 1,024 CPUs together and 'boot-em-up' and be able to double even that 512 speed which now makes what used to take a year to calculate, now can be done in less than a single day.
Check out these sites below and see what the future holds for all of us.
http://www.nas.nasa.gov/gridpoints --broken 7/31/2007
Update July 31, 2007
The basic E-machine one can get at many 'box-stores' are so far ahead of where we were only 6 years ago it seems that computers have become another thing in our American 'throw away' society. With imports of computer made overseas it is becoming cheaper to just buy an new machine that is better and faster than any machine you're trying to fix that is more than 5 years old.
Back to CSC