Supercomputers Part 1: From the Lab to Your Living Room

In the first of a series of articles, Dazed & Confused technology editor Chris Hatherill looks at how supercomputer design has come full circle…

Once upon a time, supercomputers seemed to be as much about interior design as they were about raw computing power. The massive machines of the early '60s now stand like statement pieces, with early models like the IBM 7030 housed in galleries like the Musée des Arts et Metiers in Paris. The CDC 6600, which held the record for fastest supercomputer throughout most of the '60s, came built into its own desk. Minimalist and matte black with the most basic of keyboards, it's like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets your local library.

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