Humans are often distinguished from other animals by their ability, even need, to see patterns in everyday life. As we enter a new millennium, all aspects of society seem to want to take stock of what has happened in the past and what is likely to happen in the future.The computer industry is no different from others. Advances in Computers has been published continuously since 1960 and this year's volume is the fiftieth technical volume in the series (two index volumes were published as volumes 50 and 51). Since it is the fortieth year of publication, we decided to look back on the changes that have occurred since Volume 1 of Advances in computers appeared in 1960.We looked at the six chapters of that initial volume and decided that an appropriate anniversary volume for this series would be a collection of papers on the same topics that appeared in 1960. What has happened to those technologies? Are we making the progress we thought we would or are events moving more slowly?