As the computer industry moves into the 21st century, the long-running Advances in Computers is ready to tackle the challenges of the new century with insightful articles on new technology, just as it has since 1960 in chronicling the advances in computer technology from the last century. As the longest-running continuing series on computers, Advances in Computers presents those technologies that will affect the industry in the years to come. In this volume, the 53rd in the series, we present 8 relevant topics. The first three represent a common theme on distributed computing systems -using more than one processor to allow for parallel execution, and hence completion of a complex computing task in a minimal amount of time. The other 5 chapters describe other relevant advances from the late 1990s with an emphasis on software development, topics of vital importance to developers today- process improvement, measurement and legal liabilities.