IBM 701: Defense Calculator

May 21st, 1952 IBM 701 Defense Calculator has been announced. It costed USD12K-20K/month for 40-hour shifts, and was sold to 18 customers including universities, NSA, aircraft companies and army. With just 2048 tubes it able to translate Russian to English (over 60 sentences like “International understanding constitutes an important factor in decision of political questions”)

  1. How M1 Macs feel faster than Intel models: it’s about QoS. Background tasks runs only on efficiency cores, leaving all performance cores for foreground apps only. Benchmarks look great, but this optimization adds even more to responsiveness of the whole product.
  2. Announcing Coinbase’s successful transition to React Native. Everybody shared this already, but I’d still do the same. It can be surprising in the ages of Flutter dominance but it’s also understandable when you look at the result of the change in their environment. Coinbase have strong team of React developers and they changed from dedicated 7 Android engineers and 18 iOS engineers to 113 contributors (including web, who was not able to contribute at all) in the app repo. They also invest in cross-platform design and unified GraphQL data layer. So, it’s almost nothing about “transition to React Native” but “optimizing existing environment”. Same would be possible with other technologies if your shop would be strong a specific area like Flutter, but perhaps even Swift and Kotlin Native if the product would not need one of the mobile platforms.
  3. The State of SwiftUI. Not updated for half a year, but still valid points about (im)maturity but also the dynamics, and advantages of SwiftUI. However, just hobby projects or individual screens is a bit too conservative approach. SwiftUI from iOS 14 is good enough for production and brings a lot of improvements to the development experience.
  4. Watch Me Refactor to the Null Object Pattern Using Small, Verified Steps. Null Object pattern might feel like not needed in Swift with its optional chaining, however this article and video shows the output: separate code, where each implementor does less and in simpler execution paths.
  5. XCTUnwrap Optionals In Your Tests. Nead and simple helper function in standard Xcode tests to avoid crashes on forced unwrapping.