On the recommendation of Marco Arment, the co-host of one of my favourite tech podcasts, I have subscribed to a new podcast called Pragmatic. The show is hosted by John Chidgey, an Australian electrical and hardware engineer who previously worked for Nortel Networks in Calgary.
As Arment points out, the show is focused on detailed explanations of how electronics and the technologies that power them work and the tradeoffs that have guided the evolution of hardware design. I’ve listened to the first episode, which tracks the hardware changes in the iPhone and I’m hooked. I unsubscribed from three old shows I didn’t listen to any more to make room for this in my listening schedule.
There’s a lot to learn from this show, and here’s the first thing I never knew before listening: did you know the iPhone’s Broadcom chipset includes an FM decoder? To think, Apple could have had a FM radio app built in to their phones for years. Alas, I am certain there are tradeoffs they weren’t willing to accept to allow that kind of functionality.