Pragmatic

Pragmatic

engineered.network/pragmatic
Pragmatic is a discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology. Exploring the real world trade offs we look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives. Nothing is as simple as it seems.
86: Segway Evolution
May 3 • 97 min
Self-balancing vehicles started with the Segway in 2001, but since then they’ve evolved, losing their handle bars and even losing a wheel. We look at how they’ve evolved over time, how safe they are and how potentially crazy John is, since he’s started…
85: Uncommon Transportation
Apr 1 • 103 min
When you’re trying to optimise a daily commute, there are lots of options to choose from. Balancing physical effort, cost, speed, safety, storage and more we deep dive into how the concept of multi-modal transportation can make your commute more efficient.
84: Space X
Dec 7, 2017 • 119 min
Elon Musk is considered by many to be a technological visionary. In this, the third in a series of shows about Elons projects, we look at Space X, its history, its rockets, capsules and Elon’s dreams of going to Mars.
83: Tesla Part Two
Nov 2, 2017 • 85 min
Elon Musk is considered by many to be a technological visionary. In this, the third in a series of shows about Elons projects, we look at Tesla, its history, its cars the practicalities of what Elon’s trying to achieve.
82: Tesla Part One
Oct 5, 2017 • 101 min
Elon Musk is considered by many to be a technological visionary. In this, the second in a series of shows about Elons projects, we look at Tesla, its history, its cars the practicalities of what Elon’s trying to achieve.
81: Boring Loops
Jun 29, 2017 • 54 min
Elon Musk is considered by many to be a technological visionary. In this, the first in a series of shows about Elons projects, we look at Hyperloop and The Boring Company and the practicalities of what Elon’s trying to achieve.
80: Mastodon
Jun 8, 2017 • 70 min
GNU Social is gaining momentum recently with Mastodon leading the charge. It’s a different way to micro-blog and it’s not perfect, but it shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Vic joins John to walk through where it stands today.
79: Diluted My Metric Goodness
Mar 23, 2017 • 66 min
The history of measurements has a few surprises. Casey Liss joins John to discuss once and for all Metric and Imperial measurements.
78: Full Term Surface Pro
Jan 19, 2017 • 42 min
For 9 months now John has been using a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for work purposes, and Vic’s son uses a Pro 3 at College. We go back and forth on the device as both a laptop and a tablet.
77: Look Before You Touch
Dec 10, 2016 • 52 min
The new MacBook Pros come with a new feature Apple call the Touch Bar. We look at whether blending direct and indirect interactions make sense and try to figure out if the Touch Bar is actually a good idea.
76: Banned
Oct 20, 2016 • 81 min
Marco and I discuss how the Apple Watch brought us both back to wearing watches and the search for the ideal Watch Band for every use case.
75: Rollercoasters
Sep 13, 2016 • 50 min
A lot of people love Rollercoasters including the hosts of the show. We look at the history, evolution and revolution of these amazing thrill rides.
74: Vics 20
Jul 21, 2016 • 89 min
It’s all about Vic! He takes us through his history of programming for slightly more than 20 minutes.
73: Everything Is Cyclic
May 29, 2016 • 72 min
Weighing up the cycles of driving vs public transport and Windows to Mac and back again.
72: So Much Noise
Apr 10, 2016 • 42 min
Noise as a term is widely misused and misunderstood. Carmen joins John to sort out the signal from the noise.
71: Off The Rails
Mar 17, 2016 • 49 min
Trains and roads look like they have lots in common but the trade-offs in signalling and network design are completely different, and horrendously inconsistent.
70: The Seas Will Rise
Feb 27, 2016 • 38 min
The cause of global warming may be hotly debated, but rising sea levels are a fact. Vic joins John to talk about how fast it’s happening and how our cities will need to adapt.
69: Its Complicated
Jan 22, 2016 • 64 min
Smart Watches support dynamic, configurable complications but not all are created equal. Russell Ivanovic from Shifty Jelly joins John to see just how complicated it can be.
68: Paperless
Jan 8, 2016 • 91 min
We are closer than ever to a paperless office, and for John with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil it’s time to actually try and see if it’s possible.
67: Iron Man
Nov 29, 2015 • 46 min
What if the superhero Iron Man was real? We look at some of his tech and assess how possible it is.
66: Haptic Taptic Tactic
Nov 5, 2015 • 46 min
Apple are pushing Haptics in more of their devices each release. We look at why they are and how they’re doing it differently.
65: Everything is Analogue
Oct 22, 2015 • 43 min
We tackle the subtle differences between analogue and digital data transmission and why frequency changes everything.
64: Software Radios
Oct 9, 2015 • 60 min
Pragmatic returns to talk about a recent melding of traditional radio technology and software that are now dominating the telecommunications world.
63: Making Up Lines Then Reading Between Them
Apr 5, 2015 • 190 min
In this final episode John talks about the making of Pragmatic, highlights, lowlights, criticisms and advice on whether you should have listened to it or any podcasts at all. Then Vic grills John for information.
62: Send It Into The Void Baby
Mar 21, 2015 • 171 min
John tackles how the internet works - the most requested topic as voted by Pragmatic listeners in this, the penultimate episode of the show.
61: You Never Really Owned It
Mar 14, 2015 • 84 min
Seth Clifford returns to discuss DRM and the value of entertainment content. We also explore if DRM will someday end.
60: Or Was That Doctor Sbaitso
Mar 6, 2015 • 97 min
With four episodes to go Vic chose a topic that was never on the list - the history of programming. We look at five key people in the evolution of programming.
59: Roll With The Seasons
Feb 26, 2015 • 71 min
Erik Hess of Technical Difficulties and Dawn Patrol joins me to talk about the things that motivate and demotivate us, and turning hobbies into jobs and then back into hobbies again.
58: I Want My Hovercar
Feb 19, 2015 • 111 min
The next disruption in transportation is coming to a car near you soon. We walk through the history and evolution of personal transportation and look to the future.
57: Lap Band Bypass Gastric Sleeve
Feb 15, 2015 • 129 min
My wife joins me as we discuss our recent experiences with being obese and undergoing weight-loss surgery. It’s extreme but it works though it’s not without serious risks.
56: Lovely Platitudes Don’t Help Me
Feb 6, 2015 • 73 min
Brianna Wu is the CEO of GSX and is one of the women behind Revolution 60. Join us as we talk about gender imbalance in Engineering and Technology, and how we can help bring balance to the force.
55: Cautiously Concerned
Jan 30, 2015 • 105 min
Privacy online is becoming a bigger issue with more servers hacked every week our personal data has never been at more risk. Seth Clifford joins me to talk strategies to reduce your exposure on the internet.
54: Stop Rubbing Your Reader Against My Butt
Jan 23, 2015 • 68 min
The Apple Watch promises to make Apple Pay even easier and safer than traditional credit card transactions. We look at the history of Credit Card data transactions and consider the practicalities. Of course.
53: Overlapping Signals
Jan 16, 2015 • 86 min
There is a growing trend to eliminate the wires and go wireless for data and for power. Can it work? Is it practical? Dive in.
52: Your Mileage May Vary
Jan 8, 2015 • 109 min
Are electric cars going to save you money? We look at all electric and plugin hybrids, charging habits and being energy independent.
51: Psst Come Here I Want To Tell You Something
Dec 30, 2014 • 61 min
Automation in OSX, iOS and the PC can save lots of time for users prepared to invest some time up-front. We delve into the history on these platforms, where it can be useful and when you should use it.
50: Accidental Clicking
Dec 23, 2014 • 115 min
John Siracusa joins me to discuss RSI in depth, drawing on both of our experiences we look at what works, what doesn’t and why you should care. Keyboards, trackpads, trackballs, mice, chairs, we cover it all.
49: A Bow On The Handlebars
Dec 12, 2014 • 60 min
With holiday cheer Vic and John dive into some of the finer details of Christmas and the Holiday season looking at wrapping paper and sticky tape, what to wrap, what you shouldn’t and why, and a bit about Santa (warning for young kids POSSIBLE SPOILERS!)
36A: Prevailing Wind Direction Follow-up 1
Dec 6, 2014 • 17 min
Follow up (Part A) to Prevailing Wind Direction where we address different personality types and how they cope with remote work, safety cultures around the world and recent FIFO suicides.
48: You Say Data, I Say Daaa-taaa
Dec 4, 2014 • 87 min
SCADA User Interface design has many things in common with other graphical design methodologies. We look at how SCADA works, what it does, the limitations of the human eye and colour perception, buttons as buttons, indicators as indicators and more.
38A: Watch This Time and Space Follow-up 1
Nov 29, 2014 • 24 min
Follow up (Part A) to Watch This Time and Space where we address durability of mechanical watches vs quartz watches, accuracy, using the band as a charging point, batteries and cameras and whether a smartwatch without an always-on face is a failure.
47: Interrogation Signal
Nov 26, 2014 • 75 min
We delve into Barcodes and RFID tracing their history and dissecting exactly how they work and where the future of identification technology is headed specifically for shopping experiences.
46: Out of Steam About Steam
Nov 20, 2014 • 92 min
We delve into energy conversion efficiencies of solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, the Hydrogen Economy, steam and hydro-turbines and ways you can conserve energy in your home.
45: Not Part of the Plan
Nov 13, 2014 • 75 min
Managing features and requirements on your project is difficult and scope creep is your constant enemy. John and Seth explore classifying features, dealing with client requests and making it all work to a plan for internal and external projects.
42A: Hopefully They Don’t Burn It Follow-up 1
Nov 10, 2014 • 31 min
Follow up (Part A) to Hopefully They Don’t Burn It where Vic and John touch briefly on DRM, looking at kill switches and when it’s right/wrong to use them confirm that Chapters is still open, touch on libraries already lending books via Kindles and more.
44: Order a Steak and Get a Piece of Rat
Nov 7, 2014 • 79 min
Working in retail and in customer facing roles comes with its own set of challenges. We dive into coping mechanisms, closing a sale and identifying when you’re being worked over, Apple’s Genius Training manual and the effectiveness of tipping.
30A: Coffee Follow-up 1
Nov 3, 2014 • 82 min
Follow up (Part A) to Coffee where Marco and John revisit Johns coffee setup, oxalates, different milk warmer/frothers, portafilters, cold-brew coffee, reasons why grounds are left behind when you pop an AeroPress filter off and lots and lots more.
43: It’s The Best Thing For Everybody
Nov 1, 2014 • 56 min
When you create a product the time inevitably comes when you have to either hand it over or shut it down. Marco Arment joins John to look at how they have approached the problem of letting projects go.
42: Hopefully They Don’t Burn It
Oct 24, 2014 • 75 min
eReaders have many advantages over paperbacks and although Amazon would have you believe that eBooks are leading the way, the paperback is far from dead and we look at both sides of the debate.
41: Meaningless Token Award
Oct 17, 2014 • 75 min
Independence and job satisfaction is a consideration whether you work for yourself or for a large corporation. Understanding what matters to us the most we consider how recognition plays a role and the differences between whichever path you choose.
40: Productivitus Interruptus
Oct 9, 2014 • 57 min
Remaining productive in your projects with limited time and constant interruptions can lead to giving up. John delves into strategies for being productive in a real world situation and it’s not about the tools but about how you set your time and goals.
13A: Safety, Safety Everywhere Follow-up 1
Oct 6, 2014 • 9 min
Follow up (Part A) to Safety, Safety Everywhere with Fire Extinguishers being fitted to the wrong spot in a Nuclear Reactor and the dangers of Nitrogen purging.
39: Look Ma, No Wires
Oct 3, 2014 • 110 min
Radio and Amateur/Ham Radio played a huge role in John’s career in Engineering. We delve into EM Waves, Antennas, Transmission Lines as well as many of the facets of Amateur Radio including DX-peditions, Fox-hunting, Hamfests, Moonbounce and more.
38: Watch This Time and Space
Sep 26, 2014 • 108 min
The Apple Watch promises new functionality from a smartwatch. John dissects the detail behind the power demands of wristwatches, screen types, movement types, GPSs, super-capacitors, batteries and why the Taptic engine could be a big deal.
37: The Sledgehammer Solution
Sep 15, 2014 • 72 min
Cancer is the number two cause of death in the US and can affect anyone at any age. Federico Viticci joins John to talk about the history of the disease, what it is, how we fight it and Federicos first-hand experience with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
36: Prevailing Wind Direction
Sep 8, 2014 • 68 min
Working in Engineering construction sometimes requires working away from home and this comes with its own set of challenges. Vic Hudson joins John to talk about good and the bad and the issues no-one else seems to think or talk about.
35: Written by Kernel Hackers for Kernel Hackers
Sep 1, 2014 • 93 min
Why write open source code and when you should start. If you’re interested in Python, John’s found just the man, Nick Coghlan of Red Hat joins John to discuss open source, python and how a casual interest can turn into big part of your career and your…
34: My Code’s Nicer Than Your Code
Aug 24, 2014 • 114 min
Everyone thinks they know the best way to write code. Irrespective of the platform there’s some common concepts that every programmer should try to follow. Guy English joins John to discuss everything from comments to object structures and more.
33: The Shopfront Window Is Still The Same Size
Aug 19, 2014 • 75 min
Loyalty to a single platform can be a risky business position for developers. Russell Ivanovic of Shifty Jelly joins John to discuss his experiences on Android vs iOS and shows that putting Android willingly in your blindspot may cause you to miss out.
32: A Slice Of A Physical Machine
Aug 11, 2014 • 92 min
Where does one host their site or service on the Internet? There are lots of choices, places and trade-offs to consider. David Smith joins John to walk through the options as we explore which is the right choice for different use cases.
31: It’s Supposed To Be Raining
Jul 30, 2014 • 85 min
Since information could travel faster than the weather we’ve strived to predict the weather more accurately into the future. Joel Housman joins John to dig deep into just how hard weather prediction can be and why.
30: Coffee
Jul 21, 2014 • 101 min
On the day following the launch of his new app Overcast, Marco Arment joins John to talk about coffee. We cover the history from the 13th century to present with brewing techniques and a bit about our personal journeys with that wonderful brown liquid.
26A: Gambling Machines Follow-up 1
Jul 20, 2014 • 7 min
Follow up (Part A) to Gambling Machines where I talk briefly about why I left Zero-Sum games out of the episode, how Italy is facing the similar problems with slot machines and insurance vs gambling. Thanks to Jordan, Nick, Andrew and Frank (from Italy).
21A: Daylight Saving Follow-up 1
Jul 19, 2014 • 6 min
Follow up (Part A) to Daylight Saving where we quickly touch on Seasonal Affective Disorder and whether Daylight Saving _actually_ contributes to it. Thanks for the feedback Andrew McAuliffe.
29: You Can’t Fight Physics
Jul 15, 2014 • 55 min
The Surface Pro 3 claims to be the best of both a laptop and tablet experience but in trying to compromise for both, new issues about its optimisation for either use case become evident. Myke Hurley joins John to dissect the Tablet Laptop category.
28: The Changing Face of Writing
Jul 9, 2014 • 93 min
Jason Snell has been writing for 25+ years - the most recent two decades in the Tech space. We dive into how writing styles for tech have evolved recently, how to structure and focus your writing, understanding editors and having passion when you write.
27: Military Software
Jul 1, 2014 • 67 min
Casey and John have done some development and engineering in a military environment that comes with its own set of unique restrictions and pressures. We explore the good, the bad and the downright annoying aspects but don’t worry, it’s not all bad.
26: Gambling Machines
Jun 24, 2014 • 57 min
Gambling is all about the odds of separating you from your money and todays gambling machines are making lots of it for the government. Ben Alexander returns to discuss the Pokies.
25: Software Entropy
Jun 16, 2014 • 69 min
John and Guy English discuss software entropy as it relates to the User Interface and the code itself and explore if there’s a way to stop it.
24A: Downloaded vs Streamed Follow-up 1
Jun 13, 2014 • 2 min
Follow up (Part A) to Downloaded vs Streamed where we look into another big reason why Australian internet is so expensive beyond the lack of economies of scale. Many thanks to Alex Garner for the detailed feedback.
23A: Maximum Erasability Follow-up 1
Jun 13, 2014 • 3 min
Follow up (Part A) to Maximum Erasability where we touch on the size of the whiteboards and colours used and how that relates to usability and also a handy tip on erasing permanent marker marks using a dry-erase marker. Thanks to Nick Radcliffe.
24: Downloaded vs Streamed
Jun 9, 2014 • 69 min
John is a proponent of downloading. Josh Centers is a proponent of streaming. Which is the one true, most efficient and economical solution?
23: Maximum Erasability
Jun 2, 2014 • 76 min
What is it about WhiteBoards that makes them so invaluable as a collaborative design tool? John is joined by Seth Clifford of Nickelfish to explore the reasons why.
22: Core Business
Jun 2, 2014 • 90 min
Understanding what is and isn’t your core business is critical for success. Horace Dediu joins John Chidgey for a very special episode of Pragmatic where for once John doesn’t do all the talking!
21: Daylight Saving
May 19, 2014 • 60 min
Daylight Saving was introduced as a means of conserving energy but does it achieve that in any way? Do the benefits truly outweigh the confusion and frustration it causes? John and Myke Hurley go through the history and draw their own conclusions.
20: The Critical Path
Apr 18, 2014 • 61 min
Many people bandy-around the expression The Critical Path but what does it mean? The truth is that it’s a part of Project Management and this phrase carries negative connotations for a lot of people but it’s a tool to help us get to where we need to be.
19: I’ll Take The Gold-free Extra-Oxygen Cable Please
Apr 6, 2014 • 56 min
Tackling two types of common cable, Speaker cable and HDMI cables. HDMI some obsess over gold plating; Speaker cable some obsess over OFC. Which is worth the extra money or are neither? Hardcore audiophiles may be upset by the contents of this episode.
18: Mediocrity, Consensus and Perfectionism
Mar 30, 2014 • 50 min
John and Ben tackle design consensus and dictatorship/auteur styles of design development. Is the dictatorship model better and if so what makes a good dictator?
9A: The Internet Makes It Even Better Follow-up 1
Mar 23, 2014 • 7 min
Follow up (Part A) to The Internet Makes It Even Better with a paid alternative to iFTTT Zapier; Replacing LogMeIn with TeamViewer (still has a free tier alternative); and DRM on Internet Connected Devices.
17: Stuxnet
Mar 23, 2014 • 65 min
John tackles the Stuxnet virus intended to disrupt Uranium Enrichment in 2010 in Iran and in the process explores what SCADA is, how to purify Uranium and of course, the anatomy of the Stuxnet worm.
14A: The Worlds Most Popular Camera Follow-up 1
Mar 23, 2014 • 15 min
Follow up (Part A) to The Worlds Most Popular Camera where we look into printing photos and when SLRs will still have the edge but are destined to still be a niche product.
11A: Cause And Effect Follow-up 1
Mar 19, 2014 • 5 min
Follow up (Part A) to Cause And Effect with more detail on the Aeroperu crash courtesy of listener Dean Lombard.
10A: Passion Over Academic Proof Follow-up 1
Mar 19, 2014 • 37 min
Follow up (Part A) to Passion Over Academic Proof where we clarify that yes we still need Universities and Colleges and discuss several readers comments.
16: One Mans Hopes And Dreams Of An RF Bubble
Mar 16, 2014 • 117 min
John critiques the Artemis pCell, a lengthy article about how pCell might work and walks through the key pieces to understanding if this is real life or is this just fantasy; and whether Steve Perlman is the right man to make this dream a reality.
15: Extend or Recode
Mar 8, 2014 • 48 min
When asked to, or need to use someone else’s software code in your project it’s not always a clear cut choice how to approach it. Do you extend or recode? John and Ben explore the pros-cons and put forward some practices to reduce the potential damage.
14: The Worlds Most Popular Camera
Feb 23, 2014 • 66 min
The iPhone has disrupted the consumer photography industry and is the most popular camera in the world. But is it the best camera? John explores the limitations of using the iPhone as your only camera, drawbacks of a DSLR and how accessories can help.
13: Safety, Safety Everywhere
Feb 16, 2014 • 88 min
John and Ben discuss ways to take reasonable but meaningful safety precautions in the workplace, and around the home.
12: Pages Blocks Planes Die Bank Device
Feb 9, 2014 • 69 min
John and Ben discuss SSDs, data transfer bottlenecks and the evolution of PC data storage architectures.
2D: The Battery Problem Follow-up 4
Feb 2, 2014 • 26 min
Follow up (Part D) to The Battery Problem where John addresses some more follow up about Flywheels as a form of energy storage, the challenge of disposing of or recycling dead solar panels in 40 years and realistic expectations of DC efficiency.
11: Cause And Effect
Feb 2, 2014 • 58 min
John and Ben discuss the process of analyzing failure, from broken alternator belts to plane crashes. Starting with Toyota’s five (sometimes six!) why’s, John explains some different approaches including fault tree and root cause analysis.
10: Passion Over Academic Proof
Jan 26, 2014 • 60 min
John and Ben discuss the problems that arise when we rely on qualifications alone to gauge a person’s potential. Just how valuable are degrees, certifications and tests in evaluating someone’s passion, work ethic or dynamism?
9: The Internet Makes It Even Better
Jan 18, 2014 • 52 min
John and Ben discuss the practical risks associated with connecting every single device we own to the internet. What happens when ore functionality is tied to a remote server and the company changes or closes? Timely in light of Nest Labs acquisition.
8: A Nice Quiet Serene Environment
Jan 11, 2014 • 67 min
In this episode John and Ben talk about noise. Noise is a big problem. A lot of people tend to overlook it. A lot of people tend to shrug it off like its no big deal. But you only get one set of ears, and once they’re wrecked you’re out of luck.
7A: A Category Called General Follow-up 1
Jan 11, 2014 • 8 min
Follow up (Part A) to A Category Called General with some discussion about the expected lifespan of flash storage.
2C: The Battery Problem Follow-up 3
Jan 11, 2014 • 8 min
Follow up (Part C) to The Battery Problem with a discussion of Germany’s forward-thinking approach to renewable energy.
7: A Category Called General
Jan 4, 2014 • 73 min
John and Ben discuss the challenge of digital storage, filing, tagging and categorization as well as associated workflows and technology.
6: Design Reviews In Name Only
Dec 29, 2013 • 67 min
John and Ben discuss the importance of design reviews, personal experiences and suggestions for how to constructively approach a process often fraught with confusion and hidden danger.
5: The Next Ubiquitous Thing
Dec 22, 2013 • 73 min
John and Ben discuss the convergence of wireless communication from radio telegraphy to analog mobile phones, then from analog to digital, and handover-transition-unified devices and the importance long awaited jump to 100% IP-based telephony.
4: The Morality Issue
Dec 14, 2013 • 31 min
John and Ben discuss the moral implications of an increasingly automated world. As we’re living in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution, what can we learn from the past that will prepare us for the future?
2B: The Battery Problem Follow-up 2
Dec 14, 2013 • 12 min
Follow up (Part B) to The Battery Problem where we explore the practicality and necessity of larger screens in relation to their power consumption.
3A: Turn The Damn Light Off Follow-up 1
Dec 14, 2013 • 58 min
Follow up (Part A) to Turn The Damn Light Off where we explore Multi-room Audio and Eco-home design as well as smart glass.
2A: The Battery Problem Follow-up 1
Dec 6, 2013 • 20 min
Follow up (Part A) to The Battery Problem where we explore proported fire risks associated with Wind Farms, Geothermal and Wave Power and whether Thorium is everything it’s cracked up to be.
3: Turn The Damn Light Off
Dec 6, 2013 • 81 min
Today’s show focuses on the history of industrial control and automation systems, and the growing potential of automation in the home.
2: The Battery Problem
Nov 30, 2013 • 134 min
John and Ben discuss the past, present and future of energy generation, distribution, storage and consumption. We explore the future of conventional and alternative energy sources as well as the changing nature of the grid and our relationship to it.
1: Faraday’s Cage
Nov 24, 2013 • 106 min
In Pragmatic’s first episode, John and Ben explore the evolution of the iPhone’s hardware from the original model to today. Looking at mechanical design tradeoffs and improvements in wireless John presents a realistic reading of the iPhone myth.