I’ve watched the entire series of Tim Hunkin’s The Secret Life of Machines (page includes torrent links, you can also stream it here). Not only it is a example of really good television that is entertaining and educational, it’s also a reminder of a simpler, gentler era when TV documentaries could be concise, without all those constant “later on… but first”, “after the break…” that are the scourge of cable television documentaries. Despite being twenty years dated, SLOM does a great job at explaining the fundamental building blocks of today’s technology. When technology is deliberately mystified and made to seem like magic (I’m sick of those docs that promise to tell you How It’s Made and then just show you some assembly line without explaining much), The Secret Life of Machines may very well be essential viewing.
I’ll now watch Why Things Go Wrong, which also seems pretty interesting.