It launched! Or did It? I dunno. I wasn’t actually around…

Published on 6 May 2008 in , , , , ,

Well it’s 6 May 2008 and that can only mean one thing. Yep, it’s the day after May Day.

And of course it’s the day that Freesat officially launches, and that means the day that BBCi on Freesat launches too. That is, baring any last minute technical issues or problems.

I say that because actually I have absolutely no idea whether it’s gone live or not, because cunningly, on launch day, I’m not actually in the office. Cunningly several months ago, I booked some annual leave to go walking up a big hill, and it just ended up that the day we picked ended up being launch day.

Funnily enough, back in my developer days I used to regularly do projects with a producer in the Communities team. He was a great producer to work for, and was one of a few people at the Beeb who (knowingly or not) got me interested in product management in the first place, and gave me some experience in the field.

A great person. With just one, very big flaw. Every time launch day came around, you could guarantee that, without fail, he would be on a two week holiday.

Not that he ever planned it that way – or at least I presume he didn’t. He always booked his leave well after the project of the moment was supposed to go live. It’s just that for whatever reason (some internal to the team, others reasons not) his projects always went up later than planned. Which generally meant that whilst he was off sunning himself somewhere nice, the rest of us were running around like maniacs trying to actually fix all those last minute teething problems that have a tendency to only crop up when you let the public lose on it.

That particular producer has left now, and given my own amazing sense of timing, I can’t help but worry that I’m picking up where he left off…


  • Samuel Jacobs says:

    I’d love to see some screenshots of the Freesat BBCi services.
    From looking at the Freesat website, it seems that there is a new bridge (although I did prefer the i-Bar!), and wonder whether the rest of BBCi has had a refresh, and also if we’ll see the change on Freeview as well.
    In a few months I’ll hopefully be somewhere where I can have a dish – but for now just drooling over pictures of a new-look HD BBCi will have to be enough for me!
    Gosh, that makes me sound weird (or rather, more weird than I actually am!)
    Also, do you have any suggestions for someone who wants to get into interactive TV? Would trying to learn MHEG be a good start?

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    There is a little revamp with the Freesat service – it looks very nice. Screenshots? Well you’ll need to give me chance to get back into the office after being in the Pennines!
    As for getting into interactive TV – well, most of our software engineers have a Java background these days. You’d probably be surprised how little MHEG people do!

  • Garrif says:

    Yes I now have it and very shiny it looks too.