Every day. Tech.

by on ‎20-02-2013 11:19 AM - last edited on ‎20-02-2013 02:39 PM by Community Manager Community Manager 1,783 Views

05:55. My smartphone beeps. The BBC iPlayer Radio app starts streaming Radio 4 over the wi-fi. Normally, I doze whilst listening to the last five minutes of “Farming Today” (always fascinating to a townie like me) and then, as soon as the news headlines and weather are over, it’s time to get up. Not today though. England’s cricketers are in New Zealand, so it’s TV on Sky Sports for a quick catch up with the latest score, then into the shower.


06:30. Mrs. speedyrite is awake now, checking the planner on both of our Sky+HD set-top boxes using the Sky+ app on her tablet to see what new recordings have been made the previous evening and overnight. She’s also browsing locatetv.com and digiguide.tv (to supplement the Sky+ app’s Highlights section) on the look out for new things to record and watch.


06:45. Time to go to work. Before I set off, I start streaming my podcast playlist via bluetooth from my smartphone to the car audio system. It might be “The Archers” or a tech podcast (such as “The Guardian’s Tech Weekly” or “The PC Pro Podcast” or “Frequencycast”) or Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4. Then, it’s a 20 mile (mostly motorway) drive to the client’s location at the edge of the Cotswolds.


07:30. I like to get to work early so that I can get on with a few things while it’s still quiet in the office.


It still says “Computer Programmer” as occupation on my passport. Those were the days! When I first got into IT (or computing as it was called then) as a trainee back in 1980, my job was mostly software development - coding and testing programs to run as part of vast complex back-office systems on “big iron” (as IBM mainframe computers were sometimes referred to).


Nowadays, I’m mostly working at the business requirements and systems analysis end of the spectrum. This involves talking to the client’s business users and finding out what changes they need to make to their systems, and translating that information into specifications for system and software changes. Mostly it’s about changing existing software to do ever more complicated things, but sometimes some new software needs to be designed and written.


I still like to think of myself as a computer programmer. But I’m also very interested in computer networks, telecoms and technology in the home. My day-to-day work doesn’t involve me in such matters, but I’ve taken a couple of courses covering some of these areas over the past three years (just for my own interest).


10:00 I find a minute for a quick check on the close of play cricket score via the Sky Sports Centre Cricket app on the smartphone. Sometimes I think I’d like to stream Sky Go over 3G to my smartphone, so I can keep an eye on it live - but I don’t have unlimited data on my mobile plan and there’s no wi-fi hotspot available to use.


12:30: A cup of tea and a sandwich. I pop down to the restaurant and watch the lunchtime news on the big TV for a few minutes. It’s usually on BBC News or Sky News with the sound muted and the subtitles on. I wonder if the subtitles are produced by speech recognition software?


17:00. Hopefully it’s been a day of progress! Back in the car, the car audio system’s DAB radio is tuned to “Drivetime” on BBC Radio 2 for the journey home.


Evening: I have a look at the Sky Help Forum to see if there are any interesting threads to which I can (hopefully) contribute some useful help and advice for the benefit of other readers. My main interest is the Sky Fibre Broadband board, but I’m also involved in some Community Trials so I need to keep up-to-date with the latest goings on there too.


We only watch news and sport on  l i v e  TV. Everything else is watched time-shifted. We might watch two or three recordings off the Sky+HD planner. Or we might rent a movie from the iTunes store and stream it via Apple TV.


We upgraded to Sky Fibre Unlimited in April 2012 and got a tenfold increase in throughput download speed. A super-fast broadband connection makes a massive difference: downloading something from one of the Catch-Up TV services on Sky+HD takes just a few minutes to complete and a streamed movie can be watched instantly without seeing any buffering. Happy days!

on ‎20-02-2013 02:49 PM

Good Read