Happiness is a warm powerbook

Not everyone thinks the increasing heat generated by Powerbooks in recent years is a bad thing – Bliss loves it.



Filed under: Swedish Life

Not sure who was more surprised

Baby Hedgehog

Me or this little chap who bumped into my foot wandering around my desk yesterday afternon.

Filed under: Swedish Life

Simple guide to XML for publishers

Many thanks to the very excellent Snowbooks in London (Small Publisher of the Year 2005) for this clear guide to XML for publishers. They really should be applauded as publishing in 2006 is a tough enough business and they have taken the time out to try and help others:


Please click the link below to download a (hopefully) helpful guide to implementating the Onix standard for publishers from Anko Publishing Software:


Filed under: Onix, Publishing


No smoking sign - Scotland

Personally smoking doesn’t bother me all that much but I kind of understand the smoking ban thing in logic. Passive smoking is pretty much conclusively proved as causing harm to those around you (so far as I understand it) so I suppose it makes sense. But what bothers me is that we increasingly are told what we can and can’t do from people who tell us they know what is best for us. Can’t articulate how much this pisses me off.

I don’t smoke but find it very irritating when you have are out for a drink/having lunch etc. with someone who is and they have to keep disappearing every few minutes to stand outside in the rain. Also, I wonder particulary when looking down a typical Irish high street on a Saturday lunchtime just how good it is for families with young children to have to pass through clouds of smoke outside bars on their way to Quinnsworth.

Saw this sign on a train in Scotland the other day. Apparently, if I saw someone else smoking and didn’t stop them then I too would be committing an offense. Love to see them enforce that one.

Filed under: Absurdity

Expected Ship Date and Availability Date

This is a subject that has been raised in training sessions I’ve run recently. The confusion between what is meant by the Onix element Expected Ship date and the separate Availability Date and how this square with the Publication Date (if at all!).

This is the query from a member of the Onix Group:

‘I am currently placing an availability date into j142 which, I believe, does not represent a true ship date as j142 is intended. Our Information system and our Vista system describe the availability date, for example, as the date when the product is being reprinted or reissued etc and is initially set to the publication date and in some cases is set blank for RPN with no date.

Is it possible that the availability date and the ship date are two entirely different values, For example, if we had to ship a product to Australia it would have to be shipped some months before the publication date.

Where can I provide both a ship date and an availability date in the ONIX feed.’

And the reply from the Onix committee:

‘The “expected ship date” element is, I suggest, to be interpreted as the date at which – in the market to which the Supply Detail element applies – the local distributor expects to ship orders to retailers. For a new title, isn’t this to all intents and purposes the publication date in that market, except where there is an embargo on retail sales before a specified date? If there is such an embargo, then the “on sale date” should be sent as well. In the absence of an embargo, the book is effectively published as soon as it ships from the local distributor.

Where a UK publisher is shipping to retailers in the UK and to a local distributor in an overseas market like Australia, and is providing ONIX Supply Detail elements for both the UK and Australia, the “expected ship date” for the UK should be the UK publication date, and the “expected ship date” for Australia should be the Australian publication date, ie the date at which the Australian distributor would be in a position to supply to retailers.

I realise that the nomenclature “expected ship date” is a bit misleading, and I can’t now remember how and why it was chosen in the very early days of ONIX development. The handling of publication dates in different markets is one of the things that has been identified to be addressed in ONIX 3.0.’

Filed under: Uncategorized

The life of an Onix evangelist …

Had to travel to Edinburgh to run a two day Onix workshop for the Scottish Publishers Association and try and instill into UK publishers just what having good quality bibliographic information can do for them (more on this later). This is a brief photo diary of my journey here.

Starting in Nalsta in Stockholm I had to get a bus to the tube station in Vallingby:
Bus stop in Nalsta

Vallingby tube station
And then had to the tube to the flight bus which leaves from Central Station in Stockholm:

Central Station, Stockholm
Oh and then had to take on power at Skavsta:

Skavsta Airport
And then again at Glasgow Prestwick (all that Corrie was very draining!):

Glasgow Prestwick
Caught the train to Glasgow Station from the airport stop:

Glasgow Prestwick Rail Station
Arriving at Glasgow Central to catch train to Edinburgh:

Glasgow Central
Arriving at Edinburgh Station to get a cab to the SPA:

Edinburgh Station
Cab to Dundee Street the home of the SPA:

Taxi to SPA
At the SPA to start the Onix Workshop:


Filed under: Daily Life, Onix

Swedish wedding

Never been to a Swedish wedding – had fantasic time – beautiful church, nice people, great location and lots of music that you almost never hear except for in cheesy nightclubs and eurovision parties. And of course all aided by the fantastic Scandinavian light at this time of the year as you can see from the shot of amazing wife taken at around 11pm.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Haven’t mentioned free wifi for a bit

But I can confirm that it is available at Skavsta Airport here in Sweden. Indeed this very blog entry wouldn’t be possible without it.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Forget processors/disk size etc.

Anyone who travels will tell you it is all about battery life and weight. Everything else seems to have moved on to make laptops true desktop replacements whilst forgetting that portability is the key for many who have to work and travel. You see them everywhere – in bars, coffee shops, airport lounges those looking for the plug used by the cleaner to power their vacum so they can recharge enough to make it through their next flight. Even if it is just to watch The Daily Show from Frankfurt to Stockholm as I had to do last Thursday. Although this image comes from 2 minutes ago here in Skavsta (Sweden) while I wait for flight to Glasgow.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Canadian publishers and distribution

Travelled out to Richmond Hill just outside Toronto to spend some time with Canadian publisher Firefly. Interested in number of publishers still doing their own distribution. Can think of only a handful still doing it in the UK. Interesting.

Filed under: Uncategorized

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