The Wire – Remarkable

Quite frankly those around me are probably pretty much sick to death of me nagging them to watch The Wire but it really is for their own good. Anyway, was reminded about it again by reading Peter Collingbridge’s blog (very excellent blog by the way if you are interested in publishing and how it may work in the world going forward) – anyway recommend this post on The Wire.

If you want to hear the great Charlie Brooker on the same subject then you may do so here:

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Thinking of doing business in China?

Recommend Biz China Update. You may download their latest newletter from their site.

China Update

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And sometimes Onix doesn’t take me great places

It seems that time of year where people start looking back so was reviewing some of the grimmer moments from my Onix evangelism this year. My mission does take me some amazing places but for every Dingle there is arriving at a minor airport in the middle of the night with no hotel or missing the last train. So, in no particular order the moments from the Onix missions that stick in the memory from the last 12 months. The moments that made me think – why on earth do I do this?

1) Could have picked any number of scrapes with US Homeland Security in last few months but perhaps worst was being held for 6 hours at Newark Airport in Jersey after long flight from Amsterdam. This is the view after eventually got released from SkyTrain on way to airport train station and civilisation (well Manhattan at least). Was only in New York for 3 days I think. However, as US Immigation had held the bag with all my cables in Amsterdam had to go to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue at 5am and spend three hundred bucks to replace them as had to start running an Onix training session from 8am. America has lost the right to talk to anyone about rights, democracy or quite frankly much else:

New skytrain
2) Delayed flight back from America with early morning start at Oxford (UK) publisher (Bible Reading Fellowship I think). Got Oxford coach from Heathrow fell asleep and overshot my stop and had to trudge across Oxford in the rain at 3am. This is the High Street – again way too old:

Oxford High Street

3) I get on a plane I would guess at least once/twice a week on average and have done for best part of a decade. Considering, that I don’t really have too many airport/plane horror stories (maybe because I try and avoid BA in recent summers?) but what I do have are lots of little ones. This image is from one of them. Sat on the floor at the gate at Toronto airport for 6 hours while waiting for a thunderstorm to pass before could board flight to Frankfurt. Was exhausted. But as knackered/pissed off as those of us waiting to board the flight it was as nothing to those who were stuck on the in bound flight on the runway and couldn’t disembark:

Toronto airport

4) There is just something disturbing about fast food German style and I’m reminded each year in Frankfurt:

German food

5) As grim as eating at Frankfurt Bookfair can be at least you can eat (sort of). One of the worst experiences of the year on this Onix mission must have been London Bookfair. Shambles!!! Couldn’t eat/find anything/get a drink/get a tube/might as well have been on the moon. I wrote a little about it here. This image captures trying to get a drink at the end of the day (good luck with that):


6) Had to go up to a place called Rochester. This is deep in the hills of Vermont. This is January (so lots of snow); there is no train/bus up there; I don’t have a car; I woke up in Midtown Manhattan and the bus that was going to get at least part way there was in Boston. You can kind of imagine how it went but did eventually make it and talked about title management and of course Onix as this image bears witness (alright it’s just a shot of a small town in the snow but you’ll have to take my word for it – that is Rochester, Vermont, USA):

Rochester, Vermont

7) Just one of those weekends where you really wonder what it is you’re doing and why. A weekend sat in a motel on the outskirts of Kent, Ohio, USA looking through 20 years of title information from Kent State University Press and trying to steer it down the Onix compliant boulevard. It was Superbowl weekend. The motel was stuck on its own couple of miles out of town with just a garage and Mexican restaurant for company. So, in between times spent my time wandering back and forth to the garage to buy 6 packs of beer to stick in my sink full of ice. This is the view from door looking out at the dormant swimming pool:

Kent motel

8) And finally, Luton Bus Station at around 4am after again delayed flight (this time from Stockholm) on way to London for breakfast meeting. Truly grim and suspect even people born and raised in that town would say that:


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Moving a task within an existing schedule

To move a schedule task within an actual schedule that is in progress for a particular title/product then simply click on the icon to the far left of the entry in the list then the name of the task should appear in the ‘Selected Task to Move’ field at the foot of the screen then simply click the ‘Move Up’ or ‘Move Down’ button until the task is at the required location.

You will then be required to update the schedule (a warning message to this effect will appear across the schedule). To update the schedule click the ‘Update Schedule’ button from the head of the screen.

Moving a schedule task

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The incredible George Weah

Just came across this video on youtube of the incredible George Weah – one of those goals that everyone remembers – The 1996 solo goal against Verona – Ten years ago now – blimey!

Couldn’t believe it when he ended up at City under Joe Royle. I know that didn’t go so well but times I saw him play he looked different class even at that stage of his career. Remember seeing him score on a Tuesday at Gillingham in the Carling Cup with my mate Scotty at the time.

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Moving position of tasks in the schedule template

Whilst setting up your schedule template you may move tasks to any position within the schedule template.

To navigate to the ‘Schedule Template’ screen click on ‘Production’ from either the ‘Go’ menu or the ‘Home’ screen click on the ‘Schedule’ tab and then the ‘Manage Templates’ button from the head of the screen and then select the template you wish to edit from the left hand side of the screen.

Then simply to move the  task click on it’s entry in the template and click on the ‘Move Up’ or ‘Move Down’ buttons until you have moved the task to the required location.

Edit Schedule Template Screen

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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.’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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