Holiday shipping info

As usual we don’t close for the Holiday season, because reasons. However the shippers and couriers of the world certainly do, and so if you’re planning on ordering books…

  • For personal purchases, Amazon UK should always have some in stock and you can order from there any time, any day.
  • Bulk, trade and branded orders are processed directly with us. Lead time is normally 10 working days, but orders placed after Dec 12 will not ship until the New Year. We’ll dispatch as soon as our service providers return from their mince-pie-fueled slumber.

USAR Ops 2nd Edition

With over 500 copies sold since publication, the 2nd Edition of our famous ProGuide Urban Search and Rescue Operations handbook is proving very popular!

If you’re looking for one or two copies for personal use, or as a gift, then Amazon is the place to go. We always try to maintain stock at Amazon’s warehouse, though sometimes a customer will buy the lot and it can take a couple of days to replenish. Amazon operates right through the holiday season, as do we.

Rescue teams who need to buy in bulk, or pay on account, should contact us directly for pricing and lead times. We provide a number of extra services when ordering with an official purchase order from a public agency (fire and rescue services, government departments or military forces):

  • Free standard shipping for all UK orders.
  • Free standard shipping for all non-UK orders of more than 10 copies.
  • Cover branding with your team logo (£55.00 per order for less than 30 copies, free for 30 or more).
  • 30 day credit terms, subject to status.
  • Access to the Airshore special edition.

Bulk and branded orders usually ship within 10 working days. The last order date for delivery before the holidays is December 7th.

Adobe Indesign CC – Disable a blank Welcome Screen

In a number of the Creative Cloud applications, Adobe in their -ahem- wisdom decided to use HTML-AJAX-based ‘welcome screens’, which pull content from various places including your Creative Cloud account, and a number of tracking services (Omniture and Demdex) which any sensible person will have blocked in their HOSTS file.

The problem is that whoever wrote the Welcome Screen code didn’t think that anyone would be so bold as to protect their privacy, so they wrapped the HTML in an onload() function which will only display the content after every last drip of JavaScript has loaded – including all the &^*%* tracking code. If you block it, the Welcome Screen is blank.

OK, fine, you say.. that’s cool. I can just turn it off.

NO, you cannot – because the checkbox to turn it off is INSIDE THE HTML. You have to see it to click it. Catch 22 with massive hairy knobs on. There’s no option in the application preferences dialog to turn it off either; but thankfully the application preference does exist, and it’s exposed to InDesign Scripting.

So, this is what you do if your Welcome screen is blank and needs to die:

  1. Open InDesign CC and from the Window menu, choose Utilities > Scripts
  2. Right-click the “User” folder and choose “Reveal in..” (Explorer or Finder).
  3. You’ll be faced with an empty folder containing the Scripts Panel folder. Click to enter that, which for most people will also be empty.
  4. Create a new text file, called “DisableWelcome.jsx” – make sure the extension is changed to .JSX and isn’t “.jsx.txt”. This file will have one line in it:

app.generalPreferences.showWhatsNewOnStartup = false;

  1. Save it and flip back to InDesign’s Scripts panel – your new file will show up. Double-click it. Nothing obvious will happen, but if you now close and open InDesign, the Welcome Screen will have gone away for good.
  2. Make yourself a cup of tea, and debate why Adobe made you jump through so many hoops.

If you ever want to look at the Welcome Screen again (in all its blank glory) just choose it from the Help menu. If one day Adobe fix the code and it actually shows something, you can turn it back on with the checkbox; or change the script to say “= true” and run it again.

Hello EU servers

This week we have relocated our web and media servers onto providers physically located within the European Union. This will increase transfer speed for our EMEA clients and ensures that all content is governed solely by EU laws on data protection and disclosure.

As part of the move, some of our legacy services have been streamlined. Clients whose grid access details have changed have been notified in advance.

UAVs – HSW 03/15

Health + Safety at Work march 2015The cover article for HSW magazine March 2015 is a detailed guide to the technical and legal considerations for using UAVs (drones, quadcopters, RCAPs, etc.) in a workplace context in the UK.

UAVs have massive potential for improving the effectiveness and safety of a wide range of professional tasks beyond filming and photography – from work at height inspections to search and rescue. Their popularity as Xmas toys often leads people to believe they can be used ‘at work’ without any complicated licensing or form-filling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dave’s article highlights the current position held by the CAA and what to look for when hiring a specialist aerial filming company for professional jobs.

Changes for 2015

Aside from the new in-house blog, the New Year sees a number of changes to our website and product ranges.

As of Jan 1 2015 we are no longer selling eBooks and software licenses via our website through the automated shopping cart system. The new European Union law on VAT which apply from that date mean that it’s no longer commercially viable to offer these electronic products at a reasonable price, and we have significant concerns about the data protection and privacy implications of this new law, which would require us to trace the home address of every customer and keep the information on file for ten years. This decision means that the following items are no longer available for online purchase:

  • ProGuide Mobile eBooks in single-user and group licenses
  • P3DF training software in single-user and group licenses
  • Life On A Line eBooks
  • Automated licenses for some video clips (e.g. Manual Handling)

While technically it is still permitted to sell these items to customers outside the EU, since we are unable to gather the required proof of legal residency from PayPal to prevent an EU citizen from making a purchase, we must regretfully block all sales.

Sales of printed books, customized software and licenses which are processed manually and involve ‘offline’ work are not affected.