‘Spaz Sinbad,’ aka Phil Thompson, has over the years amassed an extraordinary collection of over 21,000 pages of photographs and documents regarding the RAN Fleet Air Arm and its activities over the years, together with other pages of interest.
The collection is a unique historical record of the Fleet Air Arm and the PDF file is certainly worth a long look. It is about 3.7 GB in size and is stored on either Microsoft ‘One Drive’ or ‘Google Drive’, from which you can download it to your computer.
Phil’s instructions are:
Whichever one you choose will open a window with a “Download” link at the top LHS. Click on the download link and be patient, as it is a big file which will take time. Don’t try and use the “Open” link that is also available as this will attempt to stream the file from OneDrive/GoogleDrive and it’s just too big to do that. Always download the file to your computer: you only need do this once and you can then peruse it at your leisure.
When the download is complete you’ll have a file called “A4G-RANFAA&Others16sep23p21,111.pdf” of around 4GB. ONLY the 64 bit Adobe Acrobat Reader will open this large PDF. If you don’t have it, you can download it for free from Adobe’s website. Please note that the 32 bit Adobe Reader does not have the internal resources to view this PDF after it is downloaded.
On opening the file (from your computer) note that the recent Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 64 bits has a new interface (although some may still have the old interface). This new interface by default opens with a new ‘COMMENTS’ pane on the right hand side. The BIG PDF has a zillion comment pages so opening using this interface means either it won’t open OR opening time is very long. Best to turn off these options the first time you use the program.
With Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 64 bits open, use the CTRL & K key combination (for Windows 10 or 11) or CTRL + comma (Mac) to open the PREFERENCES panel, then go to:
COMMENTING: Deselect: “Show comments pane when a PDF with comments is opened”
DOCUMENTS: Deselect: “Restore last view settings when reopening documents”
SAVE SETTINGS (below): Deselect: “Automatically save document changes to temporary file every ….”
Making these preference changes BEFORE opening the big pdf means it will open after a few seconds rather than struggle for a long time to open the default comment pane on the right. Now the Big PDF will open showing the bookmark panel on the left – the only way to navigate such a large body of work.
The FAAAA, along with every other organisation or individual with an interest in the FAA and its history, is indebted to Phil for the extraordinary work he has done and his willingness to freely share it.