• AlexEiffel



    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 993 total)
    • in reply to: Why not? #2571070

      Why not?

      -Because the taskbar is reducing my productivity in an unacceptable way. I use the quicklaunch to see my open Windows distinctly from the icons that starts them in the taskbar, and I want to see all Windows names distinctly in the taskbar without having to hover over them. I want to avoid having to use third-party software to work on Windows the way I have been working in the past, probably faster than everybody around me.

      -To send the message to Microsoft that I don’t like what they are doing and will wait as long as I can to upgrade because I value stability over changes for the sake of change or monetization. I also don’t like the way they shove Bing and their online account down our throat.

      -Because Windows 10 will stay more quiet for the remainder of its life. I want Microsoft to understand that moments or feature updates are not something I appreciate as a user. I don’t want to have to adjust my tool when I am about to start working because someone else decided they would change it and I don’t want to have to constantly monitor what is coming and how it will annoy me.

      -Because I am not excited at all by what Windows 11 offers. Looking a bit nice isn’t high on my list of priorities for an OS.

      If you mostly use your OS to start your games or do one thing at a time, maybe it is not a big deal and you might enjoy the look of Windows 11. It’s fine. But do you like receiving feature updates and the general WaaS model? I don’t. I want to spend as much time as I can using my computer, not managing it and learning a new way to do the same things I have been doing for years.

      I still don’t like Windows 10. There are some good things with it under the hood in terms of security and it still has a lot of good things in it that Windows brings vs other OSes, but the rest seems inferior to me to many of the things that were present in previous versions, like the search tool that I use so many times in a day. I tolerate Windows 10, just as I will tolerate Windows 11 later, probably a bit less than Windows 10.

      So, what is the message you want to send Microsoft? I want them to know I don’t like their trend and I want to favor stability as much as possible. If you buy a new computer, that’s one thing, but upgrading your old computer before Windows 10 gets the boot for having the privilege of a less stable OS? I don’t see any advantage, except if you think the security features are worth it and are not sure how do activate them in Windows 10. If you need focus mode to be efficient, maybe the problem is not the OS.

      Microsoft tries to look more like Apple, but their strategy forgets something important. Apple has not been successful because of its launcher, but because they offer a good-looking environment that is also easy to use and low maintenance for people who don’t know computers. And Microsoft should think about what they offer that Apple doesn’t and that has kept them way more successful on the desktop forever. They should protect that. Simplifying doesn’t mean dumbing down.



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    • in reply to: What’s wrong with Windows 11? #2566497


      To answer your question, I don’t like having to use third-party tools to make Windows bearable. I have always done without. Everything should be accessible in the OS. I rip apart Windows 10 and makes it bearable without any third-party tool that needs to be installed and updated. I only use registry changes and scripts. If there is a feature update that changes some previously modified things and it bothers me, I can run my script again. It is not ideal, but I like it better than relying on a third-party and most of the time, it will be a nice to have to run the script but essential modifications will have remained.

      I still think Windows 10 is quite bad on top of a pretty good Windows core, I tolerate it, I got used to it being bad and got tired of complaining without any power to change anything, I don’t find it better except it seems a bit less scary right now to get a feature update to discover what good thing they deprecated, what big low-level thing they broke (ReFS), what feature they moved to an exclusive Workstation version or to Enterprise version only, what registry setting they changed so it doesn’t work anymore on the Pro version, what bad trick they are trying to force online accounts or show me ads or Bing, etc. Things are more quiet on the update front with Windows 10 and that means a lot less things to think about, so in that sense, it got better because they stopped trying to pretend WaaS was useful with unnecessary and annoying changes. I just want to work on my computer and not have to review unwanted changes that I feel are not for my benefit but Microsoft’s, at an unwanted time and have to find workarounds if I don’t like them.

      Windows 11, without third-party tools, can’t be used in a productive way as much as 10 due to the awful taskbar. I use the quick launch taskbar to keep the better very old way of managing open Windows and that is extremely important to my productivity. It’s a deal breaker. When I go on 11, I might have to resort to third party add-ons, but I really don’t like having to do that instead of just modifying Windows itself. The less outside code the better for me. Windows Search is scary too, I am afraid they will try more new bad ideas with it while it is a very important tool for me.

      I agree with you the few moments I played on Windows 11 it seemed a more coherent system than 10, but it still felt like a work in progress. Anyway, the deal breaker is there, so for now I use the OS I dislike less, which is 10, the OS that will change less over the next few months.

      Windows is still great in many ways if you ignore the negative aspects of 10 and 11, and there is no alternative for me anyway, having to use Office as a power user and not having time to find replacements for all the little nice tools I use on Windows.


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    • in reply to: Storage Spaces or Intel Rapid Storage? #2566487

      Will, this is pretty disconcerting to see what you experienced trying to rebuild the array.

      Did you try adding the new drive to the pool in Storage Spaces as a new drive and deleting the “missing” one ?

      If you can’t replace a drive, it is pretty scary. I can’t believe this is the case. However, I am not surprised that these things are not tested properly, as they are now part of the mostly-marketing exclusive features of the little used Workstation version of Windows. But it’s also part of Windows server, so I guess it is not used much because you then use a hardware RAID, which is much better than either Intel or the Windows solution.

      I had problems with the Intel Raid solution on a few PCs where the array would suddenly becomes two independent disks and users continuing to work on one drive only without noticing anything, but running the risk of them writing some info on one drive and some other on the other one. Not nice.


    • in reply to: The pros and cons of RAID 1 #2555796

      I am definitively team Will, sorry Fred. I think RAID 1 is great.

      It is not a substitute for backups, but it does serve this function in part (and I say in part) if you have people who don’t do very regular backups like almost everybody I help. Yes, you can get hit by a virus, but if you just suffer from a hardware failure and you don’t loose any minute of work, just replacing the hard disk, it is quite nice. In my experience, I have seen much more hardware failures than data loss due to a virus, oddly.

      I think it is a great addition to a regular backup, even more if your backups are monthly or less frequent. I probably saved more data using RAID 1 than anything. The rescues I had to rely on backups were computers without RAID and often, people didn’t do backups close to often enough. Not everybody gets hit by viruses.

      On a server level, RAID 10 is better for performance. It combines mirror and striping so you can read even faster than with a mirror only. I don’t like RAID 5. When you spend that much money, use RAID 10 or even RAID 1 to get the added performance benefit of being able to read two drives at the same time, plus maximum reliability. Over the lifetime of the computer, it is well worth it in my opinion and the performance boost is good, as well as the added reliability due to what gmileon said. RAID 5 is a compromise when data storage cost is too expensive. I don’t have huge amount of data even at the server level so that is why I don’t like RAID 5 at all for mission-critical work. Performance of both RAID 5 and 6 is lower than a single drive, I believe, also.

      In theory, even on a regular PC, RAID 1 should be faster on read, but like Will, for the scenario I use it for at the PC level, storing data, I don’t care if it is even slower with a certain implementation. Reliability and safety of the data is the priority here.

      Instead of Intel RAID, I switched to native Windows ReFS software mirrored drives a while back. Intel RAID had issues with WD Black drives taking many seconds to get out of sleep. With ReFS, in theory, you also don’t have to consider the different hardware controllers issue. Also, it is very easy to configure in Windows.

      Lastly, unlike Intel RAID 1, ReFS protects against bit rot, which Paul here doesn’t seem to believe in because he thinks CRCs already does enough. That is an interesting question, as I don’t know why we would have many filesystems on Linux too created to protect against bit rot if it is not an issue, but I am open to the idea that maybe people worked on all this for years for nothing. Something to research, I guess, but in the meantime, I will benefit from the mirrored effect even if bit rot isn’t an issue.

      ReFS was affected by Windows feature updates in a totally unacceptable manner, but I didn’t suffer from it because I always delay feature updates by as long as I can. Also, Microsoft removed it from the PRO version to restrict it to a new “Workstation” version of Windows at some point, a version that not many people know of. This is not good in my opinion because it reduces even more the user base so we end up with stupid issues like when Microsoft broke it after a feature update and they had not been aware of it before releasing it. I guess they needed to put a few things together marketing-wise to justify creating a Workstation version for milking more money out of the professionals. Some of them must have been very angry if they lost data and time due to the feature update.

      I think ReFS doesn’t get the love it deserves. For now, I have many PCs running on it since the days of Windows 8.1, but I didn’t have a single hard drive failure to report how it went so I can’t comment on that part. At least, it didn’t do like many of the PCs I managed did with Intel RAID where sometimes the array doesn’t get recognized anymore and the user starts running Windows with two identical disks together…

      I think RAID 1 or mirrored drives are not used because people don’t know about it. Whenever I suggest it to someone I help, a lot of them will want it because they know they are not that good at backing up often enough. Knowing how hard it is for people to change, it is easier to set them up with mirrored drives and remind them periodically to do a backup than just not doing anything. We have to live in the real world that most people live in while trying to educate them to do better.

      If you have a ReFS formatted drive, Windows will recognize it and use it even if it is not running the Workstation version. I think it can even update the version of ReFS on the disks when a new one is available. I did it on my Windows Pro version, having created the ReFS mirrored drive before ReFS got restricted to Workstation version, but upgrading the version after the restriction even on Pro version. ReFS is still actively developed in the servers versions of Windows too, but I don’t know if it is used much due to the fact that servers often have great hardware RAID controllers.

      As for having two disks break at the same time, it almost happened to me in a server with a 2 days delay. Thanks to HP’s great 4h service window, the bad hard drive had already been hot swapped and reconstructed before the second one broke. I think having HDs break exactly at the same time is highly unlikely, so you might have time to replace the drive or do a backup if you are not current. Still, don’t rely on RAID for backups only, of course, but I will take the added peace of mind and convenience.


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    • in reply to: Finding a good keyboard #2548596

      I love mechanical keyboards.

      Here’s a few opinions based on my research on the subject and my personal experience. There might be something better out there, but it is a good start for someone who doesn’t want to go to the trouble of researching the subject and wants a great keyboard.

      Those with Cherry MX brown keys have a great feel and are good for a mix of gaming and typing while being not too loud. They are a bit like Cherry MX blue but quiet.

      I actually love the loud clicky sound of the Cherry MX blue keys, which is best for typing according to many. I would rate those as the most satisfying in terms of feel.

      I just bought one keyboard with Cherry MX red keys. Those are linear, not bumpy, faster keys, apparently better for gaming, but more prone to errors while typing. They seem to be the best mix between speed and not accidentally triggering a key during gaming. There are other keys like black or silver, but none seemed to be actually worth it vs red. I wanted to try the red to see the different feel and see if I can actually type faster without making more errors. Some people do. I think I prefer the feel of the brown and blue, though, even if red might be faster for typing if you are good at avoiding errors. Maybe I just need to get used to the feel.

      As for other brands of keys than Cherry, I didn’t research them because I did most of my research a while ago and what was good is still good, although there might be some better keys now. Durability is a more important factor for me and I know Cherry MX keys are durable. Some high performance keys might not be as durable.

      N-key rollover means how many keys you can press at the same time. I indirectly learned what it was by playing World of Warcraft a long time ago and being unable to play properly because I had too many keys to press at the same time and a lot of keyboards are limited to registering not that many keys pressed at the same time. Full N-key rollover might be a desirable feature for you. Sometimes it might only be available on the PS/2 connector if the keyboard supports both PS/2 and only supports 6 keys on USB. Check carefully.

      As for looks, I strongly prefer a very neutral, no frills, professional looking keyboard with no RGB lights and no gaming look. I don’t need programmable keys or media keys and I want 3 lights to know if numlock, caps and scroll are activated, all of this at a reasonable price.

      I got a Rosewill RK-9000 v2 in the past the fit that bill. It was a great price for a good quality keyboard with full n-key rollover on PS/2, although the caps are ABS and not PBT. ABS keycaps can become shiny and get erased faster than the double shot PBT keys, which are textured and more durable. My keycaps are shiny in many places, but I still can see all the letters very well. Unfortunately, Rosewill now seem to only make more gamer looks keyboards, although maybe the RGB can be turned off.

      My last purchase is the new Filco Majestouch 3 which has PBT keys, full N-key rollover on USB, wired (I didn’t take the bluetooth version). It is an upgrade to the Rosewill at a reasonable price and fits all my criterias above.

      Those two keyboards are full-size keyboards. Many people now and ergonomics specialists will say to get a smaller keyboard (tenkeyless) so your mouse is closer to you and it strains your wrist less because it stays straighter to your body. I am of the school of thought that you should avoid using your mouse as much as possible while working (learn those keyboard shortcuts, you will work so much faster) and I use the numpad a lot, so my choices of keyboard are full-size ones. If you game a lot or use your mouse a lot, you might be better served with a tenkeyless keyboard.

      While we are on the subject of keyboard, I might add a comment about mouses. I researched mouses after being mad spending money on gaming mouses for first person shooters that stopped working after 6 months because they double-click when you click once. I found out most recommended gaming mouses have “performance” switches that don’t last and start double-clicking even if they brag about a high number of clicks. So I bought inexpensive Steelseries Rival 3 and 5 for gaming that doesn’t have these keys and they still work perfect after more than 2 years.

      Last, I only buy wired products. They cost less and they, at least when I researched a while ago, offered better performance for time-sensitive gaming. You might have good reasons to avoid wires so the models I suggested here might not be for you, but I hope it gives you a better idea what to get. The Filco has a bluetooth version.


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    • in reply to: Sometimes it’s the little things #2532039

      Some registry tweaks I do. For Office 2016, change the 16.0 to the appropriate number for another version.

      ; Deactivates the ability to sign in in Office 2016. To reactivate, just set the value to 0

      ; From 2 to 0 to deactivates external files access and sharepoint integration

      ; deactivate the start screen for all Office apps

      ; deactivate the annoying animations

      ; prevents always asking to save even if you didn’t change anything when you open a file from an older version of Office

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    • in reply to: Group policy is cool but…. #2529634

      For those interested in the subject, I did a good amount of research on the subject here:


      The conclusion is the group policy editor might work, but if the setting is ignored by the home version, it isn’t very useful. I personally use registry settings to control a Windows Home computer and it works well where it can. After a feature update, you can run the registry file again. I explain a bit of things in this post as well.

    • in reply to: Is it time to move to Windows 11? #2507437

      “If you want to take advantage of the best and brightest ideas coming out of Microsoft’s Windows team, that means Windows 11.”

      The problem is they are far outweighed by the worst and dumbest ideas that reduces my productivity and implies the need to use third party tools to tame a bit of them. I also absolutely refuse to endorse their requirement to use a Microsoft Account on the Home version.

      In addition, none of the improvements you mentioned are really compelling to me and I am sure I am not alone feeling that way.

      Indirectly presenting staying on 10 as a risky move in terms of security doesn’t seem reasonable. 10 is supported right now and you can always upgrade later before support ends unless Microsoft change their mind about the free upgrade, but I would think they would announce it before. 11 might have better security features you did not talk about, but are they usable for Home versions users and are they useful for them that much in real life right now?

      They should focus on adding or refining useful tools instead of deprecating them : imaging, partitioning, easier way to save and copy all settings for small businesses, easy low-privilege sandboxed browsing with any browser, etc.

      I say stay on 10, and upgrade at the last minute when support ends to send the message to Microsoft that their ideas are not good.

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    • in reply to: Apple’s non-event fall event #2497124

      I just found it funny that you saw the Ipad Pro as worthy of mention while the budget Ipad seemed like a non-event. Maybe the fact that you say you are no Apple expert explains this.

      Still, I am very happy you take some space to mention the few new products Apple announces because I had missed it and it is of interest to me.

      I buy the Pro not because I get excited by all its capabilities I don’t use, but like many people in my circle, I only buy it for the size so for me the Pro isn’t that exciting. I won’t change mine because a new faster one is around. I still find working on an Ipad a very subpar experience vs Windows. I use my Ipad a lot to read, highlight pdfs and research online in a comfortable lying position or on the go.

      The Ipad is the model I most often recommend to people along with the Air so the changes are quite important.  It does indeed now sit in a weird place at the new price level, maybe less an obvious choice than before for many people : maybe too expensive for what it offers although it is a great machine. For most people I advise, variations in speed are irrelevant, they are all good enough. Expected longevity is more important as a side effect of specs. Main difference between the Air and Ipad in terms of user experience is the laminated screen if you have more money to spend. The camera on the larger side of the new Ipad is not a small thing if you do virtual meetings because it really is not great to have your Ipad in landscape with a camera on the side.

    • in reply to: Apple’s non-event fall event #2496126

      Thanks, Will. However, you didn’t talk much about the new Ipad, which seems to be a nice improvement over the previous model, just by glancing at it. Having the new bigger screen without the button and large bezels is not a small thing.

      Wi-Fi 6, USB-C, A14 processor (not that useful of an upgrade maybe for the target market but we’ll take it), a better rear camera not many people will care for.

      Now, it would be interesting to have a comparison of features between this one and the Air now that the screen isn’t as much different than before. I bet the regular Ipad will continue to be the tablet of choice for most people, even more, except that it is pricier so maybe less attractive to the budget consumer that was happy with the lower price and would not pay more for the new extras even if they are nice improvements. But what’s the alternative?

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    • in reply to: The magic of an iPhone migration #2490105

      As someone who have been close to the action in our not so small business managing Iphones without MDM, I can bring an opinion that might be of interest to some here.

      We use Itunes on Windows a lot for backing up. I am not a cloud person. Evolution will likely make dinosaurs like me disappear, but for now, it still works fine for us that way. Itunes worked very well for backups. You just put a password with the Itunes backup in Itunes so it includes your passwords in the backup as well. It is a simple process then whenever you plug your phone, it backs it up.

      Using the Microsoft store version of Itunes has brought issues, so maybe that is what some are experiencing, because it is pushed and you might not have noticed you changed versions. In our case, it couldn’t synchronize to Outlook anymore. The solution was to click around the suggested update to use the traditional desktop version of Itunes.

      The problem with Itunes backup is the rare occasion it doesn’t work when it is time to restore. So I suggest having more than one backup in case one doesn’t work. One could argue this is enough to not rely on Itunes for backups, but in my experience, I had restore issues once in a while with pretty much all backup software I used when you bring some volume because it seems statistics ends up catching up on you, be it for PCs or something else. I think I also saw an iCloud backup issue once helping someone, so maybe Itunes isn’t the only solution that isn’t perfect anyway.

      Although I still back up using Itunes, last refresh of devices, I used the OTA method to copy the old phones on the new ones. I must say this: it is true that upgrading a fleet of Iphones for a small or medium business that manually manages everything is a relatively painless experience, nothing like upgrading to new PCs. It feels as if it almost perfectly works like it should have worked all along: you upgrade the hardware, but the software is almost all moved from the older device to the new one, then you just wipe the old one and give it to someone you love so it starts a new life. No need to manually install the new PC, change all the dumb settings that Microsoft puts by default and then copy your stuff. It is almost as transparent as it can get. Hear this Microsoft: I still keep my PCs as long as I can, but we change our phones every 3 years because battery gets less good with usage and the process is so easy I don’t mind us putting a few hours once every 3 years to have everybody have the new hardware, but no new software to learn because we already use it. It makes Apple sell more phones. It just works. Get it?

      It is true you need to be careful before wiping that some apps don’t transfer their data. Google Authenticator, you need to use your old phone to export the data it contains to the new one once you copied your old phone on the new one, but it is painless. If you don’t use iCloud like me, you might have to reenter some info in some apps, but for the most part, I found it just works. I suggest not wiping your old phone too fast and checking all apps after the update to the new phone to make sure everything works.

      Now a few things to keep in mind. The OTA upgrade needs your new phone to be on a version of IOS that is equal or more recent than the one your are upgrading from. The quality of your wifi connection matters, plus maybe how busy Apple servers are. It doesn’t work great in my experience if you try to copy your old phone to your new one if it isn’t already up to date. It will try to update, but then it might hang or not work when trying to update the new phone to the latest IOS prior once the copying has started. The solution is get your new phone out of the box, set it as a new phone, upgrade it to the latest IOS version, wipe it as a new phone than start the process of copying your old phone to the new one.

      Never leaves your wifi while upgrading. I thought the fact that the two phones were close to one another and maybe using bluetooth made it so I could leave and let the update finish in my car. Not. It will just stop and do weird things and you will have to restart from scratch.

      The process can be painfully slow. You should do it when you have plenty of time to leave your phone unused for a while and do something else without stressing about what is going on. Sometimes, it is quite fast, sometimes it takes a few hours, but it doesn’t require you and the result is still great: you have the same phone you had with a much more powerful hardware once it is finished if you let it complete.

      I’m pretty satisfied with Apple’s way of doing things. It is not perfect, but they keep going in the right direction. I also love that they don’t force the new IOS anymore, but allow you to continue receiving security updates on the older version until things stabilizes. This is perfect for me. I always wait until the latest IOS is the only version offered to update to it. I experienced much less upgrade pain issues since Apple has started doing this. Reliability is up a lot because of that. Iphones issues are not a subject I talk about much anymore. Apple also sends security updates to older devices unable to run the latest version. That’s great.

      Now if they could just be a little bit more transparent about the fact that an older device is secured well enough or not and send a notification when they stop patching them enough to keep them at around the same level of security than newer devices, that would be best. Right now, we don’t know if they only patch the most critical security issues or not on devices running much older IOS versions. There is just still a bit too much unknown about how safe are older devices running an older IOS version and whether this version is still patched or not and how much.




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    • in reply to: 22H2 for Windows 11 is out #2480293

      A quick googling of it brings up https://www.ghacks.net/2022/08/21/windows-11-version-22h2-taskbar-changes/, and according to this link, it is not likely to satisfy critics and certainly not me.

      The lack of an ability to use quicklaunch like previous versions of Windows is quite bad. I never liked the Windows 7 launcher who hinders productivity vs the way Vista and before were working. I think Microsoft should simply offer a choice between the old more productive Vista way and the later maybe cute but inefficient Mac like way.

      Having taskbar icons displayed as text at the bottom when opened is also very important for me for quick selection and I think it wasn’t possible with Windows 11 when I tried it a few minutes before replacing it with 10 on a new PC.

      Also, can taskbar open windows be not combined at the bottom?

      The changes seem again gimmicky and an insult to the intelligence of users, like when they pretended they fixed the Start Menu on Windows 8 while not really fixing it.


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    • in reply to: 22H2 for Windows 11 is out #2480273

      “I’m not sure if 22H2 is out for Windows 10 as well?”

      Maybe they are trying their luck at pushing users to 11? ;-p

      “Reminder: All editions of Windows 10, version 21H1 will reach the end of servicing on December 13, 2022. As devices running version 21H1 will no longer receive security updates after December 13, 2022, we recommend that you update to Windows 11 to remain supported.”

      Did they do anything to fix the terrible behavior of the task bar and the start menu?

    • in reply to: Thunderbird: A worthy alternative to Microsoft Outlook #2471970

      Thunderbird is great to manage emails. I love it and have been using it at work for years. The quick filter is awesome. I literally have more than a million emails on it and it handles them flawlessly and fast.

      The problem with Thunderbird is its calendar and contacts synchronization. We lost so much time trying to make it work. It sucks and when it seems to work, then you discover weird issues, like doubling your invites or other.

      Instead of changing the UI, the devs should really focus on making it work well with Google Calendar and other popular solution to become a real professional alternative to Outlook.

      For all others who doesn’t need this synchronization, I highly recommend it.


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    • in reply to: Microsoft’s announcements this week #2438744

      Unsupported Windows 7 has an unpatched print spooler vulnerability that is very bad.

      If your browser doesn’t get updated anymore on Windows 7, a vulnerability in it could enable a drive-by download that could have a bigger impact on Windows 7 by exploiting known unpatched flaws in it. You never know when browsing even if you are careful that you won’t stumble by mistake on a bad web site. It happened to me while researching cars before. There was an article on a legitimate web site referring to another source that I clicked and that didn’t exist anymore and had been replaced by a drive-by malware.

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