How simple are newbies anyway? - Linux

This is a discussion on How simple are newbies anyway? - Linux ; -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 ____/ Homer on Saturday 19 July 2008 17:49 : \____ > Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly: >> Homer wrote: > >>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name ...

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  1. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

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    ____/ Homer on Saturday 19 July 2008 17:49 : \____

    > Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly:
    >> Homer wrote:

    >
    >>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the
    >>> whining idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world,
    >>> that they cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the
    >>> basics of using a computer, without being guided through it like an
    >>> infant being spoon-fed baby food?

    >>
    >>
    >> You're being silly.

    >
    > Not at all, it's a serious point with serious implications for the
    > future of GNU/Linux, based on my past experience of a time when
    > "newbies" were not "paralysed with fear" as they seem to be today.


    Remember Linus and "real men writing their own device drivers".

    - --
    ~~ Best of wishes

    Surely, Microsoft has given up on altruism in the IT industry
    http://Schestowitz.com | Open Prospects | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
    Tasks: 171 total, 1 running, 170 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
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  2. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On 2008-07-19, Homer wrote:
    > Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly:
    >> Homer wrote:

    >
    >>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the
    >>> whining idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world,
    >>> that they cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the
    >>> basics of using a computer, without being guided through it like an
    >>> infant being spoon-fed baby food?

    >>
    >>
    >> You're being silly.

    >
    > Not at all, it's a serious point with serious implications for the
    > future of GNU/Linux, based on my past experience of a time when
    > "newbies" were not "paralysed with fear" as they seem to be today.
    >


    Yep. They weren't paralysed by fear back in the 80's and computers cost
    far more and there was far less help then.

    --
    Regards,

    Gregory.
    Gentoo Linux - Penguin Power

  3. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 12:02:29 -0700, Tim Smith wrote:

    > In article , Homer
    > wrote:
    >> And that's what concerns me about distros like Ubuntu ... that plainly
    >> want to /be/ Windows. But the problem with that is that if I wanted to
    >> use Windows then I would just go out and buy a copy. I don't want Linux
    >> to be Windows. Linux is not Windows, and never should be. I use Linux to
    >> get /away/ from Windows, because I despise that computing paradigm of
    >> corporate control and a dumbed-down interface. I want ultimate control
    >> of the software on my computers, and the Freedom to make it into
    >> whatever I want, but my ability to do that depends on the contribution
    >> of others as well as my own. If those contributions start to dry up
    >> because every user out there is a brain-dead sheep that just leeches
    >> from a handful of paid engineers, then my choices and power becomes
    >> eroded to the point where I have essentially lost my Freedom.

    >
    > Some people have real work to do, and so don't want to dick around with
    > things that are complex for no good reason. As Linus noted:
    >
    > And when it comes to distributions, ease of installation has
    > actually been one of my main issues - I'm a technical person, but I
    > have a very specific area of interest, and I don't want to fight the
    > rest. So the only distributions I have actively avoided are the ones
    > that are known to be "overly technical" - like the ones that
    > encourage you to compile your own programs etc.
    >
    > Yeah, I can do it, but it kind of defeats the whole point of a
    > distribution for me. So I like the ones that have a name of being
    > easy to use. I've never used plain Debian, for example, but I like
    > Ubuntu. And before Debian people attack me - yeah, I know, I know,
    > it's supposedly much simpler and easier to install these days. But
    > it certainly didn't use to be, so I never had any reason to go for
    > it.
    >
    >>


    That's the difference between a true visionary, Linus, and the arm chair
    basement dwellers in COLA.


    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  4. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Verily I say unto thee, that Linonut spake thusly:

    > I went for Debian because I had a problem installing the "easy"
    > distro, Red Hat, on a no-name laptop, due to a bug (I found out about
    > it later) with the Red Hat installer in AMD K6 machines.


    If you're referring to last year's release, then that was diagnosed by
    me and fixed by Jeroen van Meeuwen and Bob Jensen at Fedora Unity
    shortly afterwards:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=367731#c24

    I did the testing for those spins, the first two of which still didn't
    work, but the third time was a charm. Certainly there should be no issue
    with the latest release.

    Essentially the problem was that Anaconda was built using the wrong
    flags, producing a binary that depended on CPU features not present on
    K6/VIA systems (the CMOV instruction).

    > Turned out great, I learned a /lot/ figuring it out.


    I like Debian a lot, and Slackware too, but I'm just so used to working
    with RPM-based systems that I feel more comfortable on RH/Fedora.

    > (I still have that laptop, with Ubuntu on it, but I'm going to
    > reinstall with Puppy).


    Puppy is an amazingly full-featured distro for its size. You should have
    a look at SLAX too, which is similar in size but even more customisable.

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining
    | armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos
    | neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate
    | technology, led them into it in the first place." ~ Douglas Adams
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    22:22:08 up 211 days, 18:57, 4 users, load average: 0.28, 0.44, 0.34

  5. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    > On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 12:02:29 -0700, Tim Smith wrote:
    >
    >> In article , Homer
    >> wrote:
    >>> And that's what concerns me about distros like Ubuntu ... that plainly
    >>> want to /be/ Windows. But the problem with that is that if I wanted to
    >>> use Windows then I would just go out and buy a copy. I don't want Linux
    >>> to be Windows. Linux is not Windows, and never should be. I use Linux to
    >>> get /away/ from Windows, because I despise that computing paradigm of
    >>> corporate control and a dumbed-down interface. I want ultimate control
    >>> of the software on my computers, and the Freedom to make it into
    >>> whatever I want, but my ability to do that depends on the contribution
    >>> of others as well as my own. If those contributions start to dry up
    >>> because every user out there is a brain-dead sheep that just leeches
    >>> from a handful of paid engineers, then my choices and power becomes
    >>> eroded to the point where I have essentially lost my Freedom.

    >> Some people have real work to do, and so don't want to dick around with
    >> things that are complex for no good reason. As Linus noted:
    >>
    >> And when it comes to distributions, ease of installation has
    >> actually been one of my main issues - I'm a technical person, but I
    >> have a very specific area of interest, and I don't want to fight the
    >> rest. So the only distributions I have actively avoided are the ones
    >> that are known to be "overly technical" - like the ones that
    >> encourage you to compile your own programs etc.
    >>
    >> Yeah, I can do it, but it kind of defeats the whole point of a
    >> distribution for me. So I like the ones that have a name of being
    >> easy to use. I've never used plain Debian, for example, but I like
    >> Ubuntu. And before Debian people attack me - yeah, I know, I know,
    >> it's supposedly much simpler and easier to install these days. But
    >> it certainly didn't use to be, so I never had any reason to go for
    >> it.
    >>
    >>>

    >
    > That's the difference between a true visionary, Linus, and the arm chair
    > basement dwellers in COLA.


    *you* spend a strange amount of time in cola for someone who hates linux.


  6. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    > You on the other hand, Roy Schestowitz, are University of Manchester's very
    > own version of Van Wilder.



    Uh-oh flattie's got a bone again.

    Van Wilder spent all his time and considerable energy to no apparent
    purpose.

    flattie spends a whole lot of his time trolling cola... to no apparent
    purpose.

    Schestowitz on the other hand is actually an advocate of linux and has a
    legitimate reason to post to cola.

    Hmmm.....

    I'd visit your comparison again sonny.

  7. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    > Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:


    >>> Some people have real work to do


    Irrelevant. People who use computers at work have administrators to
    look after the software for them. This isn't about /work/, it's about
    end-users contributing towards something that is otherwise free (and
    Free). If it's good enough for them to accept this Free Software from
    the community that provides it to them, then it should be good enough
    for them to give something /back/ to that community. Anything less is
    just leeching.

    >>> and so don't want to dick around with things that are complex for
    >>> no good reason.


    The "good reason" is payment in kind.

    >>> As Linus noted:


    Linus "notes" a lot of things, many of which are utter bull****, such as
    "I like Tivoization", as just one example. Apparently Linus is happy for
    others to not only leech from the community, but actually prohibit the
    Freedom that this software is supposed to provide too. So you'll forgive
    me if I'm not overwhelmed by anything Linus has to say.

    > *you* spend a strange amount of time in cola for someone who hates
    > linux.


    It's not strange, it's his job as a paid shill for Microsoft.

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining
    | armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos
    | neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate
    | technology, led them into it in the first place." ~ Douglas Adams
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    02:31:28 up 211 days, 23:07, 4 users, load average: 0.20, 0.34, 0.31

  8. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    In article ,
    Linonut wrote:
    > I used my old Commodore VIC-20 to connect to the university mainframe
    > (and view newsgroups!)
    >
    > Oh how I remember my wife agonizing about the cost of the VIC, a
    > cassette-tape drive, and a 300-baud modem cartridge! I also (later)
    > bought an assembly-language cartridge.


    Ahhh...the VIC-20. I never owned one, but programmed one at work. I
    was working on a 3D first person game for it, based on the infamous
    "Tomb of Horrors" module for Dungeons & Dragons.

    Programming on the VIC-20 was very pleasant compared to programming for
    the next generation of the Intellivision, which was where I had
    previously been programming "Tomb of Horrors". On the VIC-20, I could
    actually get a bit-mapped screen, where I could set any pixel I wanted
    to any color. The Intellivision was essentially a character-mapped
    screen with some programmable characters, and it was quite a challenge
    to lay out the geometry of the dungeon so that all the visible features
    of the background could be broken down into the small number of
    programmable characters available. (In fact, it couldn't be done--I had
    to cheat a little. There were places where the perspective was not
    geometrically correct on the Intellivision version of "Tomb of
    Horrors"). Furthermore, the Intellivision handled color in a way so
    bizarre that if I were to describe it here, it might cause your head to
    explode. Not having to deal with that on the VIC-20 made me happy.

    I still miss that job. When you can go out on company time, buy some
    D&D books, and come back and spend all day in your office sitting on
    your nice comfortable bean bag reading them, and put it down on your
    timecard as "research" and get paid for it, that is sweet. And since it
    was important to keep up on developments in video gaming in general, we
    (the whole programming staff) could take the occasional afternoon and go
    out to the arcades, and play games for the rest of the day, calling that
    "research".

    Alas, neither version of "Tomb of Horrors" was released. Intellivision
    ToH was almost done, and VIC-20 was maybe 1/3 done, when this happened:



    Most of the games we were doing were cancelled (as was the next
    generation Intellivision itself), and most of the game programmers were
    laid off. Only the port of "Burger Time" was not cancelled. That was
    kind of funny, because we thought that was the lamest of the games we
    were working on, and the rest of us liked to tease the woman who was
    writing that port about having a lame game to port. We weren't laughing
    any more when she was the only one who didn't lose her job!

    --
    --Tim Smith

  9. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Tim Smith wrote:
    > Alas, neither version of "Tomb of Horrors" was released. Intellivision
    > ToH was almost done, and VIC-20 was maybe 1/3 done, when this happened:
    >
    >


    Hmmm... Odd...
    With a bit of nouce your company could't made a packet.
    The video game industry might've crashed over there, but over here that was
    a boom time. The ZX Spectrum had only been released 1 year earlier and the
    period 1982-1985 was the defining time for many small gaming companies.
    (which became bigger gaming companies, such as Code Masters, Rare, etc)

    Perhaps your company crashed because you were still writing software for the
    vic20 when more advanced machines were on the market, like the commodore
    64, the bbc micro, the dragon 32, the atari 400/800 and the spectrum?


    > Most of the games we were doing were cancelled (as was the next
    > generation Intellivision itself), and most of the game programmers were
    > laid off. Only the port of "Burger Time" was not cancelled. That was
    > kind of funny, because we thought that was the lamest of the games we
    > were working on, and the rest of us liked to tease the woman who was
    > writing that port about having a lame game to port. We weren't laughing
    > any more when she was the only one who didn't lose her job!


    You should've known. Well known arcade ports sold better than original
    games. Just as film tie-ins sell better than many original games today.
    (even if they're usually rubbish)
    --
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | "I'm alive!!! I can touch! I can taste! |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc | I can SMELL!!! KRYTEN!!! Unpack Rachel and |
    | in | get out the puncture repair kit!" |
    | Computer Science | Arnold Judas Rimmer- Red Dwarf |

  10. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Homer wrote:
    > Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    >> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:

    >
    >>>> Some people have real work to do

    >
    > Irrelevant. People who use computers at work have administrators to
    > look after the software for them. This isn't about /work/, it's about



    It's amazing how often the wintrolls trot out the old "but you use
    windows at work" chestnut.

  11. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Homer peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > Verily I say unto thee, that Linonut spake thusly:
    >
    >> I went for Debian because I had a problem installing the "easy"
    >> distro, Red Hat, on a no-name laptop, due to a bug (I found out about
    >> it later) with the Red Hat installer in AMD K6 machines.

    >
    > If you're referring to last year's release, then that was diagnosed by
    > me and fixed by Jeroen van Meeuwen and Bob Jensen at Fedora Unity
    > shortly afterwards:
    >
    > https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=367731#c24


    No, this was /years/ go. Around Red Hat 6 (well before Fedora came into
    existence.)

    > I like Debian a lot, and Slackware too, but I'm just so used to working
    > with RPM-based systems that I feel more comfortable on RH/Fedora.


    I've like apt/dpkg better, overall, but the only way I've used RPMs in a
    long time is via alien.

    >> (I still have that laptop, with Ubuntu on it, but I'm going to
    >> reinstall with Puppy).

    >
    > Puppy is an amazingly full-featured distro for its size. You should have
    > a look at SLAX too, which is similar in size but even more customisable.


    I'll have a related post soon.

    --
    During a visit to America, Winston Churchill was invited to a buffet
    luncheon at which cold fried chicken was served. Returning for a second
    helping, he asked politely, "May I have some breast?"
    "Mr. Churchill," replied the hostess, "in this country we ask for
    white meat or dark meat." Churchill apologized profusely.
    The following morning, the lady received a magnificent orchid from
    her guest of honor. The accompanying card read: "I would be most obliged if
    you would pin this on your white meat."

  12. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Phil Da Lick! peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>
    >> That's the difference between a true visionary, Linus, and the arm chair
    >> basement dwellers in COLA.


    Odd. I own my own home, in a nice neighborhood. And it doesn't have a
    basement.

    > *you* spend a strange amount of time in cola for someone who hates linux.


    I think Moshe "Sobibor" Goldfarb is here primarily because Linux people,
    being hard-core fans of their Free Software, are a bit easier to rev up
    (troll).

    --
    "If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do: Pour a little
    Lavoris in the toilet."
    -- Jay Leno

  13. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Linonut wrote:

    >> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>>
    >>> That's the difference between a true visionary, Linus, and the arm
    >>> chair basement dwellers in COLA.

    >
    > Odd. I own my own home, in a nice neighborhood. And it doesn't have
    > a basement.



    LMAO! Thank God for Bill Gates and Microsoft!








  14. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Phil Da Lick! peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > Homer wrote:
    >> Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    >>> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:

    >>
    >>>>> Some people have real work to do

    >>
    >> Irrelevant. People who use computers at work have administrators to
    >> look after the software for them. This isn't about /work/, it's about

    >
    > It's amazing how often the wintrolls trot out the old "but you use
    > windows at work" chestnut.


    They're idiots. They'll ram the "Microsoft dominates the industry"
    mantra down your throat when it's to their advantage, but they'll
    completely ignore it when it actually /causes/ something they think they
    can use against you.

    And I use oil-company products in my car, football (soccer) balls made
    in Pakistan or China, I eat tuna harvested by the Japanese, and have a
    land-fill amount of unrecyclable computer components.

    There's no avoiding /some/ link to pernicious companies, even ones that,
    unlike Microsoft, are not monopolies.

    I actually do pretty well at avoiding Windows, for working in an
    all-Windows environment. (I get plenty of chuckles when the other
    people are having their Windows-networking problems.)

    --
    Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
    -- General Omar N. Bradley

  15. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 20:33:24 -0700, Tim Smith wrote:


    > Ahhh...the VIC-20. I never owned one, but programmed one at work. I
    > was working on a 3D first person game for it, based on the infamous
    > "Tomb of Horrors" module for Dungeons & Dragons.
    >
    > Programming on the VIC-20 was very pleasant compared to programming for
    > the next generation of the Intellivision, which was where I had
    > previously been programming "Tomb of Horrors". On the VIC-20, I could
    > actually get a bit-mapped screen, where I could set any pixel I wanted
    > to any color.


    Commodore 64 and later 128 here.
    I had both the 1541 and Enhancer2000 floppy disk drives.

    Of course like everyone else I entered the program from the Programmers
    Manual that made a sprite based balloon fly across the screen.

    It was at about that point where I decided that hardware was more in line
    with my abilities and that I didn't want to sit in front of a monitor all
    day typing in cryptic (to me anyway) code.

    I also owned an Atarti ST and an Atari 400 at various times.

    The funny thing was that when the IBM PC, the original, was released I
    looked at it and shook my head in bewilderment.
    I had been doing all that and more with my C64, and in color!

    A friend of mine purchased the entire IBMPC setup, I mean everything, and
    it ran him around $5k at IBM employee prices.

    I guess I just didn't see what was coming at the time but truthfully I
    thought it was a boat anchor.

    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  16. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    DFS wrote:
    > Linonut wrote:
    >
    >>> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>>> That's the difference between a true visionary, Linus, and the arm
    >>>> chair basement dwellers in COLA.

    >> Odd. I own my own home, in a nice neighborhood. And it doesn't have
    >> a basement.

    >
    >
    > LMAO! Thank God for Bill Gates and Microsoft!


    Heh I notice you sipped a bit out of Linonut's post. I'll repeat here
    for QED purposes:

    "I think Moshe "Sobibor" Goldfarb is here primarily because Linux
    people, being hard-core fans of their Free Software, are a bit easier to
    rev up (troll)."

    Shame on you Linonut!

  17. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    > Commodore 64 and later 128 here.



    The 64 ruled.

  18. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    > Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >> Commodore 64 and later 128 here.

    >
    >
    > The 64 ruled.


    The speccy was better.
    --
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | "I'm alive!!! I can touch! I can taste! |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc | I can SMELL!!! KRYTEN!!! Unpack Rachel and |
    | in | get out the puncture repair kit!" |
    | Computer Science | Arnold Judas Rimmer- Red Dwarf |

  19. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Phil Da Lick! peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > DFS wrote:
    >> Linonut wrote:
    >>
    >>> Odd. I own my own home, in a nice neighborhood. And it doesn't have
    >>> a basement.

    >>
    >> LMAO! Thank God for Bill Gates and Microsoft!

    >
    > Heh I notice you sipped a bit out of Linonut's post. I'll repeat here
    > for QED purposes:
    >
    > "I think Moshe "Sobibor" Goldfarb is here primarily because Linux
    > people, being hard-core fans of their Free Software, are a bit easier to
    > rev up (troll)."
    >
    > Shame on you Linonut!


    DFS is a jeering, inane idiot. If Bill Gates and Microsoft didn't
    exist, I'd likely be making a living doing software on DEC machines or
    on DR-Windows. But Sir William Buttcrust killed off those options
    decades ago.

    Luckily, I get to also do a fair amount on Linux. Sir Buttcrust can't
    seem to kill it. He finds it much easier to battle malaria now, lol.

    --
    A man's gotta know his limitations.
    -- Clint Eastwood, "Dirty Harry"

  20. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 12:02:29 -0700, Tim Smith quoth:

    > In article , Homer wrote:
    >> And that's what concerns me about distros like Ubuntu ... that plainly
    >> want to /be/ Windows. But the problem with that is that if I wanted to
    >> use Windows then I would just go out and buy a copy. I don't want Linux
    >> to be Windows. Linux is not Windows, and never should be. I use Linux
    >> to get /away/ from Windows, because I despise that computing paradigm
    >> of corporate control and a dumbed-down interface. I want ultimate
    >> control of the software on my computers, and the Freedom to make it
    >> into whatever I want, but my ability to do that depends on the
    >> contribution of others as well as my own. If those contributions start
    >> to dry up because every user out there is a brain-dead sheep that just
    >> leeches from a handful of paid engineers, then my choices and power
    >> becomes eroded to the point where I have essentially lost my Freedom.

    >
    > Some people have real work to do, and so don't want to dick around with
    > things that are complex for no good reason. As Linus noted:
    >
    > And when it comes to distributions, ease of installation has actually
    > been one of my main issues - I'm a technical person, but I have a
    > very specific area of interest, and I don't want to fight the rest.
    > [...deleted material ...]


    two things:

    (a) I am trying to figure out the relevance of the Linus quotation about
    ease of installation to Homer's point about having control over one's
    computer. the latter has to do with customizing the system and with
    getting programs to do what you want them to do.

    (b) I am also a bit confused about the connection between having control
    and not getting work done because of 'dicking around with things that are
    complex for no good reason.' obviously one doesn't want needless
    complexity but one does want access to the complexity one needs.

    (a colleague wanted to extract the email addresses from a lengthy Word
    file; she estimated the project would cost our student-workers a couple of
    weeks. of course it was doable in a couple of minutes using Linux (and I
    assume also using Windows). my colleague wasn't dicking around, she did
    not have control,

    unfortunately, whether in Windows or Linux, getting things to work as one
    wants often requires know-how.

    are you sure you aren't inadvertently falling for some false dichotomies?

    Felmon

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