New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300 - VMS

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Thread: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

  1. New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    Hi All,

    This is my first post to this newsgroup so please don't flame me (too
    much) if I've got the wrong group.

    I'm really excited this week because I'm a big collector of all old kit
    and I have, until now, never owned *any* Digital Equipment other than a
    crazy old line printer which went bust many years ago.

    I now am the proud owner of a MicroVAX 3300, and also a VAXStation 3100.
    Unfortunately the 3100 has no hard drive so I'll need to work out
    something later with that. I have therefore concentrated my efforts to
    the MV and noticed that the boot indicator went to 3, not 0, meaning it
    wasn't booting fully. I didn't have a compatible console cable, so it sat
    there for 4 lonely weeks unused until I could get my hands on an MMJ to
    RJ11 cable (which I then plugged into an RJ11 -> RS232 converter). I
    opened up minicom on my Linux boxen, figured out how to boot the thing at
    the '>>>' prompt (>>>boot dia0) and here I am - a fresh user into the
    world of VMS. It works! I'm amazed the hard drives still spin fresh after
    all these years. I've seen many MFM/RLL & SCSI drives of similar vintage
    die horrible deaths at less years than this.

    Next problem: I've been googling for a while today trying to find out if
    VMS has such a thing as a single user mode (like in Unix so I can
    circumvent the login prompt), or even a default system password. At the
    moment, all that greets me is the following:
    +���������������� ��������������+
    | |
    | VAX 3300 |
    | |
    | Welcome To GSi Exel II |
    | |
    | Ashdown Garage |
    | |
    +���������������� ��������������+


    Username: GUEST
    Password:
    User authorization failure


    I have no idea what GSi Exel II and Ashdown Garage are, but I'm guessing
    this is some sort of motd file and not some specialist shell.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction of a FAQ or provide suitable
    instructions as to a) how I might log/break in to this system and b)
    where I can find a VMS manual for 'Completely Hapless User'/Unix User
    that has no clue about VMS?

    I am so interested in the world of VMS & Digital, and now, finally I have
    my first bit of kit - I've always wanted to find out why all the VMS
    Admins I've spoken to in years gone by laughed at my love for UNIX!

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Regards,

    Ali Ross

  2. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    Alistair J. Ross wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > This is my first post to this newsgroup so please don't flame me (too
    > much) if I've got the wrong group.
    >
    > I'm really excited this week because I'm a big collector of all old kit
    > and I have, until now, never owned *any* Digital Equipment other than a
    > crazy old line printer which went bust many years ago.
    >
    > I now am the proud owner of a MicroVAX 3300, and also a VAXStation 3100.
    > Unfortunately the 3100 has no hard drive so I'll need to work out
    > something later with that. I have therefore concentrated my efforts to
    > the MV and noticed that the boot indicator went to 3, not 0, meaning it
    > wasn't booting fully. I didn't have a compatible console cable, so it sat
    > there for 4 lonely weeks unused until I could get my hands on an MMJ to
    > RJ11 cable (which I then plugged into an RJ11 -> RS232 converter). I
    > opened up minicom on my Linux boxen, figured out how to boot the thing at
    > the '>>>' prompt (>>>boot dia0) and here I am - a fresh user into the
    > world of VMS. It works! I'm amazed the hard drives still spin fresh after
    > all these years. I've seen many MFM/RLL & SCSI drives of similar vintage
    > die horrible deaths at less years than this.
    >
    > Next problem: I've been googling for a while today trying to find out if
    > VMS has such a thing as a single user mode (like in Unix so I can
    > circumvent the login prompt), or even a default system password. At the
    > moment, all that greets me is the following:
    > +���������������� ��������������+
    > | |
    > | VAX 3300 |
    > | |
    > | Welcome To GSi Exel II |
    > | |
    > | Ashdown Garage |
    > | |
    > +���������������� ��������������+
    >
    >
    > Username: GUEST
    > Password:
    > User authorization failure
    >
    >
    > I have no idea what GSi Exel II and Ashdown Garage are, but I'm guessing
    > this is some sort of motd file and not some specialist shell.
    >
    > Can anyone point me in the right direction of a FAQ or provide suitable
    > instructions as to a) how I might log/break in to this system and b)
    > where I can find a VMS manual for 'Completely Hapless User'/Unix User
    > that has no clue about VMS?
    >
    > I am so interested in the world of VMS & Digital, and now, finally I have
    > my first bit of kit - I've always wanted to find out why all the VMS
    > Admins I've spoken to in years gone by laughed at my love for UNIX!
    >
    > Thanks in advance for any help.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Ali Ross


    The breakin procedure is documented. You boot with the flags to stop in
    SYSBOOT. I'm not certain I recall all the details but you do a "SET
    STARTUP OPA0:" and continue. The system finishes booting and leaves the
    system console open with privileges available. You run authorize, give
    yourself a privileged account and/or set the SYSTEM password and the
    system is yours.

    I's been many years since I last needed to do this. . . .


  3. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    In article , "Alistair J. Ross" writes:
    >
    >
    >Hi All,
    >
    > This is my first post to this newsgroup so please don't flame me (too
    >much) if I've got the wrong group.
    >
    >I'm really excited this week because I'm a big collector of all old kit
    >and I have, until now, never owned *any* Digital Equipment other than a
    >crazy old line printer which went bust many years ago.
    >
    >I now am the proud owner of a MicroVAX 3300, and also a VAXStation 3100.
    >Unfortunately the 3100 has no hard drive so I'll need to work out
    >something later with that. I have therefore concentrated my efforts to
    >the MV and noticed that the boot indicator went to 3, not 0, meaning it
    >wasn't booting fully. I didn't have a compatible console cable, so it sat
    >there for 4 lonely weeks unused until I could get my hands on an MMJ to
    >RJ11 cable (which I then plugged into an RJ11 -> RS232 converter). I
    >opened up minicom on my Linux boxen, figured out how to boot the thing at
    >the '>>>' prompt (>>>boot dia0) and here I am - a fresh user into the
    >world of VMS. It works! I'm amazed the hard drives still spin fresh after
    >all these years. I've seen many MFM/RLL & SCSI drives of similar vintage
    >die horrible deaths at less years than this.
    >
    >Next problem: I've been googling for a while today trying to find out if
    >VMS has such a thing as a single user mode (like in Unix so I can
    >circumvent the login prompt), or even a default system password. At the
    >moment, all that greets me is the following:
    > +���������������� ��������������+
    > | |
    > | VAX 3300 |
    > | |
    > | Welcome To GSi Exel II |
    > | |
    > | Ashdown Garage |
    > | |
    > +���������������� ��������������+


    Looks like some message from the former owner of the box.


    >Username: GUEST
    >Password:
    >User authorization failure
    >
    >
    >I have no idea what GSi Exel II and Ashdown Garage are, but I'm guessing
    >this is some sort of motd file and not some specialist shell.
    >
    >Can anyone point me in the right direction of a FAQ or provide suitable
    >instructions as to a) how I might log/break in to this system and b)
    >where I can find a VMS manual for 'Completely Hapless User'/Unix User
    >that has no clue about VMS?
    >
    >I am so interested in the world of VMS & Digital, and now, finally I have
    >my first bit of kit - I've always wanted to find out why all the VMS
    >Admins I've spoken to in years gone by laughed at my love for UNIX!
    >
    >Thanks in advance for any help.



    Search for the OpenVMS FAQ, many bits in there about breaking in. Since
    you have the machine and access to the console, you can do it. Easiest
    way, push the little button on the MV which has a circle with a triangle
    inside. This should drop you to the console prompt. Enter:

    >>> B/1


    You should eventually set a SYSBOOT> prompt.

    At the SYSBOOT> enter

    SYSBOOT> SHOW STARTUP

    Remember this file for use possible use later.

    Now, enter:

    SYSBOOT> SET WRITESYSPARAMS 0
    SYSBOOT> SET/STARTUP OPA0:

    and...

    SYSBOOT> CONTINUE

    This will run until you get a DCL prompt: $

    At this point, things are very *unforgiving*. I usually recommend typing

    $ SPAWN

    This creates a subprocess so that if you make an error you will not be
    logged out immediately.

    at the $ after spawn:

    $ @SYS$SYSTEM:STARTUP

    You should be in SYS$SYSTEM IIRC, if not: $ SET DEFAULT SYS$SYSTEM
    Then...


    $ MCR AUTHORIZE
    UAF> MODIFY SYSTEM/PASSWORD=newpassword/NOPWDEXP
    UAF> EXIT

    Now you can reboot and you should be able to get into the system account.
    From that point, you can do most anything.


    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

  4. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    Thanks to all (especially VaxMan) for your excellent help on this matter.
    I'll be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly now that I know where to find it
    and then give this a try over the next few days.

    Steven M. Scweda wrote:

    >"VAXStation 3100" is less complete than it could be. If it doesn't
    >say "Mxx" on the front, it's probably a 30 or 40 (the oldest).


    Nope, it doesn't say anything. Big grey box with Digital VaxStation 3100.
    That's the lot. Not that interested with this box anyway so no biggie,
    it's just a basic workstation (or so I believe).

    and...

    > Eventually, you may wish to get a Hobbyist CD-ROM kit and licenses,
    >and do a fresh installation, instead of using whatever was left by the
    >previous owner. (See the FAQ.)


    Alas, that's not going to be a realistic possibility. This beast is of
    the vintage just prior to CD-ROM. It contains one TK-70 tape drive and
    two noisy sounding hard drives, it also has 2 add on boards with what
    look like Centronics-style ports on them. I'm not sure what these are for
    yet. I would also imagine that installation of an operating system the
    size of VMS (even an old one) would still be impossible via Serial Link
    at 19200bps.

    Once I've managed to break into this thing, the next thing I will want to
    do is see if I can get it to play on my Ethernet based network. I'm
    guessing at the moment it'll only speak DecNET. I don't even know whether
    VMS was designed to speak anything else than DecNET, or how compatible
    other OS's are with DECNet (I believe there is some OSS implementation
    now available for Linux on Freshmeat), however I guess I'll find as much
    information in the FAQ.

    Thanks again everyone!

    Ali


    On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 23:27:54 +0000, VAXman- wrote:

    > In article , "Alistair
    > J. Ross" writes:
    >>
    >>
    >>Hi All,
    >>
    >> This is my first post to this newsgroup so please don't flame me (too
    >>much) if I've got the wrong group.
    >>
    >>I'm really excited this week because I'm a big collector of all old kit
    >>and I have, until now, never owned *any* Digital Equipment other than a
    >>crazy old line printer which went bust many years ago.
    >>
    >>I now am the proud owner of a MicroVAX 3300, and also a VAXStation 3100.
    >>Unfortunately the 3100 has no hard drive so I'll need to work out
    >>something later with that. I have therefore concentrated my efforts to
    >>the MV and noticed that the boot indicator went to 3, not 0, meaning it
    >>wasn't booting fully. I didn't have a compatible console cable, so it
    >>sat there for 4 lonely weeks unused until I could get my hands on an MMJ
    >>to RJ11 cable (which I then plugged into an RJ11 -> RS232 converter). I
    >>opened up minicom on my Linux boxen, figured out how to boot the thing
    >>at the '>>>' prompt (>>>boot dia0) and here I am - a fresh user into the
    >>world of VMS. It works! I'm amazed the hard drives still spin fresh
    >>after all these years. I've seen many MFM/RLL & SCSI drives of similar
    >>vintage die horrible deaths at less years than this.
    >>
    >>Next problem: I've been googling for a while today trying to find out if
    >>VMS has such a thing as a single user mode (like in Unix so I can
    >>circumvent the login prompt), or even a default system password. At the
    >>moment, all that greets me is the following:
    >> +���������������� ��������������+ |
    >> |
    >> | VAX 3300 |
    >> | |
    >> | Welcome To GSi Exel II |
    >> | |
    >> | Ashdown Garage |
    >> | |
    >> +���������������� ��������������+

    >
    > Looks like some message from the former owner of the box.
    >
    >
    >>Username: GUEST
    >>Password:
    >>User authorization failure
    >>
    >>
    >>I have no idea what GSi Exel II and Ashdown Garage are, but I'm guessing
    >>this is some sort of motd file and not some specialist shell.
    >>
    >>Can anyone point me in the right direction of a FAQ or provide suitable
    >>instructions as to a) how I might log/break in to this system and b)
    >>where I can find a VMS manual for 'Completely Hapless User'/Unix User
    >>that has no clue about VMS?
    >>
    >>I am so interested in the world of VMS & Digital, and now, finally I
    >>have my first bit of kit - I've always wanted to find out why all the
    >>VMS Admins I've spoken to in years gone by laughed at my love for UNIX!
    >>
    >>Thanks in advance for any help.

    >
    >
    > Search for the OpenVMS FAQ, many bits in there about breaking in. Since
    > you have the machine and access to the console, you can do it. Easiest
    > way, push the little button on the MV which has a circle with a triangle
    > inside. This should drop you to the console prompt. Enter:
    >
    >>>> B/1

    >
    > You should eventually set a SYSBOOT> prompt.
    >
    > At the SYSBOOT> enter
    >
    > SYSBOOT> SHOW STARTUP
    >
    > Remember this file for use possible use later.
    >
    > Now, enter:
    >
    > SYSBOOT> SET WRITESYSPARAMS 0
    > SYSBOOT> SET/STARTUP OPA0:
    >
    > and...
    >
    > SYSBOOT> CONTINUE
    >
    > This will run until you get a DCL prompt: $
    >
    > At this point, things are very *unforgiving*. I usually recommend
    > typing
    >
    > $ SPAWN
    >
    > This creates a subprocess so that if you make an error you will not be
    > logged out immediately.
    >
    > at the $ after spawn:
    >
    > $ @SYS$SYSTEM:STARTUP
    >
    > You should be in SYS$SYSTEM IIRC, if not: $ SET DEFAULT SYS$SYSTEM
    > Then...
    >
    >
    > $ MCR AUTHORIZE
    > UAF> MODIFY SYSTEM/PASSWORD=newpassword/NOPWDEXP UAF> EXIT
    >
    > Now you can reboot and you should be able to get into the system
    > account. From that point, you can do most anything.



  5. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    In article , "Alistair J. Ross" writes:
    >
    >
    >Thanks to all (especially VaxMan) for your excellent help on this matter.


    Welcome.


    >I'll be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly now that I know where to find it
    >and then give this a try over the next few days.
    >
    >Steven M. Scweda wrote:
    >
    >>"VAXStation 3100" is less complete than it could be. If it doesn't
    >>say "Mxx" on the front, it's probably a 30 or 40 (the oldest).

    >
    >Nope, it doesn't say anything. Big grey box with Digital VaxStation 3100.
    >That's the lot. Not that interested with this box anyway so no biggie,
    >it's just a basic workstation (or so I believe).
    >
    >and...
    >
    >> Eventually, you may wish to get a Hobbyist CD-ROM kit and licenses,
    >>and do a fresh installation, instead of using whatever was left by the
    >>previous owner. (See the FAQ.)

    >
    >Alas, that's not going to be a realistic possibility. This beast is of
    >the vintage just prior to CD-ROM. It contains one TK-70 tape drive and
    >two noisy sounding hard drives, it also has 2 add on boards with what
    >look like Centronics-style ports on them. I'm not sure what these are for
    >yet. I would also imagine that installation of an operating system the
    >size of VMS (even an old one) would still be impossible via Serial Link
    >at 19200bps.


    I don't think I have the capability anymore to make a TK70. I can read
    them but the drive won't write them. If I could, I'd make you a tape.

    As for the drives, I wonder if they are ESDI. I remember the uVAXes in
    the DoD labs with ESDI drives -- not that the interface makes them loud
    but they all tended to be rather noisy.



    >Once I've managed to break into this thing, the next thing I will want to
    >do is see if I can get it to play on my Ethernet based network. I'm
    >guessing at the moment it'll only speak DecNET. I don't even know whether
    >VMS was designed to speak anything else than DecNET, or how compatible
    >other OS's are with DECNet (I believe there is some OSS implementation
    >now available for Linux on Freshmeat), however I guess I'll find as much
    >information in the FAQ.


    Install TCP/IP.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

  6. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    "Alistair J. Ross" wrote:
    >
    > Thanks to all (especially VaxMan) for your excellent help on this matter.
    > I'll be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly now that I know where to find it
    > and then give this a try over the next few days.
    >
    > Steven M. Scweda wrote:
    >
    > >"VAXStation 3100" is less complete than it could be. If it doesn't
    > >say "Mxx" on the front, it's probably a 30 or 40 (the oldest).

    >
    > Nope, it doesn't say anything. Big grey box with Digital VaxStation 3100.


    Hhmmm... VAXstations were typically in beige boxes, though I suppose
    this could have been repackaged by a third-party vendor.

    Look on the back for labels with model numbers. Those will be useful in
    identfying what you have. For example, a MicroVAX 3100 I have here
    identifies itself as DV-31DTA-A via the model number.

    > That's the lot. Not that interested with this box anyway so no biggie,
    > it's just a basic workstation (or so I believe).
    >
    > and...
    >
    > > Eventually, you may wish to get a Hobbyist CD-ROM kit and licenses,
    > >and do a fresh installation, instead of using whatever was left by the
    > >previous owner. (See the FAQ.)

    >
    > Alas, that's not going to be a realistic possibility. This beast is of
    > the vintage just prior to CD-ROM. It contains one TK-70 tape drive and
    > two noisy sounding hard drives, it also has 2 add on boards with what
    > look like Centronics-style ports on them. I'm not sure what these are for
    > yet. I would also imagine that installation of an operating system the
    > size of VMS (even an old one) would still be impossible via Serial Link
    > at 19200bps.


    Well, if you could arrange it, I suppose patience -IS- a virtue. At one
    time VAX/VMS could be installed from 5-1/4 inch diskettes! VMS up to
    about V7.2 for VAX was available on 2 TK50 tapes (TK70 is
    read-compatible with TK50).

    That said, at least one of those "Centronics-style" ports may be a
    SCSI-I bus (single-endded, narrow SCSI) and a CD-ROM drive in an
    external enclosure would be very doable. Google for RRD42. You may even
    find one on eBay.

    > Once I've managed to break into this thing, the next thing I will want to
    > do is see if I can get it to play on my Ethernet based network. I'm
    > guessing at the moment it'll only speak DecNET. I don't even know whether
    > VMS was designed to speak anything else than DecNET, or how compatible
    > other OS's are with DECNet (I believe there is some OSS implementation
    > now available for Linux on Freshmeat), however I guess I'll find as much
    > information in the FAQ.


    Perhaps, but adjust your paradigm a bit.

    Yes, DECnet is provided with VMS; however, it need not be installed. VMS
    runs quite happily stand-alone with no network stack at all installed.

    That said, a TCP/IP stack formerly known as "UCX" (now known as "TCP/IP
    Services for OpenVMS", hence, some of us still use the older, (MUCH!)
    shorter name) is available from HP(Compaq(DEC)), and it's license is now
    "bundled" with the base o.s. license; that is to say, you are permitted
    to register/load the UCX Product Activation Key (PAK for short) so long
    as you have a valid license for the base o.s. The Hobbyist license
    qualifies there; thus, a hobbyist can install the current "UCX" and use
    the UCX PAK.

    There are also two third-party TCP/IP stacks: Multinet (formerly from
    TGV and later owned briefly by Cisco) and TCPware from Process Software
    (http://www.process.com/) as well as a now very aged and somewhat
    obscure freeweare TCP/IP stack known as CMU/IP or CMU/TEK-TCP/IP.

    VMS predates the internet and networking can be added - it is NOT
    necessary.

    You will likely need a 10-Base-5 (AUI) to 10-Base-T adapter for the
    ethernet port once you get that far.

    David J Dachtera
    DJE Systems

  7. Re: New Member to newsgroup: Hi and All about VMS on MV 3300

    Alistair J. Ross wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > This is my first post to this newsgroup so please don't flame me (too
    > much) if I've got the wrong group.
    >
    > I'm really excited this week because I'm a big collector of all old kit
    > and I have, until now, never owned *any* Digital Equipment other than a
    > crazy old line printer which went bust many years ago.
    >
    > I now am the proud owner of a MicroVAX 3300, and also a VAXStation 3100.
    > Unfortunately the 3100 has no hard drive so I'll need to work out
    > something later with that. I have therefore concentrated my efforts to
    > the MV and noticed that the boot indicator went to 3, not 0, meaning it
    > wasn't booting fully. I didn't have a compatible console cable, so it sat
    > there for 4 lonely weeks unused until I could get my hands on an MMJ to
    > RJ11 cable (which I then plugged into an RJ11 -> RS232 converter). I
    > opened up minicom on my Linux boxen, figured out how to boot the thing at
    > the '>>>' prompt (>>>boot dia0) and here I am - a fresh user into the
    > world of VMS. It works! I'm amazed the hard drives still spin fresh after
    > all these years. I've seen many MFM/RLL & SCSI drives of similar vintage
    > die horrible deaths at less years than this.
    >
    > Next problem: I've been googling for a while today trying to find out if
    > VMS has such a thing as a single user mode (like in Unix so I can
    > circumvent the login prompt), or even a default system password. At the
    > moment, all that greets me is the following:
    > +���������������� ��������������+
    > | |
    > | VAX 3300 |
    > | |
    > | Welcome To GSi Exel II |
    > | |
    > | Ashdown Garage |
    > | |
    > +���������������� ��������������+
    >
    >
    > Username: GUEST
    > Password:
    > User authorization failure
    >
    >
    > I have no idea what GSi Exel II and Ashdown Garage are, but I'm guessing
    > this is some sort of motd file and not some specialist shell.
    >
    > Can anyone point me in the right direction of a FAQ or provide suitable
    > instructions as to a) how I might log/break in to this system and b)
    > where I can find a VMS manual for 'Completely Hapless User'/Unix User
    > that has no clue about VMS?
    >
    > I am so interested in the world of VMS & Digital, and now, finally I have
    > my first bit of kit - I've always wanted to find out why all the VMS
    > Admins I've spoken to in years gone by laughed at my love for UNIX!
    >
    > Thanks in advance for any help.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Ali Ross


    Hi Ali,

    Welcome to the fascinating world of VMS!

    My suggestion to getting a CD-ROM drive plugged to your VAXen is that
    you try to find on Ebay a DEC StorageWorks BA353 box (looks like a
    pizzabox) with two slots for SBB's (StorageWorks Building Blocks) and
    the third for a CD-ROM (or a Tape Drive). It can be connected to your
    VAXstation with a regular SCSI cable (Narrow 50-pin to Centronix).

    It can also be connected to the MicroVAX 3300 by using the DSSI bus. For
    that you need to find a DSSI-to-SCSI controller called HSD05 (or HSD10),
    which is conveniently also in a SBB, and a DSSI cable BC29R-xx
    (xx=length in feet). You then put the HSD05 in the left slot of the
    BA353 and then connect the DSSI cable to the HSD05 and the other end to
    the MV 3300. Now the MV 3300 console will show the CD-ROM (and if you
    have a SBB disk in the BA353 box, that too) when you issue
    >>> show device


    One caution here: You cannot have the BA353 box connected to both VAXen
    at the same time!

    With this arrangement you can boot your VAXen from the CD-ROM (for
    installing VMS) or install software. Very convenient.

    This is of course an example. You can use other StorageWorks boxes
    (BA350, BA356, etc) also and you can even chain them together to be able
    to connect more storage to your VAXen.

    I don't want to bore the newsgroup readers by explaining all the
    possible combinations how to connect SCSI equipment to MV 3300 or VS
    3100, but if you are interested, you can always mail me. (Remove the
    extra prefix from the domain address)
    I'll be happy to help you out.

    Kari


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