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Old 10-27-2004, 09:27 PM   #1
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I Hate Macs

I detest those infernal machines. They are way to expensive, way too propietary, and way too simple. There's a reason why they 'never' break down...it's because everything programmed in them is simple, not complex, and the hardware and software are basically molded together, which, while decreasing the chance of problems, also leaves little room for any hope of upgrading. I will be a PC user for the rest of my life. I know it's hard for some people to understand, but some peeople, namely some PC users, want and need to have computer problems to solve every now and again. For computer techies, part of the fun of computing is running into problems and solving them. Part of the fun is the complexity of it all. And Macs take all that away. They are designed for people that don't know all that much about computing but yet need to use them to do things normally reserved for people who do know a lot about computers. If that makes any sense. The only Apple product worth buying imo is the IPod, which I admit is one of the greatest gadgets I have ever had the privlege of owning. Any company could accidentally make a gem twenty years down the line.
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:33 PM   #2
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:53 PM   #3
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i thought you meant BIG Macs!
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:58 PM   #4
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Big Macs
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:25 AM   #5
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:36 AM   #6
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:00 AM   #7
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Re: I Hate Macs

Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
I detest those infernal machines. They are way to expensive, way too propietary, and way too simple. There's a reason why they 'never' break down...it's because everything programmed in them is simple, not complex, and the hardware and software are basically molded together, which, while decreasing the chance of problems, also leaves little room for any hope of upgrading. I will be a PC user for the rest of my life. I know it's hard for some people to understand, but some peeople, namely some PC users, want and need to have computer problems to solve every now and again. For computer techies, part of the fun of computing is running into problems and solving them. Part of the fun is the complexity of it all. And Macs take all that away. They are designed for people that don't know all that much about computing but yet need to use them to do things normally reserved for people who do know a lot about computers. If that makes any sense. The only Apple product worth buying imo is the IPod, which I admit is one of the greatest gadgets I have ever had the privlege of owning. Any company could accidentally make a gem twenty years down the line.
Please don't take offense to this, and consider it a friendly argument. I really don't like to "get into it" with another U2 fan

However, you are very misinformed when it comes to the way of the Apple & Mac world. You've made the common mistake of confusing top-notch usability and application design with over-simplification. There is no aspect of OS X or its applications that is over-simplified, they're simply all constructed with the best possible usability in mind. Apple has created a 500+ page document called HIDG, which stands for human interface design guidelines. This document defines every imaginable aspect of usability, and pretty much every Mac app conforms to it. As a result, it's almost second nature to figure out how to use a new application, and creates a very consistent feel throughout the OS.

Here's a good example of Mac vs Windows usability:

On the Mac, when you go to quit a program that has an unsaved document, the dialog box says "Do you want to save changes to this document before closing?" in fairly large print. Below that, in smaller print, it says "If you don't save, your changes will be lost." The options for that dialog are Don't Save, Cancel, and Save. The default is Save.

On windows, when you go to quit a program that has an unsaved document, the dialog box says "Are you sure you want to quit?" The options are Yes, No, and Cancel. The default is Yes.

I feel quite bad for the Windows user that doesn't realize quitting the application will lose any change they've made to the document.

Let me get back to the simplicity argument though. We'll use iTunes as an example, since it's available on both platforms. At first glance it looks very simple.

I moved to the Mac world from years, and years, and even more years in the PC world. That was before Windows was even usable (i.e. before 3.1). Once the whole MP3 thing started, Winamp came around and became my player of choice for years. I loved it, and was lucky enough to become good friends with its developers. When I decided to make the "switch", which I'll explain my reasoning for later on, I thought I would miss Winamp the most. When I first opened up iTunes, I was a little baffled, as it was such a different approach to being an MP3 player. I was use to having Winamp in mini-mode, and here was iTunes taking up the full screen. However, I expected change, so I attempted to embrace it. I loaded iTunes up with my music library, and started playing around with it.

At first glance, it seemed so simple, I knew it wouldn't have all of the functionality I was use to with Winamp. However, as I started to use it, I realized that wasn't the case. In fact, it was just so well put together, the functionality appeared when I needed it instead of sticking out all of the time. A great example was when I had all of these files I needed to edit the ID3 tags of. With Winamp (at the time), I was use to going file by file to edit tags. On a whim, I decided to select multiple songs, and then select to edit the tags. To my surprise, I was presented with the most useful multi-song ID3 editor I could have dreamed of. It was the usual easy-to-use editor, but had checkboxes next to the fields I wanted to edit on all of selected songs.

That's just one small example of great usability. That sort of thing holds true for every single Mac application, and the entire OS itself. Everything looks very clean, but when you find yourself needing certain functionality, it's there for you in a very natural way that doesn't require spending time searching the application for it. As I continued to use iTunes, I stopped becoming conscious of my interaction with it. The way it worked felt very natural, and I had to spend much less time to have it play what I wanted then with any other player.

I'll give you a few other quick examples. To search in Windows, you have an annoying dog that presents you with a bunch of questions before you can even begin to search. Once you do, it takes forever to bring up your results. With a Mac, you have a search box in every Finder window (Finder is similar to My Computer/Explorer), and the second you start typing in your search, it brings up the results (just like iTunes does, and Mail, and Address Book, and so forth). If you have 10 IE/Firefox windows open in Windows, you have to alt+tab between then hoping to find the right one. With a Mac, you have visual representations of the contents of each window as an icon in the Dock (similar to the taskbar/start menu), or you can use something called Expose, which (in a very cool way) displays every window you have open at once (they are shrunk down to all fit on screen), or just every window of an application. Even better, you can have a file on your desktop, drag it to an Expose hot corner (a corner of your screen which you've defined to activate Expose), and then continue to drag that file to the window you want to the application/window you want the file to open in.

I could go on and on about the hardware accelerated UI that enables amazing looking effects and enhance usability (for instance, when you maximize a window, the "genie" effect allows you to know where it's going), the astoundingly good spam filtering of Mail, iChat's DVD-quality audio/video conferencing, or, most importantly in my mind, the top-notch third-party applications. I mean really, compare your P2P app (for legal purposes of course) to http://acquisitionx.com/ -- which is free of adware and spyware I might add.

It really does come down to "it just works" though. There simply aren't any viruses or spyware/adware to worry about. When there's an update for the OS, Software Update opens instead of you having to go to a website and deal with a bunch of additional steps. Also, when it comes to updates, there aren't thousands of them to deal with. You can download and install them all in one step. For new installations of OS X, you don't have to deal with downloading every update released for OS X ever. Instead, they are combined into one update. Speaking of new installs, if you ever have to reinstall the OS (which is very uncommon), you don't have to worry about backing up your data. Thanks to something called Archive Install, all of the system components are completely replaced, but your applications, data, and preferences are all left alone. Just in case, a copy of everything that gets touched is backed up automatically in a convenient folder. Oh, one more thing about installs, it's entirely visual, there are very few steps, and it reboots just once during the process.

It is true though, one of the reasons it works so well is because Apple provides both the hardware and software. That's a great thing though. The hardware is the best you'll find, period. PC World (yep, PC) just gave the new iMac 5 stars and a glowing review. Also, because Apple does both, you never have to worry about driver issues, hardware conflictions, or parts going bad. If in fact you do have a hardware failure, you have just one company to deal with, and they also happen to provide excellent warranty support. You get what you pay for. Their computers are also priced very well, and I'm not sure why people think that's untrue. Check out the new iMac G5s. For $1300, you get an extremely fast 64-bit processor, the best 17" LCD you'll find, and a CDRW/DVD drive. That's all enclosed in 2" of space, and pretty much every part is replaceable. Or if you want a laptop, the iBooks start at $999, and also include a CDRW/DVD drive. Unless you're building your own PC, which runs its own obvious risks, you won't find better deals. You certainly won't find higher quality.

Finally, if you were thinking Macs were for newbies and people that know nothing about computers, let me tell you my story. I decided to switch to a Mac shortly after OS X came out. I'm a professional web developer, and I work all day maintaining and coding for Unix-based servers. While a PC user, I always questioned switching to Linux, but it simply wasn't ready to be used on the desktop. Due to the lack of consistency, lack of major applications, and other various things, I always stayed away from it. When I saw OS X was built on a Unix core, yet had an unparalleled interface, all the major applications I needed (Photoshop and MS Office for instance), and the most usable and consistent applications I'd seen, I knew I had to make the switch. As a web developer, that Unix core means a lot. It gives me the ability to compile all of the server applications I use, and work entirely locally. Windows simply could not provide that. As a Unix system administrator, having a fully Unix-standard terminal to work with was a dream. Obviously the average person has no need for that, but as a developer, it's a dream. Speaking of developers, OS X has _the_ finest C++/Java/etc development tools you'll find on any OS. All for free, I might add. Just for newbies? Not a chance.

Is it perfect for newbies? Yes, because it makes sense (for one example, refer back to my dialog box example). However, it's also perfect for any level of computer user. There are so many reasons to switch, and as I'm sure you can tell, I'd go on and on. I'm not saying it's cheap, but you'll never be a happier computer user. Everything does just work, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Playing around with a Mac at the Apple store is great, but until you actually use it as your computer, you don't get the full gist of it. With that said, you should check out http://www.apple.com/macosx/ and see some of the feature overviews. I highly recommend checking out Expose and Finder first. Also, if you click "Sneak Preview" up at the top, you can see what's coming in OS X's next release. Spotlight, iChat AV, and Dashboard are good things to check out. Feel free to ask me any questions, and as you may have guessed, I'll happily answer them.

Wow, this was ridiculously long, and I should have been asleep long ago I just can't sit by and not dispel some Mac myths though!

P.S. I don't work for Apple, but I probably should
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:02 AM   #8
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My oh my, you type fast!
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:10 AM   #9
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Macs make you type faster

Actually, funny enough, I'm using an MS Natural keyboard. The one MS product I like
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:29 AM   #10
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Don't have a mac and know very little about them, but I'd have thought usability is very important for anyone who isn't a developer of some sort. It's like wishing for a car that breaks down. Really.

I still rely on trusty old Windows 98 which from what I can tell is more stable than fucking XP. Go figure.
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:15 AM   #11
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Gorman - excellent post. I'm a mac newbie who switch over after I had my ipod for a couple of months and fell in love with it. I'm not an IT person and don't really even have to use computers that much at work (something that will be changing soon with computerized charting - thank god). So I would be just a personal consumer.
That being said the switch to my powerbook was so easy - It was actually a bit disorienting how much easier it is to use a mac. The third party software is great, I have absolutely NO popups, the computer doesn't just decided to lock-up on me, I don't have to download patches every five minutes, it interfaces with windows if I want it to, and above all of that it is a darn stylish piece of equipment.
I'm saving up for a G5 right now but I believe that u2 tickets/airfare to u2 shows will leak into the savings for the next year or so
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:26 AM   #12
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So am I to understand that usability, and reliability, and creativity of design are signs of an inferior product?


I think the only valid issue is the fact that they cost so much


I use a PC...but if there were closer in price....Id' switch to a mac to fast it'd make the monitor spin
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Old 10-28-2004, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Re: I Hate Macs

Quote:
Originally posted by gorman


Please don't take offense to this, and consider it a friendly argument. I really don't like to "get into it" with another U2 fan

However, you are very misinformed when it comes to the way of the Apple & Mac world. You've made the common mistake of confusing top-notch usability and application design with over-simplification. There is no aspect of OS X or its applications that is over-simplified, they're simply all constructed with the best possible usability in mind. Apple has created a 500+ page document called HIDG, which stands for human interface design guidelines. This document defines every imaginable aspect of usability, and pretty much every Mac app conforms to it. As a result, it's almost second nature to figure out how to use a new application, and creates a very consistent feel throughout the OS.

Here's a good example of Mac vs Windows usability:

On the Mac, when you go to quit a program that has an unsaved document, the dialog box says "Do you want to save changes to this document before closing?" in fairly large print. Below that, in smaller print, it says "If you don't save, your changes will be lost." The options for that dialog are Don't Save, Cancel, and Save. The default is Save.

On windows, when you go to quit a program that has an unsaved document, the dialog box says "Are you sure you want to quit?" The options are Yes, No, and Cancel. The default is Yes.

I feel quite bad for the Windows user that doesn't realize quitting the application will lose any change they've made to the document.

Let me get back to the simplicity argument though. We'll use iTunes as an example, since it's available on both platforms. At first glance it looks very simple.

I moved to the Mac world from years, and years, and even more years in the PC world. That was before Windows was even usable (i.e. before 3.1). Once the whole MP3 thing started, Winamp came around and became my player of choice for years. I loved it, and was lucky enough to become good friends with its developers. When I decided to make the "switch", which I'll explain my reasoning for later on, I thought I would miss Winamp the most. When I first opened up iTunes, I was a little baffled, as it was such a different approach to being an MP3 player. I was use to having Winamp in mini-mode, and here was iTunes taking up the full screen. However, I expected change, so I attempted to embrace it. I loaded iTunes up with my music library, and started playing around with it.

At first glance, it seemed so simple, I knew it wouldn't have all of the functionality I was use to with Winamp. However, as I started to use it, I realized that wasn't the case. In fact, it was just so well put together, the functionality appeared when I needed it instead of sticking out all of the time. A great example was when I had all of these files I needed to edit the ID3 tags of. With Winamp (at the time), I was use to going file by file to edit tags. On a whim, I decided to select multiple songs, and then select to edit the tags. To my surprise, I was presented with the most useful multi-song ID3 editor I could have dreamed of. It was the usual easy-to-use editor, but had checkboxes next to the fields I wanted to edit on all of selected songs.

That's just one small example of great usability. That sort of thing holds true for every single Mac application, and the entire OS itself. Everything looks very clean, but when you find yourself needing certain functionality, it's there for you in a very natural way that doesn't require spending time searching the application for it. As I continued to use iTunes, I stopped becoming conscious of my interaction with it. The way it worked felt very natural, and I had to spend much less time to have it play what I wanted then with any other player.

I'll give you a few other quick examples. To search in Windows, you have an annoying dog that presents you with a bunch of questions before you can even begin to search. Once you do, it takes forever to bring up your results. With a Mac, you have a search box in every Finder window (Finder is similar to My Computer/Explorer), and the second you start typing in your search, it brings up the results (just like iTunes does, and Mail, and Address Book, and so forth). If you have 10 IE/Firefox windows open in Windows, you have to alt+tab between then hoping to find the right one. With a Mac, you have visual representations of the contents of each window as an icon in the Dock (similar to the taskbar/start menu), or you can use something called Expose, which (in a very cool way) displays every window you have open at once (they are shrunk down to all fit on screen), or just every window of an application. Even better, you can have a file on your desktop, drag it to an Expose hot corner (a corner of your screen which you've defined to activate Expose), and then continue to drag that file to the window you want to the application/window you want the file to open in.

I could go on and on about the hardware accelerated UI that enables amazing looking effects and enhance usability (for instance, when you maximize a window, the "genie" effect allows you to know where it's going), the astoundingly good spam filtering of Mail, iChat's DVD-quality audio/video conferencing, or, most importantly in my mind, the top-notch third-party applications. I mean really, compare your P2P app (for legal purposes of course) to http://acquisitionx.com/ -- which is free of adware and spyware I might add.

It really does come down to "it just works" though. There simply aren't any viruses or spyware/adware to worry about. When there's an update for the OS, Software Update opens instead of you having to go to a website and deal with a bunch of additional steps. Also, when it comes to updates, there aren't thousands of them to deal with. You can download and install them all in one step. For new installations of OS X, you don't have to deal with downloading every update released for OS X ever. Instead, they are combined into one update. Speaking of new installs, if you ever have to reinstall the OS (which is very uncommon), you don't have to worry about backing up your data. Thanks to something called Archive Install, all of the system components are completely replaced, but your applications, data, and preferences are all left alone. Just in case, a copy of everything that gets touched is backed up automatically in a convenient folder. Oh, one more thing about installs, it's entirely visual, there are very few steps, and it reboots just once during the process.

It is true though, one of the reasons it works so well is because Apple provides both the hardware and software. That's a great thing though. The hardware is the best you'll find, period. PC World (yep, PC) just gave the new iMac 5 stars and a glowing review. Also, because Apple does both, you never have to worry about driver issues, hardware conflictions, or parts going bad. If in fact you do have a hardware failure, you have just one company to deal with, and they also happen to provide excellent warranty support. You get what you pay for. Their computers are also priced very well, and I'm not sure why people think that's untrue. Check out the new iMac G5s. For $1300, you get an extremely fast 64-bit processor, the best 17" LCD you'll find, and a CDRW/DVD drive. That's all enclosed in 2" of space, and pretty much every part is replaceable. Or if you want a laptop, the iBooks start at $999, and also include a CDRW/DVD drive. Unless you're building your own PC, which runs its own obvious risks, you won't find better deals. You certainly won't find higher quality.

Finally, if you were thinking Macs were for newbies and people that know nothing about computers, let me tell you my story. I decided to switch to a Mac shortly after OS X came out. I'm a professional web developer, and I work all day maintaining and coding for Unix-based servers. While a PC user, I always questioned switching to Linux, but it simply wasn't ready to be used on the desktop. Due to the lack of consistency, lack of major applications, and other various things, I always stayed away from it. When I saw OS X was built on a Unix core, yet had an unparalleled interface, all the major applications I needed (Photoshop and MS Office for instance), and the most usable and consistent applications I'd seen, I knew I had to make the switch. As a web developer, that Unix core means a lot. It gives me the ability to compile all of the server applications I use, and work entirely locally. Windows simply could not provide that. As a Unix system administrator, having a fully Unix-standard terminal to work with was a dream. Obviously the average person has no need for that, but as a developer, it's a dream. Speaking of developers, OS X has _the_ finest C++/Java/etc development tools you'll find on any OS. All for free, I might add. Just for newbies? Not a chance.

Is it perfect for newbies? Yes, because it makes sense (for one example, refer back to my dialog box example). However, it's also perfect for any level of computer user. There are so many reasons to switch, and as I'm sure you can tell, I'd go on and on. I'm not saying it's cheap, but you'll never be a happier computer user. Everything does just work, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Playing around with a Mac at the Apple store is great, but until you actually use it as your computer, you don't get the full gist of it. With that said, you should check out http://www.apple.com/macosx/ and see some of the feature overviews. I highly recommend checking out Expose and Finder first. Also, if you click "Sneak Preview" up at the top, you can see what's coming in OS X's next release. Spotlight, iChat AV, and Dashboard are good things to check out. Feel free to ask me any questions, and as you may have guessed, I'll happily answer them.

Wow, this was ridiculously long, and I should have been asleep long ago I just can't sit by and not dispel some Mac myths though!

P.S. I don't work for Apple, but I probably should
May I present a rebuttle now? Thank you. I mean no offense either, but you are just wrong about some of this stuff. First off, I use Windows word processors such as Word and Wordpad and Notepad every day of my life, and I ASSURE you, when you close out of them they ask you if you've saved your file. I am 100% sure of this. Your claim that they only ask you if you're sure is just plain wrong.

Secondly, the 'annoying dog' comes up in Office applications when you're looking for help. For the most part though, it has little part in 'searching' as you put it. The search box in Windows is a simple and easy to use search box, and you need only answer two questions, what you're searching for and where you want to search. Simple.

Also, I too use ITunes almost every day and agree it is a GREAT program, but it's not propietary to Mac. You can use it on Windows too. I've used several Mac applications and I can tell you(and you should know) that ITunes looks and feels significantly different from other Mac applications. Anyway, I bundle it with the IPod and what I said earlier about it: any company can come up with a gem twenty years down the line.

And yes, Macs ARE simple. They're simple in the way they show things. Mac OS never tells you what is going on. I'll give you a few examples. Take the Finder for example. This is one of the most annoying things I've ever come across in the world of software, and I'm a web development major in college. You can never really tell if/which programs are open or not. There's no such thing as minimization. The Windows GUI where you can clearly see every application open on the taskbar works MUCH better and is FAR easier to look at and understand in five seconds. Another example. Do you remember those MAC commercials a couple years back, where they'd have somebody talking about having a bad experience with PC, having to wait to download drivers or whatever, and then they'd say how they got a MAC and whatever it was worked just like that, and then the commercials would end 'I'm Jeannie Hogan, and I saved Christmas' or something along those lines with different names and different thing being saved? If you plug in a camera or scanner or whatever into a Mac that's never been connected to that particular machine before, the Mac needs drivers just the same to make the hardware work. The difference? Mac doesn't show you any box or anything saying drivers are being downloaded. They figure the user doesn't care or doesn't need to know. Some users like to know. I could go on.

A Mac will NEVER make me happy. There is no flexibility within. I'm a computer guy, it's my field of study/work, and I'm telling you, people like me like to be able to fiddle around with an OS, edit what in Windows is called the registry, experiement around, maybe screw some stuff up. Macs don't give us that chance. They assume that no one wants that. I suppose it depends on what you're looking for in a computer, I really can't imagine any hardcore comptuer techie like myself ever taking a Mac over a Windows PC.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville
Don't have a mac and know very little about them, but I'd have thought usability is very important for anyone who isn't a developer of some sort. It's like wishing for a car that breaks down. Really.

I still rely on trusty old Windows 98 which from what I can tell is more stable than fucking XP. Go figure.
Windows 98 is not even as stable as XP. Perhaps your computers' BIOS cant handle XP? That would cause instability problems.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by daafish


Windows 98 is not even as stable as XP. Perhaps your computers' BIOS cant handle XP? That would cause instability problems.
Maybe he meant Windows ME

I Macs and Windows machines alike! I was afraid of Macs for a long time since when I started college, hadn't used one since maybe 3rd grade. For work, I've got one of each and I'm required to support both. The Mac took some getting used to, but I LOVE OS X now.
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