1. Not old. Vintage. :)
Timothy Kline

Z*Magazine: 9-Feb-87 #38

Z*Magazine: 9-Feb-87 #38

  1. Timothy Kline
    Article #40 (214 is last):
    From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
    Subject: Z*Magazine: 9-Feb-87 #38
    Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Date: Thu Jul 8 09:44:38 1993

    Zmagazine February 9, 1987
    Issue 38
    Zmag Staff:
    Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs
    Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza

    This Week in Zmag......



    3.5" HARD DRIVES





    All this and more in this weeks
    edition of Zmagazine.....

    ....New Monthly Feature.............

    As promised in last week's Zmag, we
    start a new feature this week, the
    User Group of the Month.

    This month we profile the C.H.A.O.S.
    User's Group of Lansing Michigan.

    If you would like to see your user's
    group featured in an upcoming
    edition of Zmag, send us some
    material for publication. We ask
    that all submissions be sent in by
    the 15th of the month for consider-
    ation in the next month's user group

    Take advantage of this free
    publicity and get your news in for
    an upcoming edition. Zmag is now
    featured on over 50 BBS's across the
    U.S. and Europe and can also
    be found in Compuserve's Atari
    DL library.

    For more information on Zmag's
    User Group of the Month, call:

    The Syndicate BBS
    (Zmag Headquarters)

    Surf City East BBS

    ....Capitol Hill Atarians..........

    By Leo Sell, President.

    From out of the void...CHAOS!!
    C.H.A.O.S., like many user groups,
    came into existence to fill a void.

    C.H.A.O.S. is the Capitol Hill Atari
    Owner's Society, located in Lansing,
    Michigan. Supporting all Atari
    computers, 8-bit and 16-bit alike,
    we are the most active and second
    largest Atari user group in Michigan
    (M.A.C.E. of DETROIT is still #1 in
    size). Our still-growing membership
    numbers over 150, and is drawn from
    all over Michigan as well as out of
    state and Canada.

    A few of our continuing projects:

    We are most proud of our Public
    Domain Disk libraries. Recent
    trading and revision have made it
    one of the best sources of quality
    Public Domain programs anywhere,
    with fully categorized and indexed
    disks numbering over 300.

    The Publications Library has books,
    magazines and exchange newsletters
    from nearly 100 other clubs and
    spans the last 5 years.

    Our BBS is nationally known and
    visited for its quality,
    dependability, and ease of use, as
    well as being a great source for
    information (particularly on MEMORY

    The C.H.A.O.S. ST INterest Group
    continues to grow in numbers and

    Our most recent, largest, and most
    exciting project is publishing and
    participating in the Mid-Michigan
    Atari Magazine in cooperation with
    seven other Atari user groups
    across the state.


    C.H.A.O.S. (under a different name)
    began in 1981 as a small group of
    hackers, hobbyists, and computer
    professionals, with a common
    interest in the Atari 800. As time
    passed, our membership grew, adding
    Atari 400 owners, cassette owners
    and more. With growth came the need
    for structure and organization. The
    name was changed to C.H.A.O.S., a
    constitution was written and we
    incorporated. Our constitution was
    revised in 1985, but the philosophy
    and style obviously the energy of it's
    founders put into place has been
    retained. The result has been a
    consistency and dependability that
    is too seldom found these days.


    C.H.A.O.S. is a corporation, and is
    organized in much the same way as a
    business. Our Board of Directors
    consists of five elected officers,
    including the President,
    Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer,
    and two at-large members - one from
    each of the major group of owners
    (8-bit and 16-bit).

    In addition to the officers, each
    major function of the club is headed
    by an appointed manager or leader.
    The larger jobs, such as the disk
    library, are further divided using
    assistants whose work is overseen by
    the manager.

    Further use of the appointees' ideas
    and abilities is made by a
    management type of commitee, called
    the Activities Board. It consists
    of the Vice-President as Chairman,
    and all appointees of the club.
    Together they oversee their various
    activities and responsibilities, and
    brainstorm for new ideas and

    published by C.H.A.O.S. but is
    managed as though it were
    essentially a separate entity in
    order to be fair to all the
    participating groups.

    The ST Crisis

    Another of our recent
    accomplishments that I take pride
    in, is the way we have weathered the
    ST crisis. It seems as if many
    clubs split the ST owners completely
    off, for a variety of reasons. That
    didn't happen here, although for a
    time there was some controversy and
    sentiment for a new and separate ST

    In the very early days of the ST,
    the C.H.A.O.S. Board of Directors
    deemed that we would support the ST
    as fully as possible. We strongly
    urged ST owners to remain with the
    club and take advantage of the
    structure and resources that already
    existed. We emphasized the common
    ground and needs of both 8-bit and
    16-bit owners. We committed
    strongly to the ST owners and then
    stuck to our resolution. We have
    also made it plain that we believe
    the future lies with the ST. As a
    result, our ST presence continues to
    grow and prosper, as does the club

    The Future

    I believe that we will continue to
    grow and prosper and support owners
    of new and old Atari computers
    alike. As a percentage of
    membership, owners of the ST (and of
    the Atari machines yet to come) will
    continue to increase and that of the
    8-bit will decrease. But the
    foundations laid by the 8-bit owners
    will serve the future members well.
    Because we have joined together for
    support now, we can look forward to
    mutual support, cooperation, and
    harmony for a long time to come.

    ....The CHAOS BBS..................

    The C.H.A.O.S. BBS - (517) 371-1106
    By the System Designer and Operator,
    John Nagy

    The C.H.A.O.S. BBS is now in its
    third location and phone number
    since it began operations in 1982.
    I have been operating it since
    summer 1985.

    The BBS is supported completely by
    the C.H.A.O.S. CLUB, who pay for the
    equipment, line, repairs and
    upgrades. At the present, the
    system runs on a 320K ATARI XE
    computer, Basic XE (O.S.S. Inc.),
    Spartados (ICD, Inc.), a PERCOM
    master disk drive with two double
    sided double density slave drives,
    an ATARI 850 interface with an
    AVATEX 1200 modem, and an ATARI 1020
    printer/plotter for a logger.

    Arriving daily are the parts that
    will soon provide 10 MEG of hard
    disk storage, including the 256K MIO
    board from ICD.

    The software now running on the
    C.H.A.O.S. BBS is called "The M-5
    SYSTEM", and is structurally based
    on the original public domain
    F.o.R.e.M. program by Matthew
    Singer, but has been totally
    redeveloped to add hundreds of
    improvements, features, and speed.

    Features include: 300 and 1200 baud;
    an automatic voting section;
    multiple message bases with reply
    chains, search by MARKED or NEW
    SINCE LAST CALL, controlled scroll,
    and more; "last words" left for the
    next caller, plus a LAST CALLS LIST
    to see who has been on, when, how
    long, and what their "LAST WORDS"
    were; continuously user-variable
    "expert user" mode; the best and
    newest information and text files
    for online reading; top quality
    recent public domain software for
    downloading; ZMAGAZINE; online
    roleplay/adventure games; and more.

    Perhaps the most outstanding feature
    of the M-5 System is the prompts.
    They automatically respond and offer
    help when you need it, judging your
    experience (as shown in the user
    log), your errors while using the
    system today, and your own requests
    for help. This part of the system
    has been and continues to be one of
    my main areas of development. It is
    perhaps the most user friendly
    system available for ANY computer.

    Our callers number as many as 50 a
    day from all over the USA and
    several other countries. We have
    over 400 regular users. For more
    than a year, C.H.A.O.S. has offered
    all the MEMORY UPGRADE information
    and software possible, and many
    calls each day are drawn by this
    selection. (Claus Buchholz,
    originator of the 256K upgrade for
    the 800XL, is one of C.H.A.O.S.'s
    original members.)

    A recent user poll showed an average
    user age of 28 years, with 20% of
    the traffic from out of the state.
    Although NOT in one of the area
    codes reachable through PC PURSUIT,
    C.H.A.O.S. still deserves a visit on
    your next trip through the electric highway!

    ....General Computer News...........

    (Feb. 5)

    Seagate Technology has announced its
    first 3.5-inch hard disk units, with
    a maximum capacity of 45MB. The
    half-height drives have an average
    access time of less than 30ms and are
    available with SCSI or Seagate's own
    ST412 interfaces.

    The SCSI and ST412/RLL models offer
    30MB and 45MB respectively, while the
    lower density ST125 and ST138 models
    give 20MB and 30MB formatted

    Prices start at $595 for original
    equipment manufacturers and volume
    production starts in the third
    quarter in Seagate's Far East

    (Feb. 5)

    Tandy Corp. had itself a merry, BIG
    Christmas -- the latest word from
    Infocorp researchers is that the Fort
    Worth, Texas, computer maker claimed
    a 37 percent share of the nation's
    fourth-quarter retails sales of
    personal computers.

    That's more than the Apple Computer
    and IBM's portions combined.
    According to the report, Apple got a
    24-percent share; IBM got only 12
    percent. The fourth quarter is the
    most important, because
    traditionally it accounts for a
    third or more of the annual sales.

    Meanwhile, Apple's not really
    hurting, either. Looking at the year
    as a whole, both Apple and Tandy
    passed IBM, each getting about 25
    percent of the total 2.7 million
    units sold through retail stores in
    Christmas compared with IBM's 17

    Note, though, that this report from
    the Cupertino, Calif., - based
    Infocorp focuses only on sales
    through retail stores like
    ComputerLand and Radio Shack
    outlets, and does not reflect direct
    sales to large companies, one of
    IBM's big distribution channels.

    --Charles Bowen

    (Feb. 5)

    As predicted last month, Commodore
    International today reported its
    third straight profitable period,
    although revenues declined.

    According to a statement from its
    West Chester, Pa., headquarters, the
    computer maker made a profit of
    $21.8 million in the quarter ending
    Dec. 31. The Associated Press notes
    that included in the profit is a
    one-time tax-related gain of $5.8
    million, compared with a loss a year
    earlier of $53.2 million. The profit
    amounted to 68 cents per share.

    Revenue, down 20 percent to $270.8
    million from $339.2 million a year
    earlier, was at planned levels, said
    Thomas Rattigan, president and chief
    executive officer, in the statement,
    "as the company managed for
    profitability and cash flow" rather
    than growth.

    Interviewed by AP, Commodore
    financial officer Michael Evans
    elaborated that "trying to build for
    a large Christmas season, given the
    financial position of the company,
    would not have been the right thing
    to do."

    Evans added, incidentally, that the
    company hopes to complete within a
    week a new agreement with its
    bankers on a $140 million revolving
    line of credit.

    Commodore was in default on
    stipulations of its earlier

    Commodore reports for the first half
    of its fiscal year, the period ended
    Dec. 31, it had a profit of $25.5
    million or 80 cents a share,
    including the $5.8 million
    tax-related benefit, compared with a
    $92.4 million loss a year earlier.
    Revenue for the same period fell 10
    percent to $446.8 million from
    $498.4 million.

    --Charles Bowen

    (Feb. 6)

    Activision Inc., a publisher of game
    and education software, has posted a
    third quarter net loss of $3.9
    million or 11 cents a share.

    In the year earlier quarter,
    Activision had a net loss of
    $900,000 or three cents a share. Net
    sales for the latest quarter were
    $9.6 million from $5.8 million a
    year ago.

    For the first nine months of the
    fiscal year, Activision had a net
    loss of $6.7 million or 20 cents a

    This compares with a net loss of
    $3.8 million or 12 cents a share a
    year earlier. Net sales for the
    period rose to $22 million from
    $12.5 million.

    Bruce L. Davis, Activision's
    president and chief operating
    officer, said that the 66 percent
    increase in sales for the quarter
    was due to the acquisitions of
    Infocom and Gamestar and strong
    sales of certain entertainment
    software and video games.

    He went on to note that operating
    results for the quarter were
    negatively affected by delayed
    product introductions, high
    marketing expenditures for new
    product introductions and heavy
    investment in new product

    -- John Edwards

    ....Atari Word Processing Part I

    Editor's Note:
    The following article comes to us
    from Antic Online and presents a
    good overview on a few of the many
    word processing programs available
    for the Atari 8-bit computers.

    Because of its length, Zmag is
    publishing this review in 2 parts,
    the second of which can be found
    in next week's issue of Zmag.


    Atari 8-bit computers are fine word
    processing tools. For $500 or less--
    the price of a computer, printer,
    disk drive, software and some
    paper--you can have clean,
    correction-free documents that make
    ordinary typewritten material look
    as if the cat did it. In terms of
    versatility, speed, ease of use
    and readability, word processing is
    as far above typewriting as
    typewriting is above penmanship.

    An individual word processor is an
    acquired taste. Features that please
    some might annoy others. Even the
    five Antic editors are split on
    their favorites. For personal use.
    two prefer PaperClip, two use
    AtariWriter or AtariWriter Plus, and
    the fifth uses Letter Perfect.

    What follows is a detailed
    comparison of seven word processors
    currently available for Atari 8-bit

    These word processors are
    AtariWriter Plus, First XLEnt Word
    Processor, PaperClip, Letter
    Perfect, Superscript, Word Magic and

    80 COLUMNS

    The biggest lack in 8-bit Atari
    word processing to date has been the
    unavailability of an 8O-column screen
    display that shows your page exactly
    as it will print out. However,
    Atari now says that its long-awaited
    XEP80 80-column adapter box will be
    shipping in January, 1987.

    The XEP80's razor-sharp text
    display was demonstrated at last
    year's trade shows and Atari Fairs.
    The $79.95 adapter plugs into either
    joystick port and includes its own
    parallel printer interface. It
    works with either monochrome or
    color monitors.

    Prompt release of new versions
    supporting 80 columns on the XEP80
    are expected from AtariWriter Plus,
    PaperClip and First XLEnt Word

    ACE80 ($49.95. Reviewed in Antic,
    July 1986) and Write80 ($59.95.
    Reviewed in October 1986) each offer
    80-column displays without the XEP80
    hardware. But neither of these
    products can be considered
    full-featured word processors like
    the other software in this report.


    AtariWriter Plus does many things
    well. Its Proofreader and Mail
    Merge functions make it one of the
    most complete word processing
    packages available for Atari 8-bit
    computers. AtariWriter Plus is
    powerful and versatile, it does
    not drop characters or lock up as you
    type, and it has a 36,000-word
    spell-checking dictionary.

    The main limitation we found is a
    maximum file size of only 12.3K on
    the 800XL, slightly less than half
    of the file sizes we obtained from
    four other word processors. However,
    on the 130XE (and compatible memory
    upgrades) there are 15,872 bytes
    free -- in each of three "banks."
    Files longer than 15.5K "spill
    over" into the next available bank.
    [START] switches from one bank to
    another, and [OPTION] [F] evenly
    distributes the file among all three

    AtariWriter Plus can be configured
    to almost any printer. You need to
    load the printer driver every time
    time you boot up. The print preview
    feature gives you horizontal
    scrolling in more than 200 columns,
    and underlined characters appear in
    inverse video.

    However, boldface, italics and other
    special fonts are not indicated
    onscreen. The AtariWriter Plus Mail
    Merge lets you create an electronic
    mailing list with up to 255 records
    per file.

    AtariWriter Plus's powerful
    search-and-replace lets you use
    question marks as "wild card"
    characters. And global substitution
    is almost instantaneous -- you don't
    have to watch the cursor scroll
    through the entire file.

    The Proofreader program takes a
    little while to load, but it quickly
    scans your file for anything
    unusual, at which time an obnoxious
    beep alerts you.

    While the Antic editorial staff has
    had no problems with AtariWriter
    Plus, this isn't entirely true of
    our readers.

    We have received a trickle of
    letters listing minor complaints.
    For example, apparently headers and
    footers are sometimes printed
    somewhere other than where you want

    $49.95. Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas
    Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408)
    745-2000. (Reviewed in Antic, April
    1986, page 81.)


    First XLEnt Word Processor is the
    newest 8-bit product in this
    category and it is packed with
    unique and impressive features.
    First XLEnt lets you add pictures to
    the text, use the joystick for
    cursor movement, edit two documents
    at once, load in any Atari 8 X 8
    font (such as international
    character sets). Help screens are
    easily available and
    search-and-replace is almost

    You can load files from any DOS
    (including specialized operating
    systems such as SpartaDOS). And
    there's no problem loading First
    XLEnt files to other word processors
    that use an Atari-compatible DOS.
    First XLEnt is not copy-protected
    and comes with Atari DOS 2.5, but
    you can substitute your own
    DOS -- meaning that you can set up a
    large RAMdisk, for example. In fact,
    First XLEnt uses the 130XE RAMdisk,
    so you can load files lightning-fast
    --tantamount to using an extra edit

    The program wordwraps on spaces and
    hyphens, making word-breaks cleaner.
    "Soft" hyphens are ignored unless
    needed for a line break, and "hard"
    spaces prevent a line break at that

    However, if you use two hyphens for
    dashes (--), they will be split up at
    the end of a line when printed.

    First XLEnt has a visible, editable
    cut-and-paste buffer. You can
    insert a disk file anywhere in your
    text without losing the end of your
    document. You can save to disk any
    part of the document in memory.

    Also, when working with two
    documents in memory, First XLEnt
    flips between them instead of
    splitting the screen into small
    windows. (Those who prefer two
    windows might like PaperClip

    The biggest limitation we found in
    First XLEnt is that the
    cut-and-paste buffer holds you to
    one screen -- 800 characters. Also,
    the printing section in the manual
    could be more informative.

    When you go to the icon menu you're
    not always returned to your original
    spot in the text, or even to the same
    typing mode. If you were in Insert
    mode, you might find that you've
    overwritten some of your document
    before you realize you're no longer
    in that mode. And finally, the
    [CONTROL] key combinations on the
    800 become [OPTION] key on the

    But despite any minor quibbles, the
    First XLEnt Word Processor is a most
    welcome entry in the 8-bit market.
    It's powerful, easy to use and
    highly original.

    $29.95. XLEnt Software, P.O. Box
    5228, Springfield, VA 22150. (703)
    644-8881. (Reviewed in Antic,
    January1987, page 53.)


    As we've said on various occasions,
    Batteries Included's PaperClip is
    the 8-bit word processor we use at

    Several features weight the dice
    heavily in PaperClip's favor. It
    has "macro" capability for writing
    out lengthy strings of stored text
    with just two keystrokes. It has a
    generally fast and efficient command
    structure. It lets you work on two
    windows at once, and can use the
    paste buffer as a third window.

    It reads standard Atari DOS files, so
    you can easily work with files from
    most other 8-bit word processors.

    PaperClip's best and most original
    editing features include commands to
    transpose two adjacent characters or
    words in a line, and to delete one

    When you press [CONTROL] [SHIFT]
    [CAPS], the cursor scoots along,
    changing capital letters to
    lowercase or vice versa.

    The search-and-replace feature is
    good, but it slows down as file size
    increases. However, you can search
    and replace as many as six strings
    during a single global substitute.
    You can easily merge files, rename
    or erase them, and format disks.

    PaperClip's commands are generally
    easy to remember. [CONTROL] [SHIFT]
    [R] Reads a file from disk, and
    [CONTROL] [SHIFT] [W] Writes it to
    the disk.

    [CONTROL] [SHIFT] [M] Moves a block,
    [CONTROL] turns on Boldface, etc.
    But then [CONTROL] [A] sets print
    tabs and [CONTROL] [T] forces a new
    page, so the memory associations are
    not always that clear.

    Among the word processors in this
    report, only Superscript and
    PaperClip have math functions.
    PaperClip can add, subtract,
    multiply and divide, and print
    totals and subtotals. But you need
    to use the print preview window to
    see the results, which for unknown
    reasons often renders useless the
    block move command, [CONTROL]
    [SHIFT] [M].

    Other functions include batch file
    processing and Mail Merge. The
    utility files also include machine
    language printer driver maker, a
    graphics dump and an AtariWriter to
    PaperClip conversion program.
    [CONTROL] [SHIFT] [1] gives a word
    count, but it's not terribly
    accurate. It counts spaces, not
    words, and consequently misses by as
    much as 20 percent. The print
    preview feature uses PaperClip's
    wide horizontal scrolling to display
    the page as it will look on paper.

    Despite all these flashy and
    valuable features, Antic editors have
    learned from nearly two years of
    heavy PaperClip use that the
    software sometimes mysteriously
    locks up or drops characters. Also,
    the type-ahead buffer is often too
    slow to keep up with reasonably
    speedy typing, especially at

    The program doesn't tell you when
    your data disk is full. And in a
    rare copy-protection scheme, you can
    back up the disk but you must plug
    the enclosed "hardware key" into
    joystick port 2 to run PaperClip.
    That key costs $20 to replace, but a
    keyless 48K-only version is
    available for $39.95.

    Our copy of SpellPack, the
    spell-checker in PaperClip's 130XE
    version, didn't show words like
    "without," "us" and "too." But it
    had no problem with "mnemonic" or
    "dubious" -- and it also provided a
    large selection of non-words such as
    "usabg" and "thesficking."

    However, Batteries Included has
    assured Antic that these bugs are
    fixed in PaperClip version 2.0 which
    is presently shipping. Upgrades are
    free with a dated receipt within 90
    days of purchase. After that, the
    fee is $10 for an updated 130XE
    version and $15 for an upgrade from
    XL to XE.

    $59.95. Batteries Included, 30
    Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario,
    L4B 1B5, Canada. (416) 881-9941.
    (Reviewed in Antic, May 1985, page

    ED.NOTE: Check out next week's Zmag
    for the conclusion of this report.

    ....Miscellaneous Tidbits..........


    The following was sent in by a Zmag
    reader in Indiana.
    By: Dave Marzigliano

    DEC>HEX Conversion Prgm.

    10 DIM A$(9),AD$(1)
    20 GR.0:? :? HEX NUMBER
    30 ? :? "Enter 'D' for DEC to HEX."
    32 ? :? "Enter 'H' for HEX to DEC."
    36 INPUT A$
    40 IF LEN(A$)=0 THEN 30
    50 IF A$="H" THEN 300
    60 IF A$<>"D" THEN 30
    90 TRAP 90
    100 ?:? "Enter a decimal number from"
    105 ? "0 through 999999999."
    110 ? "DEC:";:INPUT N
    120 IF N<0 OR N>=1E+10 THEN GOTO 100
    130 I=9
    140 TEMP=N:N=INT(N/16)
    150 TEMP=TEMP-N*16
    160 IF TEMP<10 THEN A$(I,I)=STR$(TEMP)
    165 GOTO 180
    170 A$(I,I)=CHR$(TEMP-10+ASC(A))
    180 IF N<>0 THEN I=I-1:GOTO 140
    190 ? "HEX: ";A$(I,9):?
    200 GOTO 110
    300 TRAP 300
    310 ? :? "Enter a HEX number from"
    315 ? "0 through FFFFFFFF "
    320 ? "HEX:";:INPUT A$
    330 N=0
    340 FOR I=1 TO LEN(A$)
    345 AD$=A$(I,I):IF AD$<"0" THEN 300
    350 IF A$(I,I)<"9" THEN N=N*16+VAL(AD$)
    352 GOTO 370
    355 IF AD$<"A" THEN 300
    357 IF AD$>"F" THEN 300
    360 N=N*16+ASC(AD$)-ASC("A")+10
    370 NEXT I
    380 ? "DEC: ";N:?
    390 GOTO 320
    400 END

    This program can be typed in or
    extracted from this issue with your
    word processor and entered into

    0 Text 40 - 24 2 993
    1 Text 20 20 24 5 513
    2 Text 20 10 12 5 261
    3 GR 40 20 24 4 273
    4 GR 80 40 48 2 537
    5 GR 80 40 48 4 1017
    6 GR 160 80 96 2 2025
    7 GR 160 80 96 4 3945
    8 GR 320 160 192 1/2 7900
    H=Horizontal Columns
    V/S=Verticle Rows Split Screen
    V/F=Verticle Rows Full Screen
    RAM=Ram required


    Atari Light Show

    10 FOR ST=1 TO 8:GR.7
    15 POKE 752,1
    20 ?: ? " Atari's Special Light
    25 SETCOLOR 2,0,0
    30 SETCOLOR 1,2*ST,8:COLOR 2
    40 FOR DR=0 TO 80 STEP ST
    50 PLOT 0,0:DRAWTO 100,DR
    60 NEXT DR:FOR N=1 TO 800:NEXT N
    65 NEXT ST
    70 FOR N=1 TO 2000:NEXT N:GOTO 10

    Zmagazine #38 February 9, 1987
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