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Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

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Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:16 pm

Hi everyone. I'm at a fork in the road in terms of equipment.

I've been running a macbook for 5 years with an Alesis io26 firewire interface. This setup has worked beautifully for a long time but is now slowly falling away. My love affair with Apple is waning, and I'm gradually migrating away from them. Now the screen is smashed on my macbook and I've lost all patience in waiting for Logic 10, and I feel I'd like to get a more modest setup - a Windows 7 laptop with Reaper.

BUT I can't believe how confusing it is!!

I have a firewire interface and no laptops have firewire any more. If I wanted to get some sort of adapter then even THAT seems to be a minefield. Can a USB 2 interface cope with recording 14-16 simultaneous channels? I'm sure they can now, but when I was buying the io26 the talk was "definitely firewire over USB". The i3 i5 i7 model-names are totally confusing and misleading. Windows 8 is literally the WORST operating system I've ever used, and I'm including Vista in that, so it has to be W7.

Come on PC guys. I really want to make the switch, but right now a second hand macbook pro is looking to be a much better / simpler option. Can anybody convince me that it's really worth switching?? I thought it would be simple!

Mark.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Richard Graham » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:34 pm

Sossij wrote:Hi everyone. I'm at a fork in the road in terms of equipment.

I've been running a macbook for 5 years with an Alesis io26 firewire interface. This setup has worked beautifully for a long time but is now slowly falling away. My love affair with Apple is waning, and I'm gradually migrating away from them. Now the screen is smashed on my macbook and I've lost all patience in waiting for Logic 10, and I feel I'd like to get a more modest setup - a Windows 7 laptop with Reaper.

BUT I can't believe how confusing it is!!

I have a firewire interface and no laptops have firewire any more. If I wanted to get some sort of adapter then even THAT seems to be a minefield. Can a USB 2 interface cope with recording 14-16 simultaneous channels? I'm sure they can now, but when I was buying the io26 the talk was "definitely firewire over USB". The i3 i5 i7 model-names are totally confusing and misleading. Windows 8 is literally the WORST operating system I've ever used, and I'm including Vista in that, so it has to be W7.

Come on PC guys. I really want to make the switch, but right now a second hand macbook pro is looking to be a much better / simpler option. Can anybody convince me that it's really worth switching?? I thought it would be simple!

Mark.


Mate I would love to say you should switch to PC, but if you like the io26 and it works reliably with Macs, maybe you should stick with the Mac. I agree that Reaper is better than Logic (based on a fair bit of experience with Reaper and not a lot with Logic, so maybe I'm biased... I've loved Reaper a long time!), but Reaper runs on Macs too now.

The io26 has been a bit hit and miss for me with my PCs. Despite them all having TI chipsets, I ended up getting a R16 because I was so sick of my recordings getting ruined.

P.s. what do you mean, your system is "slowly falling away"?
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:47 pm

Thanks for your reply Richard. Well, slowly falling away is slightly overdramatic, but I know my io26 won't last forever, my macbook is gradually being unsupported (can't get Mountain Lion, not that I'm particularly bothered) and now my screen is smashed. And Apple are generally annoying me (iphone 5, where the hell is Logic 10 etc).

It just felt like the "right time" to look to the future.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Will_m » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:00 am

If you absolutely need a laptop and want firewre then a mac might be the way to go but there are tons of great USB 2 interfaces that can do that channel count with no problems. As the IO26 is discontinued I'm not sure how long you'll be able to get drivers for it, also most interfaces seem to moving away from firewire now and I'd be surprised if future macs included it, now that they've taken on thunderbolt and are keeping USB3 as well.

I'm not sure what you dislike about win 8 but if you want to it can be made to look like 7, I really like 7 but if you buy anything new it probably come with 8 on it now.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:00 am

Yes the USB interface is fine. Firewire is no magic. Nobody has problems with their USB interface. It is in no way a limiting issue. I've never run into problems with 8 channels coming in through USB.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby DGL. » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:40 am

You can still get laptops with expresscard slots that can take a firewire card if necessary if you wish to use your current interface.
Just make sure the adaptor has a TI chip and you should be fine.
And it needn't be expensive either, my £300 core i3 fujitsu has an express card slot and it's brand new.

Ant last of all, I like windows 8 but you can always downgrade to windows 7 if necessary.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:52 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Yes the USB interface is fine. Firewire is no magic. Nobody has problems with their USB interface. It is in no way a limiting issue. I've never run into problems with 8 channels coming in through USB.

Can it take more than 8? I always record live, backing vocals, vocals, the whole lot. So I sometimes get up to 16 simultaneous tracks (using my trusty ADA8000 via ADAT).

Furthermore, I'm absolutely astounded that people like Windows 8! I am no computer noob, although probably wouldn't qualify as a geek. I had my first experience setting up a W8 machine two days ago: It took me 5 minutes to find the desktop and 15 minutes to find the control panel. Hot corners which change every time you visit them, bungled and bloated, built for a touch screen (ie try getting out of an app in full screen!) bolted-on top of the previous system. Why Microsoft, why?? It was working before, you had a USP (in that everyone knows how to use a Windows machine) and then you tried to copy everyone else - but also stay the same - and ended up with a clusterf*** of an OS.

I'm no big fan of OSX but it's much simpler to use. However, I've recently been using a chromebook dual-booted with Ubuntu, and both operating systems are so clean, simple and intuitive. It puts Windows 8 to shame. In fact using Ubuntu is more like Windows that Windows 8! Anyway ... *gets off soapbox*

Thanks everyone for your advice so far. The express card possibility is a good one, can't seem to find any smaller laptops with that facility though. Please keep suggestions coming. I really want to do this and need reassurance!
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:21 am

http://www.rolandconnect.com/product.php?p=studio-capture

Might that ^ help make up your mind?

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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:26 am

Thanks. Certainly puts my mind at rest in terms of track count, although I clearly can't afford to pay 800 quid for a new interface... unless I sell my io26 and ADA8000 for double what I bought them
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:15 am

Sossij wrote:Furthermore, I'm absolutely astounded that people like Windows 8! I am no computer noob, although probably wouldn't qualify as a geek. I had my first experience setting up a W8 machine two days ago: It took me 5 minutes to find the desktop and 15 minutes to find the control panel. Hot corners which change every time you visit them, bungled and bloated, built for a touch screen (ie try getting out of an app in full screen!) bolted-on top of the previous system. Why Microsoft, why?? It was working before, you had a USP (in that everyone knows how to use a Windows machine) and then you tried to copy everyone else - but also stay the same - and ended up with a clusterf*** of an OS.

Yes, they went mad with the top-level interface. But underneath there seems to be a rather good operating system, and once you're in an application the touch-screen rubbish doesn't get in the way.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby The Elf » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:23 am

Sossij wrote:I had my first experience setting up a W8 machine two days ago: It took me 5 minutes to find the desktop and 15 minutes to find the control panel. Hot corners which change every time you visit them, bungled and bloated, built for a touch screen

I completely agree. But the OS we all want to use is just below the surface of that woeful front end. I will be switching Metro off permanently. It's bad enough on the XBox, but on a PC it's simply baffling why MS think we'd want that dog's dinner as a user interface.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Pink Fluid » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:27 pm

Completely agree about sticking with W7. I put the £25 W8 on my bootcamp partition and then spent a hour or more disabling features, trying to making it run like W7. I just can't see the point in W8 either especially if you haven't got a touchscreen. Re USB, I use an RME Babyface hooked up to a Behringer ADA8000 and that works without any fuss both with W7 and OSX.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby DAGGILARR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:07 pm

Sossij wrote:

Come on PC guys. I really want to make the switch, but right now a second hand macbook pro is looking to be a much better / simpler option. Can anybody convince me that it's really worth switching?? I thought it would be simple!

Mark.

Last time I looked there was a 15" mac book pro in readers ads, 2007 vintage, for £299, why look further than that ?
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby johnny h » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:17 pm

Sossij wrote:Hi everyone. I'm at a fork in the road in terms of equipment.

I've been running a macbook for 5 years with an Alesis io26 firewire interface. This setup has worked beautifully for a long time but is now slowly falling away. My love affair with Apple is waning, and I'm gradually migrating away from them. Now the screen is smashed on my macbook and I've lost all patience in waiting for Logic 10, and I feel I'd like to get a more modest setup - a Windows 7 laptop with Reaper.

BUT I can't believe how confusing it is!!

I have a firewire interface and no laptops have firewire any more. If I wanted to get some sort of adapter then even THAT seems to be a minefield. Can a USB 2 interface cope with recording 14-16 simultaneous channels? I'm sure they can now, but when I was buying the io26 the talk was "definitely firewire over USB". The i3 i5 i7 model-names are totally confusing and misleading. Windows 8 is literally the WORST operating system I've ever used, and I'm including Vista in that, so it has to be W7.

Come on PC guys. I really want to make the switch, but right now a second hand macbook pro is looking to be a much better / simpler option. Can anybody convince me that it's really worth switching?? I thought it would be simple!

Mark.

Don't worry about the iPhone 5. If your setup worked fine, just get a replacement macbook pro. Logic 9 works perfectly well and you know how to use it. What is the point in learning a new operating system and DAW? They aren't exactly easy things to get used to and once you have done so you will have absolutely no clear advantage over your current setup.

Do a time machine backup, get a new mac and you will be up and running for the next 5 years with no hassle whatsoever.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:04 pm

johnny h wrote:

Don't worry about the iPhone 5. If your setup worked fine, just get a replacement macbook pro. Logic 9 works perfectly well and you know how to use it


Ah yes, that's another reason my situation is slightly more complex. I'm not on Logic 9, I'm still on 8. Basically, when 9 came out I thought I'd skip a generation as I'm so used to 8, so I didn't bother with it. Now I'm at the stage where I don't want to buy 9 because 10 will come out a week later!


johnny h wrote:get a new mac


Thanks! Can't afford one. Unless you're buying?

DAGGILARR wrote:

Last time I looked there was a 15" mac book pro in readers ads, 2007 vintage, for £299, why look further than that ?


Well I already have a macbook 2.2ghz C2D with 4GB ram, I just need to spend £130 to get the screen fixed. And, tbh, it's looking like the best option at the moment. But really it's a short term fix and I'm looking for a longer term solution.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby mhaigh » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:26 pm

do you absolutely need a laptop? cos if not then your solution is to build a pc. if you need a laptop sometimes, then you can repair the screen on your macbook and use reaper for location work and then use reaper on a custom built pc to do editing.
if not, well i guess you could use two of these http://www.gak.co.uk/en/zoom-r16-digital-recorder-usb-audio-interface-and-daw-controller/26077 linked together
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby johnny h » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:05 pm

Sossij wrote:
johnny h wrote:

Don't worry about the iPhone 5. If your setup worked fine, just get a replacement macbook pro. Logic 9 works perfectly well and you know how to use it

Ah yes, that's another reason my situation is slightly more complex. I'm not on Logic 9, I'm still on 8. Basically, when 9 came out I thought I'd skip a generation as I'm so used to 8, so I didn't bother with it. Now I'm at the stage where I don't want to buy 9 because 10 will come out a week later!
Then use 8 until 10 comes out. I'm sure it will be fine



johnny h wrote:get a new mac

Thanks! Can't afford one. Unless you're buying?

DAGGILARR wrote:

Last time I looked there was a 15" mac book pro in readers ads, 2007 vintage, for £299, why look further than that ?

Well I already have a macbook 2.2ghz C2D with 4GB ram, I just need to spend £130 to get the screen fixed. And, tbh, it's looking like the best option at the moment. But really it's a short term fix and I'm looking for a longer term solution.
Buying a PC and a new DAW? Its not going to last forever. That macbook should be fine for a while. I'd be reluctant to spend money on a laptop that old but you could always buy a monitor for it. Maybe you have one somewhere? The adapter is pretty cheap on amazon.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby ef37a » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:29 pm

Err? Jonny,
you need an adaptor to run a monitor from a macbook?

I have never seen a laptop that did not have a VGA port. In fact I have a V old 850mHz HP sitting by the door that son sat on and I keep meaning to rig that to a monitor and extract the XP Pro license code from it. Not letting Msoft get away with no ***t NO way!

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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby DGL. » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:44 pm

My 2.2ghz i3 fujitsu laptop with 4gb ram might be perfect. It only cost me £299 (see here http://www.ebuyer.com/419625-fujitsu-ah512-lifebook-vfy-ah512m33a2gb )feels well made (made in Germany) and with a few tweaks (if necessary for audio use) could be fine.
It has all the usuals, is easy to up-grade (ram, hdd, wireless and processor), has a 2 prong (un-earthed) psu (less chance of ground loops) and has a full size express card slot for firewire/USB 3 Etc..

As you would be moving from a 2.2ghz c2d there should still be a fair bit of power improvement (gets a windows experience score of 5.7 and is a sandy bridge processor (albeit I added an extra 4gb ram) plus win 7 (it has win8 but comes with drivers for win7 and you should be able to downgrade) is supposedly more efficient than MAC OS.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby johnny h » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:10 pm

ef37a wrote:Err? Jonny,
you need an adaptor to run a monitor from a macbook?
Yes, it costs about 5 pounds from amazon.

I have never seen a laptop that did not have a VGA port. In fact I have a V old 850mHz HP sitting by the door that son sat on and I keep meaning to rig that to a monitor and extract the XP Pro license code from it. Not letting Msoft get away with no ***t NO way!

Dave.
Enjoy
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:47 am

Err? Jonny,
you need an adaptor to run a monitor from a macbook?
Yes, it costs about 5 pounds from amazon.


How bizarre! They provide a monitor port with the wrong connector for a monitor?
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:18 pm

Now now children. Let's not get into "my operating system is bigger than yours".

There are many great things about Apple macs. Mine is 5 years old and would still be going strong if I hadn't stood on the screen, it rarely crashed. There are also things that are massively rubbish about it, such as photo handling, finder and spotlight. Same goes for Windows, good and bad.

I just don't have £1000 or more to spend on a computer system I don't really earn money from. I'd like something that will look after me for the next few years and a good DAW that I can afford. Hence the PC idea.

One is not "better" than the other. It's what works for any given individual. And I'm equally fine with using either OS, although I am used to Logic.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby johnny h » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:53 pm

Sossij wrote:Now now children. Let's not get into "my operating system is bigger than yours".

There are many great things about Apple macs. Mine is 5 years old and would still be going strong if I hadn't stood on the screen, it rarely crashed. There are also things that are massively rubbish about it, such as photo handling, finder and spotlight. Same goes for Windows, good and bad.

I just don't have £1000 or more to spend on a computer system I don't really earn money from. I'd like something that will look after me for the next few years and a good DAW that I can afford. Hence the PC idea.

One is not "better" than the other. It's what works for any given individual. And I'm equally fine with using either OS, although I am used to Logic.

I run a PC and a mac and in almost every respect the mac is superior. However, I don't have the funds for a Mac Pro and I don't want to run a hackintosh so the PC stays. I do work with lots of very high cpu intensive synths and plugins. The very temperamental wifi on the PC also helps with productivity.

If I was you I would be very tempted to buy a screen on ebay and get the macbook working again. There is a link to a youtube video that shows you how to do it. Its not that hard if you have a little bit of patience and a steady hand.

(make sure the model number is compatible)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-13-3-LED-SCREEN-for-APPLE-MACBOOK-WHITE-A1342-or-Macbook-Pro-A1278-/170979985280?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Screens_LCD_Panels&hash=item27cf338780

If you have a monitor lying around then the £5 lead will be the cheapest way to get up and running.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:52 am

johnny h wrote: The very temperamental wifi on the PC also helps with productivity.



I'd suggest a replacement card to fix it, but it sounds like your happy enough being forced to be productive
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby DGL. » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:05 pm

Kraftwerk have been using windows laptops live for many years now (Sony vaio's with winxp pro)(since 2002 but I think that they might have changed now (well since 2010 they have had a different set-up) and they are not the kind of band to use something that does not work or is unreliable. So I say if it's fine for such a big band like them then it's fine for me.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby johnny h » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:55 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
johnny h wrote: The very temperamental wifi on the PC also helps with productivity.



I'd suggest a replacement card to fix it, but it sounds like your happy enough being forced to be productive

Its just a case of the router being a little too far away. It works on the MBP most of the time but its easy to move it around to find the sweet spot. It was surprisingly easy to share the internet connection through ethernet, making the laptop a very expensive (and very pretty) wifi card.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Richard Graham » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:24 pm

DGL. wrote:
Just make sure the adaptor has a TI chip and you should be fine.
And it needn't be expensive either, my £300 core i3 fujitsu has an express card slot and it's brand new.


This is very dangerous advice in my opinion. Just because something *should* be fine, does not mean it *will* be fine. My experience with the io26 is that it will most likely *not* be fine with a PC, TI chipset or not. You shouldn't mislead the OP if you don't not have direct experience with a laptop PCI express card, and an io26. He might get lucky, of course, or he might find he has spent £300 and has nothing but major headaches and wrecked recordings to show for it. But he knows it works with his Mac, so Johnny H's advice to buy a new screen and fit it himself seems like the best bet to me. Don't expect a cheap Windows laptop (or even an expensive one) to work properly with such a fussy piece of hardware as the IO26, especially via an adaptor card.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Sossij » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:57 pm

Thanks Richard, greatly appreciate the words of warning. I am very wary about the purchasing of equipment that won't work.

I think I've decided, anyhoo. Well, not decided, but I'm getting there. I'm going to buy myself a relatively cheap i5 PC laptop (iro £400) and install Reaper on it. I'm also going to set my macbook up with a screen. I can then decide between the two workflows as they are both fine using AIFF files.

I will (probably) sell my io26 and get a 4 x mic-pre USB interface with ADAT so I can continue to run my ADA8000 with it and have 12 channels (or more if there's jack inputs too).

This is my current thinking. However, now I've written it down I've realised it's about as badly thought through as Windows 8 seems to have been. Which is a shame. Ho hum.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby chris... » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:13 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:How bizarre! They provide a monitor port with the wrong connector for a monitor?

How do they know what connector the OP's monitor has ?

The standards keep on changing. Last century monitors used VGA. This century monitors used DVI and now DisplayPort/Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt.

Putting all those connectors on a MacBook would make it too big/heavy/ugly. But you can pretty much get any one you like with the relevant adaptor.
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Re: Was switching to Windows, slowly changing my mind!?

Postby Skerrick » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:28 am

order a pc from centrecom.com.au
i got a desktop AND laptop, custom designed for $1000 each. theyre both better than the respective top of the line mac and theyre awesome.
have a geeze at custom pcs. theyre much cheaper.
EVERYONE (within reason) makes pcs and pc parts so theres a competitively priced market whereas apple dominates theirs.. no one makes ios computer systems but apple. keep in mind if you have any issues it can be much much harder to fix them, but you probably already know this. good luck!
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