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About mpdugas

  • Birthday 01/08/1948

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  • Location
    Katy, Texas
  • Interests
    PCs and related hardware and software stuff, including gaming.
  • Occupation
    Very retired.

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  1. "Sir Nils" and "Herr Nils" are names first attributed to your identity by a user named Azure Lion in his posts to me; please refer this matter to him for clarification and correction. (I note no correction by you of his use of those terms.) As for the rest of your request, please refer to these posts: This is but a small sampling of a search for the spelling "SSnake" on this forum; I stopped after the fourth page of over 100 results. All of these users shown above have previously referred to you by the same spelling/capitalization style as I did, without any remark by you concerning the possibility that "...it could be easily misconstrued as admiration or support for a rather horrible organization of Germany's darkest years." Lovely innuendo, that, and certainly inflammatory in its self-righteous implications. If you want to censor, or ban me, from making public, by posting on this forum, certain verifiable and factual information which are critical of various matters that reflect adversely upon this forum, this product or you, then of course you may resort to such methods. I am but the miner's canary in all of this. Alex Jones remarked, on April 7th, 2018, that "Censorship is a tool of fascism, not freedom." If you want to avoid being associated with that dark period in time of German fascism, which I can certainly understand, then censoring me is not a particularly good way to go about it. But only time will tell what you intend. However, nothing I have said in this whole posting is defamatory, rude, or personally insulting, unlike certain remarks that you addressed to me. I have substantiated or supported every premise I made by specific factual references to the works of those responsible for the attributions I have researched. As an example of such, I offer the following quote by you: August 2010: ssnake said, in a SimHQ interview, "Steel Beasts is more of a training simulation for various militaries around the free world than an actual computer game. Sure it was released and sold as such, (emphasis added) but the heart of the product has always been a training tool." Of course, that is referring to my initial premise that SB was represented to be a game, which premise you have steadfastly denied heretofore. Where I have made a mistake, I owned up to it, publicly and openly. I even openly admitted to the possibility of a mistake. In every instance that I showed you to be in error, you refused to accept any responsibility whatsoever. This inability of you, personally, to accept criticism and acknowledge your errors has brought this whole debate to a sad, unfortunate, feverish pitch, and you are personally responsible for that inflammation. What is happening here and now, on this forum, is an example of social psychosis at its absolute worst. This whole discussion was an opportunity for you to demonstrate some considerable personal growth, but you have steadfastly avoided it. There is but one, last, meager opportunity before you to bring this "witch hunt" to a close, will you take it? If, and I emphasize the term "if", different rules apply to my conduct here, as opposed to the conduct of others, for the purpose of silencing my critical remarks, then those whose personal moral corruption permits that form of censorship will have to atone for it in due course. Do what you will with my speech; censoring or banning me will not permit you to escape your responsibility for your actions...karma is a brutal and relentless master.
  2. Yes, you are incorrect. When you say"...using mostly data that supports your case without also objectively showing data that shows the disadvantages...", you presume your answer in your question. I only ask that you try to keep an open mind about this, but I cannot require that, of course. The only purpose of my post was to connect the statement made in 2016, by SSnake, about the state of SBPro graphics, which I linked, to the thread about VR possibilities that I put it in. I reread my OP, and I find nothing more in it than my comments about my personal experience and about VR's adequacy for SBPro. I did that because people were expressing hope that perhaps VR would eventually be included, when SSnake had already foreclosed that possibility himself, two years previously. Sometimes, it is not possible to connect all the threads of a whole forum in a logical way very easily, and I thought it was useful to put the issue with the state of SBPro graphics, as it related to VR, into a logical perspective by connecting the two posts. It was just serendipity that I noticed the connection between the two. You know what they say: "No good deed goes unpunished." I was not then, nor am I now, proselytizing for VR. I like it in the games that I use it in, and that includes VR multiplayer and single-player controlled tanks. It was a transformational experience for me, and that is why I was searching the SB forums for the current state of VR development in SBPro when I ran across the 2016 post about graphics problems. I do not care if someone else finds VR clumsy (which it is), or low resolution (which it is for now) or expensive (which it most certainly is). It makes no difference to my experience, which is simply that VR is something that I had not, until the last year, thought worth investing in, but I can honestly say that it is without doubt the most revolutionary change in PC hardware that I have witnessed in my 31 years of experience in PCs. I cannot put words to the intensity of the feeling I had when I sat down in the virtual cockpit of my favorite plane. Sadly, every point I made, and every opinion I expressed, I later substantiated and supported as the "discussion" evolved. I have tried to be, even when personally assailed, polite and kind. For that, I have endured some truly insulting and childlike behavior in return. From what you suggest, I have to say that I believe you did not read my posts on this matter completely. It is not my business to tell you to do so, but when you veil your criticism of me, even as polite as you are, in innuendo like that above, you do me a disservice. In my personal opinion, the 'discussion" revealed more than was intended. Read all of it for yourself, carefully and thoughtfully. I spoke in probabilities and possibilities, not certainties, which leaves the door open for objection to all those people who are the exceptions to some of my broad statements. I find no absolute statements in my post, just generalities and likelihoods. It is sad indeed, but every point I asserted in my OP, I backed up with evidence to support it. It is not my place, nor my obligation, to state an opposing position. Would you be kind enough to tell me what sort of VR hardware you use and in what games?
  3. You know, I was concerned that somewhere along the way, I had offended your person somehow, so I took the time to go back and read the posts where I interacted with you. That was several years ago, and either you have a remarkable memory, or you are somehow otherwise predisposed to dislike me. Other than what follows, all of our exchanges seemed to be on par for my interactions with other forum users. Since you don't read what I say, and you accuse me of things never done by me, it is hard to warm-up to conversation with you, but I am always willing to try. The only impression that I have, where friction actually and repeatedly arose between my writing and your posts, were in those earlier instances where you insisted that I do your research or legwork for you. You really did get annoyed, like the exchange we had above, where I told you that all of your concerns had been addressed elsewhere, and I pointed out to you exactly where your answers could be found. I mean you really got annoyed because I did not ladle-out the answer to you, and I somehow was unreasonably expecting you to make a few mouse-clicks to see what others were saying about your random remarks. I still suggest that you do; I treat you better than some others do. As for your person's accusation of..."flamboyant claims that upon checking turn out to be greatly exaggerated or simply plain untrue, no direct answers to clear questions etc etc.", and after checking the facts myself, I find no supporting evidence for your accusations whatsoever, but that's just me. Correct me, and I will admit my error. I know you admire and like Herr Nils, to the point of obsequiousness, but that's your choice. There really is something of a cult of personality here, and it would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Nonetheless, the discussion is over, and Sir Nils has abandoned the field of debate without admitting any mistake or error on his part. /sigh
  4. Your post is polite. I implore, you, however, to make your reasoned judgements based on what I have actually written, not what you seem to project upon me. Very little of your introduction has any factual basis in my writings, and I will not take up your time by covering each point you make in an effort to show you your own error. You seem an intelligent person, and I believe that you have the capacity for yourself, within yourself, if you take the time to read what I have written, to see where you err. Please start with the first, most uncomplicated posting, and note where the subject that I initially raised was departed from by whomever this "Sir Nils" is, as the conversation unfolded from the first reply. As for the source code issue, I doubt very seriously if the version we are so "privileged" to pay for has any secure code content. Again, and as always, fact is mightier than conjecture, and I stand ready to accept my fault openly, as I have already done when I might have been wrong, which is more willingness to openly admit mistakes or errors than anyone else in this small debate has shown. Of all the products that were introduced on the personal computer simulation market at or around the turn of the century, several, even though some were abandoned by their creators, have flourished and blossomed under the tender care of those admirers who voluntarily and freely gave of their time, and yes, of their genius, to make the orphaned simulators rise to heights of quality unimagined by their original creators. Of these Falcon 4.0 and Grand Prix Legends are two particularly sterling examples. Additionally, some original properties were steadfastly developed and nourished by their creators, and show that, with care and courage, even relatively pedestrian beginnings can result in wonderful products through caring evolutionary development; of these, the original IL-2 Sturmovik has passed through successive iterations, to emerge as one of the most outstanding titles on the PC marketplace today. It is particularly remarkable that one of the variants of that product, foundering when the original creator/developer lost hope, was resurrected from the grave by a devoted user group, much like those people whose efforts who gave rise to the first mentioned products, (i.e. F4 and GPL) but in this case, with the care, consent and cooperation of the creator agency itself, which is absolutely stunning. If you don't know the story of the simulation called the "Cliffs of Dover", I beg you to study it as a shining example of what courage, determination and talent can achieve. Somewhere in these examples is a path that I have suggested that SBPro follow, recently and before, but only as a sidebar to my original premise about the viability of VR within SBPro. As Charles Morse once said, in a very famous movie called "The Edge", "what one man can do, another can do."
  5. Odd double post, don't know why, sorry.
  6. Given the personal hammering I've been put through for a simple post, I must admit I am a bit touchy about it just now. I prefer a computer opponent; I get plenty of human PvP everyday. The "hard stuff", however, went just fine, and I am very satisfied with the final outcome. Criticism is not accepted well here, and the fanboi reaction to my OP was a bit "over-the-top". Like I said, bruised but unshaken. Sorry if I was brusque, but you seemed to suggest that I was not entitled to post if I weren't a regular, on-line player. Thanks for the gentlemanly post, a first.
  7. An odd challenge, your question. Would this being my first post ever, make a difference to the topics chosen and logic of it? Would it make anything less accurate? Your question seems to infer a certain inauthenticity to my presence here, your disclaimer notwithstanding. I do not play on-line cooperative multiplayer or PvP; I get enough of that when I step outside my front door. I have posted on this forum before, over many years. I own two copies of SBPro 3.0. I'm a combat veteran, honorably discharged from my time in the USN and USA. Do you require more info to vet me? A search for previous posts will show you that I have addressed some of these issues before, but I certainly did not intend to get into this donnybrook. My OP was not directed at proselytizing for VR at all. It was a simple post whose conclusion still rings true. That said, I learned a lot about the genesis of SB from being forced to substantiate my positions in this "tempest-in-a-teapot" debate. Back at you, though: have you read my posts entirely? Not scintillating stuff, I admit, but grindingly correct and effective.
  8. Well, I cannot agree with your summary, since your "taking the high ground" at the moment of being shown quite convincingly that you hold an intractable position is disingenuous. Too, it's unmanly of you to take a few parting personal shots as you abandon the field, but that is your choice. Nonetheless, I will say this: I no longer have the original SB disc to install the game from, so I cannot do more than try to recall what was so some 19 years ago. In 1996, or there-abouts, W95 was still going through its infancy. 1996 would have been about the right time for Al to have begun his four-year stretch at producing his game. Whether he wrote it for the predominate Windows 3.11 platform (which would have been a safer choice for his first video game) or for the newer, and buggier, W95, I do not know. My guess would be for the former as more stable, safer and know-able. Maybe he was adventurous, and struck out for W95 from the start. I doubt that. But I do not know his circumstances. A Windows 3 game is easily ported to W95, but not vice versa. In any case, if he wrote it for Windows 3, then it would have been considered a DOS game, because that platform was a DOS shell. However, W95 was an entirely different beast (no pun intended), and if he took a chance on it and wrote SB for that platform alone, it would have been a Windows game, since W95 was the first complete break from MS-DOS by Microsoft. So, depending on whether SB would run on W3.11, then it would be a DOS game; if it only ran on W95, then it was not a DOS game. If it ran on both, it was a DOS game ported to W95. If that is the narrow case, i.e. it was only able to run on W95, and only Al can say so, then I must admit my error in calling it a DOS game. So that is my admission of error, if those particular circumstances are true. I told you I would accept my fault if it was shown, even if I had to make the case to expose my potential error myself. Would that you would have done me the courtesy of the same.
  9. Give IL_2 a spin; it has tanks with VR...WWII tanks, for sure, but it is a lot of fun to play...numbers and calculations and ballistic computers aren't everything, but VR multi-crew tanking is more than you are going to find here, ever. Like I said to begin with, I'm not pushing VR. I like it and the sims I play it in. The bottom line is that it's just plain fun. Tank Crew will be out and full of PvP and single player VR, including PvP against aerial opponents as well, in the same scenario, with lots of different WWII types to use for armor in a year or so: In the meantime, enjoy what they do have , which is a couple of tanks and scenarios, if you want to see it in action. It may not be for you, but who knows until you try? Here are some samples of where 1C/777 is going with this; all of these are playable in VR. These are all DirectX 11 games: Multiplayer tank combat... Take a look at the tank animations and interaction with the environment in an aircraft simulator: This last one is an example of multiplayer with human-controlled tanks, human-controlled aircraft, coupled with lots of AI. Remember, this is a flight simulator. Both the Stuka and the tanks have more than one crew position. Compare the richness of the experience, and the graphics (which, in these videos, are from a much earlier version of the sim) to what SBPro offers. Zetexy, who produced this video, is one of the best videographers on YouTube: So far, they are rude, somewhat crude and it is tank warfare, WWII style, fought by mark one eyeball and traditional elements of concealment and surprise. No numbers crunching, IR warfare here. It is visceral and demanding, even if the models are still being developed. If you know this developer, you also know it won't stay this way for long.
  10. I missed the part about "friendly" and about also "advice". Strawman? Your posts appear to me to be very antagonistic, do you intend to be that way?
  11. "I never claimed it was." <<I have no idea what you are saying here, and this is most likely your language difference hindering your writing, but you HAVE been insisting that SB was a 3D accelerated game, which, in my answer above, I directly quote you and McConnell as saying it was not. I think the off-hand remark of DX7 API function calls, as you obliquely refer to, has nothing to do with 3D acceleration at all. So, after all your cries that SB was 3D accelerated, you just slip quietly away into the night, never admitting that it was not. Stur. A wonderfully indirect answer that SB was not 3D accelerated until at least 5 years after you claimed you first stated working on it. So exactly when, and in what version of SB, did 3D acceleration get added? I do believe that you have number 7, above, down to a fine art. The rest of the list, while interesting, is a departure from Al's list of goals, but it is a distinction without a difference. Nineteen years and a whole bunch of items number 7 on your goals list. It is amazing that nothing on your list of present priorities, which you set out above, talks about any graphics changes or improvements. Tenaciously following a plan that has no goal for graphical changes is an assurance that it will never happen. No mention of it as a task to be addressed "...in five, or ten years down the road...". Which just goes further to show that, no, there will be no VR in SBP, not now, not in the future, because no foundation is going to be laid to achieve what it takes to do that, despite all obfuscations to the contrary. No graphics code redesign is on that list. It's a dead issue. This part of the thread is a complete hijacking of the original topic, but you raised the point first, and I am responding to you. Eventually, it will return to the topic of VR, but this diversion is yours. But here are the dark and scary parts of the woods, which I did not choose to enter originally. You once again spin the topic; I know the history of F4 well enough, but the point I made here, and in previous postings that I "discussed" with you, is that you could leverage the same resources that they did to make F4 the sterling simulation that it is. In this case, you have even more of an advantage than they did, since you ARE the repository of the code, and could easily leverage this communities' assistance, through NDA agreements and the like, to do the same thing they did. No, it is absurd to think that dumping the code "into the wild" is how eSims should do this. You said that "Eventually they (Lead Pursuit) passed on the license to Benchmark Sims/Miro Torrielli", but I sincerely doubt that that ever happened; BMS does not hold the license to anything Falcon other than what the present copyright holders permit them to do. Your subject knowledge is lacking again; prove me wrong, please. You could easily solve the problem of limited resources by delegating tasks to those who would discretely assist eSIM, likely without pay, so loyal are your users. Really, I don't know why I try to illustrate how easy this would be for eSim to do; I know I am wasting my breath, because this is a subject that I have laid out for consideration before, back in July of 2016, in fact. No, I don't expect you to just jump at my suggestions, but it would be prudent of you to avoid saying that you don't have the resources to do these things. Perhaps you did learn some lessons from Microprose's fate, but the lesson of distributed work, which you could have mastered, and still can learn from the BMS team, is one that escaped you. It would take imagination, courage, trust and tolerance to do so. For instance, lets say you enter into an NDA with one of your avid users who is conversant with 3D creation and animation software. You allow them to modify the object model for one of the many vehicles in the game, and under limits that eSim sets, like polygon count, and ask them to create a refined version of that vehicle. Perhaps you task them to show, e.g. a full 3D version of the interior, or by way of another example, an animated exterior that shows antennas wiggling, bedrolls jumbling about, machine gun barrel bouncing about, all the sort of small, randomly moving accessories encrusted to a real tank that give it the appearance of life. To avoid impact on your gaming system, you give them the design parameters and limitations that they must conform to. Give this a try, it can't hurt. As is, your 3D vehicles move as one, monolithic lump, and nothing that should move on their exterior does. An APFSDS round glances off of a tank, and the antenna, boxes, bedrolls, extra track, etc. just sit there. Before you scream "computing resources", let's just say that there are methods for aggregating and dis-aggregating model and 3D data, in space, to simplify the burden of displaying the local tasks. Take a page from F4 and note how they handle the problem of thousands of objects in play at one time. If they can do it, from older code than you are burdened with, then why can't you, I wonder? Like wing flex, and bomb oscillations after dropping, or using TrackIR to replicate player head movement, (Oh, that's right, there are no player body objects in the game) all of which are animations that BMS has incorporated into their ancient code. After 19 years of production, SB looks strikingly similar to its original incarnation, and the various user videos released over the years, based off of the so many intervening versions, are so much the same that they come to the point of being indistinguishable. Nothing substantial has changed in 19 years from the rendering quality and efficiency point-of-view, and I suspect that this coding immobility is what has SBPro pinned up against a technological wall. The longer eSim waits, the harder will be the effort. The harder the effort, the less likely it will be that eSim will attempt it; thus is born the vicious cycle of procrastination and sloth. Nothing anywhere says that the consumer version has to match the commercial one. Make SB more approachable but not less authentic, make it emotional, and untold riches will be yours. That's all well and good, but it's just talk. I do not, for example, give any credence to your "One day Steel Beasts won't be a DirectX 9 application anymore. I'm talking years, but not a decade, and I am quite confident that we will get there.", because you do not have a priority to do that. Why should you? Your client Government agencies don't use it. Government agencies don't want it, and you are disinclined to sell it, because you are a person who steadfastly rejections the reality of the appeal of the emotional side of warfare. Why should you try to be a commercial success too? You have monopoly on tank simulations, for the moment, but competition is knocking on your door. Yes, indeed, they are knocking and knocking. It is oft said that a warrior fights as they train. War is not an analytical affair; it is brusque, brutal, noisy, dirty and shocking. It takes place mostly outdoors, in all sorts of different kinds of weather and lighting. People need to be able to apply training through muscle memory in the heat and the confusion of war. Take a look at some of the games, the FPS, that exist today; they understand "shock-and-awe" substantially better than you do. The PC is very well adapted to creating fear and confusion in a user, particularly in VR. Try the VR game called A Chair in a Room if you doubt me. That is, if you own a VR system. I am not alone in propounding the idea that simulations should include as many emotional components as possible in combat simulations. If SBP engaged the limbic system of its users, too, it would be awesome. I know you are ex-military, but have you ever been in combat? Your training, as evinced by the way SBP presently plays, is substantially about the clinical application of procedural solutions. It utterly avoids and minimizes the animal nature of killing. People don't fight like SBP trains them to. Those that train with your product will have to discard those lessons if they hope to live on the battlefield. SBP has such an enormous potential for success. It has languished, and it's sad to see it performing so underwhelmingly. You are the boss and have been for many, many years. The present state of SBP is your responsibility, and yours alone. You could have been more than a name on a door, or so says Joni Mitchell. p.s. I have a dongle with (who uses these anymore, I mean, really?) two licenses for SBP 3.0, easy to be upgraded.
  12. It's more than you afforded me. I don't need to duplicate answers that other folks have already taken the time to lay out for you. Nothing rude in a referral.
  13. I politely (more so than you) suggest you take up the discussion on the "Dogs Of War" forum, where all of your remarks have already been addressed.
  14. This person is not trolling; just take the words as written for their face value. No need to look for motives or hidden meanings. My writing is clear, as is my meaning.
  15. Ssnake: 1) You have not addressed any particular error of my having confused the two game versions , so I will not ask for more. I recognize that English is probably not your first language, and I will just accept that your nebulous reply is likely based on your probable failure to understand my request for specificity due to subtleties of language when reduced to writing. 2) SB was a VGA (640x480) non-3D accelerated game. You just noted that M1Tank Platoon II was Voodoo accelerated. That was the Glide API. It was in stiff competition with OpenGL and DirectX back in 1999. I offer the following contemporary reviews of SB, written at the time, comments from the original SB development team and my personal experience playing it, all sources agree: Gamespot, by Bruce Grey on Oct 4, 2000 14:20 PM "Steel Beasts is practically a textbook example of the strengths and weaknesses of independently developed and published games: Specifically, the graphics are not 3D accelerated, and they may seem rather drab and uninspired for those accustomed to the latest in hardware-pushing technology." Reviewed on PC / 26 Jan 2001 :"Nor is there is support for 3D acceleration cards or EAX audio either. In fact, sole programmer, Al Delaney, began the entire project as a post-graduate lark back in 1996." Fandom: "Reviewers were initially put off by the substandard 640x480 graphics, then highly impressed by the gameplay, immersion and the intelligent-seeming behaviors exhibited by the computerized units." Tanksim: "It's okay to lament the lack of 3D accelerated graphics, it doesn't hold the sim back much." In August of 2000, during an an interview in SimHQ with someone name Ssnake, he said " Nobody was willing to invest the comparatively tiny sum that was necessary to convert the game into a 3D accelerator supporting polygon engine. Al prepared the existing code for a swift engine migration which never came. This rendered all existing scenarios useless." In the same interview, Michael McConnell said "The lack of 3D accelerated graphics will turn some people off, but truth be told, the graphics of SB are more than adequate for the task, and many aspects of the graphics are very well done." You contradict yourself. 3) When I offered Al an opportunity to meet with armor officers at Fort Hood, he declined to do so. Perhaps that was a seminal moment for him, and he later decided to do that. I can only speak to the moment when he was struggling so hard to find customers, and I personally tried to help him with that. Ab initio, SB was not intended for that market. It was some sort of solo engineering thesis, as I recall. He also remarked that "Certain publishers might want to fund an upgrade to the graphics engine to support 3D hardware acceleration as well as a major art upgrade, so that would set back the release by another three or four months or more." In December, he interviews with SimHQ, as the only coder working on the game, and he said then that his four goals for SB were: Finish multiplayer in a big way. Upgrade the graphics engine /art. Implement our campaign system. Add more secondary vehicles and buildings. Add air support. Looks like, even then, he wanted to do more with graphics, campaigns and aerial support, goals which have never been addressed to this day. And this in 1999. It was never written first to be a military training simulator. It was kind of a a challenge by his professor to use an idea he had developed . He said, in the same interview, "I created a terrain rendering engine and my wife and I decided that I should try to work for myself and make a game out of it." 4) This thread was about whether SBPro 4.0 would ever use VR; the low quality of SB graphics, in its original, or Pro form, are its weakest attribute. They remain that to this moment. I have never suggested that the other aspects of SB or SBPro are lacking, so you need not pivot that discussion, either. This is just your "red herring", another figure of speech. 5) uncannily similar is not "identical", but I will, as a courtesy to you, demure on the basis of the apparent language differences. 6) Benchmark Sims operates its process to modify Falcon 4.0 with the express consent of the copyright holders of the original Falcon 4.0 code; again, you do not seem to know your subject. 7) You create straw dogs from thin air, and then beat them down. I repeat: " You clearly miss the point of my post: it was intended to speak to those who hold out the hope that the present iteration of SBPro will ever support VR; I point(ed) out your 2016 message as an acknowledgement that is it too severe of a task to perform. There is utterly minimal likelihood that SBPro's rendering engine will ever be moved to DX11, as a minimum, to support VR. No, the intent of my post was to show the connection between your post of 2016 and the high improbability of SBPro, in its present incarnation, ever moving to a DX11 platform. " In passing, I might mention that, in all of your "sturm und drang", you have never addressed that point. Instead, you've spun my post into a whole new direction of your own making. Why is the 3D engine of SBPro such a poor performer? I really do think the subtlety of the meaning of my post has escaped you, and you deride me for words you put in my mouth, which is another figure of speech. I will not reply to your fanbois except to say that you fan anger where there is no antipathy, you resist where there is no conflict, and you attribute to me much of what motivates you. My comment about VR was mild beyond reproach, yet here you are, berating me for a simple effort to connect one dot to another.
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