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back to article Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

The original iMac, launched back in 1998, was a breakthrough product that rescued Apple from being sucked into the sort of death spiral that Blackberry is currently speeding down. But now, in 2013, the latest version of the all-in-one desktop computer appears to barely merit a press release from the Apple mothership. In fact, it …

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"Jobs knows the company can well afford this small generosity."

Ha. It is to laugh!

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Indeed.

Waiting for the first one to not get the joke in...3...2..

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Anonymous Coward

Too big

For me, the whole 27" thing is just too big in an office where you need to work with other people - 24" is at the edge of acceptable if your life doesn't revolve around having every bit of data on the Universe in one spreadsheet or going pixel precise with every palette and toolbox on screen.

Don't get me wrong I generally like the Apple platform (OSX, but not so in need of designer looks of the box), I just found 27" impractical.

On the plus side, I guess you save on partitions :)

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Re: Too big

I am surrounded on all sides by people with dual and triple monitor. I am no doubt in the minority again, but I find the ergonomics of one big screen to be preferable to two medium or even two large monitors. I quite fancy one of those ultra wide monitors though.

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Re: Too big

I have a 27" iMac and a Windows PC with dual 24" screens on my desk. The 27" is nicer to work with, although I currently have so much to do, I spend most of my time on the Windows box, because I don't have time to set up the iMac properly...

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Re: Too big

The 27" isn't too big.

The sad thing is that you have to special order the iMac if you want to put it on a VESA monitor arm.

(And yes, you will want to do that to free up some desk top real Estate. )

BTW, is it just me, but in the article there's a graph of benchmarks that have nothing to do with the article?

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Re: Too big

"BTW, is it just me, but in the article there's a graph of benchmarks that have nothing to do with the article?"

I think the author is using that image to let the readers know that this years i7 model is shittier than last years. Would you expect to pay a 100 more for a weaker machine? Apparently if you buy Apple.

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Re: Too big

I know a few people who have insanely huge huge monitors on their desks as well.

Yes, it's too big when I have to physically move my head in order to comprehend everything that is on the screen or sit so far back my desk becomes irrelevant.

As for dual monitors, my work requires looking at huge amounts of information from multiple programs and an even larger menus to be productive. Info one one side, menu on the other or combinations thereof. A large monitor becomes far too cluttered.

Of course, this is just my preference.

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Re: Too big

"Of course, this is just my preference."

I believe your preference is the majorities. I've been using at least 2 monitors for over a decade. If I use just 1, no matter the size, I feel like I'm being slowed down some how. However, most Mac users I see only use 1 (excluding photoshop users of course).

Could it be that the majority of people running 2+ monitors don't use Mac.? If that is the case, then I can see why Mac. would focus on 1 big monitor.

BTW, I wish monitors came with splitters built in. That way for some things I could use 1 monitor with 2 inputs (without using multiple gpu's/capture cards).

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Re: Too big

I have two 21" screens on my Mac Pro, two is much better for a workflow POV, however with a big screens I get fatigued quickly even with just one. The 27" screens look lovely but I can't sit in front of one for long and have to turn the brightness right down to avoid my eyes giving up.

regardless,having two screens is useful regardless of their size, if I had one mahoosive 27" I'd still feel a bit boxed in.

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Anonymous Coward

It'll fall off!

"...the constant irritation of having all the USB and other ports hidden around the back"

Stephen, you need to stop constantly plugging and unplugging your dongle, it'll fall off!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: USB ports

"...the constant irritation of having all the USB and other ports hidden around the back"

Plug a four port USB hub into one of the ports and a multi-card reader into another, with short USB cables. Then Blu-tack the pair of them to the foot of the stand.

The iMac has a cable management hole in the stand, so cable ties and little blobs of Blu-tack will keep the cables neat.

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Anonymous Coward

... because you're worth it.

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No USB3

...even though I bet it would cost virtually nothing to include it. But that's not the Apple way - the Apple way is to spend much more on "Thunderbolt" peripherals. Just like micro-SD in mobile phones is not the Google way - the Google way is to spend much more on on-board storage.

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Re: No USB3

I am confused by this. Both iMacs have four usb 3 ports.

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Re: No USB3

Just double-checked. It is USB3 according to the Apple store tech. specs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No USB3

Hater's gonna hate ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No USB3

Don't let silly things like facts get in the way of your hate!

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Re: No USB3

I totally agree it's stupid not to include USB 3 ports. Fortunately Apple seem to have included all 4 ports that are available on the Intel chipset.

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Re: No USB3

Apologies - should have checked. The lack of both the "SS" logo and the blue colour normally associated with USB3 sockets fooled me. Should have realised that the colour blue at least would have been verboten ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No USB3

Check your facts before you hate next time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Check your facts before you hate next time.

Which bit of "Apologies - should have checked." didn't you understand?

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Phew!

Thanks, AC 11:50. Amazing the hate expressed by those who accuse others of being "haters"!

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Anonymous Coward

Another comparison

The latest Dell XPS 27 inch all in one.

Overlooking for the sake of argument, and to avoid starting ones, that it's touch screen with Windows 1 more than 7.

i7 3.9 processor, 16Gb RAM, 2TB HDD + 32Gb SSD, GeForce GT 750M

Blu-ray drive, some of the ports on the side of the screen

£1800 with 1 yr warranty

Apple have been more generous with the SSD options, Dell offer no customization.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

And no OS X and no Apple service and I'm not sure I'd actually buy Dell at the moment as their future seems pretty unknown. There is no point comparing things like this - you may as well compare a Mercedes against a Vauxhall on the basis that they both have 4 wheels, 5 seats and headlamps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

But the article compares the Apple to a Lenovo, also no OS X and no Apple service, so either both comparisons are pointless (in which case you've already decided to buy Apple and no amount of logical argument will change that) or both are pointy. It's generally good practice for reviews to compare to other, similar specced machines, it allows you to judge whether the price of the device is reasonable.

And anyway, why not compare a Vauxhall to a Mercedes? If "what people think when I drive past them" is a massive factor in your purchase then why are you reading a technical review? If you genuinely want purchasing advice then knowing that the mercedes is overpriced compared to a similar car of a different marque could save you a lot of money....

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Re: Another comparison

Vauxhall <-> Mercedes comparison is entirely fair.

Since both are limited to the same 30/40/50/60/70mph depending on the road they actually provide the same function.

You're paying how many more tens of thousands of pounds for a badge with three spikes...

You're paying how much more for a badge with a bite taken out of it...

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Re: Another comparison

We get next day on site support with our Dell kit, Apple we have to send off to Apple - the nearest Apple store is a 4 hour drive away.

The same with smartphones, Samsung, htc etc. are switched out for a new phone if you have a problem, the iPhones have to be sent back to Telekom / Apple for 2 weeks (without a replacement). Für an additional 99€, you can get the same replacement service as the other manufacturers provide for free...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

"You're paying how much more for a badge with a bite taken out of it..."

Or we're paying for a product we can actually buy, that actually works.

We've been moving over to Mac for a while now in certain areas.

It all started three years ago when the boss's Dell laptop died. Being our database specialist he needed a decent spec unit for development, but also wanted to take it over to the US to our office there, so desktops were out. He also needed a local demo platform to show to prospective, clients many of whom are not only cagey about non-employees jacking into their corporate network, but also (despite being Fortune 500) still haven't got around to implementing a visitor's internet-only guest network so we can get outside connectivity...

At the time there were 3 models offering the spec we needed - a Dell, a Sony and a MacBook Pro. Which meant there were two options "because Apples are overpriced" and we were a Windows house.

- Dell

So on the phone to Dell for a new one. After an hour on the phone confirming billing details they tell us that delivery is scheduled at some stage in the next 6 weeks.

WTF? A standard build model on the website, on a business account? 6 WEEKS? Okay, what's available NOW? Nothing even close to what we need. Core 2 Duo consumer grade stuff.

I shouldn't be surprised. My brother tried to buy a custom Dell as a consumer. Specced it up on the website, had a phone conversation to confirm the delivery details. Two weeks later gets an email telling him one of the specified components is out of stock "for the foreseeable future". For feck's sake. Nothing like wasting your customer's time eh? He bought a Mac.

- Sony

We go and buy it. Hurrah, available immediately. Feels like an awful pile of plastic crap but hey ho, the spec's right. Fired up... whhiiiiiRRRRRRRRR WWWHuuurrrrrr whiiirrrrrRRRRRRRRR.

Not only is it the noisiest laptop any of us had ever come across, it wasn't even uniformly annoying - constantly cycling the fan up and down and up and down, which probably also means the fan would have failed stupidly fast as well. Even when we get into the fan controls and locked it to full power (noisy but at least we could tune it out) it ran unbelievably hot under idle loads (at low RPM the thermal protection made it shut itself down).

So that went back.

So what now? Apple? Really?

So we took the leap. In 3 hours (having never touched OSX in our lives) we'd booted it, installed parallels, got the Windows-only software running, along with the stuff that could run in OSX. It ran quiet, it ran stable, and the boss has never looked back (apart from blinding and swearing at how fecking horrible he thinks iOS7 is but that's another story). And now I'm working on a 27" iMac, and the screen is GORGEOUS compared to the twin Dell monitors I had before :D

Am I a convert? Yes.

Was I wrong to ridicule my brothers when they bought Macbooks? Maybe, my Toshiba did what I needed.

Why do I love it? Because the Mac gear does what it says on the tin. It does it well, it does it quietly, and in 3 years none of the Macs we've bought have crashed once. Not once. I mean, it's so good I'll be out of a job soon... :/

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Re: Another comparison

@AC 13:31

The shine wears off when you realise how shoddy Apple's hardware warranty service is compared to any vendor who actually offers business-class machines and support. (In particular, Apple don't do what other vendors do when eg you have the same unit fail 5 times in less than a year...)

As for Dell: I've no idea why your account was only getting you 6 week turnarounds - I've been dealing with 'em for years and it's more like a 2-week turnaround on most laptops. They don't do shiny as well as other vendors, but they do damn reliable systems and bulletproof hardware support. The key is "don't buy the consumer stuff". But you really should already know this if you're paid to support and buy IT stuff...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

Was I wrong to ridicule my brothers when they bought Macbooks?

It's always right to ridicule brothers - who needs a reason? :)

For the rest, this is pretty much what I went through and how I become a convert. I didn't buy a MacBook because I wanted to "go Mac" - I bought a MacBook as an extra machine for research. I gave myself 3 months to get familiar with the OS, but it didn't take a month to start liking OSX for quite simply working when I need it to, resulting in the other machines either being thrown out or converted to Linux Mint - the only Windows I have left lives in a VM (not even Parallels, it's a simple VirtualBox) and gets to play once a month because it otherwise takes to long to patch itself.

Is it perfect? Show me a platform that is, and I'll show you haven't worked with it long enough, but in general OSX is a revelation after both Windows and Linux. I can run commercial software (which is cheap if you avoid MS and Adobe), upgrades are easy and it's FreeBSD in the background which means I have a terminal window that is actually of some use. I'm sold - and it didn't take a fanboi..

About the only thing I took with me from the Windows world was the Logitech Anywhere MX mouse. I can't get on with the Apple mouse..

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A bit different

The 3.9GHz-boost i7 Haswell CPU costs a bit more than the 3.4GHz-boost i5 CPU in the standard iMac -- upgrading to that i7 on a build-to-order iMac is another 190 quid. Adding another 8GB to take it up to 16Gb as you specify in the Dell XPS is another 160 quid. Third-party external Blu-ray drives run to about 50 quid or more, I don't know if Apple offer an external drive. The Apple build-to-order page doesn't offer a 2TB internal drive, just 1TB standard and 3TB as a 120 quid upgrade. The Dell warranty includes on-site service, no need to carry the unit into an Apple store under your arm.

OTOH the Dell tops out at 16GB which is a joke for an i7 workstation-class machine these days. It uses laptop SoDIMMs for some reason.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC 13:31

All that typing only to sign it AC and render it virtually worthless.... You are the official anonymous apple shill and I claim my 20 quid!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC 14:32 this is pretty much what I went through

That would be because you made both posts up yourself?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

@Captain Underpants

Happily we haven't had to test Apple's hardware support as it's all been faultless. Maybe we were lucky, but whatever, it's worked for us. We're a small company, so supporting IT isn't my only job - in fact we all have about 3 roles. However, yeah, for whatever reason, Dell were unable to get an off-the-shelf business laptop to us in less than 6 weeks which frankly is piss poor. It should have been a matter of pulling a box out of a warehouse and writing our address on it. And also, you know, do a stock check as point 1 instead of wasting your customer's time before telling them you actually can't fulfil that order very soon, and then offering you a choice of stuff that will run Office and not much else. Similarly Sony's best attempt needed restraining in it's efforts to vibrate out the door to freedom.

Our hosting is all on Dell servers, and credit where due, they've been superb. Their datacentre stuff is good, but certainly their office stuff was cack. They may have improved but we haven't looked recently as we've been so happy with the Apple kit. They don't crash, they've done everything we've asked of them and people like working on them. At the end of the day, productivity is about providing people with reliable tools to get their jobs done and on that score I simply can't fault the Apple kit. Other people's experience's may vary but that's the nature of the game. If I want to tinker with something unstable I'll do that on my project box at home.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC 15:22

AC15:22 "All that typing only to sign it AC and render it virtually worthless.... You are the official anonymous apple shill and I claim my 20 quid!"

Bad luck.

In my experience you get what you pay for - and that first MBP is still going strong as opposed to the standard plastic laptop which you expect to replace every 3 years or so because the screen/hinge/battery has worn/broken.

I'm using a hand-me-down 2008 Macbook as my couch-surfing machine at home now. It's going a lot stronger at 6 years old than my trusty Toshiba was! Fan bearings haven't gone, battery still holds charge, aluminium unibody means it's not missing plastic bits that have snapped off.

All I'm saying is people whine and bitch about "you're paying for a badge". Well, that badge hasn't missed a beat in 3 years.

And for that matter, neither has the Dell badge on our servers. But their office products are a whole other matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

My 2010 iMac failed and I took it into an Apple store 2 weeks ago. Turns out the PSU had failed and taken out the logic board.

They've agreed to replaced both for free.

Obviously it's poor for a £1200 machine to completely die, but I've been impressed with Apple's customer service. They rang me twice to keep me up to speed with progress and I collect it tomorrow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

"Apple don't do what other vendors do when eg you have the same unit fail 5 times in less than a year...)"

No, They've generally done it after 3 times.

In my experience.

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Re: Another comparison

Yeah, I'd buy the Vauxhall and spend the money saved on something that would actually give me a tangible benefit.

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Re: Another comparison

In fairness the Merc still comes with a CD player I'd imagine.

As to the key point, this device is the equivalent of a 'designer' desk lamp.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

Yeah, I'd buy the Vauxhall and spend the money saved on something that would actually give me a tangible benefit.

Depends on your aim. If you drive long distances for a living you'll be better off with the Merc, and it also holds its value better. But that doesn't mean I'd deride anyone in a Vauxhall (Opel for EU people). A Lada, maybe, but AFAIK they have all rusted to death by now. On a slight tangent, I actually saw someone with a restored 2CV, which is probably the most peculiar car I've ever come across. Quite fun to see it again.

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Re: Another comparison

"There is no point comparing things like this - you may as well compare a Mercedes against a Vauxhall on the basis that they both have 4 wheels, 5 seats and headlamps."

Spoken like a true Apple fanboi. Comparing CPU, chipset, video card, RAM, hard disk... these are not some incidental like headlights. THAT IS THE COMPUTER. Computers are not cars, so car comparisons are invalid anyway... but, unlike with the cars (where they'll have a lot of different components), the Apple will have an off-the-shelf chipset, CPU, video card, RAM, hard disk, and so on just as you will find in any PC, with just a custom motherboard (adding TPM for OSX but otherwise *bone stock* compared to a normal motherboard), custom case, and usually custom power supply. I agree with ditching Windows but rather than OSX, I just run Linux on whatever I'd like.

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Re: Another comparison

For a Mercedes you pay for extra luxuries and performance you can use when allowed.

For Apple you pay to have less stuff... on a desktop!

I have a 2009 24" iMac which I like, but this is daft. Its still essentially a "productivity" device, since, Batman notwithstanding, mobile graphics and hi-res 27" screens do not a games-capable machine make. You may as well get a mini and separate screen.

Haswell is nice for laptops, but for a desktop, I don't really care about power saving that much. How about something innovative like a full-size Bluetooth keyboard with both backspace and delete keys?

Removing floppies and replacing them with USB was visionary. Removing DVD and hiding the USB ports is dumb. My parents have a hundred DVDs or so and I have to use my non-Mac laptop to rip them rather than the shiny new DVD-less Macbook pro. Their kit is obviously less useful than it was, which annoys me enough to not buy another iMac.

My guess is that the extra $100 is to make up for the sales lost due to the economic downturn.

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Re: Another comparison

"I mean, it's so good I'll be out of a job soon... :/"

So you're a sort of fashion model?

Blonde?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

You are flipping kidding - at least in the UK it was 3 weeks to get a fix on a Samsung with no advance replacement / swap out with Apple it was either get it fixed / swapped there and then in a store or send it back - they received it the next day - sent it back the same day and it was received the day after.

I dropped my iPhone (hard) - camera / lens got slightly dislodged - popped into an Apple store and walked out with it fixed 20 minutes later. Friend had to take their iPhone back - Apple just swapped it out and helped out restoring it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

pointless anonymous apple shill, change the record and stop pretending to be loads of different people. It really isn't working....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another comparison

pointless anonymous apple shill, change the record and stop pretending to be loads of different people. It really isn't working....

What's the matter Steve? Is that what you'll be doing after Microsoft? Trying to troll and accuse those posting factual experience that they're shills? Sad, really.

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Re: Another comparison

@AC 7/10/2013 17:36

Yeah, after 3 times is my experience too. Problem is, when the 4th failure happens, they insist on treating it as a new case (unlike every other vendor I've dealt with, where the normal approach is to take the system history into account and provide actual useful service).

My experience of Apple gear is that it's pretty shiny when it's working and you don't need to change the out-of-box config. If it breaks, or you need to tinker with hardware, it's a substantially crappier experience than many other vendors provide. (I'm also uninterested in OS X, on the basis that I'll go either whole-hog Windows when that's what I need or RHEL/Fedora if I want Linux.)

@AC 08/10/2013 10:43

Apple changed iPhone support policies a while back in pursuit of higher margins, and massively clamped down on on-the-spot replacements (especially for accidental damage, unless you've got AppleCare+ which is basically Accidental Damage For Apple iOS Devices). So your stories are clearly not current.

Also, other vendors being slow and shit to carry out repairs doesn't make Apple magically not shit. If you need to get into the store for a repair, you need an appointment. Anywhere busy (eg ALL the London stores) will mean you can only get an appointment a week in advance. So then you're immediately 1 week down - and that assumes that they can do next-day repair, which is not guaranteed. (The alternative is send it to a 3rd party approved repair centre, which still involves 1-2 weeks wait time because they generally don't have the parts on a shelf and have to order them in after verifying the fault...) Compare that to the NBD onsite service that business-class kit from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba and others can be supplied with and it starts to look crap. I've used consumer support from various vendors and it's generally sucky - Apple do reasonably well there. But for business-class support they suck the arse off a dead donkey.

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All that money

And yet - no numeric pad?

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