Z*Magazine: 16-May-89 #157

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/25/93-04:08:01 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-May-89 #157
Date: Sat Sep 25 16:08:01 1993

          |  ROVAC ZMAGAZINE  |
          |    Issue  #157    |
          |   May 16, 1989    |
          |Copyright 1989, RII|
        |This week in ZMagazine|

 The 512K Atari 800XL/1200XL 1.1 
              Dan Schmidt

 Comprehensive MACE Show Report 
               John Nagy

    CompuServe New 8-bit Files 

   DataQue Software's Turbo-816 

   Z*Net Newswire 8-bit Edition 
             Harold Brewer


   |THE 512K ATARI 800XL/1200XL V1.1|
            |by Dan Schmidt|
 CIS: 72347,354       GEnie: D.SCHMIDT4

   An upgrade for the 800XL/1200XL 
 | computers that already have a 256K |
 | RAMBO XL or Claus Buchholz upgrade |

I've been using a RAMBO 256K XL for the
last year.  It has served me well
without a hitch.

Lately, I have been thinking of setting
up a BBS.  Between that and an unused
set of 8 256K RAMS, I decided to expand
to a half meg.

I proceeded by downloading all the
information I could find.  Needless to
say, I found nothing that described
upgrading my trusty XL.

Finally, I decided to make my own
upgrade and here is what I came up

>It uses 1 chip only (not including
    the 8 RAMS)
>You can have access to the entire
    448K of RAM disk, even when you are
    in BASIC.
>No switches are needed.
>Diagnostic ROM is available at any
    time, even though this upgrade uses
    this line (PB7) to select the added
    256K of RAM.
>The system remains 100% 130XE
    compatible in CPU mode.
>Finally, I have included a patch file
    for fellow SpartaDOS users, that
    modifies RD.COM version 3.2 to
    support this upgrade.
    Unfortunately, for those without
    SpartaDOS, you are on your own.
    I'm sure that any RAMdisk handler
    which uses a bank select table
    could be modified without too much

If you don't have a 256K XL yet, either
build Claus Buchholz's upgrade or buy a
RAMBO XL--they are identical.

For those 576K XE users that have made
it this far, by moving 2 wires in your
XE and using this patched RD.COM file,
you can also have all 512K of RAMdisk
available from BASIC.  However, you
will have to use your little switch to
select 256K mode before attempting a
coldstart, or your machine will lock
up.  This switch may be then placed
back in 512K mode as soon as the boot
load starts and left there until
diagnostics is required (i.e., BASIC's
BYE command).

For more information on RAMdisks and
their handlers, call the CHAOS BBS at

               Parts List 

8 256K Dynamic RAMs--150ns
8 16 pin sockets
1 74S139--Dual 2 to 4 line multiplexer.
  I have used a 74LS139 with some
  success also, but I won't recommend
  it as it is slower, less powerful and
  may cause the system to lock-up.
1 33 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor,
Hookup wire
2pc 1" heat-shrink tubing
Hot-glue gun


Open up the computer, disconnect the
keyboard and remove the RF shield.  The
upper metal RF shield will no longer
fit with the top bank of RAMS in place.
It must either be cut to fit or

Carefully remove the 8 old 256K RAMS
(U9 - U16) from their sockets.

Take the 8 new sockets and gently bend
pin 15 out on each of them.

Solder a socket to the top of each RAM
leaving a small gap for cooling between
the RAM and the socket.  Solder each of
the socket's legs to the RAM below,
except for pin 15.

Take the hookup wire and run it from
pin 15 to pin 15 on all the sockets.
"Daisy chain" the 8 sockets together
leaving about 1 1/2" wire between each.

Replace the RAMs with the new sockets
soldered on top of them into their
sockets on the PC board.

Take the 74S139 and bend out all the
pins except for pin 8 and 16.  Then
clip in half all the pins that you have
bent out.

Take the hookup wire and connect pins
2, 13 and 8 together.

Solder another piece of wire between
pins 3 and 12.

Take the 33 ohm resistor and clip it
leaving 1/4 inch of lead on either end.
Bend one end over sharply then solder
that end to pin 6.

Put the 74S139 aside for a moment.

Take the board and locate U23
(CO14795), the PIA.  If yours is
socketed, you can pry it up and bend
out pin 17.  If it is soldered in, you
can either have it unsoldered, or
simply cut the trace where it leaves
pin 17.

Locate R108, a 33 ohm resistor, one of
a pair, located immediately below the
row of RAMs on the board.  Heat up the
innermost end and gently pry it up and
out.  Straighten the resistor end.

I am not sure where this resistor is on
the 1200XL's, but it can be located by
following the trace leading from pin 15
on the existing RAMs back to it's
origin at the 33 ohm resistor.

Now take the 74S139 and solder pins 8
and 16 on the IC to pins 8 and 16 on
U28, a conveniently located chip.

Take a wire and solder one end to pin 1
on the 74S139.  Attach the other end to
the pad where you just removed one lead
of R108.

Run a wire between pin 4 and the lifted
lead of R108, slipping a piece of the
heat-shrink tubing over the wire before
soldering it to the resistor.

Run another wire between the 33 ohm
resistor soldered to pin 6 and pin 15
on the newly added row of RAMs.  Use
the other piece of tubing to insulate
this resistor also.  Slide the tubing
over the resistors, making sure no wire
remains exposed and heat gently with a

Run a wire from pin 11 on the 74S139 to
the MMU U3 (CO61618), pin 6 (U14 on the

Attach another wire between pin 15 of
the 74S139 and pin 17 that you lifted
on U23, the 40 pin PIA.

Now take a look at the 256K circuitry.
One of the chips is a 74LS153.  On the
RAMBO XLs, they are labeled as IC2.
Solder a length of hookup wire between
pin 14 on IC2 and pin 14 on the 74S139.

Take the new 256K RAMs and insert them
into their sockets on top of U9 to U16.

If you had to remove the PC board from
the case, replace it now.

Leave the keyboard detached for the
present.  Instead, connect up the power
and monitor and see if the computer
starts up.  If it doesn't start up,
re-check your wiring job.  Also make
sure none of the RAMs have bent legs
and that all are inserted properly.

Tack the wires down neatly with the hot
glue gun.  They can easily be lifted
later by running a hot soldering gun
over them for a second.

Replace the keyboard and the modified
RF shield.  Plug in the SIO line and

Run the file PATCH_RD.BAS from BASIC.
Insert a disk containing SpartaDOS's
RD.COM on it into D1:.  This file will
be modified into a file called
RDXL.COM.  This is the 512K RAMdisk
handler program.  Load this program as
you would RD.COM to give you 448K of
globally accessible RAMdisk.

Unfortunately RDXL.COM does not
recognize unmodified 128K XEs.  Also,
320K XEs are treated as 192K XLs.  This
RAMdisk handler is primarily for 512K
systems, fully supporting both the 512K
XL and the 576K XE.

The rest of this is for XE owners.

Those with 576k XEs who wish to use
RDXL.COM and retain their entire 1/2
meg RAMdisk even from BASIC should
remove U23 (CO14795) and bend out pin
17.  Unsolder the wire attached to pin
11 and reattach it to pin 17.
Straighten out pin 11 and replace the
PIA in it's socket again.

Then, find U3 (CO61618), the MMU.
Remove the wire soldered to pin 18 and
re-attach it to pin 6 on the same chip.

When you reboot, you will have to
switch your system to 256K mode
momentarily as the OS accesses the
diagnostic ROM during bootup.  As soon
as the drive kicks in, throw the switch
back again to 512K mode.

PORT B - Memory control register

Bit: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
     D a b E c d B R

D=0 enables diagnostic ROM and upper
    256K RAM
B=0 enables BASIC ROM
R=1 enables OS ROM
E=0 enables extended RAM
abcd is the 4-bit extended RAM bank#

The new RAM is now controlled by bit 7,
but only when extended RAM is enabled.
Otherwise it controls diagnostic ROM.

Here are the bank control numbers in
hex, as used by RDXL.COM.

00,04,08,0C--This final set of banks
             are only used by XE

SpartaDOS and RAMBO XL are trademarks
of ICD, Inc. 1220 Rock St. Rockford, IL
61101-1437, USA

Atari 130XE, 800XL and 1200XL are
trademarks of Atari, Corp.

              Dan Schmidt

 CIS: 72347,354       GEnie: D.SCHMIDT4


             |by John Nagy|

    Reprinted from ST-ZMagazine #20

Southern Michigan got barrel #1 of a
double shot of Atari shows on May 6 and
7, when the Detroit user group MACE
Barrel #2 will be the WORLD OF ATARI
show, scheduled to be held only a few
miles from the same site on June 24-25.

Despite controversy and indecision on
the part of developers as to which show
(or both) to attend, the MACE show was
a pleasing success.  No official
attendance count is as yet available,
but most estimates put the Saturday
gate near 1,000 and Sunday a slower 350
or so.  Financial reports are also not
yet announced, to determine how much
(or if) the club profited by the show.

Atari did have two tables, contrary to
statements made by Sig Hartmann only
weeks earlier.  Although no Atari USA
officials were present, Atari was
represented by Dave Horton of
Columbus-based INCOMM marketing and
distribution and Mike Groh, the midwest
MIDI distributer of Atari products.  I
am told that some Atari Canada
officials were present at the show but
not in any representative capacity, as
they were outside their territory.  The
booth featured a MEGA DTP system and a
1040 ST running the Planetarium and
other titles.

Vendors were universally happy with the
sales made during the show, which was
largely retailers.  Attending were
SYSTEMS, all local to the Detroit area.
MARS MERCHANDISING rounded out the
general product dealers.

Software at remarkable prices was a
huge crowd pleaser, although several
local retailers objected to being
plunged into price wars with CAL COMM,
visiting from Maryland with a vengence.
They showed a wide selection of 8-bit
as well as ST software at below-mail
prices (Timeworks DTP for $69, etc.).
Other vendors joined in the price
cutting to the delight of the
product-starved midwest audience, in
their first feeding frenzy in the last
two years.

Developers present at the MACE show
included SOFTREK (Turbo ST), WORD
for the 8-bit), ICD, NICE AND SOFTWARE,

Michtron did a good business, showing
ULTRASCRIPT (a Postscript emulation)
into a HP Deskjet printer (in EPSON
emulation).  This is a new bundled
package to be offered at quite a
discount over buying ULTRASCRIPT alone.
Existing owners of Fleet Street will be
able to upgrade to Ultrascript for well
under $100.

Nice and Software of Ontario Canada
showed a very complete point-of-sale
and inventory system integrating bar
codes for the ST.  CRICIT will run a
cash drawer through the MIDI port.
Check it out at (519) 744-7380.

A unique and constantly upgraded
product for the 8-bit Atari is YEMACYB,
a strange name but a competent full
color print program using several
passes in different ribbon colors on
almost any standard printer. $29.95
($2 handling).  Electronical Software,
Box 1106, Taylor, MI 48180.

Codehead and Gribnif both sold their
products at a good clip, rivaling the
sales at the World of Atari show in
Anaheim last month.  Similarly, Softrek
had lots of attention, doing a couple
seminars to boot.

Other seminars included a popular one
by Darek Mihocka who introduced his
latest version of the ST XFORMER 8-bit
emulator for the ST.  This one, V 2.4,
is faster and more versatile than those
before it, running at about 1/2 the
full speed of a real 8-bit computer,
and handling more software.  Chuck
Steinman of DATAQUE spoke about and
showed the processor upgrade he offers
for the 8-bit computers, and announced
that while the circuit boards were
available now, the programming and
development info would not be ready for
another month.  ICD did a seminar on
hard drives, Mike Groh did a talk on
MIDI, and Bob Puff and Jeff Williams
discussed the shareware market.

Other exhibitors included COMPUWORLD,
Index Legalis/ST INFORMER, and Unicorn

The show floor was split into two
rooms, with most of the action in the
large hall (about 3,000 square feet),
and several other booths in a small
hall at the other end of the hotel,
next to the seminar room.
Unfortunately, this arrangement left
many attendees unaware that they had
missed part of the show after leaving
the main hall.

User groups present (in addition to
MACE, of course) included CHAOS
(Lansing, MI), GAG (Flint, MI), GLASS
(Troy, MI), LUST (London Ontario,
Canada), MAGIC (Warren, MI), NEOSTAG
(Girard, OH), SAGE (Erie, PA), WAUG
(Westland, MI), and WAUG (Windsor
Ontario, Canada).  Groups were
accommodated in a hallway outside and
running away from the main entrance to
the main show floor.  Although the hall
was poorly lit, most attendees visited
the groups either on the way in or out
of the show.  The clubs showed demos,
sold disks and newsletters, and
generally promoted the benefits of club
membership.  Several were selling
discounted tickets to the upcoming
World of Atari show.

A comment heard any number of times at
the MACE show was "this is the hit of
the show" when describing the VIDI-ST,
on display at the CHAOS user group
table.  This device allows capturing
real life animation of video inputs,
saving up to 125 frames at up to 4 per
second of 16-shades of gray (or any
Atari palette).  Resolution is a good
320 x 200, making NEO or DEGAS pictures
suitable for use in DTP or other
applications.  CHAOS was showing the
California, and offered a $50 discount
coupon through their club, reducing the
$199 unit to $149 (watch ST*ZMAG and
Z*NET for details on a similar offer
soon, along with a full review of this
breakthrough in real-time digitizing!)

Some members of the groups were
surprised to find that their volunteers
working at the club tables were not
extended free admission to the show
floor.  This is a common courtesy at
user group and even commercial shows,
and the charge was unexpected of a
group who had championed the group
merits of user shows.  Additionally,
show officials didn't visit or check on
the user area during most of the show.
Several club reps felt slighted enough
by it all that they did not buy a
ticket or enter the hall.

Other low notes among the high included
technical problems causing the Atari
and Michtron (and other) booths to go
without power much of Saturday.
Michtron was particularly disappointed,
as they were trying to show the
Ultrascript DTP bundle in operation.
And GAG's president, Jerry Cross, lost
his entire 8-bit computer system (MIO
and all) overnight in the hall, despite
security patrolling.

The MACE show appeared to be a
commercial success, and was by any
measure a success to those attending
and taking advantage of the sale prices
and selection.  The first show
experience for organizers Pattie and
Bill Rayl, they say another show may be
possible next year.  They may have also
learned the difference between accurate
reporting and eventual results.  In the
May issue of their magazine, the Rayls
take a potshot at ST*ZMAG's "track
record for accuracy" for reporting that
Atari would have no booth...and brag
about how Atari officials were there.
Well, there was a booth (a last minute
aggreement with Atari), but no Atari
officials attended to run it.  Also,
many developers and vendors were
promised in MACE promotional
literature, even as late as a week
before the show, that did not appear.
CONTROL SYSTEMS (GOE for the 8-bit),
SYSTEMS, and more.  Readers (and
would-be publishers too) must realize
that accurate news is only accurate
until it changes.  Keeping up with the
changes responsibly is a full time
commitment that we take seriously, and
trust that others do as well, or at
least will in the future.

ST*ZMAG will provide online, instant
reports from the WORLD OF ATARI SHOW
coming to the Detroit area in June.
Keep up with what to expect at that
show in future articles in



       Courtesy of CompuServe's
       Atari 8-bit Announcements

          |May 8 thru May 15|

LIB 0 (General):

[74746,3316] Scott Meredith
CANLOT.BAS/binary     13-May-89 1408


[75706,134]  Grant Castillou
AIHEAV.EN             09-May-89 2332

Text file re potential of future
sentient AI.

LIB 1 (General):

[72327,404]  Russel Babylon
SAILIN.DCM/binary     10-May-89 64768

America's Cup Sailing.  See how good a
sailor you would make while racing for
the Americas Cup.

LIB 2 (Telecommunications):

[72377,2045] Bob Puff
BOBTRM.ARC/binary     12-May-89 43648

Here it is, Version 1.02 of BobTerm,
the new 8-bit multitasking Terminal

LIB 3 (System Utilities):

[73537,3573] Richard Mier
MIOQUP.ARC/binary     12-May-89 7168

a 256K MIO Upgraded to 1MEG using 1Meg

[72347,354]  Dan Schmidt
XL512K.ALF/binary     11-May-89 9533

A revised RAMdisk primarily for 800xl
computers that already have a 256k
upgrade installed.

LIB 4 (Graphics/RLE/PICs):

[73510,2527] Jimmy Holland
BLASTO.GIF/graph:gif  10-May-89 27776

Space Shuttle Challenger at lift-off
from Cape Canaveral.

[73510,2527] Jimmy Holland
PORSHE.GIF/graph:gif  10-May-89 5513

A simple GIF picture of a Porshe, not
too bad for resolution on the Atari8
GIF decoder.

LIB 9 (BBS Programs/Info):

[76214,456]  Ralph Enderby
TRAINC.ARC/binary     11-May-89 9088

This is a new on-line game for Carina II or Carina I bbs's.



   Courtesy of GEnie's Atari 8-bit RT

       (as of 23:35EDT 05/06/89)

1. Are you at all familiar with the
   Turbo-816 from DataQue?

  38 21%  no, never heard of it
  53 29%  kinda, I have read one or two
          news items
  48 26%  I try to keep up on the
  43 23%  very, I am actively seeking
          all available information
   2 01%  not sure

* more information will be made available now that design is finished
  and units are shipping to consumers.

2. Providing that the Turbo-816 is all
   that it is advertised to be, what is
   the likelyhood of you purchasing the

   4 02%  not likely, do not feel it
          can benifit me
  56 30%  not sure, have insuffucient
          information at this time
  76 41%  likely, I still need more
          information though
  36 19%  very sure, I think it is a
          major advancement
   9 05%  not sure

3. What machine would you most likely
   install the Turbo-816 into?

   6 03%  800 unmodified
  10 05%  800 upgraded to over 48k RAM
  33 18%  600XL/800XL unmodified
   0 00%  65/130XE unmodified
* 54 29%  XL/XE with over 64k RAM 
  76 41%  1200XL unmodified
   1 01%  1200XL with over 64k of RAM
   1 01%  not sure

* a few people evidentally were
  confused, as it should have just
  stated 'XL/XE with RAM expanded
  beyond stock amount.  Wow, I just
  can't beleive all of those unmodified
  1200xls, just yearning for expansion!

4. Would the target system include a
   hard drive system?

  86 46%  no
  47 25%  MIO as a host adapter
   5 03%  Supra host adapter
   0 00%  BTL host adapter
   2 01%  other host adapter
   2 01%  not sure

5. What would be your preference to a
   video adapter?

  19 10%  Stay with the current
          (Antic/GTIA) only
  12 06%  current, AND an 80 column
          text only mono ttl monitor
  17 09%  current, AND an 80 column
          txt/gra mono ttl monitor
  39 21%  current, AND an 80 column CGA
          compatible ttl monitor
  57 31%  current, AND an 80 column VGA
          compatible monitor
  38 21%  not sure

* At this time a Analog-RGB, TTL Mono,
  and Composite combo video controller
  is being designed.  Planned
  resolution maximum of 640x200 with 16
  colors out of a pallette of 4096.
  Planned cost under $100.

6. How much general purpose RAM would
   you expect to want?

   0 00%  none
   3 02%  64k or less
  33 18%  over 64K, but no more than
  83 45%  over 256k, but less than 1
  41 22%  over 1 meg, but less then 8
   4 02%  over 8 meg
  18 10%  not sure

* looks like 1 meg is about it in
  general, unless it is used for a
  RAMdisk, or multi-tasking, I would

7. The Turbo-OS has an option to
   support ROM applications such as
   editors, applications, and
   utilities, which can be called up
   from other applications.  How many
   of these 'resident' applications
   would be sufficient to support?

   2 01%  none, it is a dumb idea
  11 06%  one or two would be
  57 31%  two to four would be fine
  57 31%  four to eight would be
  15 08%  eight to sixteen sounds like
          the ticket
   5 03%  must have over 16 to make be
  34 18%  not sure

* version 1.00M of the Turbo-OS will
  support up to 8 applications from its
  built in menu.

8. Would battery backed support of data
   be a wanted feature?

  16 09%  naw, no use for it
  49 26%  a battery backed clock would
          be nice
  23 12%  I would like to see battery
          backed RAM 
  86 46%  both battery back clock and
          RAM would be great
   8 04%  not sure

* no problem, will be offered as an
  order option on RAM/PROM board.

9. Would you feel a resident (within
   OS) debugger would be of use?

  26 14%  1- nope, would never use
 103 56%  2- yes, if it had features I
  53 29%  3- not sure

* a limited amount of resident debug
  features are available in the
  Turbo-OS version 1.00m.

10. Would support of a DMA (direct
    parallel as opposed to the current
    SIO) floppy disk drive be a

  10 05%  nope, already have enough
 113 61%  support of 360k/720k floppies
          would be welcomed
  46 25%  might be interested
  13 07%  not sure

* at this time, we do not plan on
releasing any dma peripherals other
than our video controller.  If the
'Black Box' is introduced at a
reasonable cost, we will pursuade
people to purchase it.  If enough
people still demand dma controllers we
may introduce one.

11. Would you be interested in an
    external backplane (card cage) and
    if so, how large would be optimum?
    (Memory, disk controllers, and
    other adapters would be plugged
    into, and be powered by such a

  11 06%  I do not see any use for it
  51 28%  a 4 slot backplane would be
  58 31%  6 slots would be a nice
          reasonable amount
  17 09%  at least 8 slots would be
  43 23%  not sure

* an 8 slot active backplane is
  currently being designed.

12. Would a built-in graphical
    operating system a deciding factor?
    If so which do you feel would be
    your choice?

  29 16%  no, I do not feel it is
  24 13%  yes, I feel Diamond being
          resident would be benificial
  27 15%  yes, I feel GOE being
          resident would be benificial
  48 26%  yes, but a new, more powerful
          GOS would be needed
  52 28%  undecided

* Due to the obvious dicontent with the
  current offerings we may be forced
  into introducing our own 80 column
  true graphical OS as an extension to
  the #13 question below.

13. Would a multitasking operating
    system be a wanted enhancement?

  26 14%  no, I have enough tasks
 121 65%  yes, I think it would be a
          welcomed addition
  34 18%  unsure

* it is obvious that people want
  multi-tasking windows, something that
  even ST users want.  The Atari line
  of computers are the only ones
  currently available that do not
  support multi-tasking.  IBM, Apple,
  and Commodore were doing it years

14. There are several algorithms used
    for multi-tasking.  Of the
    following, which would be your

  74 40%  I do not know 
  32 17%  real-time (event driven)
  14 08%  time-slice (time driven)
  43 23%  combination (both with some
  18 10%  Don't want to multi-task.

* At this time a MT for the 8-bit would
  have real-time functions for the
  interrupt functions, and time-slice
  for the user applications.  Note:
  that applications running under the
  Atari OS would have restrictions.

15. Would a floating point
    co-processor, with significant
    speed improvements, while
    maintaining compatibility with the
    current Atari FP routines, be a
    wanted device?

  15 08%  no, FP is fast enough
  68 37%  yes, I feel it would be worth
          $30 if it worked well
  56 30%  yes, It would be worth $40-50
          if it was a real blazer
  42 23%  unsure

* We are currently developing a
  combination accelorator for the 8-bit
  Atari which would allow up to a 300%
  static improvement, and up to 1000%
  dynamic improvement.

16. If you purchased a Turbo-816, would
    you support a bi-monthly newsletter
    which would cover programming
    hints, discounts, feature programs,
    and product information?

   1 01%  no, I know enough w/o a
  18 10%  yes, if is was free (online
  38 21%  yes, if it was relatively
          inexpensive ($10 or so a
  29 16%  yes, I feel any news is good
          news, as long as not
  90 49%  I think both #2, and (3 or 4)
          would be nice
   5 03%  undecided

* We have approached several magazine
  publishers and will have a feature
  section in at least one of those by
  the end of the summer.


           |by Harold Brewer|

  WORLD OF ATARI (Press Release)
World of Atari is coming to Dearborn,
Michigan, June 24 - 25, 1989 at the
Hyatt Regency Dearborn.  Make your
plans to attend this great event for
Atari users.  Call (800) 842-9034 to
make Hotel and Airline Reservations and
receive FREE admission tickets when you
call this number.  (Chicago residents
can receive round trip air fare as low
as $38.)  Call (503) 673-2259 (ST World
magazine) for show details.

  Folks on GEnie, CompuServe, and
St. Louis Atari bulletin boards are
talking about the new terminal program
BobTerm.  Bob Puff (author of Disk
Communicator, Super ARC! series, and
MYDOS) has issued yet another fine
piece of Shareware for the 8-bits.
Look for a review or two of BobTerm in
the near future.


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