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  • Dave
    Todays Show - PP1 eXtravaganza! PVConnect review, restore CD for Windows Home Server, PP1 external backup, email and news.
    Don't forget to vote at Podcast Alley.
    Drashna and GaMeR have proven that MCE2005 will run on WHS and you can check their progress in the WGS forums.
    I have a new blog over on "thedigitalLifestyle.com."  Ian Dixon has graciously given me some space to post my WHS happenings.  Ian was the first guest on the podcast and a big reason for it getting off the ground.  So thanks to Ian.  Please head over to the site and subscribe to Ian's Podcast.  His Thursday show has Allen Buckner and they talk about the HP update to WHS.
    I recently picked up a Windows Mobile 6 PDA Phone.  It's the HTC PPC680 touchscreen.  Since I got this I obviously want to look at my sites on the mobile so I have enabled mobile on this site.  There are two different modes, iPhone and Windows based PDA.  I don't have an iPhone so will someone with the iPhone jump on the site and give me some feedback?  I'm enjoying the new HTC and look forward to testing Mesh as well as using it with WHS and Media Center.
    Listen to the end of the show to find out how to access Windows Home Server PVConnect for the HP MediaSmart Server VIA a web browser instead of the WHS Console.
    New version of Home computer restore CD for Windows Home Server.
    Deep Burner - CD/DVD Burning software.  It's free and you can get it here.
    Add-In: Media Connect Controller
    PVConnect Review - You are going to need these links!
    PVConnects official forum
    MediasmartServer.net Forums - Look in Software

    Here is a screen capture of the Add a Shared Folder box in PVConnect.  As I stated on the podcast if you click the folder name in the top portion and then change the content type in the bottom box, your folder selection will reset and you will not be adding the folder you selected.
    PP1 External Backup
    MSWHS.com mentions Paul Therrott's Supersite for Windows PP1 Backup article
    Did you know that you can add an external drive to your WHS and use it as an external backup solution and not have to format the drive?  
    Normally, when you add a drive to the storage pool WHS formats it and adds it up.  If you attach an external drive to WHS you have the option of formatting it and adding it to the pool or using it as an External Back Up Drive.
    When properly added it gives you the option of formatting the drive or preserving the files that are already on it.  That is very nice.  When you backup your WHS shares to the external they are visible on any computer you should plug the drive into.  So if you have sensitive information and take the drive to an off site location remember that.  If you would like to read more about this topic check the blog for a link to Edward Casiti's blog.
    He has a good writeup and shares his thoughts about the backup process.
    Lastly, I need to thank Microsoft.  For some odd reason this whole bug experience has raised my awareness on backing up my precious photos and videos.  I'll never again feel 100% secure and safe about my files.  Never.  Not that this is a bad thing and a ding against Microsoft.  This is just probably how you should feel if you really care about your data.
    Don't forget to vote for the podcast at podcast alley and send me your feedback, good or bad.


    Power Pack 1 Integration in progress!

    By Dave, in Software,

    Windows Home Server users have been busy for the last couple of days.  PP1 was released on Monday, July 21st, and after the celebration WHS owners got busy.  Downloading and installing PP1 was the easy part but each PC on your network had to be updated with a new connector.  A few ran into troubles running the PP1 update file and others with the connectors but for the most part it was a seamless transition.
    Now the real work begins. I personally have been busy copying photos and video from external drives to WHS Shared Folders.  I also converted all four drive bays of my HP MediaSmart Server to WHS drive storage.  It was nice to see four blue lights on the front of the server.  I have four, 500 Gig drives in the server and I'm already starting to think that I need to convert to 1 TB drives!
    I bet all the you 64 bit guys and gals are happy campers now!  Not to mention the HP users.  The HP update coming on the heels of PP1 was crazy!  Add-In's galore awaiting install.  Oh, and a note to HP.  You can resume selling MediaSmart Servers with two drives in them.  Like you needed me to tell you that.
    I am interested in how the release of PP1 is changing the way you use your WHS.

    Are you moving your My Documents folder to WHS?
    Did you move all your photos and video to WHS Shared Folders?
    Install any Add-Ins that you have been wanting to use?
    Turning on Shared Folder duplication?
    Are you using the new external drive backup feature?
    HP owners, are you happy with the new update?  Installed the Add-Ins?
    Windows Home Server owners; wipe the sweat off your brow, sit back and admire the results of your work over the last few days, and let your WHS take care of the rest.  It's Miller time.  (for you non-stateside folks insert the name of your most favorite brew)
    Lastly, I would like to thank the WHS team for getting the update to us as well as the HP team for a great server and update.  It is going to be fun to watch the product evolve more fully now.  I have a feeling the information in the community will evolve as well.  Happiness is "KB 946676" in your rear-view mirror!

    At 9:00 PST Microsoft announced the release of PP1.  This is a big day for Windows Home Server Owners who have patiently awaited the "bug fix" that has plagued this platform thus far.  Even though the pre-requisites required in order to be affected by the bug are numerous, it nevertheless hurt the platform immensly.  The press and attention to the issue was great.  One couldn't hardly mention "Windows Home Server" without another pointing out it's starting-gate stumble.

    Power Pack 1 for Windows Home Server includes other niceties such as the x64 client.  The WHS Connector is required in order to take advantage of its many features including it's most powerful managed backup service.  Other improvements in this realease include the ability to backup the shared folders to a removable drive, improved performance, efficiency, and remote access improvements.

    On the heels of this release is supposedly the release of the HP Update for its MediaSmart Server.  The HP update includes various new offerings such as McAfee for WHS as well as PVConnect.  The PVConnect software widens the scope of WHS in its ability to stream media to such devices as the PS3, Xbox360, as well as added transcoding abilities.

    Hopefully, the "stay-at-home" server has finally found it's home.  Download here.

    UPDATE:  The HP update is live as well.  When your done installing and configuring come back here and let me know what you think.  If you would like to share thoughts for the next podcast please e-mail them or drop a comment right here.  I'll be busy copying all my photos and video to my fresh WHS!


    TheHome Server Show 10 - News and Review

    By Dave, in Blog,

    Today we will be discussing the news and going over an external eSata enclosure.
    MSWHS - Hi Grade Home Server Review
    PCMag(I referred to it as PCWeek in the podcast) Home Server Build
    HomeServerHacks.com - Home Server Build (Updated)

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    - $74.99 July 18th price is $79.99
    Rosewill RX-358-S BLK (Black) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA Ext. Enclosure w/Int.80mm fan

    Price - $44.99
    Contents List:
    External Enclosure
    AC power adapter
    eSATA Cable
    eSATA Bracket
    USB Cable

    Warranty – 1 Year Parts and Labor
    NewEgg Customer reviews – There are 135 and 70% are 5 Eggs.
    I chose this drive because it mostly resemble the WHS, it has a Fan,a fan on/off switch, a case on /off switch, USB, and eSata ports, and comes with PC eSata bracket.

    The feel of the case material was good and it was sturdy. The drive slid in very nicely and the case did not feel cheap. I have some super cheap IDE external cases that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone!

    WHS recognizes the drive just fine. This is not PP1 so I can’t use it as a backup external and I don’t want to add it to my drive pool for this review. The OS will not have it registered as a drive without a little work. I partitioned and formatted the drive via Server 2003 Disk Management. Assigned it a drive letter and now it’s visible under My Computer. This was all done via a remote desktop session to the server.
    A non-scientific* data transfer test was performed with the unit using a Western Digital WD5000AAKS, 500Gigabyte, 7200 RPM, 16MB cache, SATA Hard drive AND, a HP EX-470.
    13 Gig File transfer via eSata – 4 Minutes, 7 seconds.
    13 Gig File transfer via USB – 8 Minutes, 43 seconds.
    The eSata is a full 4 and a half minutes faster than USB. We all know it’s faster but here is “real world” trial with the Windows Home Server.
    *This was timed via stopwatch and not the file transfer “Time Remaining” indicator. I did notice however, the time remaining predictor was all over the place with the USB connection transfer. The eSata transfer was much more reliable.
    I find that this external drive case satisfies the requirements in which I purchased it for. I wanted it to closely resemble the HP MediaSmart Server and also have a fan, USB, and eSata connectors. The bonus of this case is the fan’s on/off switch. I also found it nice that an eSata expansion adapter was included for a full size PC.
    The speed of eSata compared to USB is a no brainer. The million dollar question is will I use the drive on the eSata port? Probably not. Seeing those speeds I will save this port for a multiple drive enclosure that I will add larger drives to my WHS data pool. This enclosure will find a nice cozy USB port and it will be a PP1 external drive. Meaning, I will back up the entire WHS with this drive when PP1 is fully released.
    The fan is a bit loud but I’m thankful to have it. You could fry an egg on some of the older enclosures I used to run. The last thing, it’s a bit clunky looking and I could do without the bright blue LED’s.

    It’s not a big deal since I’m after function, not form but it’s not the prettiest and the “nuclear” bright LED’s will be way too bright at night if your server is visible. Speaking of LED’s, there are two on the enclosure. My unit only had one working but I was thankful for that. Lastly, $44.99 is a tad on the high side. I would like to see that price come down around $5.00.
    Overall it’s a great enclosure and I would recommend it if you are in the market for one.

    Purchase this enclosure:
    Rosewill RX-358-S BLK (Black) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA Ext. Enclosure w/Int.80mm fan - Retail



    Rosewill RX-358-S BLK (Black) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA Ext. Enclosure w/Int.80mm fan - Retail 
    Rosewill RX-358-S BLK (Black) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA Ext. Enclosure w/Int.80mm fan - Retail


    MSS Fan Control Review

    By Dave, in Review,

    Most tinkerers and enthusiasts are used to having control over their computer's temperatures and fan speeds.  There are a few freeware options available for the PC that don't work as well on HP's MediaSmart Server line.  Thanks to Alex Kuretz of MediaSmartServer.net there is a new Add-In that enables you to change your fan speeds and a few other options.  Lets have a look.

    Test Environment – HP MediaSmart Server EX-475, Ambient Temperature 69c

    Baseline Measurements

    Upper Fan - 1442

    Lower Fan - 1454

    System Temperature- 32c (see note)

    CPU Temperature– 24c

    Note:  My testing environment is rather cool so it was difficult to bring the temperature up on the EX-475.

    The Add-In initial state is set as follows:

    Constant Fan Speeds 50%

    Enable Advanced Controls - Disabled

    Fan Speed Adjustment 0 RPM

    Threshold Temp Adjustment 0 Deg C

    As the readme file included with the add-in states its good to start with optimized defaults. This changes the threshold temps to -20c.

    Constant Fan Speed

    After applying the optimized defaults the HP MSS Health Status Indicator will flash until the changes are made to the system. Until that point your WHS will not respond to any other input. Since only thresholds are changed via the Optimized Defaults you will not notice any physical changes.

    So what does the MSS sound like with fans at 90 to 100%? It’s a bit on the loud side but the fan speeds are up to 2500 to 2600 RPM. You can certainly hear the fans whirring. At five feet with other PC noise I can’t hear the MSS at factory default which is around 1400 RPM. These settings, as the heading suggests, are constant. There is no logic beyond the setting of the fan RPM. (There is a safety measure included which will not allow the top fan speeds and top temp to be overridden. Should the system become too hot the fans will increase speed)

    Now let’s enable the Advanced Controls.

    Each individual installation of the MSS will no doubt be different so I can’t recommend an exact setup of Advanced controls. In fact, it’s probably better explained by the author.

    There are 9 Fan Speed levels and 8 Threshold Temperatures defined in the MSS.
    This means that for a given temperature, the fan will operate at a
    specified speed. The Fan Speed Adjustment slider adjusts the Fan Speed levels
    by the configured amount, so that instead of spinning at 1200rpm when the CPU
    is 50C, the User can configure the fans to spin at 1400rpm by increasing
    the Fan Speed slider to +200. By adjusting the Threshold Temp slider, the
    user can configure the system to move from Fan State 0 to Fan State 1 when
    the CPU is 31C instead of 51C by setting the slider to -20C. This is exactly
    what the Optimize button does.

    In my situation I don’t need to cool the system any more than it already is. I will benefit from decreasing fan speed and hopefully saving a little bit of energy.

    The controls are hidden in the Settings tab of WHS which is where I think they should be. There is no need to have a toolbar icon for this Add-In. The sliders and features present very well and are easy to understand. This is the second Add-In by Alex Kuretz. He has also written Remote Notification that works well with both HP's line of servers as well as home-builds. There are some Add-ins out there that I just don’t trust and they will never cross my shared software folder . Alex’s work is not one of those add-ins. I trust his programming skills and his knowledge with the MSS system and I am officially adding MSS Fan Control to my Toolkit that I use for WHS customers. I’m giving it 5 Drives.

    Read more about the Add-In here. You can hear more about this Add-In as well as other news by subscribing to the Home Server Show Podcast.  Listen to the MSS Fan Control Podcast.


    The Home Server Show 9 - MSS Fan Control

    By Dave, in Blog,

    Today's show will cover a bit of news and e-mail as well as a review of the Windows Home Server Add-In MSS Fan Control.
    Should WHS and MCE be combined? The debate rages on.
    Add-In: Logpoint Performance Monitor 3.0 Beta
    Add-In: TV Manager Beta 3
    Sharing printers with WHS
    Backup Hacks
    Add-In: MSS Fan Control
    MSS Fan Control is an Add-In for the Microsoft Windows Home Server
    Operating System. It is designed to work exclusively with the HP
    MediaSmart Server EX47x models, and will not work with any other WHS systems.
    MSS Fan Control allows the user to easily control the speed of the
    upper and lower exhaust fans of the MediaSmart Server. It also allows
    the user to configure the speed and temperature thresholds that determine
    how the fan speed should increase as the CPU temperature rises.
    Don't forget to vote at Podcast Alley.

    Add-In: TV Manager
    Add-In: VPop3
    Add-In: Download Manager v2.3
    Add-In: MSS Fan Control
    Don't forget about the NewEgg EX470 deal. Click this link
    HP MediaSmart Server EX 470 and use Promo Code "HP75MS" for $75 off!  The shipping is free and will total up to $464!  That's a great deal but it only lasts until July 8th so don't wait!
    Have a happy and safe Fourth of July


    The Home Server Show 7 - AutoExit2008

    By Dave, in Blog,

    Today's show features news and an interview with Nick Asseloos.  Nick is the author of the popular Add-In AutoExit2008
    Nick, WeGotServed.co.uk, and The Home Server Show are proud to announce the release of AutoExit2008R2.  Nick's hard work has paid off with a great Add-In for the WHS community.  Listen to the Nick's thoughts on the Add-In and click over to WGS to download it free-of-charge.
    HP MediaSmart Server Webinar - Catch the webinar that aired on June 25th.
    If you are an Add-In author and would like to have your Add-In featured on the podcast please contact me.  If you are a Blog owner, Podcaster, or other Guru and would like to do a segment on the podcast please contact me.
    Check out the deal on HP's MediaSmartServer at NewEgg.com.  Keep scrolling on homeservershow.com for the Promo Code.
    Don't forget to vote for the show at Podcast Alley.  I'm hoping you can help jump the show up a few spots from 988th place!

    The live webinar is over and there are a couple of points that I would like to share with you.
    The biggest was an announcement by Allen Buckner of HP that PP1 and the HP update will be released in the "coming weeks." That is a direct quote. He stated that they have synchronized the HP release with PP1 in order to save time by only releasing one version instead of multiple. PP1 Beta, non PP1, PP1 RC, etc.
    That's good news.
    Also, there is a New Egg offer of $75 off a WHS. Check the slide below.  I have a previous post of offers on WHS at Newegg.  Click and put in the promo code of HP75MS.  At checkout apply the promo code and your total will be $464.99 with FREE Shipping!!!  Awesome deal.  Click the link below.

    I will post a full synopsis of the webinar as well as the question and answer session.  Stay Tuned!
    Here is the Q&A session, well, it's most of it anyway.

    This week we will go over storage news, PP1, and many Add-Ins for Windows Home Server.
    AutoExit 2008R2 for WHS from ASoft
    WD's new MyBook Mirror
    Media Center Extender Shootout
    Add-In: LogPoint Performance Monitor
    Add-In: Whiist - Website Management Add-In for Windows Home Server
    Add-In: WHS DupFileManager
    Add-In: Disk Management
    Add-In: Lightsout
    LightsOut is a power management add-in that allows you to place your home server in sleep or hibernation at scheduled times.
    WinDirStat WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows
    Stay tuned for the next couple of shows. I’ve got some great interviews lined up with some Add-In developers that you will not want to miss. We may launch a few Add-Ins and possibly give away some software. Stay tuned!

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
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      • 2 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 

      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!

      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
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    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
      or you can get it it via
      Here is the main design.

      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  

      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
      or you can get it it via
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
      Expandable Storage
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.

      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
      • 4 replies
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