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Windows 8 Tips
– by KenB
If you are used to earlier versions of the Windows Operating System ( Vista / Win 7 ) you will find Win 8 a bit different.
Finding your way around can be a bit awkward and confusing at first.
Windows 8 has been designed to run on touch screen systems and has been adapted to run on standard desktop and laptop machines.
After you initially set up the system you will be requested to re-boot.
When you re-boot the system you will find that you come to the Lock Screen
To get past this you simply tap any key on the keyboard and you will then be prompted to use a conventional Login screen with your User Name and Password that you created on initially setting up the Operating System.
If you are likely to forget the password I suggest that you change it to one that you WILL remember as forums like this will not assist with by-passing passwords.
When you first boot the machine you will be faced with the Start Screen Apps.
If you want access to the Desktop; Control Panel and other options similar, but not the same, as previous Operating Systems simply…
hold down the Windows Key and press X.
This will open up the Quick Access Menu
You will see this:
The old Start Menu does not exist in Windows 8 using this method you get fast access to Device Manager; Disk Management; Elevated Command Prompt and much more.
How do I See all of the Apps at Once?
The Start Screen is full of Apps and this scrolls off screen.
You can use the mouse scroll wheel to scroll through them alternatively you can
Hold Down CTRL and use the Mouse Scroll Wheel to ZOOM IN / OUT
This works for all screens.
How do I Name the Apps Categories ?
You can drag and drop the Apps to arrange them to suit yourself.
You can create a new section if you wish by simply dragging the apps to the far right.
Once you have arranged your apps as you want you can name them.
Simply use CTRL + Mouse Scroll ( as above ) to shrink to view all.
Then right click on the block you want to name.
“Name Group” will pop up bottom left of screen – simply type in the name that you want.
How do I Find How Much RAM I Have?
Windows 8 makes use of Key Combinations – some of which you will find very useful.
In previous versions of Windows it was not as easy to discover details of RAM / Processor / Operating System
In Windows 8 for this information simply press theWindows Key + Pause.
You will see the details similar to the picture below:
How do I Find the “Run” Box?
In Windows 8 the “Run” box is not obvious as there is no “Start” option as the was in previous versions and is therefore hidden.
It is still there though.
To access it is simple – press Windows Key + R .
The “Run” box pops up and you can access Services etc from here as with previous systems.
How do I Find the “Services”?
To access “Services” all you need to do is open the Run box ( Tip 6 ) and type is services.msc
Hit ENTER – you will see the Services Screen below.
How do I Alter My Privacy Settings ?
If, like me, you don’t want your location, name etc passed around the net then you can make one or two changes on your system to help prevent this.
Your Privacy Settings is something you have control over.
To change these open the Search option, click on Settings and type in Privacy ……hit ENTER
How do I Open Wordpad ?
In previous versions of Windows Wordpad was accessed through Start > Accessories.
This is not an option with Win 8.
Wordpad is still available though. To access it simply open the search option and type in “Wordpad” > ENTER
You will see this: [ Notepad is accessed by the same method )
Quick Access to an Application
If there is an Application that you use regularly ( Control Panel for instance ) there is a way that you can make this easily accessible.
Use the Search Option and type in Control Panel.
Right click on the Control Panel box that appears to the left.
The options below appear:
Click on “Pin to Start”
( You can also select “Pin to Task Bar” if you wish and it will appear at the bottom of your screen )
Now hit the Windows Key.
Scroll to the right and “Control Panel” [ or your selected App ] will be there with your other Apps.
If you need further advice re: Win 8 please ask on the FpcH Website – click here
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Check Hard Drive for Errors – a Tutorial written by KenB
How do I check hard drive for errors ?
You will be able to follow this tutorial ( Check Hard Drive for Errors ) if you are using Vista or Win 7
If it is suspected that your hard drive has problems you may wish to check it for errors.
Check Disk can be used to run a diagnostic on your drive and search for errors.
Even if you don’t suspect a problem it is advised that you check the drive every 2 or 3 months.
There are different ways of doing this. This is just one option.
Click on START then COMPUTER and right click on the drive you want to check ( usually C: )
Then you need to click on Properties
Click on the Tools tab …
Then click on “CHECK NOW”
You may get this message. “Windows Needs Your Permission to Continue“. Click “CONTINUE“.
You will then be given 2 options.
If you just want a quick check select the top one. ( This is usually ticked as the default ).
If you want a thorough check tick both options.
If you select both options be prepared for the Check Disk to take some time to complete.
The bigger the drive capacity – the longer the scan will take.
The second option checks the physical drive for errors and will try to repair any it finds.
The message below will probably pop-up.
Basically if you are using the Operating System ( which you are ) and you wish to check the drive that it is installed on –
then this cannot be done at this point in time. You will need to schedule a scan on the next boot up.
Simply click on “SCHEDULE DISK CHECK“.
You don’t need to do any more.
The Disk Check will take place when you next boot up the system.
Remember – this could take some time to complete.
After scheduling the scan you may decide that you want to cancel it before you reboot.
This is not a problem.
You need to use an Elevated Command Prompt.
This sounds rather technical but it isn’t really.
Click on START and type in CMD.
You will see the cmd option at the top of the box that appears.
You need to right click on this and click on “Run as Administrator”
You will be faced with a black screen and a Command Prompt.
Type in …….. chkntfs /x C:
Note – there is a space after the s and after the x.
Now hit the ENTER key.
You will get the following message.
It does not seem to confirm that the scan has been halted – but it has.
If you need more information on “How to Check a Hard Drive for Errors” please ask on the Free PC Help website – click here
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Test a Power Supply Unit – Written by KenB
Follow these steps to Test a Power Supply Unit ……..
[b]If you have a multimeter / voltmeter, you can test a Power Supply unit by following these steps: [/b]
[color=#FF0000]DO NOT[/color] remove the power supply from the case when carrying out these tests. [color=#FF0000]DO NOT[/color] carry out these tests if you do not feel confident to do so. Be sure to remove electrical static build-up from your clothes and body [b]BEFORE [/b]touching any parts inside the case by wearing an anti-static strap or touching the bare metal chasis. [color=#FF0000]NEVER[/color] open the power supply case for any reason, since high voltage may be present.
Turn off the PC and leave it plugged into the wall socket to maintain the earth ( ground) connection. Open the case. You will need the multimeter (voltmeter) set to read higher than 12v. Locate a free molex power connector that powers the hard drive (or a CD-ROM drive connector that is unused).
You can also unplug a drive connector and use it. Turn on the PC and insert the [b]BLACK[/b] probe into the power connector on one of the [b]BLACK[/b] wires. Touch the [color=#FF0000]RED[/color] probe to the [color=#FFBF00][b]YELLOW[/b][/color] wire on the power connector.
The multimeter reading should be +12 volts. Now touch the [color=#FF0000]RED[/color] probe to the [color=#FF0000]RED[/color] wire and the reading should be +5 volts. If no readings or different readings occurred, you’ll have to replace the power supply. If the readings were correct, you should check the P8 or P9 connectors at the motherboard. These connectors may also be named P4 and P5. To check these connectors, perform the following:
Insert the [b]BLACK[/b] probe into P8 at one of the [b]BLACK[/b] wires. Insert the [color=#FF0000]RED[/color] probe into the P8 connector at the [color=#FF0000]RED[/color] wire. The reading on the multimeter should be +5 volts.
If you have a 24 pin connector the wire arrangements will look like this:
Use the basic information above to help you decide the location of the black 0v lead from the meter.
Identify the 12v / 5v / 3.3v etc connections and test as above.
You will notice that the colour sequence is the same and pins 11 – 12 – 23 – 24 have been added.
Check the power going to the motherboard connections by inserting the [color=#FF0000]RED [/color]probe into P8 at the [color=#FFBF00][b]YELLOW [/b][/color]wire and you should get +12 volts. Leave the [b]BLACK [/b]wire touching the [b]BLACK [/b]wire at the P8 connector. Check the [color=#0040BF]BLUE [/color]wire and the reading should be a -12 volts.
Now move the [b]BLACK [/b]probe to the [b]BLACK [/b]wire on the P9 connector. Test the WHITE wire by inserting the [color=#FF0000]RED [/color]probe and the reading should be -5 volts. Check the [color=#FF0000]RED [/color]wires on the P9 connector and you should get +5 volts on each [color=#FF0000]RED [/color]wire. You won’t get exactly 5 or 12 volts, but the readings will be very close, such as 5.02 volts.
If the Power Supply is a couple of volts off in either direction, such as when the [color=#FF0000]RED [/color]wire should be reading -5 volts but it reads -8 volts, or if there are no readings, replace the power supply.
[color=#FF0000]Under no circumstances should you attempt to take the PSU apart [/color]
It is possible to buy a device that will automatically test your PSU for you.
This is NOT a recommendation – just an example.
Most devices of this type will test a power supply unit and give you an LED indication if all is OK.
If you need more information on ways to test a power supply unit try the Free PC Help website – click here
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Inside an LCD Monitor
Thanks to member wellies for supplying this tutorial.
My monitor went wrong some time ago. It gave the effect shown below:
Turning it off and back on again a number of times would eventually coax it into giving a proper display. I got fed up with it in the end and bought a new monitor. The new one runs fine with no problems. I kept the old one and took it to bits out of interest to see what was inside. Below are the display components:
The way the lighting is done is different to what was expected. The backlights (7 and 8) are positioned at the top and bottom of the construction, not the back. They shine across the surface of 2, a piece of perspex about a quarter of an inch thick. The perspex has a pattern of light diffusers all over the surface (shown in the outlined enlargement). These presumably catch the light and deflect it forward. In front of the perspex are three layers of plastic sheeting (3 – 4 and 5). These must further diffuse the light and therefore give an even light across the entire surface. In front of all that sits the actual LCD panel (6).
Here is a close-up showing part of a light (7 – 8):
Well, I thought it was all very interesting anyway.
If you need additional information use the parent site here – click here
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Animated Snow Christmas Card – by PseFrank
Animated Snow ……
It’s that time of year again, when many of us will be thinking of sending Christmas cards to our friends and family. This tutorial shows how using Adobe Photoshop CS5 we can make animated snow. The tutorial will also work in other versions of Photoshop, although in older versions the user interface may vary.
What we’ll do to produce animated snow …
Choose and resize an image –- Add text to our card –- Add falling snow –- Animate our card
1. Make a copy of your chosen image and open it in the Photoshop Editor.2. Hit Alt + Ctrl + I on your keyboard to open up the Image Size dialogue.
Make sure that Constrain Proportions and Resample Image are both checked. Set the Resolution to 72 pixels/inch. Type 1000 pixels into whatever is your images longest edge (Width or Height). Select Bicubic Sharper.Click OK.
Now save your image.
With the image at the correct size, and just the Background layer showing in the Layers palette, we can start adding the snow layers.3. At the bottom of the layers palette click on the Create new layer icon. It’s the small square icon. See below marked in red.
A blank layer will appear above the background layer.4. Hit D on your keyboard to get the default colours of Black over White. See bottom of tool bar.Hit Alt + Backspace to fill the new layer with black.From the options bar near the top of your screen go Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Enter a value of 73% and check Gaussian and Monochromatic…..Click OK.Now go Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a value of 1.6 pixels. Click OK.At the top of the layers palette click the down facing arrow beside where it says Normal. From the drop down menu choose Screenfrom the blending options.Hit CTRL + L on your keyboard to open up the levels dialogue. Under Input Levels you will see three boxes. Type in these values from the left…90 – 1.00 – 110. Click OK.5. Repeat steps 3 and 4…Four more times. Ok…just to recap. You should now have a total of 6 layers. Starting at the bottom…The Background layer, plus 5 black layers with white speckles on them. (The top layer should be selected)Adding a little fallen snow at the bottom of the image
6. Click the Create new layer icon. Change the foreground colour to white. (Hit X on keyboard)
Chose the Brush tool from the tool bar. Make your brush soft and about 100px in size. Move the brush from one side of the image to the other, turning it up a little at each side. If you make a mistake, hit Ctrl + Z to undo the last action. If you want to undo more than one step, then hit Ctrl + Alt + Z.Adding the text layer
You’ll find the text tool in the tool bar on the left of your screen. It’s the icon with a capital T. Font and text size can be chosen from the options bar near the top of the screen. After typing your text there are also options to apply effects.To choose a text effect click Window > Styles. The styles palette will appear above the layers palette. After you have typed your text, click on any one of the styles icons to apply that style. To see more text effects click the small arrow in the top right hand corner of the styles palette.
7. Choose the Text tool from the tool bar. After choosing your font and text size type in your Christmas message. With the message typed, click on the arrow at the right hand end of the options bar to confirm. Add a text effect if you wish.
So now you have 8 layers in the layers palette. Background, 5 snow layers, 1 fallen snow layer, and the text layer.
Animating your card/image
8. Click Window > Animation
Turn off layers 2, 3, 4, and 5 (That’s the layers named Layer 2, Layer 3, etc.)
Note: Clicking the eye icon beside a layer will turn that layer off. Clicking again will turn the layer back on.
Click on the small arrow in the top right hand corner of the animation window. From the menu select New Frame.
Now turn off layer 1 and turn on layer 2.
Click again to open up the animation menu. And once again select New Frame.
Turn off layer 2 and turn on layer 3.
Click yet again to open the animation menu. Select New Frame.
Turn off layer 3 and turn on layer 4.
Click to open the animation menu. Select New Frame.
Turn off layer 4 and turn on layer 5.
Click on the first Frame to highlight it. Now while pressing down the Shift key click on the last Frame. This will select all of the frames.
Click on the small arrow in the bottom right corner of any frame to alter the delay time on all frames. This should be 0.2 seconds.
Ok…you have the 5 frames you need for your animation. If you make a mistake, go to the animation menu and select Delete Frame or delete animation. Then start over.
The big test
9. Click on the small green arrow in the centre of the animation control bar to play your animation. When you’re totally happy click again to stop the animation.
Saving for the web
10. At the top of your screen click File > Save for web and devices.
Starting from the top of the area to the right.
From the file type menu choose GIF.
Under Image size change the value in the width box to 600 pixels.
At the bottom of the screen you will see a Preview button. Clicking this will open a browser page that shows how your animation will look.
If you choose to use the preview, then you can close it by clicking the X in the top right corner.
11. Now save your animation.
Note: At a size of 600pixels your animation will be too big for most web sites/forums. So this copy is for home, friends and family.
After saving your animation click File > Save for web and devices again.
This time, under Image size type 400 pixels in the width box. This size should be acceptable on most web forums.
Save your animation as before, but this time add “Web” to the file name.
If you need more information about Animated Snow please ask on the Free PC Help website – click here
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Layers Palette – a Photoshop Tutorial by PseFrank
When an image is opened in the Photoshop editing area the layers palette will reflect this by showing a thumbnail. The thumbnail is called the Background Layer. The layers palette is the section on your screen over on the right hand side.
There are many things that can be done to an image via the layers palette, but for now we’ll just concentrate on its basic use.
What’s this then…?
Q) Why do I need to use the Layers Palette?
A) By using the layers palette you are giving yourself lots of choice. These are choices you won’t have if you don’t use layers.
As you can see from the image below the layers are stacked on top of each other with the Background layer always being the bottom of the stack.
Q) Why isn’t there a little eye icon next to the background layer?
A) Clicking on the Eye Icon turns that particular layer off. When a layer is turned off it cannot be seen on your main screen, and cannot be changed in any way. Clicking on the small empty box will turn the layer back on again.
Note: When you open an image, always duplicate the background layer (CTRL + J), and turn the layer off. This will protect your image from accidental damage. Even better still, never work on the original image, always make a copy to work on.
Q) I don’t like that horrible green colour. Is there a way I can easily change it?
A) Yes there is…That’s the beauty of working with layers, you can edit any of the layers at any time.
To change the colour of Layer 1 (The green layer), just click once on the layer to make it the active layer. Change the foreground colour in the toolbar to the one you want, and hit ALT + BACKSPACE on your keyboard…Job done!
Q) How do I make a blank or transparent layer, and then colour some of it in?
A) To make a blank layer…In the layers palette click on the Create a new layer icon. It’s the small square one. Now make a selection the shape you need. Choose your colour and hit ALT + BACKSPACE on your keyboard.
Q) In the layers palette, how do I reposition a layer?
A) There are two ways of moving a layer to a new position. The first method is to click Layer > Arrange > Bring Forward. The shortcut for this is Ctrl + ]. (That’s Ctrl plus the right bracket key) This will move the selected layer Forward/Up one position.
The second method is to click on a layer and either drag it upwards or downwards with the mouse.
Q) Sometimes it takes a long time to finish an edit. How can I save my work so that when I go back to it on another day I still have all the layers intact?
A) If you want to save an incomplete edit with the layers intact you must save it as a .psd file. At the top of your screen click File > Save. Choose the place where you want to save your image to.
Give your file a name that means something to you. For example: The FPH Edit. Make sure that .PSD is selected as the file type. (.PSD should be selected by default)
Now click Save.
Photoshop will automatically open your .PSD file when you double click on it next time.
If you have any more questions re: The Layers Palette please visit Free PC Help website – click here
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Print Wireless without a Wireless Printer
How do I print wireless without a wireless printer
This tutorial assumes that you have a desktop machine attached by a cable to the printer.
It is also assumed that you have a wireless network via a router.
( this is a standard set up )
Your first job is to make sure that the appropriate printer drivers are installed on both machines.
The Desktop machine will, no doubt, have the corect drivers already.
If the laptop does not have the same Operating System as the desktop then you will need to visit the printer manufacturers website and download the drivers for your laptop.
Please be aware that if your Printer is an older one and your laptop has Windows 8 on it – you may be unlucky and there may not be drivers available.
Do not be tempted to use drivers that are not designed for your operating system.
On the Desktop go to Control Panel > Printers ……right click on the printer icon > Sharing > Share this Printer.
Give it a Name …………… and make a note of this.
[Let’s assume you call it Epson }
Find the Full Computer Name for the Desktop.
Start > Right click on “Computer” > Properties.
It should be here. Make a note of this ………..exactly as it is written including capitals.
[Let’s assume the full name is MyDesktopComputer ]
You will need this noted information next.
Print Wireless without a Wireless Printer continued …..
Now on the Laptop:
Start > Control Panel > Printers > Add a Printer …….[ this is in the toolbar at the top ]
Create a New Port …..this should be “Local Port”
You will be asked to type in the Port Name. This is important and you need the information from above.
The Port Name looks like this:
\\MyDesktopComputer\Epson ……. ( obviously put in your own names that you noted earlier )
You may be prompted to install the Printer Drivers. ( I know you have already done this )
You will be prompted for a Printer Name. This will be attached to the icon produced on the Laptop in “Printers”
You should then be able to print a test page.
Be aware that the machine connected to the printer will need to be turned on.
If you need more information on how to print Wireless without a Wireless Printer ask on the FreepcHelp site = click here
Additionally you can buy email list here.
Tutorial written by KenB
How to use System Restore – Windows 8
[b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] allows you to revert your system settings to a previous date. It makes alterations to the [color= #000099 ]Registry [/color]and [color= #000099 ]System Files [/color]and uses the settings stored at specific times. We will look at System Restore in Windows 8 in this article.
Sometimes when you install a driver for instance, this can affect the running of Windows. If uninstalling the driver doesn’t fix the problem then reverting the system to a date before the driver was installed may solve the problem.
In Win 8 a system called “[b][color= #000099 ]System Protection[/color][/b]” is used to create Restore Points.
If System Protection is turned on ( and it should be ) this is done automatically.
You can, if you wish, create a restore point manually.
[b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] is not a backup facility. It will not restore lost files.
Using [b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] will not remove your files or data – even data that has been added after the selected restore point.
[b][color= #000099 ]How do I use System Restore ?[/color][/b]
Firstly use the mouse pointer and point it to the top right corner of the screen.
You are looking for the [b][color= #000099 ]Search Option[/color][/b].
Click on the magnifying Glass.
In the Search Box type ……[b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] ……..and then click on[b][color= #000099 ] Settings[/color][/b]
See the picture below:
[b][color= #000099 ]Create a Restore Point[/color][/b] will show on the left hand side. Press [b][color= #000099 ]ENTER[/color][/b]
You will then see the screen below:
Click on [b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b].
You will then get a reminder of what [b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] can and cannot do ———– click[b][color= #000099 ] NEXT[/color][/b].
You will then see the restore points that are available.
Highlight the date that you want to restore the system to.
[b][color=#ee4a2d]HINT – select a date that is just before the start of your problem. Do not select the oldest if there is a more appropriate date.[/color][/b]
There is an option to [b][color= #000099 ]”Show more Restore Points[/color][/b]”. Check ( tick ) this if you need older dates [ assuming they are available ].
Click …[b][color= #000099 ].NEXT[/color][/b]
You will get a confirmation window that shows you the date that the system will be restored to.
If you are happy with this then click …….[b][color= #000099 ]FINISH[/color][/b]
[b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b] will now restore your system to the selected date.
This will involve a re-start and may take a little time to complete.
The system will go through the normal Boot process and on completion you will get a box pop up telling you that [b][color=#000099]System Restore [/color][/b]has successfully reverted your system to the chosen date.
[b][color= #E62E00 ][size=20]What do I do if there are no Restore Points ?[/size][/color][/b]
If you have no restore points then you need to check that [b][color= #000099 ]System Protection[/color][/b] is enabled.
To do this type “[b][color= #000099 ]System Restore[/color][/b]” into the [b][color= #000099 ]Search Box[/color][/b] ( see the first image at the top of the tutorial )
Instead of clicking on [b][color= #000099 ]”System Restore[/color][/b]” ( second image ) click on “[b][color= #000099 ]Configure[/color][/b]” [ see below ]
You will be taken to the [b][color= #000099 ]Restore Settings[/color][/b] options.
Make sure that “[b][color= #000099 ]Turn on System Protection[/color][/b]” has a check next to it.
If you needed to change that then click OK.
This will not magically produce restore points for you as you had it turned off.
you now have[color= #000099 ] System Protection[/color] on and the next time you boot up a [b][color= #000099 ]Restore Point[/color][/b] will be created.
If you require further information use the Free PC Help site – click here
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Convert an IDE Hard Drive to SATA ?
This tutorial explains how to convert an IDE hard drive.
You may have an old IDE [ PATA ] hard drive from a previous system.
It seems a pity not to use it as it is still useful for storage.
There is a relatively inexpensive adapter that you can use.
( see below )
You will, of course need a SATA data and power cable connected to the adapter.
There is a useful video that explains how to convert an ide hard drive to SATA.
If you need more information please use the Free PC Help website – click here or visit Company databases to buy email database.
Post IPconfig results ( Tutorial )
How to Post ipconfig results when requested – written by KenB
If you are having internet connection problems you may be asked to post the results of ipconfig /all.
To do this follow the instructions below:
Click on START in the bottom left of your screen
In the Run box type ……cmd ……right click on “cmd.exe” that appears top left of screen.
Now click on “Run as Administrator”
Win 8 users will need to open a Search Box by pointing to the top right corner.
Type in …. command prompt …. then click on “Run as Administrator” underneath.
A black box will open with a flashing prompt.
ipconfig /all [note : there is a space after ipconfig]
You will get a list.
In the top left corner there is a small square icon.
Click on this.
You will get a drop-down menu.
Put the curser on “Edit” then click on “Mark” when the next box appears.
Use this method if you want to select just part of the results or the whole result.
You could simply use “select all” if you wish.
Position the screen curser at the start of the text > hold down the left mouse button > drag the mouse down to mark all of the text.
The marked text will highlight white.
Now press ENTER.
Click the POST REPLY button below the last post in the thread.
Paste the copied text in by clicking on the space in the box and press CTRL + V
Click the SUBMIT button.
If you need more information please use the Free PC Help site – click here or buy email database on Company Databases.
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