Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 | CISA

Technical Details

All software products have a lifecycle. “End of support” refers to the date when the software vendor will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. [2] For more information on end of support for Microsoft products see the Microsoft End of Support FAQ. Systems running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will continue to work at their current capacity even after support ends on January 14, 2020. However, using unsupported software may increase the likelihood of malware and other security threats. Mission and business functions supported by systems running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 could experience negative consequences resulting from unpatched vulnerabilities and software bugs. These negative consequences could include the loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, system resources, and business assets.

Mitigations

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and organizations to: Upgrade to a newer operating system. Identify affected devices to determine breadth of the problem and assess risk of not upgrading.  Establish and execute a plan to systematically migrate

Source: Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 | CISA


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When is owning a Chromebook a worthy choice vs. owning a Windows Laptop?

Below my post here is an article from c|net explaining the differences between a Chromebook vs. a Windows laptop and how Chromebooks have progressed to the point that they are a worthy choice; but, when is that choice really worthy.

In my opinion (and experience), a Chromebook is a choice for someone that is pretty much limited to being tied to the internet. From what I am seeing out there in the “real world” of home computing, a Chromebook will suffice for the kids growing up and the parents that are retired. The Chromebooks are lower in cost, simple to operate and very low maintenance. There are no antivirus software to install and updates are transparent. I own a Chromebook and let me tell you, I love it. For what I do these days (i.e. blogging, writing letters, exploring the internet) it gets the job done and gets it done at a lower price point than a full-blown Windows-based laptop. Once you get past the low learning curve, you will be dragging your Chromebook everywhere through the house.

Examples of Chromebooks and Their Prices

Now again, using real-world thinking here, if you are the high school student, the college student or the working business person, go with a Windows-based laptop. The reason for that thinking is that people in those life categories are using power-intensive applications (Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Video Conferencing, etc…) that are the industry standards. There are ways to use a Chromebook to run these standard applications, but you will get frustrated; whereas, the Windows-based laptop is engineered to handle these applications with ease. With a Windows-based laptop be prepared, as you probably already know, for a higher cost, with a higher learning curve, and a higher level of maintenance.

Examples of Windows Based Laptops and Their Prices

Continue reading “When is owning a Chromebook a worthy choice vs. owning a Windows Laptop?”

Microsoft Cautions Against Installing the Latest Windows 10 Update | Digital Trends

For folks at home… This does not apply and only applies to “Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers”.


Before going on a red alert, this issue pertains to Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers. Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection is a paid service for detecting, investigating, and responding to “advanced threats.” It’s built into Windows 10 but unrelated to the Windows Security platform found in Windows 10 Home and Pro.

Continue Reading @ Digital Trends


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Windows Defender’s Tamper Protection Rolling Out To Windows 10 (v1903)

From what I am reading the “tamper protection” feature was actually launched last December (for business customers) and is now being rolled out to Windows 10 computer user’s at home that are running Windows 10 v1903.

At the time of this posting, I checked my Windows Defender software on my PC and have not seen anything thus far to indicate “tamper protection” has rolled out to my PC.

Tamper Protection, as the name suggests, protects certain security features from tampering. One of the barriers that Tamper Protection puts in place around security features blocks manipulations of setting changes that are made outside of the official Settings application. Attackers may attempt to disable real-time protections or certain security features and Tamper Protection was designed to prevent these changes from being made successfully. — Source: gHacks

More Tech News

FREE Google Chrome Browser Protection From Microsoft

Microsoft now offers a layer of protection for Google Chrome through a browser extension called ‘Windows Defender Browser Protection“. If you are particularly concerned about malicious links then this extension will provide an extra safeguard.

The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension helps protect you against online threats, such as links in phishing emails and websites designed to trick you into downloading and installing malicious software that can harm your computer.

If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft.

If the malicious link matches one on the list, Windows Defender Browser Protection will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful, giving you a clear path back to safety with one click.

Source: Windows Defender Browser Extension For Google Chrome

Microsoft “To Do” List App – How To Get It

If you are big into the Microsoft applications, you may want to take a look at their new “To Do” list app… You can read more about the app and instructions on how to download to your computer and mobile devices by clicking on the source link at the bottom of this post.

A To Do list titled My Day on a tablet computer

To Do helps you manage, prioritize, and complete the most important things you need to achieve every day

Source: Microsoft to do list app

How To Set Up Your Personal Vault In OneDrive | What’s On My PC

If you use Microsoft’s OneDrive, did you know there is a personal vault (protected area) in OneDrive where you can store your most important or sensitive files?  I totally forgot about the newly added “personal vault” and happened across it while browsing my OneDrive files. It was at this point I needed to know the basics in setting up my “personal vault”.

Here is what you need to do:

Personal Vault is a special folder in your OneDrive that’s protected by an extra layer of security. You’ll need to set it up separately on each device where you want to use it.

  1. The first time you see Personal Vault in your OneDrive, you’ll see a message where you can select Get started.Personal Vault get started

    If you don’t see the message or you dismissed it, browse to your OneDrive and select the Personal Vault folder.

  2. Read about Personal Vault and select Next.
  3. In the Verify your identity dialog box, verify your account info and make note of your email address in case you want it for the next step. Then select Verify.
  4. Choose a verification method. For example, select Text and follow the instructions to send yourself a text message on your phone.

    If you’re using text or email, you’ll need to find the text or email message and type in the code that you were sent.

Click the source link below to learn more about uploading files to your personal vault; moving files to your personal vault; and/or, unlocking or locking your personal vault…

Source: Microsoft

Change Mouse pointer and cursor size, color, scheme on Windows 10 | The Windows Club

The mouse pointer and cursor in Windows 10 are very important aspects of the operating system. This can be said for other operating systems as well, so in truth, they are not unique to Windows. Many users of the popular operating system may have no idea of some of the customization can perform on the mouse pointer and the cursor. If you’re someone who is sick and tired of looking at the same old thing every day, then continue reading.

Read More @ TheWindowsClub

Quick Tip: Save Paper and Use Windows 10’s “Microsoft Print To PDF”

On most occasions, the documents we desire to print do not need to be in paper form. The print jobs are usually something we just want to save (like a packrat). To save paper, when you go to print in Windows 10, select “Microsoft Print To PDF” and save the print result to a folder on your computer. When you do this the end result is saved as a PDF file on your computer and will look just like the print result on paper; except, it is now in electronic form. You can even email the PDF to someone else if need be; and, if you find in the future you do need an actual hard copy of the file, just pull it up and print it to your printer. Great way to save paper and I can guarantee you, if you start doing this, you very seldom will use your printer.

More “Quick Tips” Here

Quick Tip: How To Zip (Compress) and UnZip (Decompress) Files In Windows 10

You may have seen those files, called “zip” files, that have the “zip” extension. When you encounter those types of files, what you are seeing is a file that is typically compressed that contains many files inside the zip file. I know, for the beginner, this is hard to understand.

Below (courtesy of Microsoft) is how you create or compress files into a “zip” file and how you decompress a “zip” file to reveal what is inside. Typically, the home-based user most likely will be decompressing or opening a zip file, so it is best to grasp that concept first.

Zip

In the search box on the taskbar, enter file explorer. From the search results, select File Explorer. Right-click the file you want to zip, and then select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. 

Zipping a file by selecting Compressed (zipped) folder

Unzip

Open File Explorer, and find the zipped folder.

To unzip the entire folder, right-click to select Extract All, and then follow the instructions.

To unzip a single file or folder, double-click the zipped folder to open it. Then, drag or copy the item from the zipped folder to a new location.

 

Quick Tip: How To Use “Tell Me” In Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Office 365

I captured this tidbit “quick tip” directly from Microsoft. It is a tip on how to use “Tell Me” in the suite of Microsoft Office 2016 (i.e. Word, Powerpoint, Excel) and Microsoft Office 365. Many folks fail to use this readily available feature that will save you time and help you get answers to specific features you want to use.

Do things quickly with Tell MeYou‘ll notice a text box on the ribbon in Office 2016 and Office 365 apps that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

Shows the "tell me" search box on the ribbon in Word.

Source: Microsoft – Do things quickly with Tell Me

Google Docs will let you natively edit, collaborate on Microsoft Office files soon | The Verge

This is big news…

Editing Microsoft Office files in Google Docs is a pain. You can view them there, but you’ve previously had to convert them to Google’s format before you could edit, comment, and collaborate inside Docs. That’s about to change: Google just announced that it’s adding native support for Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats — like .docx, .xls, and .ppt — which will let you do real-time collaboration in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Source: Google Docs will let you natively edit, collaborate on Microsoft Office files soon – The Verge

Microsoft move to release Windows 10 1903 in May marks third straight delayed upgrade | Computerworld

Microsoft last week said the next Windows 10 feature upgrade will be available for all users to download and install sometime in late May – the third straight postponement for Windows 10. The decision illustrates the strain under which Microsoft’s Windows-as-a-service model has been operating of late. What had been billed as a metronomic every-six-months release schedule for the feature-and-functionality upgrades has faltered, burdened by months-long delays.

hand at keyboard with Windows logo

Source: Microsoft move to release Windows 10 1903 in May marks third straight delayed upgrade | Computerworld

Tech News: Microsoft Makes Major Changes to Windows 10 Updating – Thurrott.com

When this kicks in (most likely in May), Windows 10 user’s at home will be able to manage when updates are installed. Windows updates, especially major version updates, have a bad rep of causing potential problems to end-users (until the bugs are worked out). I know as a former IT Manager, I would cringe when updates were released and would wait to unleash them (then pray).

Beginning with Windows 10 version 1903—the feature update for which Microsoft is now calling the May 2019 Update—the software giant will actually allow its customers to decide when updates are installed.

Source: Microsoft Makes Major Changes to Windows 10 Updating – Thurrott.com

Tech News: Windows 10 Features Update Will Soon Be Rolling Out — Learn More

Just to make you aware at home, Microsoft will soon be rolling out a Windows 10 features update, this month (April 2019). From my experience, these updates often take a while to roll out and when it does hit your computer at home, be patient and let the computer perform the update (which can/could take a while).

If you are curious as to what packaged in this update, click on the source link below (at Addictive Tips) to learn about the 15 best new features in the Windows 10 April 2019 19H1 update…

Source: 15 best new features in the Windows 10 April 2019 19H1 update

If you buy a 1-year Office 365 Home subscription today you’ll get a free $50 Amazon gift card | PCWorld

Even with free cloud-based options like Google Docs, if you want a full-featured office suite, there’s still nothing better than Microsoft Office 365. And today Amazon will give you free money to try it out for a year (CLICK HERE). If you buy a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home for $100 today, Amazon will throw in a free $50 gift card, bringing the true cost for the bundle to just $50.

Source: If you buy a 1-year Office 365 Home subscription today you’ll get a free $50 Amazon gift card | PCWorld

How to view installed updates in Windows 10?

An update history is available on your computer so you can see which updates were installed, and when. To see the update history on your Windows 10 computer, do the following:

Right Mouse Click on the Windows 10 Start  button (at the bottom right corner), then select Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update  View update history.

Windows 8 icon

When you are at the “View update history” window you will see a listing of the updates installed on your computer. If you click on any of the updates your browser will launch and you will be taken to the Microsoft website where a summary of what the update is about will be presented.

Viewing the update history list is a good troubleshooting tool when an update fails to install and/or you are experiencing a problem with an installed update. Although this is not recommended, you can also use this list to remove (uninstall) specific updates; but, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on Windows 7: How to save yourself | Fox News

With the end of Windows 7 approaching, what can users do? They can keep using the operating system but it will become a dicey proposition – unless they start paying for support. “Windows 7 will continue to run but Microsoft won’t issue any more free updates for it, including security patches,” Converge360’s Mackie said. That could make Windows 7 PCs extremely vulnerable. “Once flaws in Windows 7 are publicly known, they are frequently used for attacks. After the January 2020 date, though, Microsoft likely won’t fix these vulnerabilities for most users,” he added.

File photo: A sign marks the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 25, 2017. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Source: Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on Windows 7: How to save yourself | Fox News

Tech News: Microsoft releases Windows Defender extensions for Chrome and Firefox

Microsoft has developed and started testing Windows Defender Application Guard extensions for both Chrome and Firefox to better protect enterprise PCs. The feature, which used to be an Edge exclusive, keeps PCs safe by opening web pages not included in administrators’ trusted sites in a virtual container. That way, it can prevent attackers from gaining entry into the company’s system if the website turns out to be malicious.

cropped-logo.png

Source: Microsoft releases Windows Defender extensions for Chrome and Firefox

Windows 10: “We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure.”

Why were recently installed updates removed?

Windows 10 has the ability to detect when a Windows 10 update is not playing well and will automatically remove the update. When these updates are removed and fail to install, this is an indication of an incompatibility issue and may end up requiring troubleshooting on your part (or could actually be a bad update from Microsoft).

From what I understand, the update that was removed will not try to reinstall for 30 days. This window of time gives Microsoft and their partners the opportunity to fix the update if it is, in fact, a problem created on their end.

You can read more about this at the source link below.

Source: Why were recently installed updates removed?

Here are “Screenshots of Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Leaked Online”

Looks like Microsoft is doing a rebuild of their Microsoft Edge Browser using Chromium as it guts..

Microsoft announced during early December that they will be giving up on the current code base of their Microsoft Edge browser switching to Google’s open-source Chromium and that the nametag will remain unchanged even though the app will be a whole different beast inside and outside.

Screenshots of Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Leaked Online

Source: Screenshots of Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Leaked Online

Here is “How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell” 

TechRepublic shows us how (see source link below) to create a drop-down list in Microsoft Excel… Very handy when you have to enter specific information in a cell. When you get to the site, you will find video instruction, as well as, written instruction. If you use Excel, learning drop-down lists is a must.

june200712fig1rx.jpg

Drop-down lists can greatly facilitate data entry. Here’s a look at how to use Excel’s data validation feature to create handy lists within your worksheets.

Source: How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell – TechRepublic

Learn More Here

Windows 10 Recovery Troubleshooting Guide

I pulled this Windows 10 recovery troubleshooting guide, links and all, directly from Microsoft’s website that is very helpful in determining what recovery option to pursue when Windows 10 starts to go belly up or has went belly up (and won’t start) .

If you’re having problems with your PC, the following table can help you decide which recovery option to use. For help with black screen or blue screen errors, see Troubleshoot black screen problems or Troubleshoot blue screen errors.

 Problem  See this section
Your PC isn’t working well and you recently installed an app. Restore from a system restore point
Your PC isn’t working well and you recently installed an update. Remove an installed Windows update
Your PC isn’t working well and it’s been a while since you installed an app, driver, or update. Reset your PC
Your PC won’t start and you’ve created a recovery drive. Use a recovery drive to restore or reset your PC
Your PC won’t start and you haven’t created a recovery drive. Use installation media to restore or reset your PC
Your PC won’t start, you haven’t created a recovery drive, and resetting your PC didn’t work. Use installation media to reinstall Windows 10
You want to reinstall your previous operating system. Go back to your previous version of Windows

Source: Recovery options in Windows 10

Is Windows Defender sufficient protection for my computer?

I had this very question in mind as I was setting up a new computer, “Is Windows Defender sufficient protection for my computer?”. In the past, Microsoft’s antivirus (Window’s Defender) was low on the totem pole; however, I am now finding it may be a good choice (see source link below). I will probably layer my protection with Malwarebytes, but right now I am going to give Windows Defender a shot since it is already baked into Windows 10.

TODO alt text

Microsoft has invested a great deal of time and effort in improving Defender in recent years, though, and it’s clearly paying off, with Defender climbing the test rankings and now outperforming some big security names.

Source: Windows Defender review : Is this free antivirus good enough on its own? | TechRadar

Did you know that you can sort in Microsoft Excel by using colors?

Did you know that you can sort in Microsoft Excel by using colors? For example, Excel can sort by cell color, font color, cell icon, and values. If you want to learn quickly how this works, follow the source link below at PCWorld.

Can Excel Sort by Color? How to Fill Color and use Sort & Filter’s Custom Sort | PCWorld

microsoft excel logo primary resized2

 

Source: Can Excel Sort by Color? How to Fill Color and use Sort & Filter’s Custom Sort | PCWorld

Tech News: Why ‘Windows Lite’ would be a bad name for Microsoft’s upcoming OS | Windows Central

Windows Lite is Microsoft’s attempt at bringing a new, more modern user experience to a Windows OS to compete alongside Chrome OS and iOS on iPad. It looks and feels different from any version of Windows before it, and it focuses primarily on web experiences and integrations, along with Microsoft Store apps, maybe even Android apps, and making the OS much lighter.

  

Source: Why ‘Windows Lite’ would be a bad name for Microsoft’s upcoming OS | Windows Central

As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer be providing support or security updates for Windows 7

Microsoft reveals pricing for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer be providing support or security updates for Windows 7 — apart from for those who are willing to pay for it. The company is offering up to three years of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU), and pricing has just been revealed.

Source: Microsoft reveals pricing for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

Excel Stylesheets: Cell Styles and Smart Art, Drawing, Graphics, Picture and Chart Tools | PCWorld

Microsoft Excel, in my opinion, is the most powerful software option in the Microsoft Office Suite. There is always something different to learn… Here is a “how to” from PCWorld on Cell Styles, Smart Art, Drawing, Graphics, Picture and Chart Tools to pretty up your Excel creations.

microsoft excel logo primary resized2

You may have used Excel for years without delving into Styles (or stylesheets), but they can make work easier and faster—and more visually appealing. In this feature, we’re going to go over Cell Styles, and Smart Art, Drawing, Graphics, Picture, and Chart Tools. (We’re skipping 3D Model Tools for now because they don’t have Styles.)

Source: Excel Stylesheets: Cell Styles and Smart Art, Drawing, Graphics, Picture and Chart Tools | PCWorld

“App Launcher Customizer” for Google Chrome

“App Launcher Customizer” is a Google Chrome browser extension that allows you to customize the launcher and add more than 250 Google shortcuts. I bet you didn’t know that Google had that many shortcuts, but they do.

The real killer part of this launcher is that the extension also allows you to create your own custom shortcuts to any website that you want. You can get this Chrome extension at the Chrome Web Store (see source link below).

Source: App Launcher Customizer for Google™ – Chrome Web Store

Learn How “Windows Sandbox is a safer way to run programs you don’t trust”

Sandboxing applications are nothing new but is nice to see Microsoft bake an option into the OS… As a reader of the blog noted, after I posted the article, “The feature is available for users of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise running Build 18301 or later, and requires AMD64 and virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS.” So, this is not an option in the home version of Windows 10. 

Microsoft is introducing a new solution that brings it in line with a standard already found on other operating systems: Windows Sandbox.

The feature creates “an isolated, temporary desktop environment” (and lightweight, at 100MB) on which to run an app, and once you’ve finished with it, the entire sandbox is deleted — everything else on your PC is safe and separate.

Read More @ Engadget

What is up with the huge Calculator in Windows 10, Microsoft? | gHacks Tech News

Those who use the Calculator regularly may have been shocked by the giant size of the Calculator in the new version of Windows 10. The calculator takes up most of the screen when launched initially. The screenshot below shows it right after launch on a 1920×1080 monitor on a PC running Windows 10 version 1809.

giant calculator windows 10

Source: What is up with the huge Calculator in Windows 10, Microsoft? – gHacks Tech News

Say What? “Windows on Chromebooks? Stay tuned.” | Computerworld

Having always been a die-hard user of Windows and now favoring the Google Chrome OS; I have to agree with the ComputerWorld author here on this one…

dell chromebook 13 lid half open

Chromebooks have become all-purpose, do-everything, productivity machines. Gartner and IDC both agree that the PC market is finally growing again, and Chromebooks get much of the credit for this.

Could you soon see Windows running on a Chromebook? Clues are pointing that way. But why would Google do it? Here’s my take.

Source: Windows on Chromebooks? Stay tuned. | Computerworld

The Novelty Factor of “Running Windows 95 in an “app” is a dumb stunt that makes a good point” | Ars Technica

You may have been reading where you can revisit Windows 95 by running it as an app… From what I gather it is not fully functional; but, is pretty darn good (for an app) that will give the younger techs a “look see” into Windows 95.  Here is an interesting, “matter of fact” take from Ars Technica on this matter that points out this is merely a novelty item.

This is, of course, software piracy. The developer of the app has no rights to distribute Windows 95 like this, and I’m a little surprised that the app hasn’t been yanked from GitHub yet. And for now, the app is just a toy; there’s no real reason to run Windows 95 like this, other than the novelty factor of it actually working.

Source: Running Windows 95 in an “app” is a dumb stunt that makes a good point | Ars Technica

Microsoft’s Windows 10 April 2018 Update arrives on Monday – The Verge

Windows 10 “April 2018 Update” is the official name for Microsoft’s next major Windows 10 “upgrade”  which is to start rolling out on Monday, April 30th. Thought I would let people know. This update was originally called the Spring Creator’s Update, which was delayed due to a bug in the update. As with any major operating system update, expect potential issues and longer than usual install times. To learn more, follow the source link below.

Source: Microsoft’s Windows 10 April 2018 Update arrives on Monday – The Verge

Hot Tech News – Microsoft Office version of OneNote being phased out | AlternativeTo.net

If you use Microsoft OneNote, this news story is telling us it is going to be phased out of the Microsoft Office Suite in the upcoming release of Office 2019. At this point, I do not know if this means Microsoft is moving away from OneNote or not. Myself, I moved from OneNote and some of the other notekeeping apps and designed my own, believe it or not, using Gmail (see here).

Source: Microsoft Office version of OneNote being phased out – AlternativeTo.net

Use This Tool To Download Genuine Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Disk Images

Use the FREE “Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool” to download ISO disk images for Microsoft Windows and Office (Windows 7, Windows 8.1 Windows 10, Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016, and Office for Mac). The disk images (ISO) are directly downloaded from Microsoft’s servers (at TechBench). The tool, which is a portable app, accesses the TechBench site, and unlocks a large number of hidden download files on it…


SOURCE: HeiDoc.net – Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool

If You Are Immoral You Can Still Upgrade To Windows 10 (for Free) By Using This Loophole

If you did not take advantage of the FREE Windows 10 upgrade that officially ended on July 31, 2016, you can still get the upgrade (for Window 7 and 8.1 users) by claiming that you use assistive technologies. Now, this may not sound like the moral thing to do; however, there is a wide belief out there that Microsoft deliberately left this loophole in place so that people would eventually take advantage of the loophole to perform the upgrade.  So, if you want to be “immoral”, simply go to the Microsoft Assistive Technology page and get started. It’s that easy…

You have only until December 31, 2017 to take advantage of this loophole…


SOURCE: PCWorld – The last free Windows 10 upgrade path for consumers will shut down by December 31

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