Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro

Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro

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Guest Blog by Derek Oja Marketing Manager at MobileDemand

As a small, mid-size or even large business, your tablets and PCs are essential tools that affect everything you do. These Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro describe an opportunity to get a radically improved set of tools and reduce costs and security risks at the same time. Can one simple choice help you increase efficiency and respond better to customers and opportunities? Absolutely, when it gives you new ways of working and fully leverages your existing IT infrastructure.

1.  Get 3x more business done.

Get more work done and serve customers faster from more locations. Everyday computing is more than 3x faster than on a four-year-old system, with responsive performance and true multitasking. New mobile form factors such as thin, rugged tablets let you respond to opportunities from virtually anywhere and instant-on technology wakes the system in less than 7 seconds.

2.  Better security for you and your customers.

New business PCs and tablets with Windows 8 Pro like the xTablet T1600 are built for business and engineered for advanced security—so your critical business data is protected by the very latest security technologies such as Intel® Identity Protection Technology. Combined with Windows 8 Pro and Office security capabilities, they deliver unprecedented embedded protection for your business.

3.  New ways to get business done.

Windows 8 Pro was built to work great on touch systems. You can take full advantage of everything Windows 8 has to offer with a mouse and keyboard or touch. Plus you will experience faster boot times, longer battery life, less memory usage and access to thousands of new apps from the Windows Store. You don’t have to choose between an advanced touch device and a hardworking PC, because you can get both.

Learn MoreUpgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro. Get in touch to find out how to benefit.

Why Is A Rugged Tablet PC Heavier Than An iPad ?

Why Is A Rugged Tablet PC Heavier Than An iPad ?

Steve Kunert Rugged Tablet PC Director of Engineering at MobileDemand explains:

Why Is A Rugged Tablet PC Heavier Than An iPAD ? There is that “Oh, !*?#” exclamation when a consumer tablet is dropped and shrapnel flies everywhere. Workers with rugged tablets accidentally drop their tablets and simply pick them up and keep on working.

The thing most people unfamiliar with rugged tablet PC systems say when they first hold one is, “Wow! That’s heavy. Why?” The answer is pretty straightforward. The rugged tablets are designed and built to survive every day all day, intensive use. Rugged tablets such as MobileDemand’s xTablet T1200 with an i5 processor and a 10.4” screen are full Windows 7 or Windows 8 capable devices.

Why Is A Rugged Tablet PC Heavier Than An iPAD ?

 

 

5 Years Worth of Rugged Tablet PC Abuse in 36 Seconds

5 Years Worth of Rugged Tablet PC Abuse in 36 Seconds

Ok Neat Video But so what….?

Understanding Rugged Tablet PC abuse helps us to relate to what should be a top factor when you undertake an enterprise mobility project – Total Cost of Ownership. The more you can reduce the TCO for equipment such as tablet PCs the better the return you can expect from your mobility investment. The value of quantifying rugged tablet pc abuse helps us to understand durability and longevity. This is especially key when providing for maintenance and help desk support for a system.

One snag is that given the fast evolution of mobile technology it is a very real possibility that the “brain” of the device will become obsolete fall behind the times while the case remains perfectly viable.

Expect and Plan for Change

This kind of obsolescence might be unplanned but you should expect it to happen a some point. There is no doubt your operating environment and business processes – and therefore your mobile computing needs will continue to change. Unfortunately you can’t necessarily predict exactly what that change will look like.

The key to optimizing your Rugged Tablet PC investment is to “future proof” your choice of features giving devices the flexibility and scale to keep working for you as long as possible.

Studies show that getting just six more months from your rugged tablet PC can significantly affect your bottom line. A 54 month lifespan can increase TCO by more than 14% compared to 48 months. Leasing can also help minimize the impact of an investment on an IT budget in any one year. There are also generous tax incentives in some countries.

5 Years Worth of Rugged Tablet PC Abuse in 36 Seconds 1

Email or call us today to see how a rugged tablet pc can provide the TCO your enterprise mobility project is looking for.

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options

Application designers should always aim to provide field workers with drop down and multiple choice menus for data entry. However where a process requires that a narrative should be added to a record using a keyboard is often unavoidable. As these devices are intended to be used on the move plugging in a desktop keyboard is not always practical. So in cases like this it’s good to know that there are some mobile rugged tablet PC keyboard options.

But first! re-read our blog about screen types.

Built in Numeric and Function Keypad

Users of rugged tablets are often stuck with using the on screen keyboard when the most ergonomic route may well be a numeric keypad, especially in high volume scenarios like surveying van sales and merchandising.

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Built in Keypad with Nav Keys and Scanner Trigger

Both our T7200 and T1200 products feature an integrated numeric backlit and tactile numeric keypad that include programmable keys as well as Enter, up / down / left / right navigation, tab, escape,Security, rotate display, function key barcode scan and suspend/power Full Stop!

Also included is a built in decimal point/full stop key. Very useful where surveying and measurements are being recorded.

Windows 7 on Screen

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Windows 7 On Screen with Stylus

In some situations a process may require an amount of data entry beyond numbers. Where narrative text needs to be inputted into a standard Windows product like Excel or a custom made app it is possible to use the on screen pop up keyboard that is part of Windows 7. Pecking out letters to transcribe lots of text can be a chore, the handwriting recognition software works fine but does take some getting used to. Best approach is to have your app designer adopt drop down value menus.

Resistive Multi-Touch with on Screen Keyboard Windows 8

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Windows 8 Metro Interface

The “Metro” interface of Windows 8 works best with multi-touch, but the capacitive touch technology used in consumer media tablets does not work with gloves or in the rain. So for the T1200 resistive multi-touch is used which means the device can be used in any operating condition. An on screen soft keyboard is supported and legacy applications with small screen elements and user check boxes can be precisely operated with a stylus. A built in keypad allows for direct entry of numeric data.

 

Snap On QWERTY Keyboard

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Snap On Backlit QWERTY Keyboard

 

snap on keyboard that attaches to the bottom of a tablet can be a solution where text entry on the move is a major part of a process but using the on screen keyboard is not ergonomic.  The addition is backlit and includes a number of extra ports. The snap on can be used in conjunction with a vehicle dock.

 

 

 In Vehicle Cradle with Full Size PC Keyboard

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
In Vehicle Cradle with Full Size PC Keyboard

 

Where an employee works out of a vehicle and they return to it to enter data a full size keyboard can be attached to the vehicle cradle. The unit can be adjusted to maximise ease of use for the operator.

 

 

 

 

 

Key Point; which input method will suit the application and the circumstances of the user?

Contact UsTo discuss how a Rugged Tablet PC can help enhance your mobile business processes.

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Introducing the Handheld Algiz 10X

Introducing the Handheld Algiz 10X

Rugged 10" tablet PC
New Algix 10x Rugged Tablet PC

The New Handheld Algiz 10X Rugged Tablet PC uses sophisticated and well proven technology that help it withstand harsh weather conditions and rough handling.

The perfect match for today’s mobile workforce.

 

 

Running your existing or process specific applications is easy as the 10X operates on a powerful Intel® Atom™ N2800 dual-core processor. It has either a 64 or 128 GB SSD, expandable via microSD™ and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, offering top-of-the-line computing capability and massive storage capacity. It runs Windows 7 Ultimate, and is ready for Windows 8.

With a starting price of under £2,000, the Handheld Algiz 10X is more expensive than non-ruggedized tablets, but it’s a great return on investment and a bargain for businesses that cannot afford the downtime that breakages with consumer grade devices often cause.

Handheld Algiz 10X Durability

Even with such a portable size, the 10X rugged tablet pc is built to withstand the harsh conditions that come with all kinds of industry fieldwork. It’s IP65-rated and meets stringent MIL-STD-810G military standards for protecting against dust, water, vibrations drops extreme temperatures and varying altitudes.

Handheld Algiz 10X Ergonomics

10X features the latest generation of MaxView™ technology, with a brilliant 10.1-inch touchscreen that’s perfect for field professionals who need a large display to handle detailed maps or other visuals. The screen’s ambient light sensor adjusts the back light automatically – so collecting data in bright sunlight is just as easy as reviewing it indoors. The 10X is also only 32mm thick and weighs in at just 1.3 kg.

Read a full review of the 10X at Rugged PC Review

At MobileWorxs we believe the Handheld Algiz 10X offers a great return on investment with a  3 year extended warranty it is available for around £62 a month on a 36 month  lease. The versatility of the 10X makes it ideal for users in any environment considering rugged tablet pc deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain manufacturing warehousing and the public sector.

How can NEW Handheld Algiz 10X rugged tablet PC help in your Enterprise Mobile deployment ? – try one FREE for 10 days.

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Enterprise Mobile Applications Screen Size and Keyboard

Enterprise Mobile Applications Screen Size and Keyboard

X3 PDA with mobile application
Nautiz-X3 Rugged Handheld with Integral Keyboard

The complexity and nature of a mobile application can often dictate the physical size and type of the mobile device you buy. The enterprise mobile applications screen size and keyboard input method is an important element of your total cost of ownership calculations

Consider the environment the device will be used in. What is the likelihood a device is accidentally knocked or dropped? A rugged device will long out last a Smartphone if it is dropped more than once.  Will the device be used indoor or outdoor? The perceived brightness of a screen can change from device to device and a high brightness screen will make outdoor readability much clearer. Other environment factors include if the user will be wearing gloves in which case a stylus or keyboard may be required.

Keyboards are an important choice frequently over looked if the mobile application requires any text input. A Smartphone onscreen keyboard is usually touch only and they can sometimes be very fiddly. Touch only is no good if the operator has dirty fingers or wears gloves. The next step up is a stylus on a PDA. The on screen ‘soft’ keyboard can be a bit difficult to use due to it’s small size. Rugged PDAs like the Motorola MC65 or Handheld Nautiz X3 come as standard with either a QWERTY or numeric keyboard. These are quick and easy to use. If the application only requires numerical input this numerical keyboard will save valuable time from switching to alpha characters.

Moving towards a full keyboard the on screen “soft” keyboard on our own T7000 Windows 7 Tablet is both quick and easy to use with finger or stylus, and also comes with a handy numeric keyboard built in. Other options at the full size keyboard level are to use a snap-on keyboard, connect a USB keyboard or consider a rugged laptop like the Handheld XRW with full size keyboard.

Another high priority is the screen size. A tablet screen of 7” will be able to display much more than a  2.8” Smartphone or PDA or rugged handheld screen. The application experience is enhanced by having more information on screen at any one time and fewer screens means quicker app completion. Other advantages also include the ability to increase text size for poor sighted users and display full screen images, PDFs and documents. But putting this is a pocket may be difficult hence the continuing attraction of phone size devices. Although a few years old this is still a great guide.

If additional requirements include the use of other software such as MS Office, mapping software service manuals PDF guides then a larger screen would be paramount.

The key question is: How the application will look and feel to the mobile worker should put screen and keyboard considerations at the top of your list of hardware requirements?

To find out more about how we can help you with pondering these issues please get in touch sales@mobileworxs.com or call 44 1905 799555

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC 4
T7200

The NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC is a multi-functioning rugged handheld  with 4G LTE and 3G Gobi 3000 connectivity options and features the innovative new xView Pro™ sunlight readable display technology. It offers the functionality of a notebook full connectivity and the portability of a rugged handheld device.

 

Our objective -continue to deliver significantly superior performance and return on investment ROI over traditional PDA’s used in enterprise mobility deployments.

NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC is IP65 rated and offers a built-in numeric keypad, optional bar code scanner, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and optional 4G LTE or 3G Gobi 3000 radio WWAN connectivity. Units will initially ship with Windows 7 Professional and the all new supercharged Intel® Atom processor with dual core provides 2.35 times better CPU performance and 3.93 times better disk performance to handle graphic intensive applications at a lower cost than other high-end processors. Check out the specs.

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC 5
Bright xView Pro Screen

T7200 features the new xView Pro display technology which not only significantly conserves battery life offers enhanced viewing in bright sunlight to help field workers be more productive.

Upper left: Indoors. Upper right: Shaded area outdoors. Lower left: In bright indirect sunlight. Lower right: Direct sunlight.

Read the Rugged PC Review Article

The versatility of the xTablet T7200 make it a great investment on a lease and ideal for users in any environment considering rugged handheld deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain, manufacturing, warehousing military and public sector.

T7200 has a huge range of accessories to make the rugged tablet PC easier to use in the field.

How can NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC help in your Enterprise Mobile deployment ? – try one FREE for 10 days.

Windows 8 in the Mobile Enterprise

Windows 8 release – Impact On the Mobile Enterprise

Windows is Windows right!? Each version has had some level of backwards compatibility so you can run an app built for XP on Vista or 7, or in the mobile enterprise Windows Mobile 5 on 6.5, give or take a few tweaks depending how the application was designed. Windows 8 will be the same?

Microsoft Windows 8At the moment it’s difficult to know exactly how Windows 8 will perform, especially when looking at the mobile market for WOA (Windows on ARM), which is mobile devices running Windows 8 on ARM processors. This is because the hardware isn’t available yet. Manufacturers are hard at work creating hardware from scratch up just for WOA.

The devices themselves will share a wide amount of commonality with the full Windows 8 Desktop OS, bridging the gap between the two, but with the aim of the best of both worlds. That is combining the reduced footprint of Mobile with the features of a desktop OS. But the issue here is there will be no third party desktop applications. Applications have to go through the store, which become Metro (design language Windows 8 is based upon).

Rugged PDAs running Windows Mobile 6.5 may have to stay on Windows Mobile 6.5 for a while longer. Embedded versions of Windows Phone 7/8 are in the Microsoft road map later in the year but with no release dates the Mobile Enterprise market may have to wait. Not confirmed, but Windows may move away from the Compact Framework in the next release. Until Microsoft do confirm this there is little point worrying about it, but if they do it may mean challenges for a huge host of major players in the Mobile Enterprise.

Looking more at the Windows 8 platform as a whole, it is a cross device platform all linked via a Windows Live account. This means your “Live” content should be accessible from any Windows 8 device. Keeping the same OS layout over multiple devices will mean overall ease of use when switches between form factor.

Windows 8 32-bit & 64-bit based offerings on Intel/AMD will be released around October. Intel are currently working on optimising their processors to work with Windows 8 tablet machines.

Applications that were previously installed on Windows 7 can be installed in Windows 8 using the desktop – There are two types of GUI, the metro style block apps and the standard Windows Desktop. If already using Windows 7, a jump to Windows 8 shouldn’t be too much of a struggle. It should be an improvement.

At the moment it seems the Mobile Enterprise won’t be affected until the new release of Windows Mobile is launched. Microsoft’s goal appears to be taking some of the tablet market Apple & Samsung have dominated.

The key question is: As Android starts to become a consideration in the Enterprise market, is it worth waiting to see what Microsoft come out with and stay on Windows Mobile 6.5?

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

In motor sport series around the world teams suppliers and organisers are turning to the T7000 rugged tablet PC to help speed up decision making.

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing 6Racing strategy is based on data and all data in motor racing is time critical. Monitoring car performance can mean the difference between a podium finish or catching a potential race ending issue early enough to do something about it.

 

Our rugged tablet PC products are being used to to collect and distribute critical car performance and equipment data in real-time to speed decision making at the track. Instead of pen and paper or a whiteboard timing and scoring data direct from the tablet provides the pit lane spotter with information to assist the driver throughout practices and on race day. Fuel consumption information allows the team to provide data to the race engineer in real time. Integrated bar code scanners can assist the tyre specialist in organizing race tyres through practice and the weekend.

NASCAR Racing Red Bull Racing Team specialist Mike Motil says, “During one race the tyre wear information literally made the weekend. We pitted after 79 laps. The right front tyre was completely gone. The wear was that extreme. In this instance the T7000 rugged tablet PC provided real-time data that kept the car on the track as long as possible without risking injury to the driver or damage to the vehicle. Watch the Video.

The T7000 offers your motor sport race crew an opportunity to automate data collection before and during a race thus speeding up the sharing of information for quicker decision making. Rugged construction PC grade processing power and ease of use all combine to help save that most precious racing commodity – time!

Read the Red Bull Racing Case Study

The T7000 is a tough Ip65 rugged tablet PC built to withstand use outside. It comes with the Intel Atom chipset and Windows 7 operating system as well as Wi-Fi Bluetooth GPS and 3G WWAN and a whole range of accessories to make the it easier to use in the field. Teams can utilise their own desktop/browser apps or choose to use our mobile platform to build a host of applications from inventory control to data input and analysis.

The key point is that great decision making often comes from the availability of swift data and in this respect Motor Sport is no different to any other business. The ability to process data in a manner that does not add time and complexity to the process can give you the edge increase productivity and save money. Try one Free for 10 days and find out how one could help you.

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Timescales

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Timescales

Ever since Mobile Application Development Platforms were introduced software houses and traditional programmers using VB.NET, C# and similar have referred to them as somehow inferior. This couldn’t be further from the truth when using our own mobile application development platform – MobileFrame.

When it comes to mobile application development the enterprise mobility industry has come up with a variety of approaches and many software options.  Some approaches require full coding some go halfway reducing the amount required. MobileFrame is a full feature rich platform which requires NO coding. This makes it possible for an organisation undertaking a mobility project to manage the whole process of application design development deployment and management in house.

There is no limitation when creating applications when using MobileFrame. Granted you could create similar applications in C# or another tool but the timescales would be much longer which means increased costs for development and testing.

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding - Timescales 7
Typical Proof of Delivery Development Times

Let’s compare MobileFrame against C# and other tools for a simple POD application. The app will integrate with a back-end customer system, pull across customer and parcel details and deploy data to a PDA user. The application will select the job, scan the parcels, ask for a signature and name, capture GPS location, print a receipt send the completed job to over 3G and update the back end customer DB. Using C# this could take 24 weeks or more to churn out using another mobile development platform tool it could take 8 weeks or more. Using MobileFrame we are confident this would take 1-2 weeks including all development testing and deployment.

And the above timescale estimates are only for one target device i.e. a tablet running Windows 7. What happens when the same application is required on a PDA running Windows Mobile? Or accessible via a web browser for remote workers without a dedicated device?

In short the answer for a software house is they would have to start over again minus a few parts as they are different technologies. This could triple the development timescales and blow away any Total Cost of Ownership TCO calculations.

Using our mobile application development platform the same application can have multiple target devices so it is just a case of moving around the layout to fit the screen size. If one application for a Windows 7 tablet PC takes 1-2 weeks, add 1-2 days and you could have the application running on a PDA and a web browser for iOS or Android.

The key question is: having identified a business process that is causing a problem how will your mobile application development options look a few years down the road? Choose a platform that gives you ultimate flexibility or continually use IT budget to make changes?

 

Benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

Key benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

Benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture 8
Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

So what are the key benefits of a rugged tablet pc in agriculture ? Most importantly our products all utilise Windows 7 Professional so can operate your standard desktop apps and web browser sessions outside all day. This enables staff to access and record relevant information in the field eliminating the need for paper based capture of data which then has to be re-keyed into another system.

Our most popular product in the sector is the T7000. This unit is IP65 and built for the harsh environments of the agriculture industry. T7000 is designed for durability comes with an outdoor readable screen Bluetooth GPS Wi-Fi and 3G.  The unit will withstand the harshest environments including dust, water, rain extreme temperatures and repeated drops.

We also have the accessories to make your Rugged Tablet PC even more productive.

  • Snap on QWERTY keyboard.
  • Carry Case.
  • Desk and Vehicle Docks.
  • High Capacity Batteries.

In our experience there are a number of key agriculture operations where a device like this can help:

  • Track animals using RFID and bar code scanning – Watch the Video
  • Monitor veterinary care.
  • Control water irrigation flow.
  • Monitor Seed Trials.
  • Pin-point the application of fertilizer.
  • Manure management.
  • Track growing conditions.
  • GPS tracking of agriculture vehicles.

One dairy in the US was using RFID tags for cattle tracking but the devices were proving less than satisfactory. This is where MobileDemand came in and provided the farm with a unit that had superior power and flexibility. Read the Box Canyon Dairy case study

We can also build an agriculture application for you to go on your rugged tablet pc. Check out these sample thin client Apps that you can view on your web browser on a smart phone tablet or desktop.

Optimising labour and resources is as important as in any other industry. Key point here is that if the device is to be used literally in the field the unit must be optimised for that enviroment.

 

Is the iPad right for Enterprise Mobility

We all love it but is the iPad right for enterprise mobility?

Drop it and weep
Is the Ipad right for enterprise mobility?

The iPad it’s great! Super styling, great app performance, marvellous screen, so simple yet effective. A real icon of industrial design in the 21st century and designed by Brit Jonathan Ive. Apple have shipped 85 million so far.

Beyond social media and games one of the more interesting emerging uses for the iPad is to support  dual screen marketing. “Sixty per cent of people say they watch TV and go online concurrently two or three times a week, while 37% claim to do so every day”. So the iPad is being touted very heavily as a real weapon for consumer products companies.

So what do you do if your business application is leading you to use a mobile device and the venue is not on your sofa?

Received wisdom tells us that it if you describe your business environment in any of the following five ways you are more likely to be a potential user for some sort of rugged mobile device rather than one was not built with business “productivity” in mind.

  • Blue collar
  • Enterprise
  • Mobile Worker
  • Field Service
  • EMS

Why is this?  It comes back to our definition of Enterprise Mobility. There is a world of difference between manager types in an office checking their email vs. a worker on the road performing highly specific tasks. This is reflected in the suitability of a unit to perform a specific task and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) involved with the acquisition and management of a deployment.

  • Different releases of hardware over time. Consumer devices typically change every 6-12 months. This can lead to a mix in the installed base as units are replaced which increases support overhead. Locking down an OS and application suite so it is the same for all users all the time is still a lot simpler in an environment where legacy back end systems and staff are all genetically WinTel.
  • In most cases your Windows based applications will run on a rugged Windows 7 tablet with no modifications.
  • A consumer device like the iPad will typically be replaced 2-3 times in the lifetime of a rugged device. This is mostly due to damage from being dropped but with the big issue may well be theft.
  • A rugged device typically has a 3 year return to base warranty. The cost of technical and break fix support will be significantly higher for an iPad. They are not built for high frequency repairs and phone support may well not be tuned into your idea of response to a mission critical problem.
  • Detailed screen layouts such as picking lists and forms do not so work well with finger touch displays found on devices like the iPad. Pressure triggered stylus technology is far more suited to business applications.
  • Apps to improve the productivity of a manager are generic and readily available for iOS. Building task specific apps for mobile workers can lead to specific mobile application development.
  • An iPad is not optimised for installation in a vehicle and does not have an IP rating that would suit many harsh environments.

So the iPad is bad news – not at all. Although there are some amusing scare stories there may indeed be applications in your business where an iPad is exactly the right tool for the job. This is where people contemplating enterprise mobility projects often get befuddled and wrapped up in what new shiny piece of kick ass technology you can be a hero by deploying.

The key question is: what is the nature of the business process that is causing a problem, how will enterprise mobility help and which tool over the lifetime of the project is the right one for the job?

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