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Old 04-11-2006, 05:16 PM   #1
teufelhund
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Thumbs up Linux is ready for the desktop


I may be preaching to the choir here, but indulge me.

I read so many posts on here from people who have had bad experiences with Linux, or who are upset with the direction various distros are taking. Many people seem to think Linux will forever be a niche OS that's not quite ready for primetime.

Wrong.

I have used Linux off and on for the past six-ish years. I've used several distros (Mandrake, RedHat, Debian, a failed Gentoo experiment, SUSE and now Slackware). I've seen an amazing amount of growth in several areas since then. When I started, Linux was only a niche OS. It had no place on the average user's desktop, and only found its way to mine because I was a techie with an extra computer lying around.

As I said, I'm currently using Slackware. I love it. It's not even the most user-friendly distro out there, but I find it easy to install, stable and most importantly easy to use. I really do think my mom could use it if she wanted to (and she's been seen drooling over the neat Mah-Jongg games).

Linux does everything I need it to, and does it well. I use it for writing lab reports and other projects for my college courses, email, web surfing and simple games. I connect my USB drive to it, and sometimes a digital camera. It can burn CDs, play DVDs and edit digital photos. I can download and listen to music.

Can anyone add to that list anything that an average user does on a regular basis? Please, someone mention high-end gaming. Gamers aren't your typical users, and many games are successfully played using wine or other emulators. Music composition? Another niche (which I indulge in...one of only two reasons I have to dual-boot).

Let's face it: we deal with a lot of complaining about Harry Homeowner not being able to use Linux for his daily tasks. I am Harry Homeowner (except that I don't own much of anything). I use Linux. It performs beautifully. Between my first few distros and the last few, I took such a long hiatus that I now feel like a newbie again, and didn't even remember how to use the command line or vi. I had to learn it from scratch. Even while I was learning (I still am), I had a reliable Linux system up and running, requiring little to no maintenance. I loved it.

Sorry to stir up what many must think of as a dead debate (or wish it was). Still, I had to start one of these threads with a positive story instead of a negative one.

Linux is ready. It's the users who aren't.
 
Old 04-11-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
mrclisdue
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I agree that Linux is ready for the average home's desktop and PC needs. Almost.

I'm using it at home, and both my 'puter literate daughters are using it. The only reason my college student son isn't is that he's taking a college course that's heavily weighted towards windows programming and software. Otherwise, he would be on-board as well.

To me, besides the gaming (which none of the aforementioned, other than sonny boy, need) and the music aspect (which isn't relevant to us), the only shortfall is out-of-the-box ease-of-use (holy hyphen, batman...)

Linux for home requires a 'slightly' more tech-savvy installation, but once it's up and running, it's transparent vs the windows' os.

So, I would expect that in the next couple or three years, we will see a huge increase and penetration of the Linux OS.

And that certainly can't be a bad thing for the Desktop/PC world, can it?


cheers,
 
Old 04-11-2006, 09:47 PM   #3
petespin27
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Amen teufelhund!

Of course it is ready for the desktop. It's certainly ready for my desktop (and I would say even the music composition part ).

Your post reminded me of this articlethat I read today.
 
Old 04-11-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
J.W.
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.....and it has been since 2003

At least that's when I started using it.......
 
Old 05-02-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
Old_Fogie
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I love slackware and linux, I'm 2 month linux baby but I'll give some reasons why I think linux is not quite ready for desktop yet. Many of these things I've overcome, some I am still working on. But I keep in mind it took me 10 years to learn windows, so I should expect that there would be some learning to go to linux..as I am patient, but many others might not. But I'm staying with linux I'm not going back to windows.

A noob's rant ...Linux issues IMO:

1. streaming video content from weather.com, yahoo.com, etc for example is impossible for me.
1a. Realplayer scr*wed itself by making it's realone player in windows spyware. For years I never used it because of it constantly wanting to run in system tray, allways running in background, even if i went into msconfig and removed it from startup, it allways came back, then they allways prompted you for sign up for account, it felt like big brother. now realplayer is a nobody in online media content becuase they got greedy. now they offer a linux version which installs and works perfect in linux and is not spyware. but they are too late. no one streams real content anymore. i think their days are truly numbered.
3. people bury how-to's on some god-forsaken wiki somewhere instead of on their web-site or you have to post on forums and wait. fortunately i found this forum and the advice I get here is almost 100% dead on right. wiki's stop some code symbols being posted. are not allways accurate.
4. many people own ati cards and that requires recompile kernels to get 3d rendering. unless you use mepis out of the box no linux distro gives you 3d rendering that is stable. believe me i tried a ton of em before finding slackware.
5. to get real time virus protection for anything other thans suse or redhat means installing dazuko again, recompile again.
6. i have 10 modem pci cards and i could not find one distro that found and installed any of them yet.
7. iptables anyone.
8. wireless..only a handful of cards to buy. now madwifi's site is awesome they know how to write a how-to, but ndiswrapper ...well now recompile again.
9. point and click linux...well fedora and suse claim to be...they target businesse's for the linux...and well their point and click linux is not ready for my house let alone a company.
10. emulators, bach and plex OMG are these people serious. their website is truly for elitest rocket scientist. i swear they just find words that dont mean anything and put them together to sound intelligent. they truly do not want anyone to use their programs even tho they have thousands of hours banked into designing software that the world reviews as being really good.
11. the only open source free real time antivirus that works is antivir...recompile again...but OMG the forums....english anyone? clam....another software group that wants noone to use their products.
12. many linux distro's ( and i wont name them ) quite simply stink. they should just stop what they are doing.....

In general, linux writers really need to go to slackware wiki and learn the definition of KISS. Then they need to get voluteers to write manuals with pictures that a complete idiot can understand.

Last edited by Old_Fogie; 06-09-2006 at 10:00 AM.
 
Old 05-02-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
BinJajer
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It just proves that "being ready for the desktop" is reeeealy relative. If I may cite one of the best computing books i have read in some time now, Absolute BSD: "It depends on what one wants to find on his desktop". The same applies to WMs.


Bottom note, this thread is more suitable in non-*NIX/General section, IMHO.
 
Old 05-08-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
whitshade
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Here, here! There is a Linux (and WM) to suite every need. How many of us start out with one distro and emeigrate to another as our needs or proficiency levels shift? Part of the problem is thatI beleive we live in an age where some people like to complain, but won't do anything about what inspired the complaint in the first place. Linux may seem daunting to those who don't use it, but that's why there's dual-booting and live distros like Knoppix and Ubuntu that run right off the CD/DVD. What would explorers and pioneers of the past gave given for the opportunity to set out for something better without having to leave everything familiar behind? I think as more people give Linux a try and pass on their experiences to others, more people will be ready for Linux.
 
Old 05-08-2006, 05:15 PM   #8
kinetik
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The one big thing I found with Nix, is that it's truly, completely, wholeheartedly and utterly costomizable to your every need and want. And that scares me just a little bit, since if you're not quite sure of what you are doing (like me 65% of the time. Ok ok, 85% of the time.) then you're bound to mess something up somewhere.

This takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to the MS way of doing things - it either doesn't work, or it works if you pay up. With Nix, if it doesn't work, you can make it work and make it work the way you want it to, provided you are willing to put in some elbow-grease. I have to admit though, once you start digging in Nix and get used to the whole thing, you are hooked. Backed up by a wonderfully helpful community such as Linuxquestions.org, there really is no more reason NOT to be venturing into the dominion of the Penguin.

Plus, I am totally convinced that Nix will be taking over the Desktop scene. It's only a matter of time before the general population realize there's no contest. And if you're a programmer (unlike me) and still struggling forth with MS, wake up and smell the freedom.

Music, gaming, spreadsheets, publishing etc. You name it, there's a way to make it work in Nix. Of all those, I'd say gaming still has some way to go. If the community vote with there choice of OS though, it can only be so long before we see the mainstream going Nix's way.

Viva Nix!
 
Old 05-09-2006, 12:58 AM   #9
nflenz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinetik
I'd say gaming still has some way to go.
I think there are plenty of games available for *nix. Anyone here been to happypenguin.org lately? There are at least one thousand games on that site.
 
Old 05-09-2006, 11:38 AM   #10
Xolo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nflenz
I think there are plenty of games available for *nix. Anyone here been to happypenguin.org lately? There are at least one thousand games on that site.
You're kidding, right?
 
Old 05-09-2006, 02:27 PM   #11
Old_Fogie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitshade
Here, here! There is a Linux (and WM) to suite every need. How many of us start out with one distro and emeigrate to another as our needs or proficiency levels shift?
Agreed. That's why I'm all slackware. Becuase even being new, and willing to learn, and even tho it's touted as the hardes to learn, it was easy to identify the strength of it from pentium 66 pc laptop thru and 64 bit machine. Many window managers for the varying desktops. And no goofy 'point-click-wait-forever-wizards' that are broken. Very little bloat. Clean and mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitshade
Part of the problem is thatI beleive we live in an age where some people like to complain, but won't do anything about what inspired the complaint in the first place.
True, but for me and all the items listed, distro's I used, being new to linux, but far from new to computers I took the time to write the distro's that I used and tell them on a more tech. level of what issues I had, and what I liked of their distro. But for the average home user, streaming media from web-pages is a big obstable that IMO feel will delay linux from being on the desktop of "Aunt Tillie" ya know. Many home users who want to go linux and wireless, might go to one of the two top Network card manufacturer's (linksys and netgear) and see what products will work before they try linux, only to see "0" results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitshade
Linux may seem daunting to those who don't use it, but that's why there's dual-booting and live distros like Knoppix and Ubuntu that run right off the CD/DVD. What would explorers and pioneers of the past gave given for the opportunity to set out for something better without having to leave everything familiar behind? I think as more people give Linux a try and pass on their experiences to others, more people will be ready for Linux.
Mepis got me in to linux, and is actually on my recommend list to newcomers. It's amazing what these guys are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinetik
This takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to the MS way of doing things - it either doesn't work, or it works if you pay up. With Nix, if it doesn't work, you can make it work and make it work the way you want it to, provided you are willing to put in some elbow-grease.
When I wanted to change to reiser, as I'm so used to gui's I thought I needed a gui front end to make partitions and convert, only to find out later that all my needs were filled, for free, at cli via the /sbin folder.

Last edited by Old_Fogie; 06-09-2006 at 10:08 AM.
 
Old 05-10-2006, 07:39 AM   #12
enine
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I've taken the "Harry the Homeowner" Approach.
I work supporting servers all day long and have gotten to the point that its no longer fun at home, so all the old PC's, routers, etc that made up my lab network have been given away replaced by a single linksys wireless router and a laptop for me and one for my wife. I run Slackware w/ KDE and my wife Windows XP
So for for my 'home user' type of use I have found: Organizing and printing pics from out digicam from pictures taken for various trips/vacations/family events/whatever. Have an HP inkjet printer from around 2000 which worked perfectly in Linux with no need to install drivers like in XP. Picked up a portable 4x6 photo printer which also worked just by plugging it in, no drivers needed like XP. KimDaBa (now KphotoAlbum) finds and sorts all my pics fine, I'm still looking for something similar for windows for my wife's system.
Our old 4x CD Burner died a couple years ago (was the first and only Kernal Panic I've gotten in two years also) while I was burning a CD. I went and bought a $30 cd burner and a $15 USB enclosure and stuck the burner inside, plugged in my linux box and started burning again. Wife's sytem (XP) I plugged it in and had to find the driver for the USB enclosure and the driver for the drive then another driver for the writing function of the drive (it needed two different .inf's for it to make it work), three steps to make the drive just work by XP and she still can't do anything fancy like multisession without extra software.
I have other hobbies at home now to get my mind off computers. We have remodeled half of our old house so I took all the receipts from lowes and Homedepot and scanned them, linux had xscanimage built in so I just plugged in my scanner and it worked, wife has to find the driver cd and install it, made an openoffice spreadsheet listing all the stuff we bought for the house and its cost and hyperlinks to the scanned reciepts for all the stuff we bought. Started buying some nice tools, table saw, miter saw, router, etc. Made folders for them and downloaded all the .pdf manuals and made spreadsheets inventorying all those as well, basically built a complete home inevntory system from openoffice spreadhseets so I can now tell that I have x$ in tools sitting in my agarage if I would ever need it for insurance purposes. Bought crib plans when we found out my wife was pregnant, scanned the plans, modified them with gimp and reprinted them then bought the wood and made the crib which my now 3 month old sleeps in every night. Took pictures along the way and used Quanta plus which came with KDE to make a simple web page to show it off (www.ninefamily.com/baby). Bought a shiny new truck last year so I made a simple spreadsheet to track the milage and maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations). Joind a few other forums and post on them often, read different NG's using knode, have an ongoing Journal of everything I do in Korganizer. I no longer have to archive my mail and calendar due to the 2G data file limit that I hit in MS outlook. So I've gotten to use my system a lot in the last couple years with all the free time I have now because I don't have to check for AV signature updates, update and run anti-spyware, etc.
 
Old 05-10-2006, 11:29 AM   #13
KimVette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fogie
I love slackware and linux, I'm 2 month linux baby but I'll give some reasons why I think linux is not quite ready for desktop yet. Many of these things I've overcome, some I am still working on. But I keep in mind it took me 10 years to learn windows, so I should expect that there would be some learning to go to linux..as I am patient, but many others might not. But I'm staying with linux I'm not going back to windows.

A noob's rant ...Linux issues IMO:

1. streaming video content from weather.com, yahoo.com, etc for example is impossible becuase of the way that Microsoft has dominated the world with win media encoder and gxine and mplayer dont work,
Actually mplayer worked for me. Did you make sure you installed the latest codec packages? I've found that very few sites won't work with mplayer or at worst real player. The rule of thumb is this: if a video file on a major site won't play in mplayer, it's a good sign that you do not have the codec required to display the video. One way to determine this is to obtain the URL for the video file/stream and try loading it in another player and see if the errors indicate which codec is required to decode the file. You can run into the same exact issue on Windows as well so this is not a Linux problem, but a technology progression problem.

Quote:
or are way to impossible to install for a home user. mplayer must be compiled and my mother or kids will never understand how to do that.
No, it depends on the distribution. You can download mplayer binaries from any number of repositories for any number of distributions, and what's more, point-and-click package managers make the process even easier than having to download and install codec packages for Windows.

Quote:
1a. Realplayer scr*wed itself by making it's realone player in windows spyware. For years I never used it because of it constantly wanting to run in system tray, allways running in background, even if i went into msconfig and removed it from startup, it allways came back, then they allways prompted you for sign up for account, it felt like big brother. now realplayer is a nobody in online media content becuase they got greedy. now they offer a linux version which installs and works perfect in linux and is not spyware. but they are too late. no one streams real content anymore. i think their days are truly numbered.
You're right there. Actually RealPlayer always made it possible to disable the "spyware" features - you just had to know to go into the advanced install and configuration options, scroll down through the options lists (where everything within the visible portion of the picklist are unchecked) and unchecked the ones that are not visible but preselected for you. Yes, they have misbehaved in the past but they're good guys now and don't try to sneak stuff by customers any more. {edit: What this has to do with Linux, though, I can't figure out. It's a vendor thing, not an OS thing.}

Quote:
2. wine does not work for me at all except for solitaire. wine's manuals are again written for god only knows who.
yes wine can be tricky, but I've managed to get Microsoft Office, Internet Exploiter, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and various DVD utilities installed and running almost perfectly under wine. The ONLY issues I had was that the Windows apps did not respect the DPI setting (what a shocker. They don't respect those settings natively in Windows, either! Not a wine issue. . . ) and some of the dropmenus in the Adobe application palettes did not draw properly.

If you need an honest-to-goodness easy and near-flawless Windows on Linux environment, check out Crossover office.

Quote:
3. people bury how-to's on some god-forsaken wiki somewhere instead of on their web-site or you have to post on forums and wait. fortunately i found this forum and the advice I get here is almost 100% dead on right. wiki's stop some code symbols being posted. are not allways accurate.
That's a problem, but google|yahoo|[your search engine of choice] is a huge help there.

Quote:
4. many people own ati cards and that requires recompile kernels to get 3d rendering. unless you use mepis out of the box no linux distro gives you 3d rendering that is stable. believe me i tried a ton of em before finding slackware.
ATI does not play well with others. They inherited that trait when they acquired Diamond Multimedia some years back. When it comes to Linux and video cards, ATI = evil, NVidia = good guys (relatively speaking).

Quote:
5. to get real time virus protection for anything other thans suse or redhat means installing dazuko again, recompile again.
That's a problem exactly how? Unless you're running Linux fileservers I fail to see the problem. As far as email is concerned, clamav should solve the problem for you (and some email clients will even set this up for you behind the scenes!). As far as apache worms are concerned, just keep apache patched and properly configured and it's usually a non-issue.

Quote:
6. i have 10 modem pci cards and i could not find one distro that found and installed any of them yet.
Stop buying modems that use the CPU to emulate a uart. Buy a modem with a hardware uart. Yes, they're getting harder to find, but not only will they work, they won't suck CPU time to manage flow control.

Quote:
7. iptables anyone.
Quote:
8. wireless..only a handful of cards to buy. now madwifi's site is awesome they know how to write a how-to, but ndiswrapper ...well now recompile again, worry about power manage. I think microsoft has paid netgear linksys and 3com and dlink to NOT make cards for linux. go to those websites...click search "wireless linux" and zero results!!!!! colusion anyone.
Actually ndiswrapper is not such a big deal, and in addition, and surprising number of cards Just Work(tm) with SuSE, including mini-pci wireless cards for laptops

Quote:
9. point and click linux...well fedora and suse claim to be...they target businesse's for the linux...and well their point and click linux is not ready for my house let alone a company.
How so?

Quote:
10. emulators, bach and plex OMG are these people serious. their website is truly for elitest rocket scientist. i swear they just find words that dont mean anything and put them together to sound intelligent. they truly do not want anyone to use their programs even tho they have thousands of hours banked into designing software that the world reviews as being really good. but i cant figure it out, and i'm a pretty fart smeller I mean pretty smart fella LOL
What does this mean?

Quote:
11. the only open source free real time antivirus that works is antivir...recompile again...but OMG the forums....english anyone? clam....another software group that wants noone to use their products.
How necessary is antivirus on a standalone *nix system? There are how many *nix viruses in the wild again? Again, you mainly need to worry only about email viruses, and not that they'll infect your system, but to prevent inadvertantly forwarding an infected file to a Windows user.

{snip more tripe}

So in other words, you're a Microsoft fanboi who popped into this thread to spread FUD to troll for a flame fest? Sorry, others have tried that in the past many times and those threads invariably end up closed and the users punted from the site by our friendly forum moderators. I can't find any legitimate items in your post - you seemingly want to slam the system without any basis in reality, and aren't here to ask for help but to garner attention for some unknown reason. Am I reading your post correctly, or is there something you need help with, or do you have some legitimate criticisms with some real data or real-world examples to back them up?

Last edited by KimVette; 05-10-2006 at 04:10 PM.
 
Old 05-10-2006, 10:52 PM   #14
Old_Fogie
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First of all you had a really nice discussion there until the end where you went off on me and as to why I don't understand.

Well, no I'm not a fan boy of M$.

Click on my name and you will find that not only am I asking legit questions over the last two months that I have moved to linux, you will also find that whenever I get a problem fixed I type up a little something about how I did it. You will also find that I try and help others and I do not bash them.

This topic was a discussion about Linux being ready for the desktop. Is it really so hard to think that there may be issues with Linux that might be obstacles for someone else than you?

The original writer even says at the end of his post....that he knows he is "stirring up the debate".

A debate is a conversation, not one sided. Remember that b4 you flam on Okay.

Now...

The reason I came into this thread and posted my "issues" with Linux, is that in my mind, as feeble as it is, when I hear someone say "LINUX IS READY FOR THE DESKTOP" that to me now, means that I think they are claiming that Linux is ready for the masses.

He mentioned debate. I mentioned items that in my opinion are objective reasons that I feel that Linux is NOT ready for the masses. Tho to you and others here may find them moot, easy or negligable, they were not for me.

The "masses" is what I am talking about. Those items are legit. And they are well discussed items, but I tried to keep the length down to a minimum

Now for your questions:
-I cannot stream anything at Yahoo, MSNBC, AOL. I believe it's part in parcel to the way that they call up java, server ad's, and referrals ID's and quality feedback. I cannot get Weather.com. MTV. I could go on and on. There are some sites that work and there are those that do not.

-realplayer, i brought them up as they are open sourced w/helix. their products work on linux for me. however they are not a widely used streaming media provider anymore. i went into depth about the company and explained why I felt this happened to them. It was simply that they support open source now, they failed in windows, and I hope they don't flop, and I hope that those that make streaming content sites use their format because they are linux friendly.

--Yea I checked into crossover office. but the point is that if an appliction is not supported, then you need to "work" with cross-over office people at additional fee's that are not listed, but you are nicely referred to a salesman for.

--viruses. According to kaspersky labs there are over 800. Within the last two weeks they did a proof-of-concept that made Linus Torvalds revise the 2.6.10+ kernels. Are there nearly as much as Windows, clearly no. If Linux takes off like I hope they do. There might be in time. And maybe you don't care about passing viruses to your friends who use windows, but I do. If an email comes to me with a virus that may not do anything to me but can hurt them then yes, I want to erradicate it. And real time virus protection is going to get that. And so yes to get the dazuko module on Mepis, Slackware and many other distro's require a recompile of the kernel. Maybe nothing for you, but not something the masses are going to want to do.

--wireless for linux. don't get me started on that. No wireless is officially supported by the two largest US manufacturer's for wireless. So in theory wireless on linux is non-existing.

And in fact SUSE as you point out is dropping Mad Wifi. And clearly states in the readme if you install ndiswrapper you won't get tech support!

Last edited by Old_Fogie; 06-09-2006 at 10:16 AM.
 
Old 05-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #15
oskar
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I think there is only one problem with linux, and that is that not enough people are using it. It's not the OS's fault that many Corporations don't release binarys for linux, or that you can't have media support out of the box for stupid copyright reasons.

I recently set up my old pc for a friend using suse-10.
I set it up within an hour (installation and all), So he can play streaming files off the internet, play dvd's and has decent usb support (syncing disabled).
He would have tried to do that for a weekend, then given up and put in his trustworthy winxp cd.

Another problem is the german comunity (I'm from austria) which consists primarily of pompous retards. If it wasn't for this page I probably would have given up on it too. But this seems to be the nature of non-english user-groups. So if you're not comfortable with english, you have a problem.
 
  


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When is Linux desktop ready for Joe Public? fastly Linux - General 23 05-13-2004 06:18 PM
Linux -IS- ready for the desktop. Nu-Bee Linux - General 7 11-07-2003 06:28 PM


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