Mac News Review

14 Alternative Browsers, OS X on PCs Without Hacking Software, Macs 10% of Canadian Market, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.08.28

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Products & Services


Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

14 Alternative Browsers

Mashable's Barb Dybwad says:

"As some of you may know, we've been waging an IE6 Must Die campaign here at Mashable . . . In that spirit, we thought it wise to arm you fine folks with a few alternatives for your web browsing pleasure.

  1. Mozilla Firefox
  2. Apple Safari
  3. Google Chrome (no Mac version yet)
  4. Internet Explorer 8 (Windows only)
  5. Opera
  6. Camino (Mac only)
  7. Flock
  8. SeaMonkey
  9. Konqueror (Linux only)
  10. K-Meleon (Windows only)
  11. Shiira (Mac only)
  12. Maxthon (Windows only)
  13. iCab (Mac only)
  14. OmniWeb (Mac only)"

Editor's note: They left out three that are Mac only:

Run Mac OS X on a Generic PC: No Need to Hack Software

The Register Hardware's Chris Bidmead says:

"Eighteen months ago, if you wanted to run Apple's Mac OS X on a generic Intel box your only option was to fish around on the internet for a hacked version that modified all the relevant low-level calls.

"And then hope it worked on your hardware.

"Even if you managed to get it up and running, Apple's frequent operating system updates were to be dreaded and avoided....

"Towards the end of last year the tide began to turn...."

Apple Takes 10% of Canadian Computer Market

PR: The overall Canadian Client PC market (including Desktop and Portable PCs, but excluding x86 Servers) performed very close to forecast, with unit volume in the second quarter (2Q09) down 14.6% over the same period one year ago and down 12.0% from 1Q09, to reach 1.2 million units shipped. The final numbers in the second quarter were slightly worse than the - 14.0% year-over-year growth achieved in 1Q09 and the fewest shipments since the second quarter of 2006. Portable PC shipments performed slightly higher against projections, growing 9.9% year over year on more than 728,000 units shipped (compared to forecasted year-over-year growth of 8.3%). As expected, the impact of the overall economic climate is accelerating the decline of desktop PC shipments. For the quarter, desktop shipments were down 36.8% over the second quarter in 2008.

Historically, the second quarter is usually the weakest quarter of the calendar year. This, along with the bottoming out and stabilized rate of decline, has hopefully indicated that the market has reached the lowest point and is poised to rebound.

PC vendor share highlights include:

  • HP continued to hold on to the top share in the overall Client PC market in the quarter, with 22.1% share, despite year-over-year unit growth of - 25.3%. The competition for the top spot in the overall Canadian PC market is still very tight, with Dell trailing HP by only 1.5 percentage points garnering a 20.7% market share.
  • For the first time, Apple broke into double-digit market share with a 10.0% take of the overall PC client market. This was supported by very strong growth in portables, with Apple growing 24.8% YoY.
  • For the second consecutive quarter, Acer took the top share in portables with 21.4% of the market. Acer's performance comes from the strength of their Mini Notebook offerings, which the vendor currently dominates with a 57.5% market share. Unit shipments into the SMB space have recovered strongly from a very weak 1Q09, growing 23.6% year over year compared to a 3.7% pullback in the first quarter. Of special note, consumer portables enjoyed a double digit year-over-year growth for the 24th consecutive quarter.

The explosive demand for Mini Notebooks continued to surge ahead after a slight pull back in the first quarter. Mini Notebooks ended the quarter with record unit volume of more than 114,000 units. Mini Notebooks are growing at an impressive 219.6% year over year. The adoption of the Mini Notebook form factor into the commercial space is continuing to flourish with commercial penetration at more than 25% of the units shipped.

"The second quarter has clearly indicated a shift in purchasing patterns, with Customers either buying low cost notebook PCs, including Mini Notebooks, or choosing Apple products," said Tim Brunt, Senior Analyst Personal Computing and Technology for IDC Canada.

The overall desktop PC market continued its rapid decline with a - 36.8% year-over-year growth. Demand for desktops has plummeted - 42.9% in the consumer space and a whopping - 37.4% in the SMB space. The white box space continues to decline dramatically down 52.8% year over year. "Channel margins have improved significantly for desktops, but the overall market for desktops is becoming more specialized and focused as the transition to mobile computing intensifies," Brunt said.

The overall consumer segment declined 12.9% year over year. This was hit hardest by the 42.9% drop in desktops, but held up with the 13.4% growth in portables. The success in the consumer space is directly attributed to the increasing demand generated by Mini Notebooks.

"Overall the second quarter had to be disappointing for most manufacturers, but the end of the year and into 2010 certainly looks more optimistic than it did just 3 months ago," added Brunt.

Mac Memory Upgrades a Thrill Ride You Should Get on Now

OWC Larry blogs:

"At the moment, most - if not all memory upgrades - are still selling for substantially below the prices the same upgrades went for this time last year. What's significant is that those prices a year ago were pretty much at lows already with the chipmakers (Micron, Hynix, Samsung, Etc) selling the parts at prices under that which it costs to produce . . . Due to the global economic meltdown at the end of 2008, costs that were already way below what was supportable dove to all new lows as the chipmakers needed to keep cash flow going. In 2009, we've seen productions reduced and entire producers (Qimonda/Infineon for example) completely exit production. As a result, prices had been easing up over the course of this year as the supply/demand equation has come into balance.

"Today's prices are still as much as 50% less than where the cost of various modules could easily be heading . . . After about two years+ of supply imbalance, we are seeing things start to move swiftly back to a cost level that - if nothing else - will ensure memory continues to be available while these producers stop bleeding red ink to turn out the parts.

"So, how do you turn this somewhat scary price ride into a fun, thrilling experience?"

Faxing in Mac OS X

MacFixIt's Topher Kessler has posted a tutorial on sending and receiving faxes in OS X - something lots of people still need to do despite fax being dismissed by some as antiquated and obsolete technology.

He also takes a look at online faxing services like:

Apple Updates

Apple Releases Bluetooth Firmware Update 2.0.1

This update provides bug fixes and better compatibility with the Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard.

It installs on all Macintosh systems with Bluetooth based on the Broadcom chipset.

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later

Products & Services

Falling External Hard Drive Prices at OWC

PR: About a month or so ago, we had a series of price drops across our line of external enclosures. Well, the trend continues, this time extending into our popular Mercury On-The-Go Pro series. I'm a big fan of these drives, owning a couple for several years now, and these new prices have me looking at purchasing yet another one to compliment my new MacBook Pro.

This pocket-sized powerhouse offers:

  • FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Is Fully Bootable
  • Is Fast - The Mercury On-The-Go Pro features Oxford Performance chipsets (FireWire), and the best qualified HD mechanisms for optimum performance and reliability.

Made for travel with a small form factor that lets you conveniently stow it in your laptop bag, a desk drawer, or even your shirt pocket, and a shock absorbing design further protects the drive from the rigors of day-to-day travel.

Backup software is included and the Mercury On-The-Go Pro comes with all the cables you need to use the drive right out of the box plus a carrying case to keep it all together when you're on the road and protected by a 3-Year Warranty


  • 80 GB 5400 RPM, 2 MB buffer, $ 74.99
  • 120 GB 5400 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $84.99
  • 250 GB 5400 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $99.97
  • 320 GB 5400 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $109.99
  • 500 GB 5400 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $139.99
  • 250 GB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, $112.99
  • 320 GB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, $125.99
  • 500 GB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, was $219.99, now $199.99 (That's a $20 price drop)

Also available, OWC On-the-Go 2.5" Kits 'add your own drive' now priced from $25.99

Aficionados of hard drives with integrated FireWire and USB hubs can also rejoice - OWC has even more price reduction on these to announce.

  • 160 GB 7200 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $139.99
  • 250 GB 7200 RPM, 8 MB buffer, $142.99
  • 320 GB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, $144.99
  • 500 GB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, $149.99
  • 750 GB 7200 RPM, 32 MB buffer, $179.99
  • 1.0 TB 7200 RPM, 16 MB buffer, $184.99
  • 1.0 TB 7200 RPM, 32 MB buffer, $199.99
  • 1.0 TB "Enterprise" Class 7200 RPM, 32 MB buffer, $237.99
  • 1.5 TB 7200 RPM, 32 MB buffer, $247.99
  • 2.0 TB "GreenPower", 32 MB buffer, $349.99 (a $30 price drop)

New Installation Video OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID Enclosure

PR: Yowza! It's been one heck of a week around here, as we all get ready for the release of Snow Leopard. I d go into details, but it's much more fun to leave it hanging at that in order to build suspense. :-D

Mercury Elite-AL ProTo distract you, I'll remind you of the fact that it has been a couple of weeks since we've introduced a new Instructional Video. Well, I m glad to say that we re back on schedule with our videos, and have a new one for you this week.

This time around, we'll show you how to install a pair of 3.5 SATA hard drives in an OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID Enclosure. Whether you re using the Triple or Quad interface model, this video shows you how easy it is to drop a pair of drives inside.

Following these instructions, you'll have a nice, fast RAID 0 going in no time.

As always, you can find this video (along with all our other instructional videos) both in our Tech Center and on our YouTube Channel.

Curing Das Keyboard's Clicky Conundrum: Maker to Offer Earplugs as Peace Offering

PR: The high-end Das Keyboard sports best-in-class German-engineered gold-plated mechanical key switches that provide tactile and audio feedback increasing typing speed and accuracy. Once you start typing, the tactile and audio clicks create positive reinforcing feedback. Das Keyboard now offers earplugs for those nearby a Das Keyboard enthusiast, in order to muffle the "clicky" keyboard's clicks

Das KeyboardLike fingernails tapping on the keys of a piano, "Das Keyboard" can be one of the loudest, clickiest keyboards on the planet. Fortunately for coworkers and significant others, the makers of the high-end keyboard have developed a foolproof solution to the noise: earplugs.

The clicks did bother some of my coworkers at first

One woman came over to me and said, 'You're typing too loud!' Now everyone is impressed with how fast I can type because they can hear every keystroke.

Starting today, Das Keyboard will begin offering earplugs through their online store ( in addition to both of their current products - the "Professional," which has labeled keys, and its stealth counterpart, the "Ultimate," a totally letter-barren keyboard for the expert typist, gamer, or otherwise hard-core user.

The plugs are designed to quiet office hostility by allowing Das Keyboard users to present them as a peace offering to their neighbors. The plugs may also prove handy at NASCAR races, the shooting range, or at 3 a.m. when your spouse is snoring uncontrollably.

"The clicks did bother some of my coworkers at first," admitted Kyle Ridolfo, a 32-year-old Web developer in New Hampshire, who now owns three Das Keyboards. "One woman came over to me and said, 'You're typing too loud!'"

Reminiscent of IBM's "Model M" keyboard from the 1980s, the Das Keyboard employs mechanical, Cherry MX-style key switches. As typists hit each key, there's a "click" just before the key hits the end of its stroke and again as it bottoms out. The process leads to faster tactile response and thus faster, more accurate typing. It also feels pretty cool.

Das Keyboard users love the audible feedback sound, but their coworkers often complain that it sounds like the modern child of an electronic typewriter and an arcade machine.

Fortunately, if the earplug gifts fail to quell office anger, Das Keyboard officials say, the 2.6-pound typing machine is sturdy enough to be used as a protective shield. A warning, though: the Das Keyboard is amazing, but it is not yet bulletproof.

Also, the keyboard is not recommended for mothers with sleeping children, hunt-and-peckers who enjoy wallowing on soft keys or spies who need to type in complete silence. Users who returned to membrane-based keyboards complained they felt comparatively squishy and sluggish to Das Keyboard.

Ridolfo said his coworkers adjusted to his clicks and then learned something about him.

"Now everyone is impressed with how fast I can type because they can hear every keystroke," he said.

Das Keyboard is a subdivision of Metadot Corporation, a privately held technology company headquartered in Austin, TX dedicated to delivering innovative technology products to increase productivity and lower costs. Developed in 2005, Das Keyboard has been praised by major media outlets, techie magazines, geeks and regular people who use a keyboard for the entire workday. Major features include the high-quality, gold-plated, mechanical key switches, USB 2.0 hub, 6.6 foot USB cable and a sleek, glossy black surface with blue LEDs.


Parallels Desktop 'Switch to Mac Edition' Offers Lifeline to Frustrated PC Users

PR: Parallels, a leader in virtualization and automation software, has unveiled a complete solution designed to simplify the process of "switching" from a PC to Mac. Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition empowers users to effortlessly make the move to Mac without the risk of losing familiar and important data and applications on their Microsoft Windows-based PCs. The product combines a set of easy-to-use tools and interactive tutorials with the industry leading Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac to help "Switchers" understand how to operate Mac OS X, transfer all PC data and applications, and seamlessly run their Windows applications on their new Macs.

Parallels Desktop 'Switch to Mac Edition'"The growth in switching is partially due to the ease-of-use and cool capabilities of the Mac," said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. "However, users don't want to lose the data they have accumulated and the applications they are already familiar with. Building on our proven track record of Mac innovation, we have addressed this concern and made learning the new operating system even simpler through interactive on-demand tutorials. These are combined with intelligent moving tools and our industry-leading Parallels Desktop for Mac, which offers the greatest performance and stability for running Windows seamlessly on Mac."

Switching from PC to Mac is on the rise: analyst reports on operating system market share show that Mac OS X market growth comes at the expense of Windows market share. While the overall PC industry saw declines of 3% for the quarter ending in June 2009, Apple sales were up 4% year over year. According to Apple's Q309 report, half of the Macs sold were to customers who had never owned a Mac before.

"Parallels is an industry pioneer in the development and delivery of Mac virtualization solutions," according to Laura DiDio, principal at Information Technology Intelligence Corp., a Boston-based research firm. ITIC's research indicates that three out of 10 corporations (30%) use Mac hardware and software in conjunction with Windows to dual boot and virtualize their desktop and server environments. "Now more than ever, businesses require products and tools like Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition, that will assist IT managers and support integration and interoperability among heterogeneous environment," DiDio added.

Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition is an industry-first solution that addresses the challenges facing prospective PC-to-Mac Switchers:

Learning Mac OS X

The Switch to Mac learning tools are designed to specifically address any questions or concerns associated with the transition from Windows to Mac. More than two hours of interactive video tutorials help users learn the new interface and functionality of the Mac platform step-by-step, starting with the Mac equivalent of tasks performed on Windows. A quick reference card identifies the most common Windows and Mac command/function differences and puts the correct keystrokes at users fingertips.

Making the Move

Also important to new Mac users is getting files and media from their old computer to their Mac. Parallels recognizes that many people need help with this process, and developed a "plug and click" method that moves the entire PC (licensed operating system, applications, files and data) to the new Mac. This includes the Parallels High Speed USB Transfer Cable that connects the two machines and the Enhanced Parallels Transporter: simple, wizard-driven software that walks the user through the move in a few easy clicks. The seamless Mac user experience now starts on the PC side.

Running Windows and Mac side-by-side

Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition includes Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0, the number one Mac system utility, currently used by more than two million people to run Windows side-by-side with Mac applications. This award-winning virtualization software provides a fully integrated seamless experience, offering users the greatest stability and performance available for running Windows on a Mac, as recognized in 3rd party industry benchmarks. Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac incorporates a range of security, backup and power saving features to give Mac users the easiest way to run Windows on a Mac.

"For years I have worked with switchers coming into Apple stores with questions about how to use their new Mac," says Saied Ghaffari, Switch to Mac Advocate. "Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition thoroughly addresses the concerns switchers have and the product is designed to make moving to Mac as fast and simple as possible, regardless of the level of technical knowledge of the switcher. Innovative learning features like Click to Learn, Watch Saied, and You Try shorten the time switchers need to become comfortable with their Mac from two weeks down to about two hours. It's like a friend teaching you the Mac at your own pace."

Parallels Desktop 4.0 Switch to Mac Edition is available from today at Apple stores, at and through other preferred retail partners in English, German and French. The suggested retail price (SRP) of the product is $99.99.

Parallels offers a range of free support options for customers of Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition, from knowledge bases and forums to phone and email support. For more information, visit

Online Bible 4.0.3 Preview

PR: It's been over a year since the developer posted an update to the Online Bible for OS X app, but they finally have a universal build that will run native on both a PowerPC and Intel Mac with OS 10.3.9. They've have done a lot of testing before posting it but with a larger group trying it should be able to find more bugs. If you're interested in testing it, you can download the preview for free.

This release has the Help Files so consider them as well as the program itself.

Online Bible is a full-featured program designed for serious Bible students. You can display Bible passages and notes in any number of windows. Most operations can be performed using either the mouse or keyboard commands. The program is both powerful and easy to use.

Macintosh Online Bible Version 3.0 CD contains more than 24 English versions plus much more new material. The version 4.0.3 programming is now on the web site and you can download a copy at no charge. This is an updated version of our program that runs well with OS X

In addition to the King James Version, over thirty other English versions (See Appendix below) are available. These include the 1984 New International Version, 1995 New American Standard Bible, 1982 New King James Version, 1989 New Revised Standard Version, 1996 New Living Translation, and many others. Greek and Hebrew texts are also available for original language study. In addition several foreign languages are supported, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and others. See Appendix E at the back of the User's Manual for a detailed list of Bible texts and add-on modules currently available.

Complete search facilities include, word, phrase, multiple words, wild cards, and much more. Searches can use AND, OR, XOR, NOT, and proximity operators to select verses. The range for searches can be restricted. All verses are displayed in context rather than asking you to choose a verse from a list to display. Searches are very fast, taking only a second or two even on older Macs.

You can add notes to a verse using the built-in editor. Cross-references can be included in your notes for automatic recall. In addition to verse notes, topical material, pictures, and word studies can also be saved.

A special Copy Verses command is provided to copy Bible passages via the clipboard directly from the Online Bible to any currently running application. The format of the verses is controlled via preferences set by the user.

New in version 4.0.3:

  • System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
  • Platform Support: PPC/Intel
  • Mac OS Classic version 3.5.1 also available

This package includes the Application, King James Version, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, Dictionary and Cross References.

While this is a test version of the program for who wish to try out the OS X programming with their Online Bible CD, they've had very few reports of people not being able to use this release.

  • Version 3.0 (OS 9) Online Bible for Macintosh Classic CD-ROM - $39.95.
  • Macintosh Deluxe CD-ROM - $89.95 with NIV, NASB, NKJB, NLT and NRSV royalties prepaid.

Unconditional 90 day money back guarantee

English Bible Texts

Version 3.5.1 OS 9 Programming with King James Text download

  • 1769 King James Version with Strong's numbers & footnotes download
  • KJV Apocrypha, Oxford Edition - download
  • Murdock's 1851 translation of the Peshito version of the Syriac N. T- download
  • 1899 Douay Rheims Version Both CDs
  • 1899 Douay Rheims Apocrypha Both CDs
  • 1912 Weymouth New Testament download
  • Living Oracles New Testament Both CDs
  • 1924 Montgomery New Testament Both CDs
  • 1904 Twentieth Century New Testament download
  • 1790 Wesley New Testament Both CDs
  • 1864 Emphatic Diaglott Both CDs
  • World English Bible with footnotes Both CDs
  • 1917 Jewish Publication Society Bible with footnotes Both CDs
  • 1890 J. N. Darby Translation download
  • 1964 Bible in Basic English download
  • 1972 New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips Both CDs
  • Revised Webster Bible with Strong's numbers Both CDs
  • 1994 21st Century King James Version Both CDs
  • 1901 American Standard Version with footnotes download
  • 1993 Modern King James Version Both CDs
  • 1851 Brenton's Septuagint with footnotes Both CDs
  • 1898 Young's Literal Translation Both CDs
  • 1902 Rotherham Emphasized Bible Both CDs
  • 1973 Revised Standard Version Both CDs
  • RSV Apocrypha Both CDs
  • Hebrew Names Version with footnotes Both CDs
  • 1993 Green's Literal Translation Both CDs
  • 1984 New International Version with footnotes Deluxe CD
  • 1995 New American Standard Bible with Strong's numbers and footnotes Deluxe CD
  • 1989 New Revised Standard Version with footnotes Deluxe CD
  • 1988 New American Standard Bible Deluxe CD
  • 1982 New King James Version with footnotes Deluxe CD
  • 1996 New Living Translation with footnotes Deluxe CD

Ancient Texts

  • Interlinear Textus Receptus with Strong's numbers Both CDs
  • 1991 Byzantine majority text with Strong's numbers and full parsing download
  • 1550/1894 Textus Receptus with Strong's numbers and full parsing download
  • 1872 Tischendorf Greek NT Both CDs
  • 1881 Westcott-Hort and Nestle's 27th text with Strong's and full parsing download
  • Rahlfs Greek Septuagint Both CDs
  • Rahlfs Greek Septuagint Apocrypha Both CDs
  • Biblia Hebraica consonantal text, morphologically-separated - Strong's download
  • Biblia Hebraica consonantal text, normal form, with Strong's numbers download
  • 405 Jerome's Latin Vulgate Both CDs
  • 405 Jerome's Latin Vulgate Apocrypha Both CDs

English Notes and Commentaries

  • 1836 Treasury of Scripture Knowledge download
  • 1599 Geneva Bible Notes download
  • 1760 John Gill's Expositor - 9 volumes unabridged Both CDs
  • Barnes Notes (NT only) Both CDs
  • 1540 - 1563 John Calvin's Commentaries Both CDs
  • 1832 Adam Clarke's Commentary Both CDs
  • Commentaries on Paul's Epistles by J. A. Beet Both CDs
  • 1870 C. H. Spurgeon's Treasury of David Both CDs
  • Eclectic Bible Notes Both CDs
  • Commentaries by J. W. McGarvey Both CDs
  • 1861 Family Bible Notes by Justin Edwards Both CDs
  • Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Both CDs
  • 1994 Textual & Translation Notes by Jay Green, Sr. Both CDs
  • Young's Concise Commentary Both CDs
  • 1721 Matthew Henry's Commentary - 6 volumes unabridged Both CDs
  • Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary Both CDs
  • 1767 John Wesley's Notes Both CDs
  • 1889 People's New Testament Commentary download
  • 1700 Matthew Poole's Commentary Both CDs
  • 1930 A. T. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament download

English Lexicons and Dictionaries

  • 1939 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - 4 volumes unabridged Both CDs
  • Revised Thayer's Greek English Lexicon download
  • Brown Driver Briggs Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon Both CDs
  • 1890 Strong's Greek and Hebrew Lexicons Both CDs
  • 1878 Revised Smith's Bible Dictionary Both CDs
  • 1868 Smith's Bible Dictionary - 4 volumes unabridged Both CDs
  • 1897 Easton's Bible Dictionary download
  • 1874 Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary Both CDs
  • 1995 NAS Lexicons and Cross References Deluxe CD
  • Cross References Both CDs

English Books and Topics

  • 1897 Torrey's New Topical Textbook Both CDs
  • 1934 Thompson's Chain References download
  • Nave's Topical Bible Both CDs
  • Works by John Bunyan Both CDs
  • Daily Light on the Daily Path by Jonathan Bagster Both CDs
  • Spurgeon's Morning & Evening: Daily Readings download
  • Material on Archaeology, Creation, & Evolution Both CDs
  • 1874 The Temple by Alfred Edersheim Both CDs
  • 30 color maps & diagrams

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