After 90 days of study, I am still learning but not sure what size USB drives to get

Jay Blair

Member
The info you linux gurus offered were a great start for me and led me to articles at many links and have figured out how to change all of our boot sequences nack to the bios legacy so we will be able to boot from the live usb and have Rufus loaded on the Win 8.1 PC with high speed connection.

Some articles indicate 8 GB and some say external SSD.

Do you who are much more Linux wise than I think 32 GB USB drives will be adequate for loading a windows similar Linux Desktop OS and add ons without causing issues as we Windows old timers learn , forget 8.1 as we have 5 and XP and switch?
 


Condobloke

Well-Known Member
The latter part of your question confuses me.

if you are asking is a 8GB usb/pen/thumb drive sufficient to load a Linux OS onto, in the form of an iso, via rufus.... and then boot a computer to that said drive.....then the answer is yes.

The "add ons" such as Firefox, and many many others are already inbuilt to that OS....and many many many more are available via the software manager which is also a part of the OS.

Which OS are you aiming at ?....you have mentioned Linux....but which one ?....hopefully Linux Mint.....

The latest Linux Mint is version 19.1 It is available with 3 desktops......Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE

Cinnamon is the 'heaviest' full featured
Mate (marte) is probably the most 'windows like '
XFCE is lighter, and most definitely quicker.

I run Cinnamon. I find it fast and reliable. I use version 18.3 (it has its end of life in April 2021)
(https://linuxmint.com/download_all.php)

end of life does not mean it suddenly stops working...it will simply move to the next version. This not Windows. There is no pain.

I said 'hopefully Linux Mint'...because it is undeniably the easiest distro to work on and LEARN......which is definitely what you need to do.
If you have LM (linux mint) installed and screw it up big time.......there is a program included called Timeshift. If you have set it up to save 'snapshots' to an external drive....no matter how badly you have screwed up...it will save you. (unlike windows system restore which will just screw you up more so than you already were )

Enough for now. Get linux burnt to a thumb drive, boot the pc to that thumb drive and we will figure out the bits and pieces from there
 
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blackneos940

Active Member
The info you linux gurus offered were a great start for me and led me to articles at many links and have figured out how to change all of our boot sequences nack to the bios legacy so we will be able to boot from the live usb and have Rufus loaded on the Win 8.1 PC with high speed connection.

Some articles indicate 8 GB and some say external SSD.

Do you who are much more Linux wise than I think 32 GB USB drives will be adequate for loading a windows similar Linux Desktop OS and add ons without causing issues as we Windows old timers learn , forget 8.1 as we have 5 and XP and switch?
Hello there good sir!..... :3 Welcome to linux.org!..... :3 So anywho, what condobloke referred to good suggestions, but might I make some more.....? :3 I find Kubuntu also good for those who are used to Windows, since it has a single bar at the bottom, with a menu, that can be opened with the Windows Key on your Keyboard (if you have one)..... :3 How much RAM do you have, what is the model of your PC, is a a Laptop, and finally, what Processor.....? :3 If you don't have many resources, than Xubuntu might be right up your alley..... :) But, you will have to configure the Whisker Menu (that icon with the mouse at the top there) to open with the Windows Key..... :3 Let us know these things, and we can help you out better..... :3 Again, welcome!..... :D
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
Here's my suggestion buy any size USB thumb drive 8.0 GB / 16.0 GB /32.0 GB as any of them will work for creating bootable installation media.

Here's what I suggest and although written for Linux Mint it will work for most any Linux Distros.

Take a look and have a read and read as many times as necessary as this will allow a user to test drive most any Linux Distro they may find that appeals to them without actually installing it to any hard drive .

 
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TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
One of the great things about Linux can also be a bad thing. There's so many ways to skin this cat (not sure why anyone would want to skin a cat though) so making a decision on which distro or which desktop can be difficult. But I concur with Blackneos940 and suggest Kubuntu. The K in the name tells you it's Ubuntu with the KDE desktop. It's completely customizable and is very WIndows like. One option that I take is to switch out the K "start" menu. I personally don't like the current version and prefer the older. The older is more like the 95/98/2000 start menu, click it and it opens with flyout menus when you mouse over them and close when you mouse over the next one. The current menu requires you to click back all the time, hate that. If you decide on KDE, and want to know how to do this, let me know.

For the USB drive, it depends on what you're going to do. If all you want is to test drive Linux and find out if you like it, then an 8 gig is fine. If you're going to use it as you're primary computer OS then you may want to consider a larger one. I have it installed on my hard drive and give the OS a 40 gig partition. Right now I have 24 gigs free on that partition. So I'm using roughly 16 gigs, plus an 8 gig swap partition and a 1 gig boot partition. But I have a 1 TB hard drive dedicated to home, it only has 300 GB free. I'm a gamer and they take a buttload of space. :) FYI, the extra partitions are optional and you don't need to worry about it on a test run of the OS, just dedicate the whole drive to Linux. But I'm letting you know that without the games, I'm using only about 25 gigs, so for everything else, on my only OS, I could squeeze it onto a 32 gig drive. Without the games, as my only OS, I'd prefer a 64 gig pen drive though so I wouldn't run out of space. And because of the many great benefits that Linux provides, you can always reinstall it (as many times as you want) onto a larger pen drive if you decide you like it and want to make it your daily driver without messing with the Windows hard drive.
 
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Jay Blair

Member
The 65 to 80 year old group who have asked me to help them get away from Windows all have 64bit systems with 4Gig of ram and processors with speeds of 1.4GB to 1.6GB speed and all had Windows 7 or 8.1 when they got them.

When three blindly took the free Win10 update and saw how slow their access became and how the Edge browser was confusing to them, I ended up reloading the three with 8.1 and installing Win10 upgrade blocking software on the others after explaining to them all that MS was becoming less user friendly and showed indication of aiming to become a one to two year subscription service to force software and hardware upgrades instead of the current longer support and extended support time frames.

As mentioned above, I have seen how Mint seems the most similar Desktop environment and intend trying that first.

While I have been studying how to best proceed on the OS ,desktop and how to handle updates for those of us still using low speed dial up, I have installed Firefox on all of their PCs and out of 7 only two find Firefox a difficult to use browser as they did going from IE in XP and Vista to Win 8.

What I have seen in my studying is all Ubuntu kernel based OS recommend higher speed processors, but taking into consideration how Windows 10 slowed their PCs down, I decided to make Mint live USBs for both those on higher speed connections and those of us still in the 56k dial up fringe areas.

My thinking is although slightly higher speed processors are recommended that a Mint USB might not slow the PCs down as bad as the Win10 upgrade with MS controlling all the processes did.

I have also found non MS alternatives for their online cognition exercise games and email services as I ease them away from MS and work on switching us all over to preserve our ability to shut it down and air gap if needed after surfing.
 

TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
The OS choice is yours to make. And if you like Mint, there's nothing wrong with that. I can tell you that you're going to see much smaller resource requirement increases with each distro's major updates than you'll ever see with MS. While I recommended Kubuntu, I run Neon. It's a KDE desktop on top of a Ubuntu base, distributed by the KDE team. Anyway, I have it running on 2 computers, my laptop which I bought at the beginning of last year and a desktop acting as a server. That desktop computer was purchased back in 2006. It's has a 3.0 core duo processsor and has 2 gigs of RAM. It could easily be my daily driver and was till I bought the laptop. And another FYI, Mint is based on Ubuntu also, so don't rule Ubuntu out. The main benefit to Mint, in my opinion is that they've customized it so it just works out of the box, more than other distros. They add more drivers and stuff. But my point wasn't to talk you into another distro, although it kind of sounds like it. It was to say that I'm sure no matter what distro you use, it'll run beautifully on the older boxes regardless of how badly they ran Windows 10.
 

Jay Blair

Member
TechnoJunky,

The only reason I considered Mint was that from what I had read , it was the most windows like flavor but I will study Kubuntu and Neon.

As I mentioned, I have been intensely studying the conversion to Linux for the last few months.

A big part of my study includes considering the feature needs of a group of fixed income retirees older than I who asked for my help because although 20 years into my own retirement and budget wise , they knew that I worked as engineering hardware support at the research /contractor plant for my career and that is why as I re-educate myself in what my software superiors taught me what I needed while repairing server hardware, both UNIX and the introduction of LINUX and the many versions now, I am taking it in baby steps with notebook at hand as I did in my teens and 20s as those with the better grasp of the software provided the important line commands to help me get the dead system back working similar to a native of a foreign country teaching a non-native key phrases.

Unfortunately as all retirees, after two decades off the front lines, while still able to mix and match circuit cards and load from media packs that run in "plug and play mode" I have to clear out my own retiree fog as I study as a student again as I try to help my elders and myself wit moving to LINUX as I have helped them to move through the many windows versions.

One friend was actually still using a Win 95 to go online as recently as 2012 and the 95 I still have is only used as an airgapped reference catalog in my home hard book library.

Of course all of us need a browser , so before I learn enough to convert us without lobotomizing our PCs , I saw most all flavors I was studying all support Firefox. Knowing Firefox had good ad and tracker blocking , I first introduced them to that.

Other things we all us on our 8.1 PCs is media viewer, firewall and some of us have fire and EMS trunking scanners that require .NET to update the scanner software.

With those needs I know VLC, UFW and MONO need to be included in what we end up with to start with and others can be added as I get told "hey I cant open this, which at that time I have to study a bit more:)

The other hurdle I have to clear is some of us use DSL or cable but others of us are either outside the higher speed zones or simply choose to continue to use the lower cost 56k dial up and USRobotics USB phone modems. So once the conversion of our group to Linux is done, if OS update are large I will have to use a USB to copy the update to on a higher speed connected PC to update the dial up systems as I do the large updates for windows now.

My reasoning for using the live USB is to sideline windows and give us the chance to use the Linux flavor that will work best while we still have the extended support on windows 8.1 if any of the group needs to go back.

Of course after I have the first live USBs for the high speed PC I will create it on and my own 56k system which did not suffice to load a distro and have the update process for those of us on dial up figured out. I hope to have all my elders comfortable with installing and forgetting MS as I have helped them forget previous versions of windows.
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member

TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
I wouldn't suggest Neon, for anyone other than a KDE lover with a good internet connection. It's a cutting edge version of KDE and gets updates several days a week because I want the latest and greatest KDE. For anyone else, I'd suggest Kubuntu, if they wanted to try it out. You can load ANY distro of Linux on a pen drive and see if you like it before messing with hard drives. You could also load a virtual machine program onto a decent computer and install multiple distros into VMs and try them out that way also. VMWare has Workstation for free (as long as you're just an individual and not a company) that runs on Windows.
 
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Jay Blair

Member
Poorguy,
Thanks for the Linux lite info. I will look into it as some of my classroom notebook studying.

TechnoJunky thanks for the clarification of Neon. I will make note of that for when I am better versed in the Linux world options.

Since my current quest is only creating a group of 64biy home PCs with simple needs moved from MS into the open source Linux world and learning which software "cans" to use instead of just using the reboot mirror drives my software superiors gave me but am nervous of messing up our newer machines, as a "lab exercise" in producing the USBs for our 64 bit machines, this next week I am going to make a 32 bit live thumb drive and go through the steps I have learned reading here and on links to linux.com threads and such and use the live 32bit USB to load an old Win ME machine I have stored away.

Please correct me if I am thinking wrong but my thought is even using 32 bit as my lab exercise it will help me get over my jitters and clear more of the 20 years of "retiree brain fog" as I get ready for the final jump and hands on lab steps are just as important as book/website classroom study..

Thanks to all here for making this an informative home base classroom type environment as I am learning more than in my days of changing components of a dead mainframe and plugging in the preloaded external drive and entering some line code to wake the frame back up.

I really feel that all of you have helped move me up above the level of understanding I was at during my days working on dead UNIX and early Linux servers at the plant.
 

TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
Well, I think you're going to like it here. I've had my hands in Linux since 2007, a little at work and a lot at home. I've got a membership at many of the Linux support forums and had mixed results and experiences at them. However, here at Linux.org, I feel the most friendship from our fellow members. I've never really felt the need to contribute at the other forums but here it just feels so much more at ease. So whatever questions you have, ask them. We'll be happy to walk you through whatever.
 

lesdelc

New Member
The latter part of your question confuses me.

if you are asking is a 8GB usb/pen/thumb drive sufficient to load a Linux OS onto, in the form of an iso, via rufus.... and then boot a computer to that said drive.....then the answer is yes.

The "add ons" such as Firefox, and many many others are already inbuilt to that OS....and many many many more are available via the software manager which is also a part of the OS.

Which OS are you aiming at ?....you have mentioned Linux....but which one ?....hopefully Linux Mint.....

The latest Linux Mint is version 19.1 It is available with 3 desktops......Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE

Cinnamon is the 'heaviest' full featured
Mate (marte) is probably the most 'windows like '
XFCE is lighter, and most definitely quicker.

I run Cinnamon. I find it fast and reliable. I use version 18.3 (it has its end of life in April 2021)
(https://linuxmint.com/download_all.php)

end of life does not mean it suddenly stops working...it will simply move top the next version. This not Windows. There is no pain.

I said 'hopefully Linux Mint'...because it is undeniably the easiest distro to work on and LEARN......which is definitely what you need to do.
If you have LM (linux mint) installed and screw it up big time.......there is a program included called Timeshift. If you have set it up to save 'snapshots' to an external drive....no matter how badly you have screwed up...it will save you.

Enough for now. Get linux burnt to a thumb drive, boot the pc to that thumb drive and we will figure out the bits and pieces from there
Timeshift saved me. I did a complete restore after messing up Linux Mint. I seldom make this mistake. I thought I was in VirtualBox however, I was not. The last Timeshift backup saved my data.
 

Jay Blair

Member
Poorguy, TechnoJunky and Condobloke ,

With all all of your input and suggestions, this week as I have had the time to study and tinker with my stored dusty 32 bit systems and this one keyed package 8.1 loaded to eliminate all the Dell background running trash that I connect with my US Robotics dial up fax modem, I am starting to work my hardware in lab mode and reduce my book learning time as I start making my tweak procedure sheet and build the firmware collection to allow the thumb drives simulate a Linux external SSD ( which back in the 1980s / 1990s I provided support to a production line of operators that loomed small magnetic doughnut cores using wire smaller than human hair using microscopes and taking months to build).

My first step was to F12 on the logo boot to get to set up and disable the UEFI windows secure boot, switch to Legacy , select the DVD / USB / HDD boot option to make this system non-bootble and then return to UEFI to know I can do it without blowing out the windows me and the rest of my friends are using now.

reading the requirements of Lite, I now feel it might work better with our 1.5 to 1.6 Ghz processors and Lite has the bare bones add on programs all but three of us need and the screen shots look as simple as Mint and being Ubuntu kernel based , as long as the connection options in Lite can be set to dial up our cheap 56k ISP here in the fringe, I think it will support Mono for those of us who currently have to update our trunking first responder scanners with .NET framework.

In reading about the Lite distro, I saw that Etcher is needed to make the USBs bootable and it is not compatable with the Rufus program, which is no big deal if Lite installs easily on our slower processor 64 bit machines and can support dial up access some of us have so I wouldn't have to manually update those of us in dial up country with a thumb drive.

Although we all know we have to ditch windows before January 2023, all of us being on fixed incomes want to keep the intrusive MS Windows usable since we paid the price for it.

As you all have explained, if I do it right we should be able to transition to Linux as easily as e did the steps up through windows until we found MS monopolizing the background on our slower machines.

Currently I have a 16 gig and a 32 gig Kingston USB and Rufus installer on my 8.1 desktop file from when I was only considering Mint for its windows refugee ease of understanding, but if Lite is just as refugee friendly or friendlier . I will delete Rufus and download Etcher to mak a botable thumb and if the live config will allow a add on program tryout, I will download Mono to see if it can drive the Uniden Senitinal .NET framework also.

I figure if later some of us with higher processor capacity want more than Lite can handle, I can move them up to Mint or other flavor.

It sucks being on a retiree budget where we even count the change in the coin holders i our pockets in our budgets, don't have access to the higher speed cable service or afford them or satellite but for half the cost of a month's high speed service to buy USB modems to dial up our $12 a month dial up, i have been able to make three of our 64 bit machines run thinking it's still 1997. :)
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Timeshift saved me.
That rated a Love from me. :) For anyone who needs it, see my Thread on it at

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

G'day Jay, Good to see you are still Noah leading the retirees two by two into the linux ark, to save them from the Microsoft deluge.

Linux Lite is an excellent product, but there are codicils to that.

1. Last 32-bit version was with v3.8 . From the 4.x series on, must be 64-bit.

2. MBR install only (but once installed can be run under UEFI conditions, if multibooting, or using a Windows that is UEFI-based)

3. If installed under MBR conditions, a UEFI-based Windows may not immediately appear to be accessible, can be achieved through workarounds, but may be beyond some's paygrades.

4. The IS a UEFI-based one, only, so far, that Jerry published, I am using it on a UEFI drive, as well as an MBR one on an MBR drive. It is named

linux-lite-4.2-uefi-64bit.iso

Also important - you want to be able to install Timeshift on these computers. See my Thread

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

Timeshift, as Brian (@Condobloke ) says "is like Windows Restore, but actually works!"

Timeshift will make your life easier.

I've been using it for 5 years.

Linux Mint started shipping it installed with the 19 series, but before that, LInux Lite started doing so with the start of the 4.x series.

However, it is easily installed with the 3.x series if needed.

One Distro you really should take a look at is

MX-18 - https://mxlinux.org/

It is also top in DistroWatch for good reasons - https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity

Or MX-16 and MX-17 for older hardware also good.

Better is to get newest versions for the most part, to save on updates/upgrades on challenged INternet connections (download speeds and allowances).

More over the weekend.

Cheers

Chris
 

Jay Blair

Member
Wizardfromoz,

Good day to you also. Yes I am still working as Noah with my retiree group and really enjoying the school room style environment folks offer here.

My posting while sporadic and still in Getting Started board i just because I have been followin the links, making notes and printing out many pages . My 3 ring binder is almost half full and you folks are the best online teachers and guides I have interacted with since retiring from the industry sector

I can relate to your above pay grade reference because after then called CIS college studies to only condition me as an OJT blank slate to be taught what they needed to teach me for my pay grade duties , as I learn this, I am trying hard to erase my slate but I still find myself attempting to compare the linux apples to the industy oranges they taught me.

Okay back to the classroom studies to read your links before continuing on the hands on lab exercises and conversions.

As far as the 32 and 64 bit issue, most got up to 64 bit when most all of us on the copper wire dial up access who happened not to be air gapped from the the storm of the decade across the southeastern U.S in 2011 all had our machines fried and when they replaced them most got 64 bit machines. only 3 that I am aware of have 32s still but we all have 1.5 to 1.6 GHz processors , so what we transition to has to be able to accommodate that

As much as I have a bad taste for what MS is doing , Dell left a nastier roadkill taste in my mouth when I lost my 6 month old more sturdy built slim desktop with internal power supply and better built DVD fully ejection vertical drive to the lightening strike and ended up with this cheaper made model with external power supply and short pop out DVD drive and slower processor but at $60 more.

I will have to inspect the dozen or so functioning /partially functioning corrupted OS desktop towers in my carcass closet again but when I stored them to make room only for ones I thought might be usable and sent the 8 worse to the recycler, three or four were 64 bit just not cosmetically nice because they were light colored cases and the former owners smoked or had damaged the units plastic face plates, so I may be able to upgrade everyone to 64 bit and just tell them cosmetics don't matter and remind them that one of my desktops I use has no face plate at all because I sold it for $25 to a woman who spilled a bottle of craft paint on the front of her husbands PC, tried to clean it and I had to fix it in 2 hours before he got home from work and my case was identical to his.

In the MS world and doing all could to keep them and Dell or HP from mining to much and running to many factory or mass OS load speed suckers whenever I could I bought the stripped down OS packs and used the packs and my back up files for recovery.

But as I said, I am cleaning my slate of what I previously learned and understand Linux has less background speed suckers and mining paranoia to worry about as each machine is a custom build but in my situation I have to study to create a small fleet of almost identical custom models with the ISP speed .

Off to the links for a bit of study on Timeshift before tonight's thunder storms arrive and I have to air gap.
 

Jay Blair

Member
I was able to spend some time today reading the MX Linux information and also looked in the storage closet carcass desktop mini towers I have stored here and started checking the stored relics, I found four with fully functioning MS OS from one late era XP to three with Vista and all four are 64 bit / 1.5 minimum ghz processors and the XP loaded latr era model having pinned keyboard and mouse accepted the USB key board, optical mouse and USR dial up modem we out here in the sticks use, so I am confident I can tweak the Linux I choose for us for my ease regardless if we on the copper wire dial up side or those on the high speed side have any issues.

After reading into MX and scan reviewing the notes on Lite as I mentally flossed my mind of MS , it occurred to me that what may be leaving me confused is although being production floor and office support in a company proprietary competitor in the IBM clone era and then Windows from 3.1 to 95 , 98 , 2000 and ME before retiring early and buying XP, vista and 8.1, as I moved up I mostly forgot previous eras except the ones I continued to use.

From what I see as I study, Linux on the other hand has OS coders who some expand forward and others bare bones OS code to keep old hardware going.

The Linux community seems to me sort of like the 1960s to 1990s engineers not afraid to rig the OS like we kids in the TRS-80 days learned to reverse the polarity on our cassete recorder mag heads and add a toggle switch and 8 Mhz crystal to our home PCs to increase the short spurt transfer rates as our parents cringed that we had voided the warranty on the expensive computer they bought us for our birthday.

So far I see that Linux lite can't use the Rufus installer and MX although medium weight has its own boot USB installer and as Wizard mentioned will boot in UEFI mode if needed.


With school starting I figure I can stock up on thumb drives of all sizes up to 64 gig by taking advantage of our state sales tax holiday for back to school supplies and now tablets, laptops, desktops and thumb drives are as common as school supplies as notebooks , pencils , slip sticks and scientific calculators were in my century LOL

So as I read, now that I understand how to put my system in legacy to put my 8.1 into coma mode, after stocking up on thumbs, if I can configure them to dial up my ISP, I will get to try out as many of the lightweight to medium Live Linux OS drives to see which will work best.

One thing I sure wont miss is the load of security software I have had to use to keep our 8.1 clean.

From what I have been reading, two or three security apps tops can keep the light to medium Linux protected, where 8.1 takes seven free for home programs to stay as secure as possible.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Generally enabling the firewall and having a reasonable browser is sufficient

Reasonable browser....I use Firefox...always the latest version.....I use a few selected add ons to keep it safe. After 5 years of the same approach, I have had no dramas at all. My surfing stretches the boundaries quite regularly.

my add ons...
4208
add ons.png
add ons.png


lastpass is not strictly related to security....although it does provide quite a secure method of storing passwords, which can also be shared with a mobile phone or another pc/tablet/laptop etc

Youtube to mp3 button allows me me to download music from youtube to my pc legally. It works smoothly.

The others, https/malwarebytes/ublock pretty much speak for themselves.
 

Jay Blair

Member
More to study but I see from your list that Malwarebytes that I currently use can be added.

Thanks, I'm off to borrow a high speed connected 8.1 machine to download the first live Linux thumb to try here on my dial up 8.1 tonight or tomorrow.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Jay, just harking back to something that Brian was saying at #2, and that is about Desktop Environments (DEs). An article I refer others to is at

https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/

last updated December 2016 but still pretty relevant. Top half is probably more interest than bottom half.

The MX Series (also LInux Lite) use the Xfce desktop, and this is very good for those RAM-challenged.

Later

Wiz

Edit - added BTW

BTW - the Unity desktop, which is Ubuntu's spin off GNOME, is no longer being deployed, but still has support for a couple of years.
 

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