Monday, March 09, 2015

Are You Backing Up Your Work?

In the 90s, when home computers became commonplace, most of us learned one lesson the hard way. Computers can suddenly, inexplicably, do this.



Your hard drive would crash and you'd have to reload everything. All of your hard work would be gone. Or you'd be working on a file and the power would go out. There was no auto-recover back then. If you didn't manually save your work along the way, you'd lose everything you'd worked on.



Back then, if you wanted to back up a file, you had to use a thing called a floppy disk. It would hold exactly 1.44 MB.



Then came a thing called the USB flash drive. (Jump drive was Lexar's brand name for it.) 



Those are still around today and can even hold as much as a terabyte...which is likely FAR more than you'll ever, ever need. You can even find fun flash drives (like this 8GB Iron Man version).



But there are three problems with these. They can break, you have to remember to take them with you, and they cost $$$. Where's the best place to store your stuff?


www.perspecsys.com

You get 15GB free with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive--both of which automatically sync all your files. They'll be out there even if you're logging in on your Aunt Judy's computer while on vacation. If you need more than that, you're going to have to pay every month, but both of these services are cheaper than Dropbox. If you install any of these apps, they'll run in the background, syncing your files automatically--so no more manually backing up files. They're always in the cloud.



How do you back up your files?

88 comments:

  1. Haha, these memes are so funny. But I can imagine the horror of losing your files. Been there!

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    1. The good news is that it's so much easier to back things up than it used to be, though!

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  2. I back up to the cloud.. as well I back all my photos up to Google+... I learned the hard way too... we all do. The cloud is the easiest one for me because I don't have to think about it... xox

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    1. I think all of my photos are on Facebook and Instagram anyway...so I guess that's a backup, but they aren't as high quality as the versions on my computer.

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  3. Hate to say it, but I'm not a fan of the Cloud.
    I have three external hard drives, not to mention multiple computers. Yes, those cost money, but I know I still have my files.
    I also have a couple thumb drives, but I don't rely on those. Not after I sent one through the washing machine...

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    1. I know there are privacy issues with the cloud that concern some people. I think with data analytics, we're all being "watched" in one way or another...but most of it is aggregate, anonymous data. In other words--we're all just numbers in a database!

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  4. I always forget to back up my translations :( But I do remember the age of floppies :)

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    1. I'm so old, I remember when they were actually floppy disks! That was in college...

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  5. I need to get better at it. I use Dropbox, but not all the time. So the files I'm not working on are saved there, but my current one is on a flashdrive and my hard drive.

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    1. I think you can set Dropbox to auto-sync...but I'm not sure if it syncs all your files? I only use it for work. A couple of my clients require I use it to upload files to shared accounts, so I have to maintain a login.

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  6. I back up serious stuff on the cloud once every few months onto an external hard drive.

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    1. Good idea! Most of my serious stuff was emailed at some point to someone (agent, clients, etc.). That's the good thing about having an agent. She always has the latest "finished" version of my work, too!

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  7. I never use cloud as I don`t want to risk being hacked. My hard drive and usb drives do the trick. I save it on multiple things just in case one breaks. Now if my place burns down, then I may be screwed lol

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    1. If someone hacked into my cloud account they'd see SUCH an uninteresting array of articles on heat pumps and insulation and cloud computing, they'd log right back off again and find someone interesting to hack into!

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  8. OMG, if for not the cloud I would die from frustration!!

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    1. Me too. It's interesting, though, to see the fear of the cloud up there^^^. I write about this stuff all the time and it seems that this random sampling of consumers/writers shows there is still a HUGE mistrust in putting your files on other servers. Interestingly, though, any information hackers could really use is in the cloud--our banking information, tax information, etc...

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    2. Yes, and the convenience far outweighs any risk. If they can steal it from a highly secure server, then they can steal it from a local rinky dink server physically located 5 miles from your home. :)

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    3. I wouldn't recommend backing up a document that has all your passwords and credit card #s on it! But who would do that? It's all about the "acceptance curve."

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  9. Ack! The blue screen of death!!! I remember it all too well. I use a flash drive and send it to myself via email. That reminds me: today should be a back-up day! :)

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    1. On Windows 8, it was a blue screen with a frowny face. I saw it daily. "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart." Then it would "gather information for between 30 seconds and 2 hours, depending on its mood. I've had a MacBook since Christmas and only one time did I see that multi-color spinning wheel that made me restart. My laptop was back up in 30 seconds with all of my windows back up as they were. That's one of the many things I love about my Mac--if you ever restart, it pulls everything right back up again! With Google Chrome as your browser, it even pulls the window up at the very location on the page it was when you restarted.

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  10. Yup I am incredibly paranoid about this..I email the file to myself obsessively, and I also use a USB, Dropbox, and save to a disc too lol

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    1. You do! Once you've sold your first book, that part of it gets easier. You can sell on partial so all you're writing is three chapters and a synopsis. You write that up and send it to your agent--instant backup. If ever I lose something, I can just go back through my sent files and find the last version I sent my agent.

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  11. Thanks for the reminder on that. I really need to look into it, as I still use my jump drive. :(

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    1. I was going to buy a jump drive when I looked into Microsoft's backup and realized it's free...and I just needed to back up my writing files, so it doesn't take up that much space.

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  12. i have an external hard drive i use for most of my photos, but i do use google drive for extra special folders i want saved in case the hard drive crashes. :)

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    1. External hard drives are great for photos--especially if you're a photographer. You need something to hold all that!

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  13. As I only use the computer for my blog and FB thankfully I don't need to worry about all this stuff ..... or do I?

    fine when it comes down to doing what I need to do, I admit it becomes a nightmare when things go wrong as my knowledge of all things technological really is poor in this respect.

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    1. My Sony Vaio used to crash every month so even Carbonite wasn't manageable. I kept everything on a flash drive and just lived off that. If your computer crashed today, what would you need on it? Those are the things you should back up...probably photos are what you'd miss most.

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  14. All my important folders are connected to Google Drive or One Drive so that what I save on my computer is automatically saved in the cloud. Safest option, IMO

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    1. I have it to One Drive. There's a little cloud down there on my dock...I probably need to hide it. I guess it makes me feel all safe, seeing it there!

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  15. Funny seeing the floppy discs. We just dumped a ton of these we found recently. No way to see what's on them anyway.

    We use Carbonite. The personal one, not the business one. It's on a cloud and we don't care. We don't have anything sensitive anyway. Club stuff is the most important thing we have.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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    1. My Mac doesn't even have a CD/DVD drive. I haven't even missed it! Someday you'll have a "virtual desktop" in the cloud that will stay with you always. You'll just need a device to log into it but nothing will be on the device at all. (Was just writing about that the other day!)

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  16. I don't understand the cloud, I don't trust the cloud, I don't use the cloud. I'm old. My mom didn't trust cable TV or automatic transmissions.

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    1. You DO use the cloud. You JUST used the cloud to type that comment. If you use Gmail, Netflix, upload photos to Facebook... The cloud is just a server somewhere else that stores information. The cloud has really been around as a concept for decades. It's just mostly being used now to address the fact that we're moving to a world where we won't store things on our computer (which can be hacked more easily than a highly-secured cloud server) but will store them online somewhere. The good thing about the cloud is that these companies pay big bucks to have the best security experts in the business keep our data secure. You and I rely on our computer firewall and antivirus to keep the bad guys out--and that's about it. That said, I don't upload documents with my financial data or anything to the cloud. It's mostly articles that are posted out there online anyway.

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    2. (As you can tell, I write about this issue a lot!)

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  17. Thanks for the reminder: I've had "back up files" on my To-Do list for at least a month now. I use two USB flash drives plus Google Drive. About five years ago, my computer wiped out and I lost everything. Thankfully, I had a backup of my manuscripts on an external hard drive.

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    1. After living for more than a year with a computer that crashed so often, I had to store my files on a flash drive, I learned the value of backing up! Now that I have a Mac, I can do away with my flash drive and have it constantly sync to a backup. MUCH easier. If I rely on manual backups, I probably will put it off, I've found!

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  18. I remember saving my transcription work years ago on floppy disks :) Oh the memories of seeing that here on your blog this morning, Stephanie :) I don't back up anything because I really don't have much on the computer and I have Dropbox for that. So far I haven't exceeded the free memory they gave me. If I do then I'll have to look into something else to make sure I don't lose my pictures.

    betty

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    1. Yeah, for Word docs, you'll likely never run out of space but pictures consume a LOT!

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. I wrote "I miss gold old floppies" so I had to delete that comment to say, I miss good old floppies.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Interestingly, the first time I read the first sentence of that, I read "good!" The mind fills it in, doesn't it?!

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  21. I'm looking forward to the great digital meltdown, when nothing's backed up and a hacker shoots some destructive material into the cloud. :-)

    Keeping up with storages systems can be a full-time job, can't it?

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    1. A very high-paying job, actually. Those guys make big bucks. If someone wants job security and high pay, go into IT security...everyone from the government to big corporations to little people like is going to need the best and the brightest taking care of that stuff.

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  22. I have that USB thingy and I have to do more backing up of pictures and stuff. I have no clue when it comes to computers so the cloud thingy is new to me...Notice I say thingy since I don;t know what to call it in my head:)

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    1. Thingy! That's pretty much how I describe it. I had to actually research "flash drive vs. jump drive" for an article a while back, which was where I learned that "jump drive" was the Lexar-branded term for it. I'm not sure where thumb drive came from

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  23. I use two different methods to back up. First, I have an external hard drive that I use for genealogy files and anything I think I won't use this year. An example would be lesson plans from past years or things I'm saving (usually for no good reason). Then I use Dropbox for anything I might access from more than one source: like desktop, laptop, phone, tablet. I'm also a big fan of Evernote to allow me to work on something from wherever I'm at on whatever device I have.

    And then, there's the lazy me that like the speech-to-text functionality...

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    1. Someone joked about denoting your pictures by the device they're on. "That's the laptop I had when I was single. That's the laptop I had when my daughter was born." I think Paul Reiser's right about it, though--we have more pictures than we could ever possibly look at and we never look at ANY of them!

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  24. I use a flash drive. I One drive, but I will admit...I haven't figured out how to use it! I know. I'm sad.

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    1. All I did was install it on my laptop and it took it from there. I think there's a plan where you can manually upload files but I did the one that backs it up in the background. I think it's built into Windows 8 so it's on there already? Not sure...

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  25. I definitely do a combo. I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my work...and all those hours of blood, sweat, and tears will have been for naught. I use Google Drive and flash drive to help and I save the work both on my laptop and my computer, just in case.

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  26. I don't back up often enough. Mind you, I am not certain that much of what I do warrants saving.

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    1. That's kind of how I feel. Just my books and my agent has all of those. I have some books nobody wanted to publish...but if nobody wanted to publish them, they can't be worth stealing!

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  27. I'm a cloud boy. I forgot about the floppies--what a blast from the past.

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    1. I know--and occasionally one would get stuck in the drive. Yikes!

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  28. I remember the floppy disks! And yes, then the USB flash. I have an external drive now and use dropbox. Plus I email important stuff to myself and have it in a diferent folder in my email..

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    1. Sounds like you have plenty of safeties in place!

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  29. I cringe to think about all the stuff I lost when I first started using a personal computer. My photos are about the only things now I would cry over if I lost so I do save them in a couple of places. I, like Kelly above, have emailed myself my PDF copy of my book and a few other things I want to keep. Computers are a blessing to writers but they can also make you miserable when they crash.

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    1. I've lost entire books over the years--MANNNNNNNNNY. It would be scary to say. But none of it is really lost. It's all experience that led us to where we are today.

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  30. I back up all my important stuff to 2 extra hard drives, one internal and one external however I am looking at getting Carbonite as a friend got attacked by cryptolocker and it got all of her connected drives and is holding them for ransom.

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    1. Yikes. I think with the cryptolocker you're just supposed to reimage the whole machine, right? If she has the restore disks...she'll probably want to get a local IT expert to look it over. Carbonite won't protect against that but your stuff will be there! You need a good antivirus and to be careful where you click (easier said than done, I know!).

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  31. I have been backing up my photos on DVDs but I keep adding tons of them and need ed this reminder to do it again. Google has my blog backed up but I accidentally deleated a whole sections of my blog post when i tried to delete one post one day.
    I could find them through Google emails and print them but it would have been excruciating to print all the comments individually as they came in.

    I hardly back up my files as I don't do any serious stuff. Serious stuff is printed in hard copies. I'm too old fashion I guess.

    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I think I still have a paper copy of one of my romance novel manuscripts. It was fun to go back and read it and realize how bad I was back then! Without that, I wouldn't have any evidence of my earlier work...

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  32. I don't back up nearly as much as I should. Mostly on USB sticks. I don't really trust the cloud, although I know that's silly.

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    1. It's the "acceptance curve." People are still uncomfortable with it but in about 5 years it will be normal. I remember being hesitant to give my info. to pay my bills online. For a long time I was just writing checks and mailing them...then I had my bank pay everyone. Now I just sign up for automatic debit so I don't have to deal with it!

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  33. I use the cloud for some, flashdrives for other stuff, and then there is more stuff I haven't backed up. I recently had major computer problems and it was a reminder to back everything up (some way is better than no way). Still have to finish saving the rest of my files. Thanks for the reminder!
    ~Jess

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    1. I think we need a scare every now and then, don't we?!

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  34. I don't really, I miss the old floppy disks. Seemed to keep up with them better than thumb drives and tiny memory cards.

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    1. Except if you forgot to label them you could spend hours looking for "that file!!!"

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  35. Every month I make copies of all my photos, videos, music and documents and put it on a 1TB hard drive. It's FAR too much to store in the cloud.

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    1. Yeah, the cloud isn't good for people with lots of photos! Space is still a commodity. Cable providers are trying to make data a commodity, as well, limiting you to a certain amount of use each month. So pushing it up to the cloud will become a problem.

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  36. I always back up my novels and "important stuff" on jump drives, but I recently had my laptop die and lost a ton of critiques, short WIPs, and photos. I should be better about backing up my stuff, especially considering it is part of my job at work to back up the whole server. Great topic!

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    1. Yikes. Yeah...when I worked in IT my home computer was often neglected. The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is do IT work!

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  37. I use Dropbox and flash drives. That pic of the floppy disks brings back bad memories LOL.

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  38. I blogged about this. :D Just like Julie, I use Dropbox and flash drives.

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  39. I blogged about this. :D Just like Julie, I use Dropbox and flash drives.

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  40. Flashdrives are expensive. Same thing with DropBox. Maybe I'll try the cloud thing. Thanks for the advice.

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  41. thanks for visiting my blog. I hope my A to Z is up to the challenge. I count on my husband to arrange back up. I believe we go to a cloud of some sort. I just hope there's no acid rain. It's all a bit magical.

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  42. Awhile back, my computer fell into a coma and never woke up again. Thankfully, I backed up some stuff (like my novel-in-progress). But sadly, some stuff is gone gone gone (like some pictures I took).

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  43. Its so important to back up...I just read this on another blog. She lost all her work.

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  44. I sync all of my pictures to Dropbox, and my Word documents to Google Drive. But I haven't quite grasped editing in Drive yet. I'm old school and still launch MSWord, then copy/paste.

    Loved the Windows Screen of Death picture! I actually laughed out loud when I zoomed in and read it :)

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  45. I backup with a flash drive once a week. I'd like to use an online service, even though I worry about hacking.

    I'm so glad we don't use floppy disks anymore. I remember having a ton of them for different WIPs. They would also seem to go bad fast.

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  46. I love Dropbox. I work across three main computers and it keeps everything all nice and shiny. And I have an external drive that also backs things up. I've lost everything one too many times (once when my computer caught on fire--I'm not even kidding!), that I'm now completely obsessive about it! The Microsoft cloud is the next fun thing I'm looking forward to getting installed :)

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  47. I invested in an AirPort Time Capsule, and I love it. It backs up my work automatically several times a day, as long as I'm within range of my own wifi.

    I'm intrigued by the Cloud, but isn't there a security risk? After those celebrities were hacked, I'm a bit nervous about putting my novels and other confidential or important information on a network like that. Thoughts?

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  48. I have two flash drives on my old computer (do most of my writing on it) and a flash drive on my new one that I use as back up. However, I will definitely look into using OneDrive, since I got it for free when I picked Word13 last year.

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  49. I have a portable, external hard drive that I save stuff on. I don't trust the cloud!

    BTW....those floppy drives are not original floppies....which were actually floppy!

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  50. I'm a devout user of Dropbox! Saved my bacon more times than I can count. I also regularly backup to an external hard drive. I think I'm covered. :)

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