jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:39 am

DirkS wrote:
TheGuyUk wrote::D All good discussion point but lets leave it there else I make this discussion (thread) go off topic to much.
That's normal with these kind of topics: they go off-topic, get locked, new one is created, ... :roll:
They are fun while they last though!
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:20 pm

jamesh wrote:
DirkS wrote:
TheGuyUk wrote::D All good discussion point but lets leave it there else I make this discussion (thread) go off topic to much.
That's normal with these kind of topics: they go off-topic, get locked, new one is created, ... :roll:
They are fun while they last though!
Er ... what was the original topic? Oh yes -
rosarvalles01 wrote:When will the Pi Zero be restocked? And when it has, will it still be $5?
This topic's been going for - let's see - almost a month. 76 replies. Time for a new thread?

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:49 pm

Well, I think every that needs to be said has been said TBH. There's nothing anyone can add, either us here, or the Foundation themselves. The Zero's are being made as fast as possible. That statement hasn't changed.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:49 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:The whole Pi phenomenon is unprecedented in the SBC market. Prior to the Pi, if you had publicly stated that someone could sell 8 million small, cheap SBCs in 4 years, the best you could have hoped for would have been to be laughed at. The worst would have been a visit from some guys with a very long sleeved white coat to take you gently away to a home for the bewildered. Such a claim wouldn't have been credible in any way, shape or form.
Which was quite infuriating for those of us who could see such a huge market and potential for a capable but inexpensive, well supported SBC and predicted as such. In fact, both for the original Pi and the Zero, my predictions have been far closer to what has happened than the Foundation and others predicted.

You are right; I was laughed at when I suggested sales would be as high as they are, criticised for saying the initial 10K quantity and 100K batches were far, far too small to meet demand. And it seemed that only I wasn't surprised when a million Pi's were sold in the first year of volume production

It's not that there were no cheap and capable SBC's before the Pi; it's just that they were not really SBC's as such but were hacked routers, NAS's and the like. Support was sorely lacking and one had to be quite committed to venture in that direction. From the number of people trying to repurpose products, the number who gave up because it was just too difficult or frustrating, settled on mini-ITX most often and resigned themselves to the cost of doing that, it was obvious to me there was a huge market for something like the Pi.

Where the Foundation scored was through Eben's relationship with Broadcom which gave access to a very capable chip no other SBC wannabe could get their hands on, plus the positioning of the Foundation as a charity.

Other embedded product makers had the opportunity to deliver a Pi equivalent far earlier on - particularly the Chinese, manufacturers of digital cameras and picture frames, media players and the like, who had the economy of scale and familiarity with mass production - but they could not see the market potential, could not see enough profit in it, would not take the risk, or simply were not interested.

They perhaps had a point; the Zero is itself a demonstration of the difficulty in supplying a product so cheap that it's not really commercially viable, and that's even more of a problem for a profit-based venture.

What the Pi has done is encourage other who are prepared to make smaller profits and build businesses around that.

But I guess it's just human nature to laugh at people trying to do what others see as impossible or pointless and there is plenty of ridicule, criticism and dismissiveness on this forum directed at other players entering the cheap and capable SBC market. A good part of that is tribalism and protectionism but it often also shows a rather blinkered mindset.

Before the Zero arrived there were many people adamant that it was utterly impossible to produce a credible SBC for $5, many who believed it was insane to suggest otherwise.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:55 pm

hippy wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:The whole Pi phenomenon is unprecedented in the SBC market. Prior to the Pi, if you had publicly stated that someone could sell 8 million small, cheap SBCs in 4 years, the best you could have hoped for would have been to be laughed at. The worst would have been a visit from some guys with a very long sleeved white coat to take you gently away to a home for the bewildered. Such a claim wouldn't have been credible in any way, shape or form.
Which was quite infuriating for those of us who could see such a huge market and potential for a capable but inexpensive, well supported SBC and predicted as such. In fact, both for the original Pi and the Zero, my predictions have been far closer to what has happened than the Foundation and others predicted.

You are right; I was laughed at when I suggested sales would be as high as they are, criticised for saying the initial 10K quantity and 100K batches were far, far too small to meet demand. And it seemed that only I wasn't surprised when a million Pi's were sold in the first year of volume production

It's not that there were no cheap and capable SBC's before the Pi; it's just that they were not really SBC's as such but were hacked routers, NAS's and the like. Support was sorely lacking and one had to be quite committed to venture in that direction. From the number of people trying to repurpose products, the number who gave up because it was just too difficult or frustrating, settled on mini-ITX most often and resigned themselves to the cost of doing that, it was obvious to me there was a huge market for something like the Pi.

Where the Foundation scored was through Eben's relationship with Broadcom which gave access to a very capable chip no other SBC wannabe could get their hands on, plus the positioning of the Foundation as a charity.

Other embedded product makers had the opportunity to deliver a Pi equivalent far earlier on - particularly the Chinese, manufacturers of digital cameras and picture frames, media players and the like, who had the economy of scale and familiarity with mass production - but they could not see the market potential, could not see enough profit in it, would not take the risk, or simply were not interested.

They perhaps had a point; the Zero is itself a demonstration of the difficulty in supplying a product so cheap that it's not really commercially viable, and that's even more of a problem for a profit-based venture.

What the Pi has done is encourage other who are prepared to make smaller profits and build businesses around that.

But I guess it's just human nature to laugh at people trying to do what others see as impossible or pointless and there is plenty of ridicule, criticism and dismissiveness on this forum directed at other players entering the cheap and capable SBC market. A good part of that is tribalism and protectionism but it often also shows a rather blinkered mindset.

Before the Zero arrived there were many people adamant that it was utterly impossible to produce a credible SBC for $5, many who believed it was insane to suggest otherwise.
Some good points, but the most interesting statement is this one
"Other embedded product makers had the opportunity to deliver a Pi equivalent far earlier on - particularly the Chinese, manufacturers of digital cameras and picture frames, media players and the like, who had the economy of scale and familiarity with mass production - but they could not see the market potential, could not see enough profit in it, would not take the risk, or simply were not interested."
No-one (except, apparently Hippy) thought there was such a huge market. No-one. (except perhaps Hippy). So, is it really surprising that the launches have erred on the side of caution?

Couple of things I would add. Hindsight is 20:20, and no-one (at the present time) but a charity could build the Zero for $5, and even that is pushing it for reasons given above.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:42 pm

hippy wrote:I was laughed at when I suggested sales would be as high as they are, criticised for saying the initial 10K quantity and 100K batches were far, far too small to meet demand.
Are you trying to score some sort of points there?

The initial quantity was all that it was possible to produce between the final design and the release date of the MagPi #40.

Are you saying that the release date should have been held back until stocks had been built up to a level that might have been higher than demand if the product had bombed?

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:48 pm

rpdom wrote:
hippy wrote:I was laughed at when I suggested sales would be as high as they are, criticised for saying the initial 10K quantity and 100K batches were far, far too small to meet demand.
Are you trying to score some sort of points there?

The initial quantity was all that it was possible to produce between the final design and the release date of the MagPi #40.

Are you saying that the release date should have been held back until stocks had been built up to a level that might have been higher than demand if the product had bombed?
There are number of reasons why the initial |ero batch was sized as it was, including timing (for the MagPi), and funding, and some other stuff.

I still don't get why the demand is so high of the Zero. Yes, its a lot cheaper than the Pi2, but its MUCH slower, has limited connectively (no CSI/DSI), and requires a hatload of extra cables and a hub, ethernet adapter etc. Anyone saying that the cost is the main driver (for educational purchases) don't seem to have done their sums, and in that I include setup time. I guess I'm not the target audience though.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Well being a complete none technical day dreamer (Blue sky thinker) where there are never any problems. I look at the Pi Z and think it is a mobile phone with most phone bits removed, rom removed and a HDMI, Two USB and a 40pin GPIO added.

There is another answer to this problem especially with people who say they know better and that is go on then, go on Kickstarter raise your funds, hire designers, fab, manufactures and make your own better Pi Z .

Plenty of room for others to shows everyone how it should be done ;) :) :lol: :idea:

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:53 pm

jamesh wrote:I still don't get why the demand is so high of the Zero. Yes, its a lot cheaper than the Pi2, but its MUCH slower, has limited connectively (no CSI/DSI), and requires a hatload of extra cables and a hub, ethernet adapter etc. Anyone saying that the cost is the main driver (for educational purchases) don't seem to have done their sums, and in that I include setup time. I guess I'm not the target audience though.
I agree. I wouldn't mind a Zero to play with, but I much prefer the full-featured models for serious work.

I can see the Zero being useful in the gadget market, with it's speed, memory and I/O capabilities, plus HD video output, but even then I think its usefulness is limited.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:18 pm

rpdom wrote:
jamesh wrote:I still don't get why the demand is so high of the Zero. Yes, its a lot cheaper than the Pi2, but its MUCH slower, has limited connectively (no CSI/DSI), and requires a hatload of extra cables and a hub, ethernet adapter etc. Anyone saying that the cost is the main driver (for educational purchases) don't seem to have done their sums, and in that I include setup time. I guess I'm not the target audience though.
I agree. I wouldn't mind a Zero to play with, but I much prefer the full-featured models for serious work.

I can see the Zero being useful in the gadget market, with it's speed, memory and I/O capabilities, plus HD video output, but even then I think its usefulness is limited.
What's piqued my interest is the things the Zero is missing, coupled with the low price. It lowers the barrier to hardware hacking/homebrew - I didn't feel the need to modify the previous models as they were more or less complete solutions in themselves (eg on-board USB hub & ethernet). And with no pin headers in place there's more flexibilty in where to attach your custom add-on. And the size - smaller is better, more of a marvel.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:20 pm

rpdom wrote:
hippy wrote:I was laughed at when I suggested sales would be as high as they are, criticised for saying the initial 10K quantity and 100K batches were far, far too small to meet demand.
Are you trying to score some sort of points there?

The initial quantity was all that it was possible to produce between the final design and the release date of the MagPi #40.
Sorry if it wasn't clear; my comment relates to the initial Pi release and Foundation's plans back in 2012.
rpdom wrote:Are you saying that the release date should have been held back until stocks had been built up to a level that might have been higher than demand if the product had bombed?
I don't see there having been any realistic chance the product would have bombed, and I believe market research would have shown that, for both original Pi and Zero.

I have never criticised making first small batches so much as not having plans in place to quickly ramp up production when they prove to be a success which I believe comes down to not foreseeing the demand there would be.

Actually though; releasing the first batch for MagPi and retailers, then putting them on general sale when some considerable stock had been manufactured may not have been such a bad idea. But I can appreciate no one wants stock which could be sold just sitting in a warehouse and there is a case that it's better to let them trickle out rather than have none for sale for a few months or however long it takes.
jamesh wrote:I still don't get why the demand is so high of the Zero.
That's why those trying to predict demand need to talk and listen to those who do see it as more desirable than you perhaps do. I can understand your not seeing the appeal or understanding the demand but it is explainable. As I wrote elsewhere -
I will cry far less over a Zero I may destroy when experimenting with hardware interfacing than I would over a more expensive Pi, and not having a GPIO header fitted is an added benefit to me while experimenting.

It's cheap so I can get seven Zeroes for the price of a Pi 2B and I really don't need the advantage of speed nor extra cores. I can get a lot more projects deployed with multiple Zeroes than with one or a few 2B's.

It's ideal for adventures into bare metal being little more than a breakout board and the type of things I am planning don't need USB, networking or anything else, not even a display for that matter.

It is also the only Pi which is well suited to being used as a USB Gadget which also makes it appealing.

So when I look at it; the Zero is a lot, lot better than a Pi 2B, far more desirable. I have nothing against the Pi 2B and would use one if that suited what I was doing. But I'm not planning on going in that direction any time soon.
Others could add to that, will have their own take on why it's the most desirable Pi there is for some of the projects they want to undertake.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:35 pm

gregeric wrote:I didn't feel the need to modify the previous models as they were more or less complete solutions in themselves (eg on-board USB hub & ethernet). And with no pin headers in place there's more flexibilty in where to attach your custom add-on. And the size - smaller is better, more of a marvel.
I am afraid I forget who first said it but I thought they made a valid point that - just as the Pi is to the PC, the Pi Zero is to its grown up siblings.

People will do things with a Pi they wouldn't or couldn't with their PC, and people will do things with a Zero they wouldn't or couldn't with an other Pi.

A huge part of that is cost, minimal loss if things go pear shaped, being able to treat it as a disposable or a consumable.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:43 am

I think that to understand the popularity of the Zero, we should have a look at the popularity of the Pi in general.

Firstly, for education by its narrower definition of learning to write code "programming". If you already have a PC of some description then you can go a long way into the world of coding without buying a Pi. Your PC will let you explore the wonderful worlds of websites, databases, gui applications, graphics, networking and plenty more. You can do it with Linux on your PC, or with free tools (Like MS VS Community) on Windows and Xcode on the Mac. So why would a PC owner want or need a Raspberry Pi?

The Pi beats the PC for education when you need to break out of your computer and start working with external hardware. The GPIO is the attraction, along with the low power and small size, this lets you build your Pi into something else - be it a robotic or some other kind of smart automation device. So, this is the ideal use for a Pi, and if you consider your Pi deployed inside another device, camera aside - is the £25 2B so much better than the £4 Zero?
For a deployed Pi the GPIO is the crucial interface - not the USB ports, and the Zero is already more than fast enough for most uses so any extra performance is simply not necessary. When the Zero is effectively reduced to a component the need to buy cables becomes negligible.

The 2B makes a better case as a development machine, the Zero better as a deployed Pi component.

So the Pi Zero is stepping across into Arduino territory, being as cheap whilst offering an onboard Linux OS with all the flexibility and choice that Linux offers. We know how popular Arduino is, so there can be no surprise that Zero is.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:55 am

It is popular for same reasons as Arduino pro mini clones on ebay for $3 including shipping. Or maple mini arm clones for $4 or esp8266 boards for $2. Price, simplicity, size. It is disposable thing you have no fear to use for anything, including stupid ridiculous things you would feel bad to even think about if the price was higher.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:55 pm

I see the Zero as a replacement for the old model A, which I have used on small robotics projects primarily for the lower power consumption. Such projects generally require only GPIO connections and a USB wifi adapter for programming and/or remote control. The Zero beats the model A in every respect except for the minor inconvenience of the micro-usb connector. Major benefits, for me, are lower price and smaller footprint.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:26 pm

exartemarte wrote:I see the Zero as a replacement for the old model A, which I have used on small robotics projects primarily for the lower power consumption. Such projects generally require only GPIO connections and a USB wifi adapter for programming and/or remote control. The Zero beats the model A in every respect except for the minor inconvenience of the micro-usb connector. Major benefits, for me, are lower price and smaller footprint.
Robots with cameras?
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:59 pm

jamesh wrote:
exartemarte wrote:I see the Zero as a replacement for the old model A, which I have used on small robotics projects primarily for the lower power consumption. Such projects generally require only GPIO connections and a USB wifi adapter for programming and/or remote control. The Zero beats the model A in every respect except for the minor inconvenience of the micro-usb connector. Major benefits, for me, are lower price and smaller footprint.
Robots with cameras?
For that I would use an A+. So my remark that the "Zero beats the model A in every respect" was incorrect. My bad.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:59 pm

I strongly suspect the main driving force behind the demand for Pi Zero is people wanting use it essentially as a component in some custom / semi-custom embedded use.

At least, that is how I see the Pi Zero, and how I intend to use it.

I agree that a Pi2 is far superior for someone wanting an actual computer.
jamesh wrote: I still don't get why the demand is so high of the Zero. Yes, its a lot cheaper than the Pi2, but its MUCH slower, has limited connectively (no CSI/DSI), and requires a hatload of extra cables and a hub, ethernet adapter etc. Anyone saying that the cost is the main driver (for educational purchases) don't seem to have done their sums, and in that I include setup time. I guess I'm not the target audience though.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:04 pm

exartemarte wrote:
jamesh wrote:
exartemarte wrote:I see the Zero as a replacement for the old model A, which I have used on small robotics projects primarily for the lower power consumption. Such projects generally require only GPIO connections and a USB wifi adapter for programming and/or remote control. The Zero beats the model A in every respect except for the minor inconvenience of the micro-usb connector. Major benefits, for me, are lower price and smaller footprint.
Robots with cameras?
For that I would use an A+. So my remark that the "Zero beats the model A in every respect" was incorrect. My bad.
I've got a model B in a Dalek, I'm adding a boroscope camera for the eye turret.

I'm seriously considering adding a USB Hub and using a zero (if it weren't for the camera it would be a shoo-in).
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:20 pm

by liz » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:13 pm
There's another shipment due in a week or so, and yes, they'll always be $5.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

So its now been nearly 4 weeks since this shipment was expected.
I have my Pi on back order and still have seen no sign of it...

Grrr Getting very impatient....

Any news when they will be available?

Martin

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:55 pm

mrbronz wrote:
by liz » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:13 pm
There's another shipment due in a week or so, and yes, they'll always be $5.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

So its now been nearly 4 weeks since this shipment was expected.
I have my Pi on back order and still have seen no sign of it...

Grrr Getting very impatient....

Any news when they will be available?

Martin
You need to imagine is September 2015. The Zero hasn't yet been announced, you didn't want or need one, and life was still good. And September was only 4 months ago, a blink of an eye when compared to the age of the Universe. It's all a matter of perspective.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:24 pm

exartemarte wrote:
jamesh wrote:
exartemarte wrote:I see the Zero as a replacement for the old model A, which I have used on small robotics projects primarily for the lower power consumption. Such projects generally require only GPIO connections and a USB wifi adapter for programming and/or remote control. The Zero beats the model A in every respect except for the minor inconvenience of the micro-usb connector. Major benefits, for me, are lower price and smaller footprint.
Robots with cameras?
For that I would use an A+. So my remark that the "Zero beats the model A in every respect" was incorrect. My bad.
For the record, I also use B+s and Pi 2's for non-battery applications.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero

Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:10 am

mikronauts wrote:I strongly suspect the main driving force behind the demand for Pi Zero is people wanting use it essentially as a component in some custom / semi-custom embedded use.
even in very strange ways, here is Zero used as a video card
http://nerdsynth.com/devblog/2016/01/13 ... eo-output/
http://hackaday.com/2016/01/17/pi-zero- ... ogramming/
1GHz/512MB board is used as 'stupid' SPI to HDMI converter because, well, it was cheap and did the job :-)

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:14 am

There seems to be zero information in the Channel about expected availability of this product, and I'm disappointed to see there is zero real information being provided here either. At least we understand its name better now.

I do find it rather strange that this thread is over 99.9% speculation by well-meaning users. To the extent that the OP's question has been answered on behalf of the Foundation, we've really been left none the wiser. Many of the arguments for the lack of product seem specious to me.

However, ignoring that - why can't you just tell us the basics: exactly how many are being made per week and where are they going? Is the production in fact being increased, and if so, on what schedule? Is the supply of Broadcom chips a limiting factor ... or isn't it? It is hard not to be skeptical that 'thousands' are rolling off the lines 'as I write this' since it has not been in stock at the Pi Hut (one of only four distributors) since I registered there over a month ago.

Ever hopeful for some real communication ...

Cheers,

LED

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Re: Raspberry Pi Zero stocking?

Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:28 am

LightEmittingDude wrote:There seems to be zero information in the Channel about expected availability of this product, and I'm disappointed to see there is zero real information being provided here either. At least we understand its name better now.

I do find it rather strange that this thread is over 99.9% speculation by well-meaning users. To the extent that the OP's question has been answered on behalf of the Foundation, we've really been left none the wiser. Many of the arguments for the lack of product seem specious to me.

However, ignoring that - why can't you just tell us the basics: exactly how many are being made per week and where are they going? Is the production in fact being increased, and if so, on what schedule? Is the supply of Broadcom chips a limiting factor ... or isn't it? It is hard not to be skeptical that 'thousands' are rolling off the lines 'as I write this' since it has not been in stock at the Pi Hut (one of only four distributors) since I registered there over a month ago.

Ever hopeful for some real communication ...

Cheers,

LED
Some is speculation, some is fact, RPT via Liz have stated March for general availibility, some is common sense ie BCM2835 manufacturing. In 4 years the RPF have rarely responded to these types of Discussions, but certain people live in hope that will change. IMO these posts should be completely NUKED....

Let's face it there are alternative products ($9.99 OP one anyone ?) which have even less information in comparision, so we as a Community should be satisfied that the RPF as a Charity are over-achieving........
Thinking outside the box is better than burying your head in the sand...

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