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DYI hard drive repair

February 8, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Lifehacker just made an interesting post on fixing hard drives – including opening the drive! Yipe! Not for the faint of heart.

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Jump-Start Your Lucrative Tech Career with an A+ Certification

January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

Information technology, the field encompassing computers, networks, software, applications, and the internet, is growing exponentially. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an entry-level help-desk position is expected to grow 18% between 2010 and 2010, which is as fast, if not faster, than average. In other words, a career in technology will not disappear anytime soon. The average starting pay for a basic I.T. job is over $46,000 a year. In fact, an entry-level tech job, on average, pays more than the average salary for Licensed Practical Nurses, truck drivers, licensed teachers, and plumbers. And the pay only increases from there in information technology; many workers earn an average of between $60,000 and over $100,000 per year depending on the specialization, degree level, and experience. Many prospective information technology job seekers are beginning to see the value in obtaining an A+ Certification to boost their credentials in this ever-expanding field.

Unlike other careers, an entry-level I.T. position does not require years of training in order to obtain a lucrative job. There are no clinical rotations to complete or extensive background checks to process in information technology. Tech positions can be found in nearly every business in every location. While many individuals do choose to get a degree in technology, the best way to obtain a career in I.T. is to start with an A+ Certification. Certifications are inexpensive and quick, which makes them ideal for those who want to get started in a technology job quickly.

Obtaining a Certification

The CompTIA A+ certification is considered by many to be the gold standard for breaking into a tech job. The A+ certification is recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Defense and is vendor neutral. Some employers like Dell, Intel, and Lenovo require the CompTIA A+ certification. Other employers do not require it of their techs but will give preferential hiring or increased starting pay to applicants who have the certification. The cost of the certification is relatively low at under a few hundred dollars for both the Practical and the Essentials exams. Many libraries carry a wide selection of CompTIA A+ study guides that individuals can use for free to prepare to take the exams.

What CompTIA A+ Certification Entails

The CompTIA A+ certification covers the field of information technology broadly. The Essentials exam covers hardware, computer troubleshooting and maintenance, operating systems and software, networking, and security. The Practical exam covers troubleshooting, installation, and maintenance steps relating to hardware, operating systems, and networks.

More lucrative technical positions do require advanced certifications or a degree, but these are not needed to get started on a well-paying tech career. Many individuals start in a type of help-desk position and advance as they gain experience, more certifications, or a degree. Other certifications include those offered by CompTIA like the Network+ and the Security+ certifications. Cisco certifications are especially popular among those already in the IT field, as pay for those certifications is easily over $60,000 a year. Unfortunately, these advanced certifications can be much more costly to obtain and are not a good start for those just wanting to break into technology quickly.

A career in technology is perfect for most people, as there are many avenues someone can take within technology. An individual who prefers customer service can focus on a computer support role. Those who like to be hands-on can set up networks or provide help-desk support. Entrepreneurial-minded individuals can create their own computer consulting and repair company. There are many avenues for success within the field of information technology and getting started is as easy as deciding to begin.

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Prepare For Your Technology Certification Exams With A+ Practice Test Materials

January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

In today’s world, certification is crucial. In competitive markets, it can be difficult as an aspiring professional to set yourself apart from others. This problem is exemplified when trying to separate your skills from others in the world that is the booming technology industry. Passing a certification exam is a sure way to convey professionalism, trustworthiness, and competence to potential employers. Certificates carry an enormous added weight in showcasing one’s technological skill and building one’s resume for the eyes of employers, and the best way to prepare for various exams, such as the CompTIA A+ Certification, is by studying with A+ Practice Test materials from Total Seminars.

There are numerous reasons for utilizing A+ Practice Test materials to pass your exam, and the benefit of standing out among others isn’t the only reason to obtain a certificate. The salary differentiation among professionals can be huge depending on the scope of their certifications. You could even negotiate for a raise on those terms alone. Whether you are a networking specialist, a data analyst, a software developer, or a tech support specialist, a relevant certificate is available to prove one’s qualifications in the desired area and to help lay the foundation for a solid career.

Preparing for a Certification Exam

The act of actually obtaining a certificate can be an intimidating process. There are a number of ways to prepare for certification tests, and the most straightforward way to prepare for an exam is to simply be familiar with the material. People from across the globe browse the Internet to find free tutorials and learn about technology every day. Both paid and free classes relevant to all areas of technology are available in the form of professional training and technical coaching.

A more reliable way to prepare for a certification exam, however, is through taking practice tests. Taking practice exams instead of reading endless books without being sure what will actually help prove your knowledge is a much more reliable method of preparing for technology certification exams. The reason for this is simple: only a very specific selection of topics will be featured on the test. Practice exams from testing companies are carefully designed in order to only deliver the more relevant studying material for your success. The test makers want to work with you to qualify you as an effective technologist and to help you achieve great scores for employers to view. They are interactive, affordable, and closely follow the content that one should expect on a real test.

A+ Practice Tests

For the technology professional, A+ practice tests are a highly valuable option when preparing to enter the world of IT infrastructure. The A+ exam features traditional, situational, and identification questions. The questions are all multiple choice with only one answer for each question. It is open for anybody to take, but having at least six months of experience is recommended.

Dedication and discipline employed through using A+ practice tests can bring validation of the knowledge level of the professional. Doing well through A+ practice tests can yield great results in the form of coveted raises and unrestricted attention from potential employers. They can help you at every stage of the game by assisting in building your stamina, identifying common pitfalls, and working to focus your attention in the most important subjects you’ll be tested on.

The path of each professional is different, but adequate testing through certification exams assures potential employers that the technical knowledge of the professional is current, relevant and competitive. Whether you’re taking tests for certificates from Microsoft, Adobe, or Oracle, your scores will count globally and will carry more weight than many college titles that are not valued from country to country.

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Becoming a Network+ Administrator

January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

Future information technology (IT) professionals develop talent with education. Network+ administration is an advanced, specialized focus of IT. Writing, mathematics, and computer programming skills form the foundation; knowledge of project management, database theory, and network administration specialize the professional. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for network and computer systems administrators is $69,160 per year.

Network+ Certification

It is important to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in order to meet the full requirements of becoming a network administration. When considering employment in this position, it is crucial to achieve credentialing through a Network+ certification. This will not only give you pertinent information regarding your specialization in IT, but it will communicate to your employer that you are accomplished in your field. In addition to monitoring network software and hardware, a network administrator is also responsible for either performing or overseeing a variety of roles.

The Network+, A+ and Security+ certification programs offer an entry level technical background. Basic networking includes Ethernet, wireless access points and network design. Junior professionals also learn the technical specifications of computer hardware. Junior network administrators begin with networking and information security training. Obtaining a certification in Network+ is a recommended step for becoming a key player in your specialized field.

Why Network Administration is in Demand

With the continued advancement of information technology, more companies are in need of network administrators to oversee the performance of their communications departments by installing and maintaining their computer systems. As more and more companies upgrade to meet the growing requirements of the digital era, the need will continue to grow along with it. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the projected average growth rate for all occupations in network and computer systems administration is 14% for 2010-2020.

Building talent for network administration is not an easy process. It requires a broad understanding of writing, mathematics, business, and computer science. Future professionals will gain experience by obtaining certification credentialing. If you enjoy solving problems and desire a job that is currently in high demand, than consider becoming a network administrator or any related IT profession that suits the area you would like to specialize in.

Network Technician

A network technician maintains the operating link between computer software and hardware. If there is an issue with wiring or the transferring of data due to a hardware malfunction, it is the job of the network technician to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Network Installer

This position is responsible for installing and maintaining data communication systems. A network installer will also to continue to oversee the progress of the network security, usage, and general infrastructure.

Help Desk Technician

A Help Desk technician offers support regarding a company’s products or services. This position is responsible for providing visitors with assistance relating to inquiries they may have about IT support.

IT Cable Installer

This particular position requires a technician who can navigate the wiring necessary to operate both the software and hardware of a company.

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Increase Job Marketability with IC3 Certification

January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

Anyone who has looked for a job will say that having computer knowledge helps a great deal. Even in fields that do not use a computer on a daily basis, when an applicant has knowledge that goes beyond the basics, it can help to boost their job marketability. While many individuals learn select computer skills and program knowledge through online tutorials or on-the-job training, wouldn’t it be great to learn full digital literacy skills? IC3 Certification courses are available through many private and public learning institutions. Companies can also offer digital literacy skills training to their employees as a way to increase productivity. By entering the nearest zip code to Ceriport, the user can find a number of educational institutions that offer courses and the exam near their location.

IC3 Certification

IC3 stands for Internet and Computing Core Certification and it covers the fundamentals of computer hardware, internet usage, email, and software that is designed to create spreadsheets, slide presentations and other types of documents. Having an IC3 Certification is helpful not only in one’s professional life but in day-to-day matters as well. By knowing the basic components of a computer, one can easily navigate or troubleshoot basic issues without the need for professional assistance.

IC3 Certification also helps individuals identify the components of the internet, such as the network and browsers. It can also help them to understand how e-mail works and how to use it in everyday business communication. Being able to navigate software programs can help one to create, save, and organize various documents with a click of a mouse. These are also known as key applications and they can save a great deal of time.

Prior to Receiving Certification

Once the short course is completed, users will take an exam on the digital literacy skills they learned. The exam is divided into three parts and can be taken individually or at the same time. When they pass, a certificate is issued by Certiport, a private company that designed the learning curriculum. The IC3 Certification is recognized by the National Skill Standards Board. While courses and the exam are based on MS Office applications, there are a number of companies and websites, like OpenOffice that let anyone download the software for free.

Even if a person plans to go into business for themselves, digital literacy skills will come in handy when it comes to creating and importing data, performing research, or preparing important legal documents. IC3 Certification can help anyone gain a better understanding of the digital world that we live in today while saving money. Training is hands-on, brief and can be a great learning experience for anyone who is interested in furthering their understanding of digital literacy.

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An A+ Certification Can Help Land You a Job with the Best Tech Companies

January 17, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

Many individuals want to work for top notch tech companies, but lack the skills needed to meet these companies’ hiring qualifications. However, getting an A+ certification opens up more opportunities otherwise unavailable. A+ is the first of certification that computer technicians, network techs and network administrators need in order to gain work. Computer specialists will often get A+ certification and then hire themselves out as freelance workers to assist desk personnel for software and computer companies. Top notch tech companies will typically hire a candidate who is A+ certified because it confirms that he or she demonstrates competence when performing such duties as basic networking, configuration, diagnosing, installation, and preventative maintenance which will add significant value to any candidate’s resume.

How to Get an A+ Certification

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) provides A+ certification testing for computer support specialists and computer technicians. CompTIA is a non profit organization committed to ensuring high standards for  professionals working with computers and Internet technology.

Total Seminars’ test materials are a great way for preparing to take certification exams. It is an excellent bridge to attain MCSE Certification and to also prepare technicians for the rigorous demands of Novel CNE. In a society that thrives on digital devices and Internet access, an A+ certified technician plays an essential role in a tech company especially now when many businesses and the average consumer’s privacy must be protected against complex Internet security issues such as malware and viral attacks.

Once you become A+ certified, you will find that you have a greater potential to be hired with the company of their choosing, since only A+ certified technicians will be hired by hardware vendors to perform warranty service. In addition, some companies  require that new employees attain A+ certification within three months to continue employment. The best tech organizations depend heavily on their computer technicians and their IT department to ensure their operations run smoothly. A few of these companies include the following:


With a 4.7 rating and more than a billion customers, Facebook started a trend that changed the way people interact socially with one another on the Web. The company’s infrastructure is fast-paced but simplistic; which offers the opportunity for any employee working there to advance and create an impact.

Riverbed Technologies

Riverbed Technologies develops disaster recovery and platforms for cloud computing for companies. With a 4.5 company rating, it is a leader in the IT industry and is based in San Francisco, California.


Google is a Goliath in the Internet world. Known for its simplistic home page, Google has revolutionized the way people obtain data. Their attention to detail and innovative approach to maintain a pleasant search engine experience for its users is what makes this company a coveted choice for many looking for employment at this groundbreaking tech company. With a rating of 4.3, positive feedback is often expressed by many existing Google employees at this facility.

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Practice Makes Perfect: Total Seminars A+ Practice Tests Will Help You Ace Your Certification Exam

January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

The IT industry has been a growing sector of the economy for many years. There are no signs of this trend slowing down any time soon. With new technologies appearing every day, it is important to stay on the cutting edge, or risk falling behind. Whether you are new to the field or have years of experience, new certifications are often required to meet the demands of your customers and advance in your career. Total Seminars A+ Practice Test will give you an advantage when you take your certification exams. Currently, CompTIA is offering certifications in three different skill levels to help you succeed in your IT career.


The foundational skill level covers students, as well as new IT workers. The certifications offered for this skill level cover the basic knowledge and skills needed to work in a modern IT environment. These certifications include the Strata IT Fundamentals and IT for Sales. Basic IT installation and maintenance is analyzed in the Fundamentals exam, while the Sales exam handles selling IT solutions to customers. An A+ Practice Test will cover the baseline foundational concepts that are key to acing certification exams.

Entry Level

Entry level certifications are designed for those who have started their IT career. For this skill level the certifications cover broader subject areas. PDI+ certification covers color theory, print engine and scan processes, networking components, basic electromechanical components, and tools for entry level IT workers. The entry level A+ Certification includes installation, troubleshooting, preventative maintenance, communication skills, and basic networking.


Well established IT workers can receive the professional level CompTIA certifications. There are a number of certifications at this level. These include Network+, Security+, Linux+ Powered by LPI, Project+, Server+, CTT+, and Green IT certifications. Network+ certification covers the management, maintenance, troubleshooting, configuration and operation of basic network infrastructures. Security+ ensures accurate knowledge of system security, network infrastructure, audits, and cryptography assessments. Linux+ professional certification includes Linux installation, system architecture, desktops, user interfaces, and GNU and Unix commands. The project management process, installation, planning, execution and support are topics explored in the Project+ certification. Server+ certification handles the building, maintaining and troubleshooting of server hardware and software. Certification for classroom preparation, communication, facilitation, and evaluation is provided by the CTT+ certification. Green IT certification covers the identification of green prospects, customer care, and providing appropriate solutions.


If you wish to complete certifications based on areas of expertise, instead of skill level, CompTIA has grouped their certifications into different expertise areas as well. The first of these areas is hardware certifications. The certifications which are classified as hardware certifications are A+, PDI+, Server+, and Strata IT Fundamentals. These handle the installation, testing, and troubleshooting of office equipment.


Systems certifications are the second classification of area of expertise certifications. These deal with methods of integrating computers and secure communications in a business environment. Systems certifications include the Network+, Security+, Linux+, and Green IT certifications.


Certifications under the methodology area of expertise cover the ways in which traditional business roles can benefit from technical knowledge. General topics of this area include classroom instruction, management, and customer service. Project+, CTT+, and IT for Sales are all classified as methodology certifications.

These are the current certifications provided by CompTIA. With technology and IT tools advancing faster than ever before, it is vital to prove that you have the knowledge and ability to handle any situation for your clients. By using Total Seminars A+ practice test to achieve the highest possible score on your certification exams, you will place yourself above and beyond the competition.

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IC3 Certification Will Advance Your Professional Career

January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) is becoming a global standard for verification of workforce computer literacy. While advanced technology is commonly used by many every day, employers have found that some employees still lack an understanding of the fundamentals of computing that drive technology tools in the work place. The IC3 Certification presents and tests one’s knowledge of computer hardware, software, operating systems, and networks.

IC3 Essentials

The IC3 Certification includes a computer hardware competency section that tests one’s knowledge of common types of computing platforms. Successful IC3 candidates show adequate knowledge of core computer hardware components and their functions. These people should know basic hardware maintenance techniques and demonstrate minor troubleshooting abilities.

The computer software competency section allows a test taker to demonstrate knowledge of how computer programs are used on various hardware platforms. A working knowledge of common software programs is expected and must be demonstrated to pass the exam. Key software programs are tested as part of the IC3 exam including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database applications.

Skills Tested

Computer operating systems and their functions are tested during the IC3 exam. While test takers may not need to know details about all types of available operating systems, they should demonstrate basic file organization as well as the ability to modify system settings and program installations. IC3 exam allows test takers to demonstrate these skills for either a PC or Mac OS.

Since computer security is such a prominent issue among many employers, the IC3 exam tests one’s knowledge of basic computer networking and common network vulnerabilities. Basic knowledge of email function and applications are tested as well. The common rules of computer network and email etiquette are also tested on the IC3 exam.

Upward Mobility within the Information Technology Industry

Employees who wish to present themselves as competitive candidates for career advancement often choose to get their IC3. Junior information technology (IT) professionals may find that the IC3 is a useful professional development credential that helps verify IT skill level to employers. Additionally, entry-level IT job seekers are encouraged by some career counselors to have the IC3 listed on their resumes. IT skills are so valued that even today’s high school students are encouraged to obtain the certification. Aspiring IT professionals also use IC3 as an initial step toward other popular computer certification exams such as Microsoft certification exams and Cisco network exams.

Globally Recognized IT Credential

Not only are U.S. employers, labor departments, and staffing agencies looking for candidates with demonstrated IT skills as verified by the IC3, but so are international organizations. Regions like Asia, Africa, and Latin America are not only familiar with the certification but have incorporated it into their vocational education programs. Some multinational companies use IC3 as a preference point for those applying for entry-level IT positions. Students who desire to pursue international business careers may find the IC3 exam a useful addition to their international business degrees.

Ready to Take the IC3 Exam

The IC3 exam is administered by Certiport, which is a leading developer of IT certification programs. The company has test sites all over the world, and test takers may purchase exam vouchers on the Certiport website. A purchased exam voucher entitles the holder to take one IC3 exam within a certain region.

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Is the A+ Certification is Right for You?

January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

CompTIA offers IT certification for individuals, government agencies, businesses and educators. These certifications are “vendor neutral certifications that measure foundation skills”. Many of the exams offered by CompTIA, such as the A+ Certification, set the groundwork for advanced certification in the IT field of choice. CompTIA certification shows that an individual has the skills, as well as the commitment, to furthering their education and career. Obtaining IT certification through CompTIA is considered an accurate predictor of employee success. CompTIA uses international focus groups as well as a panel of global IT experts to create and review their certification programs and exams.

CompTIA A+ Certification

For those beginning the certification process, a great place to start is the CompTIA A+ Certification. Any professional choosing to begin the certification process must start with the A+ certification. For those just entering the field, the A+ certification is a logical next step after receiving basic certification. The exam covers maintenance of PCs, mobile devices, laptops, operating systems and printers as well as the configuration of these systems. Aside from PC configuration, students also learn Apple and Android configurations for mobile devices.

Four Levels of Certification

CompTIA offers four levels of certification, from entry level to industry specific. The basic course covers the foundations of IT for those with no prior experience in the IT field. The Strata IT Fundamentals course covers the basics of PC components, PC functions and their compatibility with other systems. This certification can be used to move on to additional certifications.

Professional Certification

There are ten professional certifications, each geared toward a specific IT discipline. Topics included in these certifications are servers, security, document handling, storage and networks.

Mastery Certification

Mastery certifications cover advanced practices of a specific discipline. Students must be able to integrate multiple enterprise disciplines through the application of advanced skills. Skills learned include enterprise security, risk management, research and analysis, and integration of IT with communication and business. This certification can be taken as a stand-alone course for IT professionals or as a step toward a specific certification goal.

Specialty Series

The Specialty Series of certifications focuses on business and technical knowledge for specific markets. These can be taken with other CompTIA Professional certifications or independently by IT professionals working in those fields. Specialty certifications are available in Cloud Essentials, Healthcare, Media Security, Green and Sales.

The CompTIA A+ certification is ISO and ANSI accredited and has been recognized by the United States Department of Labor. According to CompTIA’s website, over 900,000 IT professionals worldwide hold the A+ certification. Since the certification is vendor neutral, professionals holding the certification are able to work for companies such as Dell, Lenovo and Intel. The job market is promising for certified professionals and includes positions such as IT Support Technician, IT Support Specialist, Field Service Technician, IT Support Administrator and IT Support Specialist.

The A+ Certification is broken down into two exams. Each exam has ninety (90) questions and applicants have ninety (90) minutes to complete the exam. Each exam is performance based, meaning that while the exam is multiple choice, applicants must solve real world problems and apply the knowledge obtained through both study and job experience to arrive at the correct answer.

CompTIA’s certifications are vital to keeping IT professional’s skills up to date while providing the most comprehensive training available.

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Preparing For Your Network+ Certification

January 2, 2013 in CompTIA Network+, Uncategorized by

Posted by: Kathy Yale

The Network+ Certification is awarded by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to signify competency in troubleshooting personal computer hardware and operating systems. Being one of the most widely recognized certifications, many people try and earn their Network+ Certification while entering the job market. And while there’s no official prerequisite, the cost of the exam fee compels all who take the exam to succeed sooner rather than later. But how can you best prepare for the Network+ exam?

Preparation for Network+

The Network+ exam consists of 1/5th media and topologies questions, 1/5th protocols and standards, and 1/4th network implementation, while the remainder consists of network support. This means that you will have to become proficient in topologies, protocol suites, network hardware, standards for cabling, remote connectivity, troubleshooting, the OSI Seven-Layer model, and even the networking requirements of modern operating systems.

While many people turn to community college courses to help learn this curriculum, doing it on your own is a simple matter of identifying what you know, what you need to learn, and how long it will take you to learn it. For most people, self-preparation will require about two or three months of time, assuming that you prepare at least three hours per day. This amount may vary depending on your background in computer networking, but it’s wise to be cautious and realistic about the time it will require to achieve proficiency.

Professional Help

Abstaining from taking Network+ courses to prepare you for the exam doesn’t mean you have to abstain from practice exams and other professionally prepared materials. The internet is full of free practice exams, and you should plan on taking one every few weeks before the exam. By grading your own practice exam, you’ll get a better understanding of what you still need to learn as well as what you have mastered.

A Little Help from Your Friends

Keeping motivated to stay on task over the months it will take to prepare will be the key to your success or the reason for your failure. That is why it’s important to find a friend to keep you accountable for your studying with a buddy-system. Your friend doesn’t have to be preparing for the exam, but having a real social connection to keep you on-task, especially while preparing for the exam online, might be the reason you fail or pass in the coming months.

Network+ vs. Other CompTIA Exams

CompTIA offers a variety of other certifications, including Security+, CASP, Server+, A+, Linux+, Project+, CTP+, PDI+, and Storage+. These exams are graded by virtue of multiple choice tests with a score of 75% or higher being required to achieve certification. The Network+ exam can include up to 100 questions, which is drastically higher than the maximum of 65 contained on the CTP+ exam. However, like all CompTIA certification exams, the length of the Network+ exam is 90 minutes. This means that the extra questions present on the Network+ exam represent the wider scope of computer networking, not necessary an increased degree of difficulty.

Finally, it’s important to note that the 2009 version of the Network+ exam was recently retired for the 2012 version of the exam. This means that you should avoid using old preparation materials that may not reflect the emphasis on modern technology present in the latest version of the exam.

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