Important Messages, such as Service Disruption.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM UK time. We will try to give assistance to those people not living in the UK outside of those hours if possible.

We are closed for the Christmas holidays from the evening of Wednesday 20 December 2017 through to Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Blogs

We're Team-FM, and we're on our way back!

Hi everyone!

As the subject of this blog post outlines, there is what I think is some extremely good news on the way! However, with a lot of good news often comes bad, and so it is with regret that Lulu and I have decided to resign from the Global Voice internet radio station.

Often when this kind of thing happens, people jump to conclusions and wonder what went wrong. The truth is, absolutely nothing at all. You could not work with nicer people than can be found among the Management and Presenters on the Global Voice. They were very accommodating to us and we would like to thank them for all the help they gave to us. The Global Voice is a station which has just dcelebrated its third birthday and they do have such a lot to offer in terms of music and also speech-based radio. We both wish them so much luck for the future.

So, why are we leaving?

When you have created a radio station yourself, and for whatever reason you have to close down temporarily quite suddenly, you just long to get back to doing it. It wasn't just the broadcasting I missed on Team-FM with our jingles, sweepers, innovative promos etc, but it was the work that went on behind the station too. I loved developing the website particularly, finding out about new ways we could attract listeners through it, and plenty more besides. To me, owning a radio station is so much more than the broadcasting. I have to work at something very hard, that is how I am made and I cannot change that. I love it! Apart from all that, we invested a lot of money in Team-FM and would like to continue to get something from it. I know too that Lulu loves audio production and she needs a vehicle where she can put that talent to good use.

We've taken a very hard long look at Team-FM and I have to say we did achieve a great deal. But we also found a lot of things we could do better, and that's fine, life is a learning process.

As we stated originally in the summer of 2011, we will only ever be a small station, and that will very much continue. But, Lulu and I both love (and know a lot about) music. We do have an exceptionally large music library, and we want to share the good music, (and our love of it), with other people. There are so many internet radio stations on the air now, especially in this community. So many people are giving internet broadcasting a try, even if (like us) they are a small station, and that is to be very much encouraged. You don't have to be a large station to be good at what you do. What we hope is that, from time to time, you will come over to our station, Team-FM, and find out what we are offering. Maybe stay for a while, hear some good music and have a chat with us. There's absolutely no pressure at all, just come along if you want to.

So, when we launch in a few weeks time, what exactly will we be offering?

1. There will not be an official launch. One launch day is enough for anyone. When you wake up one day, we'll be there. We'll tell you about upcoming shows and what we're doing, but we will just be there!

2. We are extremely proud to be operating legally! A number of presenters at the time, (and listeners to some extent), really wanted to be able to download Team-FM shows, and of course that was high testimony to what we were achieving. But it doesn't matter how much people want it. Certainly in the UK and US, making downloadable podcasts of music which is under copyright is illegal. We cannot get away from that. Having said that, we are very proud not to be offering downloadable content and to be staying within our licencing regulations. For anyone interested, our licencing details will be available on our new website, of which more in a moment.

We do recognise the need however for shows to be available for people who cannot listen live, so we have spent a long time finding a legal solution to the problem. You will be glad to know we have. In addition to being able to hear shows repeated on the station during the week, you will be able to listen again to programmes directly from the Team-FM website, on demand. Please see our new website for details when the station has relaunched.

3. As far as possible, you will not hear any explicit content, bad language or sexual innuendo on our station. That is just not what we are about. We do not like it. There are places for that, but when you tune into Team-FM, you won't hear it.

4. When there are no live shows (or repeated programme replays), we will provide automated music content. While lots of stations offer this, I would ask please that you give us a listen. I personally think we have the best automated music available. I certainly haven't heard anything like it. Using the very latest technology, we have put together a carefully planned and sophisticated automated music service which we hope you will really enjoy, spanning music from the past 90 years. We've spent a long time preparing it, so do give it a try if you are interested. It really is awesome!

5. Our earlier website has been completely removed and a new one constructed. You will see many of the same features as before, but definitely some new ones too! As with the station, the website will always continue to develop.

6. In addition to our regular programming, do be prepared for unscheduled content too. It wouldn't be at all unusual for a presenter to produce a spontaneous show for you to enjoy! On Sundays incidentally, there will be a slight emphasis on praise and worship.

In addition to that, we are looking at the possibility of sharing some shows with one or two other internet radio stations. We can then help each other.

So in summary, we are both so very excited about the return of Team-FM. We've had help from some amazing people who really want Team-FM to succeed. We've made sure that any presenter who does join us has the very best technical environment to work in, much better and completely different to how it was before, and that too has cost a lot in terms of additional time and money to set up. But best of all, we look forward to being with anyone who would like to hear us, and we'll certainly keep you updated as to how things progress.

What's new in the upcoming StationPlaylist scripts for SPL 4.33

Hi

A new version of the StationPlaylist Studio scripts will be released within the next week I would expect. These will be for JAWS and SPL V4.33.

While it is true to say that there are more features in a separate set of scripts to support SPL V5, I cannot tell you about those yet. But for those who are interested, these are the new features compatible with 4.33. Note that in addition to these features, there are considerable revisions to ensure JAWS speaks data more accurately.

  • The Script Internet Update facility is back, so you can always obtain the latest updates containing new features and fixes.
  • The User Guide for the scripts is now available through a link within Hotkey Help, activated by pressing Insert+H. It has been considerably updated and is in HTML format.
  • Changed the keystroke for Cart Learn Mode from Control and the StationPlaylist Key to StationPlaylist Key then C.
  • Added a function, controlled with StationPlaylist Key then X, to read the status of Check Boxes appearing in a Playlist first instead of last.
  • Added a keystroke, Control and the StationPlaylist Key, to provide a new function entitled Enhanced Arrow Keys. When activated, you can move through columns in a Playlist with the Left/Right Arrow Keys, such as artist, title etc. When the desired column is reached, simply arrow down to hear only the information in the column. Home equals move to first column, End equaals move to last column, Control+Home equals move to top of list and speak desired column, Control+End equals move to bottom of list and speak desired column.
  • When setting a bookmark in a Playlist, it is retained when the computer is restarted.
  • Changed a keystroke from StationPlaylist Key then Y to ALT+Windows+8, to announce the playing status of StationPlaylist Studio, whether the playback has stopped, is in Live Assist, Automation or Paused.
  • Added a keystroke, StationPlaylist Key then Control+Shift+R, to toggle the Request Notification Status through each of its three modes. This was previously only available through the Adjust JAWS Options Dialog Box.
  • A new feature allows you to be notified of the progress of scanning a music library, either when the scan has concluded or periodically. You do not need to be focused within StationPlaylist Studio to hear the progress indicator, nor does the Insert Tracks Dialog need to be opened.

Down for Double Later Today!

Hi everyone!

We hope you'll be able to join us for 2 crazy hours as we once again go Down for Double!

Great music, friendly chat and more than a giggle or two we'll be sure to have on the Global Voice, later today at 1800 UTC, 7 PM UK, 2 PM Eastern. Do come along and be with us if you would like!

To join in the fun, you can email YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info or tweet @lulu_bear. Any song requests are of course welcome!

The website to listen is at
www.theglobalvoice.info

We look forward to being with you later on!

Brian and Lulu

My Bolthole Book

I wonder if you have a book which, once read, has stayed with you all through your life.
You may have read it once, and it may have made such a lasting impression on you that,
although you felt no need to read it again, you will never forget it. Or it maybe a book
that you read as a child, and although you are now long grown up, you remember it with
fondness because it was so special and good. Or it may be, as in my case, a book which you
read once, and it became part of your life, and it is something you can always pick up and
escape into, shutting the door of the world behind you.

I am writing this in the middle of the night. Sleep is completely eluding me, as it has for
the past three nights. I am in that state of tiredness which goes beyond being tired, and
yet sleep just will not come. Relax every muscle, count all the sheep on Caerphilly
mountain, it makes no difference. On these kinds of night, the escape book is a must.
Reality has to be left totally behind, so there is only one place I want to go: to Watership
Down.

I first tried to read this book at the age of nine. The librarian at my school gave it to
me, he was a quiet, grave creature who shared my liking for books, and he thought I would
get on well with it, but the story really was not what I wanted then. I was much more into
Enid Blyton and E Nesbitt, fairies and schoolgirls, my rabbits were bunnies who lived in
cosy burrows, they did not have epic adventures like this. The braille book had been well
read, and was faded in places, but I only got halfway through volume 1, then gave up in
disgust.

I came back to it in audio form some three years later, one Wednesday afternoon. The school
I attended had a room stocked with cassette players and many racks of abridged audio books
on tape. I was bored and homesick, and used to while away many an hour in there. This
particular audio version of Watership down, beautifully narated by Roy Dotrice and
orchestrated with music by George Butterworth, although abridged, was a lovely thing, and I
became so absorbed in it that I was late for supper. I do not know how many times, during
the remainder of my time at school, I played that book! It must have been at least a
hundred, I should think.

Everyone's life has ups and downs, mine is no exception. I tried to find that particular
copy of the audiobook so I could buy it and keep it, but I could not. I borrowed the book
from the library at times, when I needed to refresh myself by re-reading it. Yes, I can
hear you thinking, this is all very interesting, not! What is this thing, a book about
rabbits? Come on! How can a book be so good that you would want to read it over and over
and over?
Well, maybe you have read it, it is a classic, after all, but in case you have not, let me
give you a brief plot summary. Here are two brothers, Hazel and Fiver. Fiver has the gift
of second sight, and he senses a bad danger coming upon the warren where they live at the
start of the story. In order to survive, they have to leave, and they take anyone with them
who believes them and is willing to go. It is a story of adventure, team-work, the power of
good leadership and friendship. The thing I love most, apart from the wonderful language,
frequent humour and descriptions of the scenery, is that although the rabbits talk and
think, apart from that they never do anything that real rabbits don't do.

I always go to Watership when I need a bolthole. I love it so much because it makes me
forget everything. I have gone there when I have been desperately unhappy, when my health
has been at its most annoying, when things have happened to frustrate me, or when I've been
generally totally unlivable with. If I can once get into the story I forget my troubles,
immerse myself in a different world, laugh, cry or get excited, even though I know what is
going to happen next, it is that kind of book. Thanks to the wonderful audible.co.uk I now have an unabridged copy, lovingly
narated by Ralphe Cocham, and you had better believe it is on every book reading device I
own!

So, you may be asking, why are you here boring our ears off about it, instead of lying on
your sleepless bed reading it? Well, I was just starting to, you see, but the Audible book
has this little quirk. It is beautifully divided so that I can skip to whatever chapter I
want...except chapter one. If I start from the beginning of the book I have to read the
introduction, written by the author, Richard Adams, first. Usually I skim through it, but I
did not want to do that for fear of waking my long-suffering partner. So I lay and
listened, and heard about how Mr Adams made up the story for his two small daughters, to
amuse them on a long car journey; of how he wrote it at their request, and tried many
publishers before it was finally accepted. He says at the end of the introduction that he
receives much fanmail, at which I am not surprised, and does his best to answer as much as
he can.

Hearing that made me wish I could tell him exactly how much his story means to me, so I got
up to look him up in Wicky, to see if he was even still with us. He is. He is ninety-two,
and trying to stop houses being built all over his beloved Watership Down, according to the
most recent articles I could find on him.
I am not going to bother him with my idiotic fanmail, even if I could find a way of
contacting him, which I can't, but I have a head full of thoughts, and a heart full of
thanks, so hey! I am writing them here. Maybe, what I'd most like to say is just this.

Dear Mr Adams! The story you made up for your two little girls has touched the lives of so
many people. It's been a good friend to me for thirty-two years and counting. Thank you so
much for telling it to us.

Book I am reading: Watership Down by Richard Adams.
What I am looking forward to: going to sleep.

Today, at The Bear's Lair

Hi, Everyone.

I'd like to invite you to join me today at 13:00 UTC, 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM Central, 6 AM Pacific, or 2 PM in the UK, for your weekly visit to the Bear's Lair.

Take your seat on the big squashy sofa, let Bert, my little leprechaun helper, pour you your favourite drink, and prepare for two hours of friendly chat, fun and, of course, fantastic music.

This week, in the crank it up corner, a twin spin from one of my favourite pop groups of all time. In the love zone, two beautiful songs from two great female vocalists. Plus lots more great tunes and plenty of room for your requests.

To contact the show, Email yourvoice@theglovalvoice.info or tweet @lulu_bear. I look forward to seeing you later.

The Music Machine presents same title, different song!

Hi everyone!

There are only so many unique song titles that can be invented before groups and artists recycle them. There's nothing wrong with that, it is quite OK to write a song with the same title as something which has already been composed, and in this edition of the Music Machine, if you care to tune in you will hear some of the best!

The Music Machine of course airs later today, Sunday, 16:00 UTC, that's 5 PM UK, 12 PM Eastern. In order that you can suggest song titles for this feature, let me give you an example. "The Power of Love" title was used for at least three different songs in the 1980's, recorded by Jennifer Rush, Huey Lewis and the News and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The artists did not record three versions of the same songs, but they were completely different pieces of music in style.

Your suggestions for this theme are of course very welcome, and please tune into the show to hear them together with the tracks I've chosen.

You can e-mail during the show YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info or tweet @brianhartgen

I look forward to being with you later today, only on the Global Voice,
www.theglobalvoice.info

Brian Hartgen

Double the fun, a new time and Eurovision!

Hi, Everyone.

What do you do when you get together with friends? Do you like to have a chat, a few laughs, maybe talk over the events of the week, and, of course, hear
some great music? If so, please do join us both today at 18:00 UTC, 2 PM Eastern, or 7 PM in the
UK for our show Down for Double on The Global voice!

We will have all the things we've just mentioned, plus our own particular brand of fun, and maybe a little bit of mayhem, who knows! Correction, definitely a lot of mayhem! After last week, anything could happen, we'll recap that for you at the start of the show if you missed it!

This week celebrates the eurovision song contest, so in the first hour, we'll talk about our Eurovision memories and we do have a lot of them to share! We hope you'll join in with yours too!

We have a huge music library, so the music is sure to be great, and there is always plenty of room for your requests. To contact the show, please feel free to Email
yourvoice@theglobalvoice.info
or send a tweet to @lulu_bear.

We hope to see you later today as we go Down for Double, only on The Global Voice.

Brian and Lulu

The Global Voice presents a Music Machine documentary!

Hi everyone

Tomorrow, at 1600 UTC, 5 PM UK, 12 PM Eastern, please join me for the Music Machine as we celebrate artists and groups from the late 50's and 60's in a special documentary!

I'll be telling you about how a number of the groups and artists began their careers in the music business during this period. This documentary, which has taken many hours of production, is in two parts. Part 1 focuses upon British groups and artists, and then in part 2 we cross over the pond to the United States and hear in particular about teenage singers, teen idols and girl groups from the time.

Among others, you will hear about the careers of Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, Billy J Kramer, the Four Pennies, Brenda Lee, Dion and the Belmonts, Ricky Nelson, Little eva, Bobby Vee, The Shangri-Las, and many more.

If you would like to contact me during the show, please do so, you can email YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info or tweet @BrianHartgen on Twitter.

While much of the show is documentary-based, there's plenty of room for your interaction, and if you would like to comment on the songs I am playing or to say hello, it would be wonderful of you to be there. But please, no requests for this show, thank you very much.

If you enjoy this kind of programme, do let me know as I can very easily produce more of them.

That's the Music Machine, tomorrow, at 1600 UTC.

Brian Hartgen

Ready to go Down for Double?

Hi, Everyone!

Saturday is a great day in our house, we relax, listen to music, have a chat and a laugh, and now we even get to hang out with our friends, and we'd love you to join us, Brian Hartgen and Lulu Wells, today at 20:00 UTC, 4 PM Eastern, 3 PM Central, 1 PM Pacific or 9 PM UK, when we go Down for Double.

We'll be playing a great variety of feel good music, talking about what's been happening this week, we also have lots of room for your requests. You can get in touch with the show by Emailing yourvoice@theglobalvoice.info or by sending a tweet to @lulu_bear.

We look forward to seeing you later today, when we once more go Down for Double, only on The Global Voice.

Brian and Lulu.

"If you throw that thing at me, ..."

Hi everyone!

This is going to be a very lighthearted blog entry but with quite a serious conclusion!

When I first met L, it really wasn't in the best of circumstances. She was in very poor health and I needed to "look after" her for a while. She survived, so that's OK!

During the time I was with her, I wrote a blog entry, (although I didn't have a blog at the time)! Let's not even go into how that works.

Anyway, I wrote a blog entry about my initial impressions of L's home. I thought it might be good to review that and perhaps enlarge on it a little and to see what has changed, if anything.

Original Text Begins.
I get the impression that L's flat is situated in a very modern block of apartments. There is a lot of security around, including entry phones, alarms, and so on.

In the flat there is a fair size bathroom with shower, a bedroom which can easily accommodate two people without any difficulty, but the most impressive space is the living area. It is much much bigger than I was expecting, although through Skype I had gained an impression acoustically as to what it may be like as I've heard L moving around it. But it is a very spacious living area which has a kitchen at one end of it. Yes, the big squashy sofa exists, but there is also room for desks, chairs, any equipment she may need, and so on. Despite accommodating quite a number of items, this does not obstruct most of the floor space. I can easily walk across the floor without fear of treading on something or tripping over an object.

One thing you cannot fail to notice is the large collection of Lee Middleton dolls, (L's babies), which she has here. They live in both rooms. The latest arrival, Miranda Taylor, lives in "the den", the living area.

Now that I've broadly described the flat itself, apart from being with her what are the things I have enjoyed most about being in L's home and my time here.
1. The peace and tranquility. I love the fact that there is very little noise going on unless we specifically want music to be heard, more of that later. Usually however, I just hear clicks from the two wireless keyboards, the occasional nature sounds, harp music, wind chimes, that's about all. Its all very gentle. Heaven!
New Text.
That still is very true, but wait, peace and tranquility does occasionally get interrupted? To repeat, L often uses a headset which has this "noise cancelling" ability, not from a microphone perspective but very little outside sound intrudes into L's hearing. There are two problems from my point of view about this headset. First, she can't hear a word I am saying!

Now some people may think that is an advantage, but I can be quite happily carrying on a conversation, and is she listening, no, not a chance. If anyone has ever heard that Down for Double promo where I say that I am not listening to what L is saying. Believe me dear reader, the reverse is true. Quite often, I just talk to myself.

The other thing that often happens is that L will recite snatches of songs or just sing out loud! Actually, L does have a lovely singing voice so that's fine. But take today as an example. I was sitting on the sofa, just relaxing, playing around with StationPlaylist Creator. The room was nice and peaceful and I was concentrating hard. Suddenly, I hear a squeaky voice saying, "If you throw that thing at me, I'll jumpp right on your head." I mean, I ask you! Where did that come from? It came from L, that's where. It was so incongruous. That odd phrase being spoken against the lovely calm atmosphere. Obviously I got the reference immediately and knew what she was listening to. Why I let her have access to my music library, I'll never know! (smile).

Oh yes, there's something else. She's got herself into these iPhone games like the Accessible Fruit Machine. So she's playing this game, I am trying to do something, and suddenly, there is this humungous scream! You have never heard anything like it! "I'VE GOT 960 POINTS, WO'O'O'O'O'O'O'O'O''O!" Gosh!

Original Text.
2. No television. The fact that the TV is not switched on for most of each day is just awesome! If I have to sit through another quiz or reality TV show where celebrities are featured I will scream! There is no TV here so it cannot be switched on.
New Text.
I cannot say I have missed the television at all. There used to be TV shows I would listen to just because they were on at the time. I read tweets and Facebook posts from people who talk about shows I used to watch, such as Britain's Got Talent or The X-Factor, and I have thought to myself, "Do I miss that at all? Do I want to be part of that again? Do I want to watch it?" Just because there is no TV available when I do come to see L, that doesn't mean I couldn't watch it if I wanted to. There are ways I could do so if I really wanted to. But no, I haven't missed that.

Original Text.
3. Listening to music on good quality speakers. When we do hear music or a movie, we hear them on speakers which just make everything so lovely and gorgeous to listen to.
New Text.
Actually that is still just brilliant. Whether it is in the evening, or first thing in the morning while we are having breakfast etc, to hear music which sounds good is wonderful. Actually we both like similar music, but where our musical tastes differ, we are quite tolerant of each other. For example, L is now very tolerant of my penchant for slushy romantic songs, aren't you L?

Original Text.
4. Watching movies with AD. Watching films with audio description is just the best thing ever. Without AD, often you lose the concept of the plot and you miss out on important information. L has plenty of these. I have come to enjoy them.
New Text.
Yes, we've watched quite a lot of movies together and it's wonderful to sit down for an evening to watch a film or two. L does have this great collection of movies we can watch.

Original Text.
5. Having time to read a book and to do all the things I otherwise couldn't do, like finding out new things about my iPhone.
New Text.
OK, I want to comment on this issue of reading books.

Yes, we both do like reading, it's just that the way we tend to do this is quite different. When I come to see L, I know I cannot possibly listen to a book and become engrossed in the story. I cannot get through a whole book when I am here. Why not? Because L will keep the book on for hours. If she falls asleep, it doesn't seem to matter. When she awakens, she'll not go back and re-read a section, and she won't let me go back either, no no no. Worse still, the book is on "looped play mode". So when it completes, it starts again at the beginning. Just ugh.

So, to enlarge on my earlier statement, I do get to hear the whole of a book, but it's just that I hear chapters in the wrong order. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle as I have to sort out the whole book in my head having heard it all in the wrong sequence. If I want to hear a book from start to finish, I get it from Audible myself and hear it on my phone when I go away.

Original Text.
6. Doing housework for L. There are times when L really isn't well enough to do some things, so I like being able to make food, drink, tidy up, that kind of thing. I can do it at my own pace without being rushed. Consequently, things get done which should be done.
New Text.
You'll have to ask L about whether that standard of mine has been maintained, I hope so in the most part. But please see point 8, below.

Original text.
7. Acktimel and real coffee. They are to die for. L has both of these each and every day and I don't blame her.
New Text.
And so do I when I can! I still enjoy them! L has introduced me to lots of new things I never thought possible. Rosé instead of cold red wine, having a really good time, appreciation of the good things in life, staying up into the early hours of the morning, her lovely family , to name but a few things.

Original text.
8. Neatness. L's flat is just so incredibly neat and tidy. As the saying goes, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I think that's important. When someone is blind, its even more essential that everything is kept exactly in its correct place and I have to say L is quite fanatical about that which I love. She doesn't need to be in the kitchen for example to know exactly where everything is and can describe it down to the minutest of detail. Hopefully, I have followed this tradition. It has certainly helped me.
New Text.
Quite fanatical? It is obsession! Absolutely every single item has a place in the flat, and sometimes, I do admit to getting it wrong. Every individual cup has a place for example, oh, and a name as well. It's OK, this is Planet L we are on, where every object, (almost), has a name. If I put something in the wrong place, panick stations! There's a real problem! Believe me, you can hear her squealing all the way from here to Australia!

Seriously, I know why she does it and it is all perfectly logical, but to say L is a "neat freak" would be an understatement.

Please, please, you mustn't run away with the idea that I am complaining in any way about L, I am not. She knows I am posting this. I wouldn't change any of her characteristics in the slightest. It's just an outsider's look at Planet L!

Anyway, that's L for you. There is a serious side to this entry though, and two things which I left out of the original 8 items I posted.

I am so so glad that L cannot see. There is nothing better than having a partner who knows about how blind people adapt to life's challenges, who understands that we need things to talk or there are particular ways of doing things, who likes the same things as I do, who has memories related to visual impairment which are similar to my own, and much more besides.

The other thing I love (apart from L's loving and caring nature), is the fact that she is so so feminine. That has always appealed to me. I love the fact that she likes to dress up and makes herself look good when she goes out, that she loves perfume, make-up, jewellery, to keep her hair nice, all the things that many ladies like to do. I like that a lot.

I cannot end this blog post without telling you of the beautiful ring L has just bought for me. It's not been a great week. I've not been too well of late, and also there was that fiasco with the website I wrote about in a previous blog entry. Now as well as being loving and supportive over that, L bought for me a ring which is wonderful. It is a titanium ring inlaid with enamel, set with 2 small diamonds. It was so good of her to get that for me and I will have it with me always.

So despite "neat friekery", the strange way she hears books and her tendency to chunter away (or squeal) about whatever she is hearing in her head, she will always be my L.

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