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Would an HP T610 Thin Client make a decent retro gaming/emulation rig?


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#1 bfollowell OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:09 PM

How does something like an HP T610 Thin Client compare to a Raspberry Pi 3B+ in terms of raw computing power? I'm seeing most come with an AMD Dual Core T56N 1.65GHz, 2 or 4GB RAM, and a Radeon 6320 GPU. I'd probably put Windows 7 or Windows 10 64-bit on it. Would one of these do a decent job of old-school 8-bit/16-bit console/pre-90s arcade gaming & 8-bit/16-bit Atari computer emulation?

For $40ish bucks, I was thinking of picking up a couple of these, using one as a Plex media server, and the other as a retro gaming/retro computer emulation rig running RetroArch and LaunchBox for gaming and Hatari and Altirra for Atari computer emulation.

I've attached a link below.

What do you guys think?


https://www.ebay.com...2:pf:0&LH_BIN=1

 


Edited by bfollowell, Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:13 PM.


#2 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:06 PM

They claim no storage. These are imbedded devices(I checked HP's site), not a full PC. You cant use them like your thinking.  I am pretty sure this is more of a RDP type computer.  They need a server to connect to, when you boot it up, it connects to the server to use resources off a remote computer.

 

By the specs of the CPU, it should be able to run a little faster than a PI 3....

 

Why not look at something like this ? 

 

https://www.ebay.com...bYk-E:rk:4:pf:0

 

Cheap, small, full desktop type computer...has memory, just needs a HD... go buy a 60-120gb used SSD on ebay (SSD will boost performance).. under $30... and you have a full PC that will do Emulation Station or something of the sort(Id bet this does N64 fine, something the RP 3 cant do very well)... I'd stick with Windows 7 as Windows 10 has a lot of bloatware and needs more memory. 

 

There is a lot of options that would fit your needs as a cheaper older computer. You just need a computer to do what you need. There a lot of sizes to chose from.. I just did a search on ebay for "small desktop computer" and I found a ton of options in different prices but, as low as $5-20...


Edited by TheCoolDave, Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:10 PM.


#3 power OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:50 PM

you can pull the drive and replace with any 2.5" drive.

 

The version of Windows 7 on them is not far off the full experience (Wes7E for embedded), never tried any games though.

 

AMA I run a fleet of t610's (as thin clients though).

 

Oh and no flash means the storage is missing so you'd have to add a drive of some sort anyway. They normally ship with a 16GB flash module that connects via SATA.

 

Also just noticed this is the WW model which is nice they have inbuilt wifi and bluetooth.

 

There's even a chunkier version (the PLUS) that ships with a dedicated GPU in a PCIe slot.

 

LOL, I googled it to show it to you and here's Phils Computer Lab talking about it. The Plus is the exact same machine but with a dedicated GPU and an extra SATA port.

 


Edited by power, Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:07 PM.


#4 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:15 PM

Good to know... I know some thin clients are used the way I was talking... maybe I thinking of the wrong term. to the OP, sorry

 

The unit he said above has a 24 + 5 DVI connector, that should be able to output HDMI with Audio with an adapter... as long as the video driver supports it. 

 

Windows 7 embedded is a very limited OS, so you would have to re-install Windows 7 if you wanted to play emulators...



#5 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:35 PM

You could also try putting Linux on one of these. For the price, it would be a fun project/experiment even if it didn't work as expected. 

 

https://ubuntuforums...d.php?t=2353952



#6 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 1, 2018 3:56 AM

Don't think those HP units on ebay support non-powers-of-two graphics scaling which is used in later versions of mame. And how about shaders? Not sure the 9xx integrated graphics will do anything shader related.



#7 bfollowell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 1, 2018 1:57 PM

If I were to get an HP T610 or T620 Plus, I'd wind up putting a low-end, low-profile GPU in it, rather than use the integrated graphics. Besides, for me personally, I'm not interested in emulating anything more than 16-bit and pre-16-bit consoles, pre-90s arcade games, and the Atari 8-bit and 16-bit computers. Yes, if you were trying to emulate Game Cube, PS2, etc., it may not be up to the task, but I think it would work well for me. And this would be one to hook up and use on my bonus room TV. When I build an arcade cabinet in a year or two, I'd likely use a Dell Optiplex or an HP ProDesk or EliteDesk.



#8 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 1, 2018 11:14 PM

If I were to get an HP T610 or T620 Plus, I'd wind up putting a low-end, low-profile GPU in it, rather than use the integrated graphics. Besides, for me personally, I'm not interested in emulating anything more than 16-bit and pre-16-bit consoles, pre-90s arcade games, and the Atari 8-bit and 16-bit computers. Yes, if you were trying to emulate Game Cube, PS2, etc., it may not be up to the task, but I think it would work well for me. And this would be one to hook up and use on my bonus room TV. When I build an arcade cabinet in a year or two, I'd likely use a Dell Optiplex or an HP ProDesk or EliteDesk.

 

It would do what you want... Personally, I would stick with a desktop PC if your want to be serious about emulation and getting into higher end systems than a SNES...  If you hunt around eBay under the small desktop...I found some i3 processor computers for as low as $75... You might get higher performance off it.

 

I use a HTPC to do TV and I setup a Emulation Station on it..  I can run Wii games with no problem at all (Not including controller issues, as a lot require the controller to be moved)….it's a 2014 i5 2.90 ghz... Nothing too special...



#9 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 3:23 AM

If I were to get an HP T610 or T620 Plus, I'd wind up putting a low-end, low-profile GPU in it, rather than use the integrated graphics.

 

Then you'd be fine in that department.



#10 bfollowell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 7:30 AM

 

It would do what you want... Personally, I would stick with a desktop PC if your want to be serious about emulation and getting into higher end systems than a SNES...  If you hunt around eBay under the small desktop...I found some i3 processor computers for as low as $75... You might get higher performance off it.

 

I use a HTPC to do TV and I setup a Emulation Station on it..  I can run Wii games with no problem at all (Not including controller issues, as a lot require the controller to be moved)….it's a 2014 i5 2.90 ghz... Nothing too special...

 

That's just the thing though, I have no desire to emulate anything above the 16-bit consoles or my 8-bit and 16-bit Atari computers. That's what I remember most from when my kids were younger when I used to play with them and the computers that I had before I migrated to the PC. That's the nostalgia factor that I'm shooting for. Nintendo 64s, Game Cubes, Playstations and Wiis have no appeal whatsoever for me. And, since I'm going to have this sitting on a shelf on the table under my TV, I was hoping for something a little smaller than a full-blown PC style case. Of course, for that I could always go with a Raspberry Pi, but I also want to stick with something I know, which is Windows. One of those little Intel NUCs would be awesome, but I don't know how they are in the graphics department, and I know you can't add a GPU, plus they're pretty expensive. It'll probably be a while though, so I may change my mind and look into a smaller Dell Optiplex or HP ProDesk before I'm ready to pull the trigger.



#11 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 7:46 AM

You don't need a GPU for what you're trying to do. You can emulatie 16-bit consoles and computers on a potato.

You don't need Windows for what you're trying to do. You can set up your emulators on a Pi or other Linux setup following cookbook recipies and take it off the network and use it like a console.

There are lots of small, cheap, quiet, fanless mini computers out there. You don't need anything new or fast.

#12 bfollowell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 8:31 AM

Yes, but I've not had a lot of luck getting a Pi setup the way that I want, and I'm not thrilled with the 8-bit Atari computer emulator for the Pi. Hands down, the emulation choices are much better for Windows than for Pi for many systems. Basically, Windows is what I know, and with the time that I have available, I'm not really interested in learning anything new to do what I want to do. I'm planning to run LaunchBox and RetroArch for console and arcade emulation, and  Altirra, and Hatari for 8-bit and 16-bit Atari computer emulation. If only there were a better 8-bit Atari emulator available, I might consider the Pi.

 

I do have a Pi setup in a Retroflag NESPi Case+, and I'll probably continue to try to get it setup the way that I want. If I have good luck, I may wind up scrapping my whole plan altogether and using RetroPie for my console emulation and using my main gaming rig for Atari computer emulation. Then, I could put the computer emulators on my big TV with my SteamLink when I'm really wanting some 65" Star Raiders goodness.



#13 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 9:03 AM

Yes, but I've not had a lot of luck getting a Pi setup the way that I want, and I'm not thrilled with the 8-bit Atari computer emulator for the Pi. Hands down, the emulation choices are much better for Windows than for Pi for many systems. Basically, Windows is what I know, and with the time that I have available, I'm not really interested in learning anything new to do what I want to do. I'm planning to run LaunchBox and RetroArch for console and arcade emulation, and  Altirra, and Hatari for 8-bit and 16-bit Atari computer emulation. If only there were a better 8-bit Atari emulator available, I might consider the Pi.

 

I do have a Pi setup in a Retroflag NESPi Case+, and I'll probably continue to try to get it setup the way that I want. If I have good luck, I may wind up scrapping my whole plan altogether and using RetroPie for my console emulation and using my main gaming rig for Atari computer emulation. Then, I could put the computer emulators on my big TV with my SteamLink when I'm really wanting some 65" Star Raiders goodness.

 

Ah, I understand fully what your trying to do. I went through the same exact thing. FOR the record, the only Wii Game I am running is Mario Cart BLACK (a Wii Hack)

 

If you like the PI interface go to https://www.emulationstation.org/

 

There is a Windows version.  It requires a lot of setup but, retroarch will do MOST of your classic consoles (they do have a 5200 and a separate 8 bit Atari emulator)..It's a great little program.  You can take any emulator and use it with emulation station, you just need to edit XML for each console.

 

A little tricky to setup (if your new at computers) but, once your done, its really a nice thing. Boot up the PC, run the Emulation Station (or put it in your startup group) Grab a controller, browse to system and browse to game...play away !

 

You can download the Windows version, and with a little reading you can get it setup. There is (I cant find it right now), where someone is making a updated version of the Windows version, that being updated from the PI version (that is always being updated)… a bit of googling would give you that.


Edited by TheCoolDave, Sun Dec 2, 2018 9:05 AM.


#14 bfollowell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 10:47 AM

Yeah, being "new" to computers bought my Atari 800 in 1981 with the proceeds from a small tobacco crop when I was 15. Bought an 800XL in college in 1986. Switched over to the Atari ST in the late 80s, bought my first PC, a 486SX25 in 1993, and built every gaming rig I've had since then (about five major rigs, each going through multiple upgrade steps before retiring)

 

In college I majored in Computer/Industrial Electronics with minors in Computer Science and Physics thrown in for good measure.

 

Yeah, I'm 52, so you can kind of say this stuff, these machines, and I, grew up together. Definitely a major hobby of mine.

 

I like emulationstation well enough, but I think the best front-end for the PC is still LaunchBox. Right now, my biggest issue with  the whole emulationstation/RetroPie thing is getting a controller to work correctly. I planned to use XBox controllers and none I've tried will work properly. I originally tried the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows with the dongle, but not all buttons will program correctly. I purchased an Xbox One Wireless Controller, but I've had much the same problems with it.

 

My wife are working on a rental house we purchased and trying to get it wrapped up and ready to rent. When we're done, and I have some time over the holidays, I need to get in there and play around and see if I can get it going again.



#15 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 12:39 PM

Any Intel chip that has HD Graphics 620 or 630 will do you fine. If you want more get Iris Pro Graphics, and yet more even, the built-in Radeon Vega in the SkullCanyon series NUCs. Vega graphicss are for gamerz. We have these little things scattered throughout the house instead of the traditional box PCs and they work great.

 

I suppose the thing is getting a late-model graphics chip. Not for the speed, but for the instruction set & standards compatibility. Like GL 4.5 and DX12. Counting polygon fill rate and benchmarking and stuff is so dot-com'ish.

 

Performance gains today are not made via MHz or GHz, but instead using new instructions to do more in 1 clock cycle. And today's opensource programmers are all too quick to deprecate yesterday's standards.


Edited by Keatah, Sun Dec 2, 2018 1:31 PM.


#16 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2018 9:12 PM

I'd stick with Windows 7 as Windows 10 has a lot of bloatware and needs more memory.

 

The tech-pedant in me needs to point out this is not actually true - Win 10 uses a different system of memory management, less reliant on page file and more on compression and dynamic adjustments. It's better than Win 7's, but might seem worse on the surface, when you just look at the Task Manager's static figures.

 

I'm using RPi for all the Ataris and play a lot of games for the 8-bit line, no problems whatsoever using lr-atari800, it runs all the games fine. Make sure you are using latest versions, old Atari800 was quite buggy. Of course, Windows emu will have more options available but I don't need any of them just for gaming.

 

If you have problems with Xbox controllers just look it up on their site, there's lots of threads regarding this since it's a very popular controller. I'm using wired DS4 and it just plug' n plays.

 

If I was you I would spend a bit more, say, 100/200$ - and get/build an old mini PC which could run stuff up to 2D MAME. More advanced SNES games can be quite demanding too, so something cheap, but only a little bit more powerful than RPi might not be enough.


Edited by youxia, Sun Dec 2, 2018 9:14 PM.


#17 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 8:45 AM

 

The tech-pedant in me needs to point out this is not actually true - Win 10 uses a different system of memory management, less reliant on page file and more on compression and dynamic adjustments. It's better than Win 7's, but might seem worse on the surface, when you just look at the Task Manager's static figures.

 

Trust me. Take 2 4-5 year old lower end computers(what the OP is looking at) with the SAME EXACT specs, put Windows 7 home on one and put Windows 10 on the other.  Try to run the same tasks, over and over.  You will find that Windows 7 runs faster across the board.  The memory management system on 10 is better but, you need more horsepower to run Windows 10 than Windows 7.  If your resources are very good to start with, then go with 10.  If your looking at a old dual core CPU with 2gb of memory, you will/can have performance issues and you should stick 7

 

On any newer computer, no question 10 (all depending on what your trying to run, some older apps wont run under 10), but, on a 4-5 year old computer. You will get better performance in the long run going with 7. 

 

Besides a lot of these emulators are home built packages, I would put money down that not all of them run perfectly on 10. 7 would be more compatible. I might even stick with a x86 version as well, some really old emulators still have some 16bit code in them (Yuck !). 



#18 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 7:00 AM

 

Trust me. Take 2 4-5 year old lower end computers(what the OP is looking at) with the SAME EXACT specs, put Windows 7 home on one and put Windows 10 on the other.  Try to run the same tasks, over and over.  You will find that Windows 7 runs faster across the board.  The memory management system on 10 is better but, you need more horsepower to run Windows 10 than Windows 7.  If your resources are very good to start with, then go with 10.  If your looking at a old dual core CPU with 2gb of memory, you will/can have performance issues and you should stick 7

 

Hmmm...I run it on i3 laptop with 4GB RAM which is pretty low considering modern standards (4-5 or more years old?). Perhaps you are right when it comes to something as old as Core Duo, though then it's not really fault of "bloatware" - it's just how it is in general with software. Time moves on and so do hardware requirements. I suppose it's probably more to do with RAM  than Mhz anyway, you will need 4GB for the 10 for sure. But again, that depends on OPs real budget for this. I think there is a "dead" gap to avoid, where you should either go really low, like RPi, or jump up a bit, say to the i3 level, or the performance gains will be negligible. That also depends on what gaming generations you want to emulate. Atari would be fine on low specs, decent SNES, MAME and such like not so much.

 

Regarding compatibility, I'm pretty sure all the main emus do run fine on x64, it's been around for quite some time after all.

 

For the cord, I'm a guy who stuck with XP till something like 2014...only upgraded coz of a new laptop and the modern malady of not allowing you to install old OSes on new hardware. I do not regret moving on, but still always keep a bootable XP HDD when I have a desktop PC as a main rig. But that's mostly for DOS games, heaps of them refuse to work on x64, no matter what compatibility modes you enable.



#19 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2018 7:12 AM

You don't need a GPU for what you're trying to do. You can emulatie 16-bit consoles and computers on a potato.

You don't need Windows for what you're trying to do. You can set up your emulators on a Pi or other Linux setup following cookbook recipies and take it off the network and use it like a console.

There are lots of small, cheap, quiet, fanless mini computers out there. You don't need anything new or fast.

 

you gotta watch some screwball / older hardware when trying to do a linux retroarch / lakka / whatever thing, there's a permanent dent in my desk from my head fussing with getting all that shit working on my intel chipset, intel cpu, intel graphics netbook icade conversion 

 

just a heads up its a bit different than slapping it on an i5 or even a core 2 when your starting to talk some of these ultra lean setups 



#20 power OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 5:46 PM

Good to know... I know some thin clients are used the way I was talking... maybe I thinking of the wrong term. to the OP, sorry

 

The unit he said above has a 24 + 5 DVI connector, that should be able to output HDMI with Audio with an adapter... as long as the video driver supports it. 

 

Windows 7 embedded is a very limited OS, so you would have to re-install Windows 7 if you wanted to play emulators...

 

The onboard video is dual head, there is a DVI and a displayport. and the DP at least passes audio.



#21 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 6:35 PM

 

The onboard video is dual head, there is a DVI and a displayport. and the DP at least passes audio.

 

Or you can always add a $39 slim profile video card that would pass audio over HDMI... Video cards have been doing this for many years now.

 

And you can always grab a display port to HDMI adapter... not sure if that would carry audio over but, it might.



#22 TheCoolDave ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 6:43 PM

 

Hmmm...I run it on i3 laptop with 4GB RAM which is pretty low considering modern standards (4-5 or more years old?). Perhaps you are right when it comes to something as old as Core Duo, though then it's not really fault of "bloatware" - it's just how it is in general with software. Time moves on and so do hardware requirements. I suppose it's probably more to do with RAM  than Mhz anyway, you will need 4GB for the 10 for sure. But again, that depends on OPs real budget for this. I think there is a "dead" gap to avoid, where you should either go really low, like RPi, or jump up a bit, say to the i3 level, or the performance gains will be negligible. That also depends on what gaming generations you want to emulate. Atari would be fine on low specs, decent SNES, MAME and such like not so much.

 

Regarding compatibility, I'm pretty sure all the main emus do run fine on x64, it's been around for quite some time after all.

 

For the cord, I'm a guy who stuck with XP till something like 2014...only upgraded coz of a new laptop and the modern malady of not allowing you to install old OSes on new hardware. I do not regret moving on, but still always keep a bootable XP HDD when I have a desktop PC as a main rig. But that's mostly for DOS games, heaps of them refuse to work on x64, no matter what compatibility modes you enable.

 

Windows 10 has a lot more features, it also has a lot more services that run in the background than Windows 7.  On good fairly modern hardware, it does very well on Windows 10 but, I'm someone who has worked in IT for over 20 years now. I have done the tests, side by side. We have some old Core 2 duo machines we use for basic appliances(at the office, single automated task computers).  I tried 10 on it and it was so bogged down, the system was unusable for about 8 min after it appeared to be ready to go. Windows 7 on the other hand is still a little sluggish but, very usable. Drop a SSD in and it's very, very usable. It's all about the age of the hardware. 

 

I was also a hold out on XP for a long while but, always ran 2 OS's on dual boot... It was XP and 7 (Vista for a while) back on those days.. Now it's Windows 10 and Windows 7...

 

I didn't want to turn this into a Who's OS is better discussion... they all have their good usage in the correct hardware...It's just what I was trying to clarify.


Edited by TheCoolDave, Wed Dec 5, 2018 6:44 PM.


#23 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 10:08 PM

I have windows 10 on my core 2 quad laptop, its at 2.8 ghz 4 gigs ddr 2 ram, intel graphics

 

it does very well... after you wait for freaking ever for it to boot and settle down, and it was great for work trips cause my work computer used to be a 3/4 ton 17 inch alienware with its included 1/2 ton power lunch box

 

I got tired of dragging that thing around airports and in and out of electronics labs so I got our IT to put the VPN stuff on my c2 quad but yea once I got to where I was going, let it boot and never let it shut down until I got home (luckily now we have new laptops which I can hold in one hand without breaking my wrist lol)

 

BACK to the point, emulation machines you generally want to push a button and by the time you sit down be selecting a game or darn near it, stripped out lean and mean linuxes can do it on a potato pi but you gotta either know or be prepared to learn the near bleeding edge to optimise it, or choose a platform that is popular enough to do it for you (and let me tell you lakka is no retropi, and if anyone can get retropi x86 to actually function fully without loading the full blown desktop OS, thus nullifying the point of a stand alone thing then I'll send you one internet cookie) 

 

windows 7 or a full blown linux distro is going to be easier to handle but its going to take its time loading up stuff you wont ever use, just depends on a what you expect type of thing


Edited by Osgeld, Wed Dec 5, 2018 10:10 PM.


#24 power OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2018 5:24 PM

 

Or you can always add a $39 slim profile video card that would pass audio over HDMI... Video cards have been doing this for many years now.

 

And you can always grab a display port to HDMI adapter... not sure if that would carry audio over but, it might.

 

only the plus has a PCI-e slot.






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