How to increase Redmi Note volume

September 26, 2014

One of the biggest letdown of Redmi Note is the below average volume that causes frustration even on maximum level. Be it normal ringing and notification, media playback, and even on loudspeaker.. Basically everything is below average.

Good thing its all tweakable via software side (and every Redmi Note should be able to do this no matter if you are on stock or custom ROM, rooted or not). As usual, I will show the process in the simplest way I can. However please bare in mind that I will not be responsible for any damages that happens to you or your device and proceed at own risk. Although I did this on both of my Redmi Note set without any damage or issues (it became a better phone actually!).

1. Open your dialler and dial *#*#3646633#*#* this will get you into Android engineer mode

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2. Once in, swipe to the left until you see ‘Hardware Testing’ tab.

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3. Tap on ‘Audio’.

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4. From here you will need to enter ‘Normal Mode’ (the phone ring, notification, the primary speaker functions) then ‘Headset Mode’ (headphones) and ‘Loudspeaker Mode’ (handsfree call). As you will be doing the same stuffs on all 3 section, I will just show you how to (in detail) change one of it and you should be able to repeat the steps for the other two yourself. For now, tap on ‘Normal Mode’ and you will see the next image.

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5. Change Max Vol to 160 then tap ‘set’. You will see the following confirmation.

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6. Now tap ‘OK’ and tap on ‘sip’ (on the ‘type’ field) and you will get the following list.

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7. Select ‘Sph’ and you will see the next image (notice that max vol field is greyed out).

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8. A brief explanation, level ranges from 0 to 6. Its like a volume knob where 0 is lowest and 6 is the highest. From here I like to do things backwards. Remember we have initially set max vol to 160. So 160 will be the maximum volume that we should have / set for level 6. So let’s go to level 6 by tapping on ‘Level 0′ then tap ‘Level 6′ like below.

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9. Set / change Level 6 value to 160 and tap on ‘set’ to save.

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10. So from here you can lower down the value for level 5, then lower it some more for level 4, and lower it further for level 3 until level 0. Whatever you do, you want a higher value then default. Here’s my new value :

Normal Mode
Level 0 – 72
Level 1 – 80
Level 2 – 100
Level 3 – 115
Level 4 – 125
Level 5 – 145
Level 6 – 160

Don’t forget to tap on ‘set’ on each level after you changed its value to save!

11. Easy? Repeat step 4 for ‘Headset Mode’ and ‘Loudspeaker Mode’. You can use the same value as above. No worries.

12. All done, enjoy!

Redmi Note review (battery life and aftermarket battery cover replacement)

September 24, 2014

I got 2 units of the Redmi Note and gave it a 7/10 rating overall.

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This is due to the :

- Below average volume (fixable with minor software tweak)
– An average camera quality (a lot of noise if you ask me)
– The 8GB internal storage limitation (no higher capacity offered at the moment for Redmi Note) – No capability to store pictures and application data to SD card (v30 have save picture to SD card but not officially available for Malaysian users yet – although you may flash it yourself manually – and of course software tweak avaialble for phone to see SD card as its main memory, surpassing the 8GB limitation).
– No NFC support (bummer!)

So what about the rest? Remember, this is a $157 phone that we are talking about. Apart from the cons listed above, the rest are just fantastic.
– Cheap @ RM509
– 5.5′ HD IPS display (720p, not full HD)
– Good battery life (Can stand up to a day of moderate to heavy use)
– Dual sim
– Design does not look cheap! (I love the design!)
– A lot of accessories on the internet
– It’s an Octacore! (Ok its fast)

If you plan to get one of these. Id say just grab it, it’s worth the every buck you spend.

Here is my battery life screenshot with mobile data and wifi turned on throughout the day (and night).

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6 hours of screen time with a day plus of battery life is good enough for me. I still remember using my old Samsung Galaxy S3 that stuggled to last even 8 hours with screen time almost to 3 hours under the same condition (data and wifi turned on).

I just bought this battery cover from Aliexpress. Took 23 days to arrive. I share the link to this as well : http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6219978009.html

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The aftermarket battery cover replacement feels nice to the touch. It has this matte feel and offers more grip then the standard cover. Also, no more fingerprints (except the little exposed area near the camera)

Best bang for the buck. The Redmi Note is definitely a keeper :)

Buying a Redmi – “You are in line”

August 26, 2014

Since I got myself a Redmi Note, I am so pleased with the performance and built of this budget smartphone. But it’s no ordinary budget smartphone… Instead, it carries quite a heavy specs such as the 8 core (Octacore) 1.7Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13 Megapixels front camera to name a few.

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Redmi Note is sold for RM507 (around 160 USD) and may only be officially bought online from their site (www.mi.com/my). However you can’t just go now and buy. Instead, you will need to wait for their flash sale (that usually lasts from a couple of minutes) and make your way through against other online users to grab one.

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Announcement of their sales will be via ‘Xiaomi Malaysia’ facebook page. Usually around 12pm. Getting a unit will not take long, but don’t be late as per the official record, 100,000 of their Mi3 unit was sold out within 1 minute and 26 seconds.

So what do you need in order to grab a unit? Either a paypal account or a credit card that works with paypal (as Xiaomi uses paypal as their purchase gateway), oh and let’s not forget, you will need an account with mi.com as well.

By any chance that you are stuck during “You are in line” for more then a minute, try registering another account and try your purchase again. Most of the time it works.

Quanum DIY FPV Goggle Set with Monitor (KIT) Review

June 22, 2014

Recently Hobbyking have launched a $29.90 (exclusive of shipping) FPV Goggle or formally known as the ‘ Quanum DIY FPV Goggle Set with Monitor (KIT)‘. It is the cheapest FPV goggle so far on the market. But by cheap, does it comes good as well?

quanum fpv goggle review

When this product first came out, thousands of RC enthusiasts wanted a piece of it. And within a day or two after it was launched, the product was out of stock.

I was one of the few (lucky?) ones to get the first batch and had my dirty hands all over it . So, considering the light-weight price of $29.90, is this Goggle worth it? Well.. come on in to read my review and be a smart consumer!

Read the rest of this entry »

Tips & Advices – Performing Umrah (Part 1)

May 18, 2014

Alhamdulillah (thank you to Allah) the Powerful, most Gracious and most Merciful – that had given me (and more chances to my beloved mum) a chance to perform Umrah (the visit – in arabic is ‘I’timaar’) in the Holy City of Mecca / Makkah in Saudi Arabia, which distance is around 6981km from the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

A trip to Umrah

The trip started back in 1st April 2013 and we were safely back in Malaysia on the 13th according to schedule. It was a wonderful, educational, and all around … (words just couldn’t describe the joyful feeling that I had) experience – especially given the opportunity to set my foot on the Holy Land, and seeing the muslim Qibla / Kiblah / Qiblat which is the Sacred House of Kaaba up close and personal (I wanted to say with my two own eyes, but the eyes are not mine – just borrowed items by Allah) :)

KL to Mecca

My post is all about the experience, some tips and advices for those who are going there. If you are searching for Dua’s (doa / invocation) or religious guidance on how to perform Umrah – then these sites below will probably be more useful and specific to your needs. Please bare in mind that I am not responsible for the content. If you are unsure, consult those who knows.

> HOW TO PERFORM UMRAH <
> STEP BY STEP UMRAH GUIDE <
> A GREAT SLIDE STEP BY STEP TO HOLY UMRAH GUIDE (I think this is good) <

What I will cover is in terms of physical (and maybe some mental) preparation, tips, and guidance when you are there (be in the city of Madinah or Mecca itself), what are the things you should and should not bring along, the do and don’t – to hope that you will have a comforting, safe and pleasant journey so that you can concentrate more on doing ibada (or worship) instead of thinking (or even complaining!) about this and that.

For those who are going there, I hope that my post will provide you with supplementary tips and advice – and for those who have plans (or even those who don’t!) may have a better insight and preparation before you are invited by Allah to His Holy Land. Where “The best is to share, not to keep!” – I neato4u hope that this post will be of benefit, at least to a few out there :)

Enough with the lengthy introduction – let’s move on to our first part of this Part 1 of “I have no idea how many” (God knows!) first chapter – “PREPARATION” where we will cover these topics below :

- THE MENTAL PREPARATION BEFORE PERFORMING UMRAH
- LEARN THEORY, AND DO A MOCK PRACTICAL
- THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING (AND NOT).

My writing will be a bit different than the rest of Umrah / Hajj guide out there, so come on in and have a read!

Read the rest of this entry »

Play Angry Birds Go on Nexus 7

December 30, 2013

It is simply irritating when you have a great device like the Nexus 7 and yet you can’t download Angry Birds Go! because “this item is not compatible with your device“?

Nexus 7 incompatible with Angry Birds Go solution

I mean, what the heck? The Nexus 7 for me is a gaming tablet! With NVIDIA Tegra 3 that runs on Quad Core processors (not the 2012 version) – see also my review here – it is more than capable to run this silly game. Come on Angry Birds Go! now you’ve made me angry! How can Rovio do this? Do they have some grudge over Nexus or something. Even my ancient Single Core Sony Xperia Play and Dual Core China Lenovo phone is on the supported list! Screw you Rovio! :P

Well, let me tell you something. Angry Birds Go! does run on Nexus 7. If Google Play denied you access, pop up your tablet browser (I suggest Chrome or Firefox) and enter “angry birds go apk” Find the result from android mob and download the apk (It’s quite large but not huge). Then just open to install.

angry birds go for nexus 7

Update : I tried mine with result from theandroidapp and this one worked. Just download the apk and install. Data will be downloaded over wifi / 3G. Runs great on Nexus 7 – but my wife said the game seemed a little bit too ‘technologically advanced‘ for her (maybe she compared this with the original Angry Birds) :P

At first I wanted to host the apk on my dropbox, but not sure if Rovio would be happy about this (I mean, they SHOULD be happy of me promoting their game to ‘unsupported’ device that actually supports it!). But hey, you guys can give me a thanks by dropping a comment or subscribing to this blog :)

how to run angry birds go on nexus 7

Update : And here is the Angry Birds Go! running on my Nexus 7.

Maxis #Hotlink free internet (basic internet) and how existing Hotlink users upgrading to free internet.

October 7, 2013

Looks like the hype is all around Maxis with their new offering of #Hotlink free internet for new (and existing – if you upgrade) prepaid users.

hotlink basic free internet

Before you go “YAY!” or “At last!” – first you got to know that this is a free BASIC internet, so the speed is capped at 64kbps maximum. What is 64kbps or how fast is 64kbps you may ask? Simple – take example this page which you browse right now @ neato4u.wordpress.com, this page has an estimation of 1.8MB total data to fully download and render it properly (on a full fledged desktop format) which will load 1 second on a 10Mbps broadband connection or roughly 3 seconds on a 5Mbps broadband (not bad right?) – however this same page will load in 3 minutes 44 seconds on a 64kbps speed offered by #Hotlink (okay you can ‘YAY’ now) :D

But what’s there to complain when it’s FREE? I don’t know about you guys but for me I personally think it’s rude to complain when people give you free stuffs. But then again, is this really free?

Well, it’s free for those who purchased the new Maxis #Hotlink starter pack that cost RM8.80. The starter pack comes preloaded with a RM5 airtime and is set for free internet capped at 64kbps maximum speed. But of course, the new pack have new tariffs as well that have its own high and (mostly) low perks..

- WAIT! What about free internet for EXISTING hotlink prepaid users? -

For existing Hotlink prepaid users, yes – you too can enjoy free internet IF you upgrade to the new #Hotlink free internet package. To upgrade, dial *108*25# from your existing prepaid line (although I do not have any subscription with Maxis nor Hotlink anymore) – I am unable to try and confirm this from my end. I do heard that some users are facing error saying “Maaf, pelan yang anda pilih tidak sah, Terima kasih” (Sorry the plan which you choose is invalid) in which case I would highly suggest that you dial *100# and check or choose the option to upgrade manually.

- Before you upgrade, WAIT! -

Have a good read before you upgrade (I know free things are really tempting, especially if you are a Malaysian :P) – By upgrading you will lose your Activ10, Hotlink 5, Hotlink 10, Validity 90 and Validity 365 subscription and benefits (if you have any). If you plan to upgrade to #Hotlink free internet and THEN purchase Validity 365 OR Activ10, well… you just can’t because based on their FAQ, these services are not supported because.. I quote “the proposition of #Hotlink is FREE Basic Internet (kiss your 365 and other money savings bye bye!)  Also, by upgrading – you are now bound by the new package plan and tariffs which is 12sen / 30 seconds (per 30 seconds charging block) for both voice and video calls, and 7sen / SMS applicable to all local networks. Not to mention a minimum of RM30 / month to keep your account active.

So that is a point to ponder and see if you are on the winning side or the losing side. If you are an existing subscriber of Activ10 and use it very frequently, you’re gonna lose quite a lot, especially when Activ10 offers 15sen / minute and 1sen / SMS (same telco). Or if you are an existing 365 subscriber with very less usage, you are going to lose more as you NEED to regularly top up now with the new #Hotlink free internet plan. That’s RM30 to keep your line active for a month, nothing lesser than that.

For your reference > The normal Hotlink prepaid plan comes with 20sen / minute and 5 sen / SMS to same telco or 30sen / minute and 10sen / SMS to other telcos (if you reload more than RM10).

However, if you did not opt for those subscriptions before, it is a good deal to upgrade your package to the #Hotlink free internet plan. If you need the internet for free and ready to upgrade your call and SMS tariffs and lose those said privileges for good of course…

- OK I am all set for free UNLIMITED internet, WAIT, **** it’s NOT UNLIMITED??? -

Who ever told you that it’s unlimited? Ha ha ha… yes even though you are capped on a ridiculous 64kbps, you are ALSO capped by their UNfair usage policy (FUP) of 3GB per month. Exceeding this will cause your free internet to transform into a NOT-SO-FREE anymore internet. Their FAQ page advice that your free internet will be disconnected – however I doubt this and believe once your phone reconnect it will suck your credits dry. But heck, I can’t believe how one could possibly utilize 3GB on a puny 64kbps connection – having a hard time understanding this? Try loading up a website with a 64kbps and see how long it takes to load, just try http://www.google.com and you will understand :) or better (or if you have faster internet speed.. hehe), check out Lowyat review on this by clicking > HERE <

- Do I really need free internet? -

If you are paying less then RM30 / month for your current prepaid subscription or does not use the internet or feel that it is important to you – from my point of view, it is better for you to stick with your current plan and packages because I feel it is a better deal compared to the #Hotlink free internet. It is free with all the benefits and money saving options ripped off. If you really need to use the internet (and keep using Hotlink), just grab their daily RM1 internet access capped at 100mb or get the RM20 / month for 350mb worth of data – both without any cap in speed (until you reached the limit of course). For more information on Hotlink prepaid mobile internet plans and which suites you best, head over to their website by clicking > HERE <

- I am a new #Hotlink free internet user, does this means that all this free mumbo jumbo is worthless?? -

Well, if you just started and just purchased the starter package – no it’s not worthless (but maybe not the best value for your money). The free internet with 64kbps speed is good enough for WhatsApp and emails (and maybe good on other messaging platforms as well such as Line, WeChat, etc). If you are coming in fresh, you wouldn’t feel that much of a loss than existing users with benefits. For web browsing, try downloading Opera Mini (only 0.90mb in Google Play – assuming you are running on the most used mobile platform which is the Android) and see if it helps (I tried on slow mobile network, it doesn’t help much unfortunately – but hey, you may have different result). And yes, if you have a lot of friends on Whatsapp and have group chats or the sort, then you may probably enjoy the free internet provided. If you think I left out facebook – then yes, maybe I did.. because it was reported that facebook runs super slow with #Hotlink free internet, it is almost useless unless you are productive enough to hit retry retry and retry every now and then.

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- ISP and Telcos, Hear my voice (err.. or read my texts) -

Consumers are getting brighter these days and are more computer / IT literate then it was several years ago (You need to remember it’s no more focused on Generation X that are very forgiving and respectful!) . Spooning them with a 64kbps FREE internet will just ruin their mobile internet experience (especially for users who did not use or experience mobile internet before). Offering a platform for free is a good step, but offering a platform such as these (in my own personal view) will just make it a platform for new internet users to curse and tell others how BAD #Hotlink is. Just imagine an excited never before use a mobile internet, purchased a #Hotlink starter pack that says “FREE INTERNET” – firing it up for the first time and trying to load http://www.google.com using their default browser, then typing in something to perform a web search – waited for a minute while anxiously staring at their browser white background for the result to come out only to see that… it timed out.

I had similar experience before when Celcom came out with their data only prepaid plan. It was cheap (I can’t remember how much I purchased those but I believe around RM25 or so – it was considered very cheap back in those days) but it ended up in me throwing their SIM card out of the window several hours after purchase because the speed was so ridiculously slow that I can not even load Celcom help page to check what’s going on (reception was good btw). I believe there will be similar users like me who’s going to throw their new #Hotlink out of the window too when they have a taste of the speedy 64kbps connection. Even worst, that feeling will leave a mark in their heart – yes not only mark of frustration, but with #Hotlink embedded all over it. It’s a scar for life.

I hope some good telco come up and offer their capped speed just good enough for good simple browsing and image loading. 64kbps is a joke and all around worthless. Unless we live in the early 90s where most websites are greatly texts and images are very optimized for page loading (whoops, don’t go venture into that personal Geocities page if you can’t wait!) and the people can afford to WAIT for pages to load (most people can’t even wait for a site to load if it’s more than 10 secs). I would say a 128kbps or a download speed of 15-20kb/s is the bare minimum that every ISP and telcos should go about when throttle is in place. But of course this will lead to reply that the fact they did not terminate and still offer ‘some’ service should be taken into consideration. Yeah, a consideration of almost non existent of the internet for sure.

- The conclusion -

My view of the #Hotlink free internet is a rip off of all the other benefits which Hotlink offers to it’s existing prepaid users. By adding the word ‘free‘ it catches a lot of attention. And by giving it away for ‘free’ – I am a bit heavy hearted to complain, so I will just say “this isn’t the best value for money“. If you really need internet, just purchase it – It’s not that expensive anymore, especially if you are only using it for simple browsing and messaging – Other telcos such as Digi offers RM18/month for a 300mb data and 30days validity (with unlimited surfing via Opera Mini), Umobile offers RM18/month for 250mb data with free 25mins free calls and 25SMS to all networks. Even Hotlink provide these but are expensive at RM20/month with 350mb and nothing else (no freebies no extra minutes calls no nothing). Which is why I have personally ported out from Hotlink a few years back because I find that their prices are not competitive when others can offer and beat their services. Sometimes it is better paying for something that works then getting free stuffs that doesn’t… or is it most of the times? LOL…

Do you know that you can keep your mobile number and port to other telcos as well? Read my porting experience > HERE < It offers a lot of consumer choosing powers for sure.

However, if you have purchased or still intent to purchase #Hotlink free internet, I would highly recommend that you go through their T&C below and have a really good read on the limitations imposed (eg. no torrenting!!)
https://new.hotlink.com.my/content/hotlink/en/plans/free-internet/terms-and-conditions.html

For me? I am JUST A BIT happy with my Umobile mobile broadband (when it works, and you better pray that it works!)

Gangguan air Negeri Selangor 30 August 2013 – Selangor Water Interruption

August 30, 2013

This article was written in Malay as it involves a local state wide incident. My apologies to English only readers and subscribers.

Assalamualaikum,

Saya baru dimaklumkan bahawa 3 loji air terbesar di Selangor telah ditutup ekoran kejadian tumpahan minyak yang berlaku di Sungai Selangor awal pagi / tengahari tadi.

Say dapati sejak dari jam 5pm tadi, bekalan air telah pun dipotong di kebanyakan lokasi di Petaling Jaya. Antaranya kediaman kami sendiri yang terjejas akibat insiden tersebut.

Kesahihan maklumat ini telah dikuatkan dengan kenyataan tidak rasmi salah seorang analisa kimia di salah sebuah loji tersebut. Bekalan air telah dipotong sejak tengahari tadi.

Walau bagaimanapun tiada maklumat tentang gangguan ini didapati dari laman web Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd.

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Setakat ini tidak diketahui sama ada situasi telah beransur pulih atau semakin serius. Akan tetapi saya syorkan pada semua penduduk Selangor agar jimatkan penggunaan air yang tinggal di tangki air kediaman masing2 dan gunakan air apabila benar-benar perlu sahaja.

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Saya sendiri telah ke pasaraya untuk membeli sedikit bekalan. Khabarnya insiden ini mungkin berlarutan berhari-hari lamanya.

Agak pelik kerana sehingga waktu ini tiada apa-apa berita atau pengumuman rasmi mengenai insiden ini di mana-mana media massa.

Kami berdoa agar situasi kembali normal dengan segera dan akan maklumkan pada semua sekiranya terdapat perkembangan dalam insiden ini.

Update :
The issue lasted for several days and it was highlighted in media shortly after this article was published (in written web form and full blown tv and radio mainstream media afterwards). Some places were severely affected (eg. PJ) but within a day water supply was restored even though it was low pressured. However when our month end water bill come, it shot up quite a bit despite the cut off supply and low pressured water for a couple of days. Not sure why this happened, but alas the bill was just around RM10+ (good thing we lived in Selangor). Congrats to all who made this a fast recovery, especially when millions of peoples is at stake. At least we can count on our water department sector. I gave them a thumbs up!

Free Android app – Globe Photo

August 25, 2013

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Just take a panorama picture and fire this app up (Globe Photo – free on Android market) to make an instant 360º awesome image. This is one of the best and easiest to use app for globe pictures limited just by your creativity.

However by using a full 8mp wide resolution picture sized at 3264 x 1836, Globe Photo will only produce a 838 x 838 sized output without any additional settings allowed. This is just good enough to share the pics on social websites, normal blogs, or send it to your friends via whatsapp, viber, wechat, line, or whatever chat app that you have to “wow” them with it.

To use the app, just launch and click on the file folder icon (middle icon on the right) choose the picture you want to be converted – it auto renders and then choose the share icon (first icon on the right) and send it to any chat, social websites, or email. It would be better if the devs include an option to locally save the encoded image though.

An expensive RC crash

August 18, 2013

I admit it has been a very bad month for my RC hobby with some big crashes and electronics failure which costed me around RM3500 loss in total.

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My 1900mm Skywalker crashed to bits, destroyed the camera along with a 8600mah 4s lipo, then shorted my Storm OSD (pictured above).

Even my quad crashed into water, total lost of my RC and FPV equipment including the Horyzon HD, a 5.8Ghz video transmitter with cloverleaf antenna, not to mention my favourite 330 frame and KK2 Flight Controller.

It looks like I will ‘have’ to go on an RC vacation for a while. It has really been a bad month for me – not only my RC stuffs that was broken, even my handphones, some other gadgets, and even my car is broken too!

What a memorable ‘Raya’ this year. I just hope for a quick recovery… not much spirit left in this old man right now.


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