WO1989006024A1 - Printer job classification - Google Patents

Printer job classification Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1989006024A1
WO1989006024A1 PCT/US1988/004655 US8804655W WO8906024A1 WO 1989006024 A1 WO1989006024 A1 WO 1989006024A1 US 8804655 W US8804655 W US 8804655W WO 8906024 A1 WO8906024 A1 WO 8906024A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
operator
jobs
printer
intervention
require
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1988/004655
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
James C. Minor
Original Assignee
Eastman Kodak Company
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13542287A priority Critical
Priority to US135,422 priority
Application filed by Eastman Kodak Company filed Critical Eastman Kodak Company
Publication of WO1989006024A1 publication Critical patent/WO1989006024A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K15/00Arrangements for producing a permanent visual presentation of the output data, e.g. computer output printers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1202Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to achieve a particular effect
    • G06F3/1203Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management
    • G06F3/1204Improving or facilitating administration, e.g. print management resulting in reduced user or operator actions, e.g. presetting, automatic actions, using hardware token storing data
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1223Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to use a particular technique
    • G06F3/1237Print job management
    • G06F3/1267Job repository, e.g. non-scheduled jobs, delay printing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/12Digital output to print unit, e.g. line printer, chain printer
    • G06F3/1201Dedicated interfaces to print systems
    • G06F3/1278Dedicated interfaces to print systems specifically adapted to adopt a particular infrastructure
    • G06F3/1285Remote printer device, e.g. being remote from client or server
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K2215/00Arrangements for producing a permanent visual presentation of the output data
    • G06K2215/0002Handling the output data
    • G06K2215/0005Accepting output data; Preparing data for the controlling system

Abstract

An electronic printer (12) queues a number of jobs in a mass storage buffer (16). Generally, only those jobs that do not require operator intervention are selected for printing (40), and jobs that require operator intervention are collected (44) in the printer's mass storage buffer until an operator is available (60). When the collected jobs are to be run, the special set-up required is communicated to the operator via an operator interface (66). The operator has the option of requesting all, or select, special jobs then collected in mass storage, be run at any time convenient to the operator.

Description

PRINTER JOB CLASSIFICATION Description Technical Invention

This invention relates generally to electronic printers wherein a plurality of jobs to be printed are queued in a mass storage buffer until the printer is available to run the job, and more particularly to the manner in which the next job to be printed is selected from the buffer. ' Background Art

Computer work stations, word processors, document scanners, and the like produce print jobs having various set-up configurations. When these jobs are sent to a printer, operator intervention may be required to configure the printer to run the job. For example, a particular job might require legal size paper, color insert sheets, color ink or toner, secure handling, etc. If these are not already available in the printer, an operator is needed to provide them.

The jobs are generally run in a predetermined priority, such as in the order they are received (the so-called first-in, first-out sequence). This sequence may be changed by several known prioritization schemes that attempt to identify the most important job, and run it as soon as practical after it is received.

Whatever the job sequence is, it can cause inefficiencies when a job is encountered which requires an operator at the printer. If no operator is available, the printing operation stops until an operator is free. On the otherhand, stationing an operator at the printer to be available when needed is not cost effective. Disclosure of Invention

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to classify jobs as to whether they require operator intervention or not.

It is another object of the present invention that those jobs that require operator intervention, based on the printer's current configuration, be collected in the printer's mass storage buffer until such time when an operator is available.

It is still another object of the present invention that when the collected jobs are to be run, that the special set-up required be communicated to the operator via an operator interface.

It is yet another object of the present invention that the operator have the option of requesting all, or select, special jobs then collected in mass storage, be run at any time convenient to the operator.

In accordance with the above objects, the present invention provides an electronic printer having a mass storage buffer for receiving and queuing a plurality of jobs. Generally, only those jobs that do not require operator intervention are selected for printing, and jobs that require operator intervention are collected in the printer's mass storage buffer until an operator is available.

The invention, and its objects and advantages, will become more apparent in the detailed description of the preferred embodiments presented below..

Brief Description of the Drawings In the detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention presented below, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a simplified schematic diagram of an electronic printer according to the present invention; Figure 2 is a logic flow diagram of the operation of the printer of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is another embodiment of the logic flow diagram of the operation of the printer of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is yet another embodiment of the logic flow diagram of the operation of the printer of Figure 1; and

Figure 5 is still another embodiment of the logic flow diagram of the operation of the printer of Figure 1. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

Referring to Figure 1, an image source 10, such as a host computer, document scanner, or other digitized information source, generates a document package, which is also referred to as a print job. Each print job consists of document information, job priority information if any, and the preferred printer configuration required for finishing. Such information may be stated explicitly or embedded in the content of the job. Printer configuration includes such selectable set-up parameters as paper size, number of prints and sets, color selection, and optionally acceptable substitute set-up con iguration if any. The document information consists of text, images, graphics, composition, onts, and styles. The document package is delivered to an electronic printer 12 and becomes the input to a print server computer 14. The print server computer moves the print jobs into a mass storage buffer 14, and provides a means to run an algorithm, discussed in detail below, which will determine the sequence that the jobs will be retrieved from mass storage and printed. All the following algorithms could be performed by the print server computer, or they could be performed by a second processor, with the print server computer being assigned responsibility for accepting jobs from the image source only.

The print server computer also sends document information and control signals to an image processing unit 18 that provides a means of print job formatting, image enhancement, job editing, image buffering, rasterization, and other conventional image processing function. The image information is sent to a marking engine 20 having an image writer 22, such as a light emitting diode array, laser writer, ion deposition head, ink jet or other means of writing an image.

Sub-systems 24 within marking engine 20 supply printer configuration, sub-system conditions, and material status information to a communications processor 26. Communications processor 26 provides a link between the marking engine, print server computer 14, and an operator interface 28. Operator interface 28 is capable of providing information to, and receiving information from, an operator attending the printer. Information about machine configuration material status such as size of the paper or color of the toner that is present in the machine, is sent to the print server computer, along with any operator preferences as defined on the operator interface. Figure 2 is a logic flow diagram of the algorithm used to determine the order in which jobs are selected by the print server computer from the mass storage buffer of Figure 1. The algorithm enters a functional block 30 where all jobs in the buffer are read by the print server computer. As the algorithm enters a functional block 32 all of the jobs are flagged "READY". At a decisional block 34, the algorithm determines if there are any "READY" jobs. If there are "READY" jobs to be run, the algorithm enters a functional block 36 where the jobs are preliminarily arranged into a preferred order or sequence as discussed below with respect to Figure 3. Still referring to Figure 2, the algorithm moves to a decisional block 38 to determine if the job requires an operator to interface with the printer before the job can be printed. The various reasons that operator interface might be required are discussed below with respect to Figure 4.

If the job can be processed without operator interface, the algorithm moves to a functional block 40 and the job is printed. The algorithm moves through a block 42 where the job is removed from the buffer, and the algorithm returns to block 32 to allow processing the remaining buffered jobs.

If however, the job requires operator interface at decisional block 38, the algorithm enters a functional block 44, whereat a software "NOT-READY" flag is set and an operator interface indicator, such as a light or message display, is turned on. Without printing the job, the algorithm is re-entered above decisional block 34 for selection of the next "READY" job. The "NOT-READY" job has been set aside and will not be re-evaluated until there are no more "READY" jobs at decisional block 34. If the interface indicator is a message, a message buffer is established which, when an operator indicates his or her presence, will display a list of actions need be taken to allow printing of jobs on a job priority and/or operator convenience (e.g., minimal changes) basis.

Now, if there are no "READY" jobs in the buffer at decisional block 34, the buffer is either totally empty or contains only jobs that have been determined to be "NOT-READY" and which require operator interface. The algorithm enters a decisional block 46 to determine if the buffer is empty. If the buffer is empty, the algorithm enters a functional block 48 and the machine turns the operator interface indicator off. The algorithm returns to block 32, and then cycles around blocks 32, 34, 46, 48, and back to 32 until another job is sent from image source 10.

If the buffer is not empty at decisional block 46, it will contain only "NOT READY" jobs. The algorithm leaves the operator interface indicator on to alert the operator and returns to block 32 where all jobs are set "READY" again. The algorithm continues to loop until a new job is received or the operator changes the machine configuration.

Figure 3 shows another embodiment of the algorithm used to determine the order in which jobs are selected by print server computer 14 to be printed. In Figure 3, all logic blocks having the same function as in Figure 2 have been assigned the same reference number.

The algorithm enters functional block 30, whereas all jobs in the buffer are read by the print server computer. As the algorithm enters functional block 32, all of the jobs are made "READY".

If there are "READY" jobs to be run, the algorithm enters complex block 36. The jobs are preliminarily arranged into a preferred order or sequence in a functional block 52 such that all jobs that are stored in the mass storage buffer that have the highest priority, as defined within the document package from the image source, are selected as a set. The algorithm then enters a functional block 54 whereas the oldest job of the set is selected. The algorithm moves to complex block 38 which, as in Figure 2, allows the print server , computer to determine if the job will be printed immediately or if it will be postponed until a later time because of a need for -operator intervention.

Within complex block 38, a decisional block 56 allows the algorithm to determine if the job requires an operator to interface with the printer before the job can be printed. If the job can be processed without operator interface, the algorithm moves to functional block 40 and the job is printed, the algorithm moves to block 42 and the job is removed from the buffer and the algorithm returns to block 32 to allow processing the remaining buffered jobs.

If however, decisional block 56 determines that the job requires an operator to interface with the printer before the job can be run, the algorithm enters a decisional block 58. Decisional block 58 allows the algorithm to determine if the priority level of the job requires that it be printed next or if the job can be postponed while other jobs that do not require an operator are run. Decisional block 60 allows the algorithm to determine if an operator has requested to run the "Operator Interface" jobs at this time. If the decisions made within the algorithm during blocks 58 or 60 require that the job be run immediately, the algorithm moves to a functional block 62 and the operator interface alerts the operator to the conditions that require attention. The algorithm moves to block 40 and the job is printed, and then the algorithm enters block 42, whereat the job is removed from the mass storage buffer. The algorithm is re-entered at block 32 to allow processing of the remaining buffered jobs.

If the complex block 38 algorithm determines that the job requires interface (block 56), is not above a predetermined priority threshold (block 58), and an operator is not standing by (block 60), the algorithm advances to complex block 44. Block 44 is shown in more detail in Figure 3 than in Figure 2, and includes a functional block 64, whereat a software "NOT-READY" flag is set, and a block 66 whereat the machine .outputs a signal from the print server computer to the communications processor and turns on the "Job Present Indicator" on operator interface 28 (see Figure 1) that alerts an operator that there is a job in the buffer that will require operator intervention before it can be run, and the printer stops until such intervention takes place. The algorithm is then re-entered, at block 34, for selection of the next "READY" job. The "NOT-READY" job has been set aside and will not be re-evaluated until the decision has been made within the algorithm at block 34 that there are no more "READY" jobs in the mass storage buffer.

If there are no "READY" jobs in the buffer, as determined within decisional block 34, the buffer is either totally empty or only has jobs that have been determined to be "NOT-READY" and require operator interface before the job can be run. Within decisional block 46, the algorithm allows the print server computer to determine if the buffer is empty, by checking the status of the "NOT READY" flag.

If the "NOT READY" flag is not set, meaning that the buffer is totally empty, the algorithm moves into functional block 48, whereat a signal is output from the print server computer to the communications processor and turns "OFF" the "Job Present Indicator" on the operator interface (see Figure 1), the algorithm returns to block 32, and then cycles between blocks 32, 34, 46, 48, and back to 32 until another job is sent from the image source and stored into the mass storage buffer (see Figure 1). If the "NOT READY" flag is set, meaning that there are "NOT READY" jobs to be run, the algorithm advances to a functional block 68 whereat the "NOT READY" flag is cleared. In a block 70, a signal is output from the print server computer to the communications processor that' sends a message to the operator interface (see Figure 1) alerting the operator that there are no jobs in the buffer that will not require attention before it can be run. The algorithm is then re-entered at block 32 and then cycles between blocks 32, 34, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 64, 66, 34, 46, 68, 70, and back to 32 until the operator inputs an "Operator Present" signal to operator interface 28, which sends a signal through the communications processor to the print server computer that an operator is present at the machine. Now when the algorithm reaches decisional block 60, the operator is determined to be present and the algorithm advances to functional block 62, whereat the operator is alerted to the conditions that require attention via the messages mentioned previously. The algorithm moves to block 40 and the job is printed. Then the algorithm enters block 42, whereat the job is removed from the mass storage buffer. The algorithm is re-entered at block 32 to allow processing of the remaining buffered jobs.

In Figure 4, complex block 38' is a second embodiment of block 38 of Figs. 2 and 3. As in the first embodiment, the purpose of complex block 38' is to allow the algorithm to determine if the current job will be run or if it can be postponed until a later time. During the execution of this complex block, the print server computer reviews the requirements of the job as defined by the document package and stored in coded form in the mass storage buffer, reviews the printer configuration and materials status as reported by the marking engine sub-systems to the print server computer via the communications processor, and reviews the operator preferences as reported by the operator interface to the print server computer via the communications processor. The print server computer then determines if the current print job can or should be run next, or if it should be postponed until a later time. The algorithm enters various decisional blocks 100.., 1002, .... 100 , whereat the print server computer makes a comparison of the job requirements and the current printer status to determine if any operator intervention is required before the job can be run. Optional alternatives to blocks 100- criterion are explored when the algorithm advances to block 102 . The algorithm compares the priority of the job to a priority threshold value, that can be selectively programmed either by the machine operator or by the operator of the image source, in blocks 104 , 104., ...., 104 . As the algorithm moves to blocks 106 , 106 , ..., 106 , the print server computer checks the operator interface, via the communications processor, to determine if the operator has pressed an "Operator Present" button, indicating the operator's preference to run jobs that require operator intervention. If the printer configuration is not correct for the job but priority or operator preference requires the job to be run, the algorithm advances to blocks 108., 108- 108

1 Z n whereat the operator is informed about the necessary changes. When the changes have been made, blocks

110,, 110., , 110 permit resumption of printing. Figure 4 gives three examples of sets of algorithm inquiries, but the concept is not limited to these examples. Figure 5 is an embodiment of the present invention that differs from Figure 3 only in the position of the "Priority Selection" block 52". In this embodiment, all jobs of each successive priority are completed before the printer selects the next priority category.

The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims

Claims
1. An electronic printer having a mass storage buffer for receiving and queuing a plurality of jobs to be printed until the printer is available to run the job, the improvement comprising: means for classifying the jobs as to whether or not they require intervention of an operator attending the printer; means for selectively printing only those jobs that do not require operator intervention and for selectively collecting in the printer's mass storage buffer those jobs that require operator intervention; and means for selectively printing the collected jobs 5 following operator intervention, whereby the jobs that require operator intervention can be printed as a group when the operator is available.
2. An electronic printer as defined in Claim 1 further comprising: an operator interface capable of providing information to an operator attending the printer; and means for communicating to the operator via said operator interface that there are jobs collected in ~ the mass storage buffer that require operator intervention.
3. An electronic printer as defined in Claim 1 further comprising: an operator interface capable of providing 0 information to an operator attending the printer; and means for communicating to the operator via an operator interface (1) that there are jobs collected in the mass storage buffer that require operator intervention and (2) what the required operator Ϊ) intervention is.
4. An electronic printer as defined in .Claim 1 further comprising means selectively usable by an operator for running, at any time convenient to the operator, jobs collected in the printer's mass storage buffer as requiring operator intervention, whereby the jobs that require operator intervention can be run when desired.
5. An electronic printer as defined in Claim 1 further comprising: means for dividing the plurality of jobs into sets by priority; and means for classifying the jobs within the sets by priority.
6. An electronic printer as defined in Claim 5 further comprising means for alerting the operator to the presence of a high priority job that requires operator intervention to run.
7. An electronic printer as defined in Claim 6 further comprising means for interrupting printing until any jobs above a predetermined priority threshold have been printed, whether or not they require operator intervention.
8. A process for printing a plurality of jobs queued in a mass storage buffer, the process comprising the steps of: classifying the jobs as to whether or not they require intervention of an operator attending the printer; and selectively printing only those jobs that do not require operator intervention and selectively collecting in the printer's mass storage buffer those jobs that require operator intervention, whereby the jobs that require operator intervention can be run as a group when the operator is available.
9. The process as defined in Claim 8 further comprising the step of communicating to the operator via an operator interface that there are jobs keep in the mass storage buffer that require operator intervention.
10. The process as defined in Claim 8 further comprising the step of communicating to the operator via an operator interface (1) that there are jobs keep in the mass storage buffer that require operator intervention and (2) what the requirer operator intervention is. 0 11- The process as defined in Claim 8 further comprising the steps of: dividing the plurality of jobs into sets by priority; and classifying the jobs within the sets by priority. ,5 12. The process as defined in Claim 11 further comprising the step of alerting the operator to the presence of a high priority job that requires operator intervention to run.
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PCT/US1988/004655 1987-12-21 1988-12-19 Printer job classification WO1989006024A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13542287A true 1987-12-21 1987-12-21
US135,422 1987-12-21

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WO1989006024A1 true WO1989006024A1 (en) 1989-06-29

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0478340A2 (en) * 1990-09-28 1992-04-01 Xerox Corporation Electronic reprographic printing system
EP0550158A1 (en) * 1991-12-04 1993-07-07 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing apparatus and printing control method
EP0689157A2 (en) * 1994-06-07 1995-12-27 Océ-Nederland B.V. Apparatus for printing digital image data
EP0720086A2 (en) 1994-12-09 1996-07-03 Océ-Nederland B.V. Printing system for carrying out print jobs
EP0858021A2 (en) * 1997-02-11 1998-08-12 Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. Networked system with secure private print function
WO2001040926A1 (en) * 1999-12-01 2001-06-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer with vacation mode
US7158244B2 (en) * 2001-03-20 2007-01-02 Océ-Technologies B.V. Print queue managing method and printer
US8503007B2 (en) 2005-01-21 2013-08-06 OCé PRINTING SYSTEMS GMBH Method, computer program, and system for processing several document processing jobs

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EP0123806A1 (en) * 1983-03-29 1984-11-07 International Business Machines Corporation Method for claiming a printer for a workstation, in an office equipment network
EP0208342A1 (en) * 1985-07-01 1987-01-14 Océ-Nederland B.V. Office automation system

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EP0123806A1 (en) * 1983-03-29 1984-11-07 International Business Machines Corporation Method for claiming a printer for a workstation, in an office equipment network
EP0208342A1 (en) * 1985-07-01 1987-01-14 Océ-Nederland B.V. Office automation system

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Title
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Proceedings of the 12th Conference on Local Computer Networks, 5-7 October 1987 Minneapolis, Minnesota (US) B. Cummiskey et al.: "Distributed print management", pages 160-166 *

Cited By (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0478340A3 (en) * 1990-09-28 1992-10-14 Xerox Corporation Electronic reprographic printing system
EP0478340A2 (en) * 1990-09-28 1992-04-01 Xerox Corporation Electronic reprographic printing system
US6359698B1 (en) * 1991-12-04 2002-03-19 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing apparatus and printing control method for printing the smallest received job first
EP0550158A1 (en) * 1991-12-04 1993-07-07 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing apparatus and printing control method
NL9400918A (en) * 1994-06-07 1996-01-02 Oce Nederland Bv Apparatus for printing digital image data.
EP0689157A3 (en) * 1994-06-07 1996-05-15 Oce Nederland Bv Apparatus for printing digital image data
US5825988A (en) * 1994-06-07 1998-10-20 Oce-Nederland, B.V. Apparatus for printing digital image data
EP0689157A2 (en) * 1994-06-07 1995-12-27 Océ-Nederland B.V. Apparatus for printing digital image data
EP0720086A2 (en) 1994-12-09 1996-07-03 Océ-Nederland B.V. Printing system for carrying out print jobs
US5918988A (en) * 1994-12-09 1999-07-06 Oce-Nederland B.V. Printing system for carrying out print jobs
EP0858021A2 (en) * 1997-02-11 1998-08-12 Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. Networked system with secure private print function
US5970218A (en) * 1997-02-11 1999-10-19 Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. Private print
EP0858021A3 (en) * 1997-02-11 1998-11-25 Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. Networked system with secure private print function
WO2001040926A1 (en) * 1999-12-01 2001-06-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer with vacation mode
AU768831B2 (en) * 1999-12-01 2004-01-08 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer with vacation mode
AU2004201006B2 (en) * 1999-12-01 2006-03-02 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Print Server
US7064851B1 (en) 1999-12-01 2006-06-20 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer with vacation mode
US7158244B2 (en) * 2001-03-20 2007-01-02 Océ-Technologies B.V. Print queue managing method and printer
US8503007B2 (en) 2005-01-21 2013-08-06 OCé PRINTING SYSTEMS GMBH Method, computer program, and system for processing several document processing jobs

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