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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Ok, so I'm NOT QUITE a Tbolt owner yet. but provided the local Best buy stores don't get killed on black friday, I will be the proud owner of two Tbolts smartphones. I don't plan to root (yet), and I'm not too jazzed on getting the FAT battery until I see that I need it. I need advice on what apps to get, how to maximize my battery life (2xbattery seems to work really well on my Eris), and how to disable that pesky blockbuster app that seems to eat up the battery as well. I'm a frequent gamer and youtube watcher, with Netflix soon to be a big player on my phone.

    Unlike other forum users, on a scale of 1-10, my technical skill on smartphones is about a 4.5. this means that I can get by, anything too technical (i.e. ROOT) will send me scurrying away. when/if I decide to root, it will be with someone who knows what they're doing (anybody out there near KC?), and they will have to walk me through it verbally step by step.

    all I want right now is for my stock Tbolt's to work as advertized, with 6-10 hours battery life with the stock battery. I have the ability to charge at my desk at my primary job, so I don't think I'm asking too much. below is my initial ideas:

    get 2xbattery or juice defender
    turn off all syncing (sp?)
    lower screen brightness down to about 30%
    get the LTE on/off app (no 4G quite yet in KC)
    find some really cool homescreens (any help on THIS would be appreciated!!)

    thanks in advance, guys and gals. you all (this forum/website) has been awesome in helping me make confident that the Tbolt is not the crappy phone that the average joe says it is. 11 DAYS TO TBOLTMANIA!!!
  2. #2  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    You'll do fine, the only thing I would change is No juice defender, screen brightness to 20% unless looking at pics or movies. Screen is biggest drain. Cheers.
    T
  3. #3  
    FrankXS's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    You don't need the LTE on/off app. That functionality comes built-in to the new Gingerbread build of the TBolts.

    The Blockbuster app no longer eats battery. That was changed a long time ago. Your software on this new model should already be updated. If not, just update the Blockbuster app and you'll be good to go. The Blockbuster app stopped doing background updates on the version right after the original version supplied on the TBolts. However, it seems it has never been able to live down that original "black-eye". It's fine now.

    -Frank
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  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    You don't need the LTE on/off app. That functionality comes built-in to the new Gingerbread build of the TBolts.

    The Blockbuster app no longer eats battery. That was changed a long time ago. Your software on this new model should already be updated. If not, just update the Blockbuster app and you'll be good to go. The Blockbuster app stopped doing background updates on the version right after the original version supplied on the TBolts. However, it seems it has never been able to live down that original "black-eye". It's fine now.

    -Frank
    that's great news. the phone already has enough "black-eye's" (allegedly) as it is. thanks.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    I think you can get what you need with a stock thunderbolt - like mine. I leave the screen on auto, but I am not always looking at it, i.e. playing games etc. I use it when I need it to read texts, emails, browse the web, make calls... OK and the occasional game. I leave GPS and blutooth off unless I need to use them. I have my emails (4 accts using maildroid) set to stay connected. Other stuff like FB & Twitter and G+ mostly update when I open them or once a day. I usually get 12 hours easy. Mind you it all depends on how much time you spend actually making calls, and whether or not you are in a location that has you switching towers a lot etc. etc. (I am in a moderate 4G zone). I travel to a customer site a few days a weeks where inside their building a constantly switch 1x 3g 4g, and I am still lasting the day.

    your experience may vary
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  6. #6  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    If all you expect is 6-10 hours, you'll be more than fine.

    I have several accounts and apps that sync regularly, and I can DEFINITELY get 10 hours....and that's on 4G.

    If you're on 3G, battery life is much less of an issue. It's 4G LTE that really eats the battery. On 4G, with my "normal" use, I usually get about 12 hours with my standard stock battery. On 3G though, it's more like 20+ hours.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Hmmm, interesting. I've actually noticed increased battery life on 4G LTE versus 3G, I believe primarily because the LTE signal is much, much stronger and the phone now rarely loses data connection or switches off of LTE. I get 24+ hours on the standard battery and almost 3 days on extended, all with light to moderate use. Of course a lot less when using the phone heavily, but that's to be expected. Case in point when I watch a football game for 3+ hours with extended battery, only get about 12 hours total.

    Overall, I keep GPS turned off unless needed. Only Google location services turned on. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are always off (never use them). Screen set to auto and 30 sec timeout. No live wallpaper and all vibrate on press options turned off. Only have one GMail account (sync only mail, not contacts or calendar) and the Sense weather widget default of every 3 hours for syncing. I also highly limit installed apps to minimize what may be running eating up battery life. All in all though, since the GB update, battery life is excellent especially when the phone is in standby as it just sips very little juice.
    Last edited by Synycalwon; 11-15-2011 at 03:51 PM.
  8. #8  

    Default

    I keep it set on CDMA because I am not in a 4g home area. In town it works but I choose to not have it toggle and use more juice. I find the 3g is still faster than that of my previous original Incredible....it was a good phone too.
    I love it. You will too. Get there before the doors open so you will have it! Black Friday will be busy

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  9. #9  
    defcon999's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    I agree with leaving the GPS off until you need it (there is a widget for that). I have mine set to 4G all the time because I am in a strong 4g area (San Francisco area). When I am at home I flip to WiFi.

    I do a lot of texting but I found a killer program a couple of weeks ago called "Mighty Text". It is a extension download for GOOGLE CHROME (only on Chrome now) and you download the app for your phone and "link it". When you get a text message on your phone, it pops up on your PC and you can respond back and the message is save on your phone as if you typed it from your phone. Comes is way handy at work. It will even alert you when you have incoming calls (I silence..no vibrate either, at work).

    As far as APPS to download?....that is subjective as to what you want. Here are some of my favorite (in no particular order):

    1. GoSMS (does MMS also) - way better than the stock messaging program. Handcent use to be my favorite, but GoSMS is mine now.

    2. Double twist - You create your playlists in iTunes and then you can sync them to your phone and it will copy your music also.

    3. SportyPal - I jog and this is a tracking program

    4. HeyTell - It is like a walkie talkie feature but uses text messages (and data...equiv. to an email). You put your friiends in your list and then press a button and it sends a voice message (your voice) to the person. I have unlimited data so I don't worry about going over my limit....might want to check if you don't have unlimted.

    5. WiFi Manager - Just like the name applies.....manages your WiFi connections.

    6. cVolume - Controls volume levels...different presets.

    7. MyBackup Pro - This will back up your phone (pics, music, photos even though you don't have to because they live on your SD Card).

    8. Bump - This works from Android to iPhone and reverse....you can transfer your contact information and files by yes....BUMPING (softly) with the other phone. Both phones have to have it installed and running.

    9. barcode Scanner - name says it all. It scans barcodes and QR Codes as well.

    10. SMS Backup+ - back's up your SMS message. MyBackup does the same thing also.

    11. Games.....to many to name...Fruit Ninja, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Tetris....etc.

    That should keep you busy for awhile. Welcome to the TBolt world.

    Also, side note.......Rooting and then flashing is SOOOOOOO easy!....but, get comfortable with the phone first then explore rooting.
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  10. #10  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Synycalwon View Post
    Hmmm, interesting. I've actually noticed increased battery life on 4G LTE versus 3G, I believe primarily because the LTE signal is much, much stronger and the phone now rarely loses data connection or switches off of LTE. I get 24+ hours on the standard battery and almost 3 days on extended, all with light to moderate use. Of course a lot less when using the phone heavily, but that's to be expected. Case in point when I watch a football game for 3+ hours with extended battery, only get about 12 hours total.

    ...
    That's definitely different than my experience, but both 3G and 4G are pretty strong in my area. I'm willing to bet that *if* the 4G signal was stronger, and the 3G signal was weak, that battery life would be better on 4G. I'm also guessing my battery life isn't quite as good as yours because I do like to have all my accounts sync quite regularly, despite the known power drain that can cause.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    I just heard from my wife who spoke to a Verizon rep...if I buy the Tbolt from Best Buy, then they (verizon) can't replace it if something goes wrong. I really can't believe that, but even still, it's worth looking into. I'm still a verizon customer, and so they (verizon) should be able to work with me. now that I think about it, that HAS to be wrong. in the three trips to the verizon store with my Eris, no one ever asked, "where did you buy this phone?" last I checked, Verizon still has the Tbolt for $199.99. why would I spend the extra $100.00 (per phone)? I have a feeling the verizon rep was yanking my wife's chain......
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by johnriii View Post
    I just heard from my wife who spoke to a Verizon rep...if I buy the Tbolt from Best Buy, then they (verizon) can't replace it if something goes wrong. I really can't believe that, but even still, it's worth looking into. I'm still a verizon customer, and so they (verizon) should be able to work with me. now that I think about it, that HAS to be wrong. in the three trips to the verizon store with my Eris, no one ever asked, "where did you buy this phone?" last I checked, Verizon still has the Tbolt for $199.99. why would I spend the extra $100.00 (per phone)? I have a feeling the verizon rep was yanking my wife's chain......
    Best Buy has it's own customer care type packages that they offer and want to sell you. They also have other different potential upgrade paths. Also different return policies. Just check out all that stuff at Best Buy and compare it to VZW.

    Also, as far as VZW not asking where you bought the phone... they do ask for your phone number so they can look at your account status. They already know if you bought it at VZW or not.

    -Frank
    [HTC Thunderbolt 4G/LTE!]
    It's not your dream phone. It's the one after that!
    Look here for a [VZW Coverage Map] to check your area. Select 4G before hitting [Refresh]
  13. #13  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by johnriii View Post
    I just heard from my wife who spoke to a Verizon rep...if I buy the Tbolt from Best Buy, then they (verizon) can't replace it if something goes wrong. I really can't believe that, but even still, it's worth looking into. I'm still a verizon customer, and so they (verizon) should be able to work with me. now that I think about it, that HAS to be wrong. in the three trips to the verizon store with my Eris, no one ever asked, "where did you buy this phone?" last I checked, Verizon still has the Tbolt for $199.99. why would I spend the extra $100.00 (per phone)? I have a feeling the verizon rep was yanking my wife's chain......
    Probably not "yanking your wife's chain". That's probably the agreement Verizon has with Best Buy. Best Buy gets to sell the phones, but has to be responsible for support too...otherwise why would Verizon need to let them sell phones at all?
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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    My wife tells me I'm obesessed with the battery life on my Bolt, but I'll bet she'll try and pick my brain when she gets the Nexus. Here's how I max mine, and I think all but one of these has been mentioned:

    1. Leave screen at 25%. As was already said, the display sucks the battery faster than anything else.
    2. Limit email syncing. I only have two email accounts, business and personal. I've set the business one to sync once an hour and the personal one to only update when I open it. This has made a significant difference in battery life for me.
    3. Turn off WiFi when I'm not at home. Most of the time I just leave the phone on 4G all of the time, but if I do turn on WiFi when I'm home, I make sure to turn it off when I leave. This doesn't save a huge amount of battery, but I've noticed about a 6% difference over the course of the day. Also, as Synycalwon said, I don't notice a huge drain on my battery from using 4G so there's no negative for me turning off WiFi.
    4. I don't use any apps like Juice Defender or 2x battery. I tried them but never noticed that they actually helped, and Juice Defender actually seemed to deplete my battery.
    5. Watching Netflix and playing games kills the battery faster than anything else for me. But now that I have the extended battery, I don't worry about that. With moderate usage (including Netflix and games), I'm usually sitting at 70-72% battery remaining at the end of the day (15+ hours).

    Some of the apps I like:

    Rainy Days - Just shows you the Doppler radar for anywhere you want to see.
    Circle Launcher - I have this on my main home screen and love it because I can make it invisible yet still have access to my most used apps without opening up the app tray or swiping to another screen.
    NFL Mobile - Great app that allows me to watch football even when I'm on the go. Plus, the Redzone channel is free this year, so make sure you check that out when you get your phones,
    ESPN ScoreCenter - for when you want immediate access to scores.
    Nook - I have the original Nook and this app gives me access to every book in my library.
    Pulse - Love this app. This is a one-stop app to get all of your world news, local news, technology news, sports news, and anything else you want to include since it's fully customizable.
    Pandora - Radio stations aren't great in my area and when I get tired of them, I turn on Pandora.
    MyBackUp Pro - As defcon said, it's always a good idea to back-up your data, and this app makes it easy.
    Netflix - Love having movies on my phone when I have down time between jobs.
    Vlingo - Similar to Siri, and helps me stop texting while driving.
    Retro Camera Plus - I've taken some very cool pics with this app. If you don't want to pay for it before trying it, there's also a free version in the market.

    These are just a few of the apps that will always be on my phone. Good luck with your new Bolt when you get it. I think you're going to be very pleased with it.
  15. Thread Author  Thread Author    #15  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by mightyfacundo View Post
    My wife tells me I'm obesessed with the battery life on my Bolt, but I'll bet she'll try and pick my brain when she gets the Nexus. Here's how I max mine, and I think all but one of these has been mentioned:

    1. Leave screen at 25%. As was already said, the display sucks the battery faster than anything else.
    2. Limit email syncing. I only have two email accounts, business and personal. I've set the business one to sync once an hour and the personal one to only update when I open it. This has made a significant difference in battery life for me.
    3. Turn off WiFi when I'm not at home. Most of the time I just leave the phone on 4G all of the time, but if I do turn on WiFi when I'm home, I make sure to turn it off when I leave. This doesn't save a huge amount of battery, but I've noticed about a 6% difference over the course of the day. Also, as Synycalwon said, I don't notice a huge drain on my battery from using 4G so there's no negative for me turning off WiFi.
    4. I don't use any apps like Juice Defender or 2x battery. I tried them but never noticed that they actually helped, and Juice Defender actually seemed to deplete my battery.
    5. Watching Netflix and playing games kills the battery faster than anything else for me. But now that I have the extended battery, I don't worry about that. With moderate usage (including Netflix and games), I'm usually sitting at 70-72% battery remaining at the end of the day (15+ hours).

    Some of the apps I like:

    Rainy Days - Just shows you the Doppler radar for anywhere you want to see.
    Circle Launcher - I have this on my main home screen and love it because I can make it invisible yet still have access to my most used apps without opening up the app tray or swiping to another screen.
    NFL Mobile - Great app that allows me to watch football even when I'm on the go. Plus, the Redzone channel is free this year, so make sure you check that out when you get your phones,
    ESPN ScoreCenter - for when you want immediate access to scores.
    Nook - I have the original Nook and this app gives me access to every book in my library.
    Pulse - Love this app. This is a one-stop app to get all of your world news, local news, technology news, sports news, and anything else you want to include since it's fully customizable.
    Pandora - Radio stations aren't great in my area and when I get tired of them, I turn on Pandora.
    MyBackUp Pro - As defcon said, it's always a good idea to back-up your data, and this app makes it easy.
    Netflix - Love having movies on my phone when I have down time between jobs.
    Vlingo - Similar to Siri, and helps me stop texting while driving.
    Retro Camera Plus - I've taken some very cool pics with this app. If you don't want to pay for it before trying it, there's also a free version in the market.

    These are just a few of the apps that will always be on my phone. Good luck with your new Bolt when you get it. I think you're going to be very pleased with it.
    Never heard of Pulse, but it's worth checking out since I'm only at home for about 7 hours a day on average. More than likely I will be attached to a charge location when watching netflix so no worries there (except I can't use the kickstand while charging) and 2x battery for my Eris is working unbelievably great, so I can't see how it will be any different for my Tbolt. after a two week trial on my Eris, I'll give it a go. doesn't Pandora eat up the battery pretty quickly? at least that was my experience on my present phone. I never used unless at my desk at work. Vlingo is one I will have to look into as well. people always seem to text me WHEN I'm driving....
  16. #16  
    willymakit's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Bought many phones from Best Buy, never had a problem with returning them to Verizon and getting a exchange.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Absolutely give 2x battery a shot if it's working for you; it just didn't seem to do much for me.

    Anything you use a lot on any smartphone is going to use battery, but Pandora doesn't seem to use an abnormal amount on my phone. I think the usage is dependant on how strong your 3G/4G signal is. For instance, yesterday I used it for about an hour, and at the end of the day, Pandora accounted for 3% of my total battery usage. When I plugged in to charge after 15 hrs, 34 mins, my phone was at 70%. (extended battery)

    Like you, I swear I get 90% of my texts when I'm driving! What's up with that???
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    I have a different take on it.

    1) I just ran a test. I used Battery Monitor Widget, set my screen to stay on, and set the intensity to minimum (I usually use auto). That gave me an average total current draw of 57ma. or about 24 hours of run time with the screen on. I then set the intensity to max, and that gave an average current of 97ma. with the screen on, or a run time of about 14 hours. So if you leave the screen turned on 24/7, yea, it applies. But if you have it time out, it is somewhat irrelevant. It is hard to judge, but I doubt that my screen is on for 60 minutes a day. So that extra 40ma spread over 24 hours is only 1.7ma/hr. Or about 1 800th the battery capacity. The battery would power that backlight for 800 hours. (at 60 minutes a day) Basically, it is NOTHING.
    I believe that people are basing this on the usage screen. This displays the PROCESSOR TIME consumed to generate the display images (screen at minimum or maximum, the time remains the same). There is no hardware that can measure only the amperage consumed by the display backlight. Only hardware to measure the total current draw for everything. The usage screen shows TIME, not power. So turn off the live wallpaper and such to reduce that number.

    2) GPS and WiFi. I leave mine turned on all of the time. The GPS hardware is not turned on unless you are running an app the uses it. The same for the WiFi. If you aren't transferring data, the WiFi shuts down.

    3) I leave push exchange email on 24/7, and my POP email set for every 1/2 hour. I have a weather widget that updates every hour.

    So with these items on, my average current draw in standby is 20 - 50ma., or well over 24 hours. In a 16 hour day of normal use, I go from 100% down to maybe 40%. Then charge overnight.
    Now if I do something that is processor intensive, like navigation, playing videos or games, then the battery life suffers. For those times I try to run off of external power.

    Earlier in the year I had a problem with the Pandora and Blockbuster apps using power in the background. I'm running the latest official release, rooted so I can freeze the bloatware.
    Last edited by worwig; 11-16-2011 at 02:30 PM.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by worwig View Post
    2) GPS and WiFi. I leave mine turned on all of the time. The GPS hardware is not turned on unless you are running an app the uses it. The same for the WiFi. If you aren't transferring data, the WiFi shuts down.

    I've noticed that the WiFi, when left on, detects WiFi signals when I'm driving around town. If I'm near a Starbucks or McDonalds, for example, I'll get a notification with the WiFi symbol saying that there is available WiFi nearby. This is why I turn it off when not at home. Tomorrow, I think I'll turn it on after I leave and see if it registers on the "battery use" page. Thanks.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by mightyfacundo View Post
    I've noticed that the WiFi, when left on, detects WiFi signals when I'm driving around town. If I'm near a Starbucks or McDonalds, for example, I'll get a notification with the WiFi symbol saying that there is available WiFi nearby. This is why I turn it off when not at home. Tomorrow, I think I'll turn it on after I leave and see if it registers on the "battery use" page. Thanks.
    If you leave wifi on, it'll continuously scan in the background for known networks. That's why most just turn it off when they're going to be out of range for a while. Believe some custom roms also have the scan intervals increased to help out too.
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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by PJnc284 View Post
    If you leave wifi on, it'll continuously scan in the background for known networks. That's why most just turn it off when they're going to be out of range for a while. Believe some custom roms also have the scan intervals increased to help out too.
    Agreed. I'd like to add one more thing. If you have ever connected to a Wifi with a "generic" name such as Linksys, Netgear, Qwest, att_wifi, Wayport_Access, anytime you pass yet another network with this name the phone will struggle hard to connect. And, in many cases it will succeed because typically these type networks have no password. They are "open". Most of them will force you through an "authentication" page, or at least ask you to click "I agree" on their terms before you have Internet access. Due to this, your phone will shed battery power simply trying and re-trying to stay connected to these generic names. Not to mention, in some cases like this it will actually gain Internet access and turn off your RF data, causing yet more battery issues and confusion.

    Bottom line, it is always better to keep Wifi turned off until you need it and until you know what network you want to connect to.

    -Frank
    Last edited by FrankXS; 11-16-2011 at 07:54 PM.
    [HTC Thunderbolt 4G/LTE!]
    It's not your dream phone. It's the one after that!
    Look here for a [VZW Coverage Map] to check your area. Select 4G before hitting [Refresh]
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  22. #22  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Thanks PJnc284 and Frank for confirming what I believed to be true about the WiFi. At least I know now that I wasn't imagining things.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankXS View Post
    Bottom line, it is always better to keep Wifi turned off until you need it and until you know what network you want to connect to.
    Maybe true when roaming around.

    But when I am in a known location (home or work) I leave mine on 100% of the time. It almost appears to improve my battery life over using 3G in those locations.
  24. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by worwig View Post
    Maybe true when roaming around.

    But when I am in a known location (home or work) I leave mine on 100% of the time.
    Yes, of course. It's all about a known Wifi.

    -Frank

    Sent from my HTC ThunderBolt 4G/LTE using Tapatalk
    [HTC Thunderbolt 4G/LTE!]
    It's not your dream phone. It's the one after that!
    Look here for a [VZW Coverage Map] to check your area. Select 4G before hitting [Refresh]
  25. #25  

    Default Re: New Tbolt owner needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by worwig View Post
    Maybe true when roaming around.

    But when I am in a known location (home or work) I leave mine on 100% of the time. It almost appears to improve my battery life over using 3G in those locations.
    yeah, wifi is definitely more efficient when you have it available than 3G or 4G. What we're saying is that if you are away from wifi for an extended amount of time, it's better to turn it off as it will cut down on the wifi radio searching and trying to find something it recognizes.

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