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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:33 am    Post subject: Performance vs. OS X? Reply with quote

I just noticed that I haven't seen ANY benchmarks in the net, that compares OS X and Linux on PPC-hardware. Have any of you guys made any benchmarks between the two (on same hardware)? What were the results?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's like comparing apples and penguins :lol:
What exactly do you want to compare?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oscarwild wrote:
that's like comparing apples and penguins :lol:
What exactly do you want to compare?


Since much of the same software can run on each OS, I would be interested in seeing that are there any performance-differences between the two. I don't have any specific app in mind, I mean more generally. Several people have said around the net that Linux is fater (and it propably is, due to it's aggressively tuned elevators, schedulers and the like), but I would like to see some hard data.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is quite difficult to say, since there ist no Linux "standard" system. In fact there's a bunch of different kernels available with even more configurations. Real time linux systems contain optimized scedulers for low latency (however, that won't result into a performance gain, but into a faster, and maybe more deterministic response to events).
Further more, an application's performance depends on so many other things; e.g., if you're using a GUI, you'll experience differences when working under KDE, Gnome or some lightweight window managers like fluxbox. The storage performance depends on the file systems used, and so on.
I don't believe, one can find a general answer to your question.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oscarwild wrote:
This is quite difficult to say, since there ist no Linux "standard" system. In fact there's a bunch of different kernels available with even more configurations. Real time linux systems contain optimized scedulers for low latency (however, that won't result into a performance gain, but into a faster, and maybe more deterministic response to events).


I'm not looking for some "standard" system. I'm simply interested in seeing the results if someone tested some app on OS X, then booted to Gentoo and tested that same app there. Nothing more, nothing less.

Quote:
Further more, an application's performance depends on so many other things; e.g., if you're using a GUI, you'll experience differences when working under KDE, Gnome or some lightweight window managers like fluxbox. The storage performance depends on the file systems used, and so on.
I don't believe, one can find a general answer to your question.


I'm well aware of all that. And frankly, they are irrelevant to the question at hand. I'm simply interested in knowing that is Linux generally speaking faster than OS X.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
...then booted to Gentoo and tested that same app there

What do you mean by Gentoo? Gentoo is one of the most flexible (meta!) distributions available. Results will strongly differ, depending on the kernel used, its configuration, the use flags, the whole GNU system, whether glibc has NPTL support etc.
Evangelion wrote:
I'm simply interested in knowing that is Linux generally speaking faster than OS X.

Short but simple answer: generally no.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a G3/750, and OS X (Jaguar) was terribly slow. It was a little bit better than the earlier versions...but...it was still unusable. It took about three minutes just to boot, applications were slow to load, really basic stuff like response time to clicking on applications in the background was so intolerably bad that I just couldn't deal with it. I never did any benchmark except the boot time, which was so obscenely terrible that I felt everything else wasn't even worth comparing.

My gentoo system on the same hardware is very responsive; it boots to a fully loaded KDE desktop in a little over a minute. I trashed the OS X partition. I am back to dual booting OS 9 and Gentoo.

I have heard that OS X is really optimized for G4 and newer hardware...so I think this may explain it; it theoretically runs on G3's but I've never heard of anyone who had a G3 with OS X and was really satisfied with it. I would like to know if the newer versions of OS X are really that much faster on old G3 hardware.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cazort wrote:
it theoretically runs on G3's but I've never heard of anyone who had a G3 with OS X and was really satisfied with it.

I have to disagree. I know someone who runs Panther on a 500MHz Pismo and it's not sluggish at all. I used to own that same Pismo and ran Jaguar on it, and even that was far from sluggish. But OS X does need a whole lot of RAM to do it's thing. 512MB is the absolute minimum.

On topic: I have a G4 400MHz that dual boots Panther Server and Gentoo. Panther boots up in under a minute, whereas Gentoo takes about a minute to populate /dev alone.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oscarwild wrote:
What do you mean by Gentoo? Gentoo is one of the most flexible (meta!) distributions available. Results will strongly differ, depending on the kernel used, its configuration, the use flags, the whole GNU system, whether glibc has NPTL support etc.


Are you TRYING to make this as difficult as possible? seriously? I do not require some ultra-detailed benchmarks with thousand different configurations! Just a general rule-of-thumb! People don't seem to have problems comparing Linux to Windows, *BSD, Solaris or the like. But now that I'm interested in seeing it benchmarked to OS X, it suddenly seems like the most difficult task on the planet! Sheesh!

Quote:
Evangelion wrote:
I'm simply interested in knowing that is Linux generally speaking faster than OS X.

Short but simple answer: generally no.


that's strange. the reason I asked was that I was told that Linux is faster (and I wouldn't be surprised, considering the aggressively tuned IO- and CPU-schedulers, fine-grained SMP-support, aggressive latency-tuning and the like), and I was interested in seeing some numbers.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:

Are you TRYING to make this as difficult as possible? seriously? I do not require some ultra-detailed benchmarks with thousand different configurations! Just a general rule-of-thumb! People don't seem to have problems comparing Linux to Windows, *BSD, Solaris or the like. But now that I'm interested in seeing it benchmarked to OS X, it suddenly seems like the most difficult task on the planet! Sheesh!

My experience with gentoo is just great, compared to OSX.

I decided to work with linux only very quickly.

I did not like Aqua which I found painfully slow. I found many softs under OSX to provide very few options and in many cases not to allow you to cut off some slow graphical effects or that was not well documented or I could not get these "iSofts" to do what I wanted. It was much of a disappointment, for the linux user I was.

Gentoo was not easy to install (this was quite an understatement) but at least it performed up to all my other expectations.

Overall I can say I am pleased to make all the choices, to get the applications which are the most powerfull under linux. In the same time, many installs were almost impossible to do under OSX. So I would say that performance-wise, I prefer OSX by much.

I hope this helps, even though it is just my experience (with a PB alu G4).
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:57 pm    Post subject: iBook Linux Reply with quote

I have to say that i am thoroughly impressed at the relative performace comparison between OS X and Linux. I have used OS X on by iBook G4/800 with 640MB of ram for quite some time, and i got tired of waiting on my entire screen to be rendered into PDF before i can see anything... In linux, the graphical environment is now very very snappy. As for RAM usage (not a great direct comparison, but still useful) i am using barely over 100MB with a full XFCE4/xmms/firefox/evolution2/gnome-terminal system. If you run iTunes with my meager 2000 song portable music collection, you can say goodbye to at least 128 mb of ram.

For performing all non-exciting things (firefoxing, desktoping, musicing) this computer is performing as nicely as my Athlon XP 2400+ 2.0GHz (both running Gentoo).

The only detrimental thing i have to say about running linux on your ppc is i hope you don't have an nvidia card. or airport extreme (but if you look for the wrt54g and airport extreme you can find stories/projects where there is an effort to reverse-engineer the arm driver for the ae chipset).

If you have a desktop Mac, i have used everything in linux perfectly on those before (blue g4)... seemed a bit easier to manage than os x in a lot of ways.

and besides, when placed with a challenge between Aqua (Duplos) and XFCE (Technics) the choice is clear
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1G TiBook with 1G of RAM, running Gentoo Linux and OS-X (10.3) on dual boot. I have to admit that Linux actually IS faster. I tried to unpack the same tbz2 files on both machines, and there is a noticable performance increase on Linux. Likewise, compiling my thesis (LaTeX) on Linux took about 9s and on OS-X almost 30s. I was amazed. Compiling (gcc, g++) the same: it's so much slower on OS-X (but it looks soooo cuuuuute with the semi-transparent terminal windows!).

Aqua is slow, I agree. And annoying, there's just too much eye-candy for my taste. I use either EvilWM or Gnome and they're pretty fast and responsive.

What I found negative on Linux is the lack of some applications. The PDF support is bad, I have trouble with FireWire and my iPOD, don't ask me about the DVD drive.

So I use Linux to do real work, and OS-X when I have to play around. :-)

I hope that helps?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evangelion, your rude posting to Oscarwild is bewildering. He is accurately answering your questions. You are asking for a "general rule of thumb" with regards to OSX as compared to a family of kernels and a plethora of versions of gnu/unix it runs on, under non-specific levels of optimization, on an unspecified filesystem, and you seem to expect this abiguous question to be answered. The very fact you are asking this question belies your cluelessness, and your rudeness at Oscarwild's reponse reinforces it. What we are trying to tell you is that there is no 'rule of thumb.'

Linux running 2.2 kernel and ext2 may be slower than OSX at some things and faster at others. Linux running 2.6 and reiserfs may be faster than OSX at many things but slower at some. Some of the time. Under certain circumstances. Depending on the app.

In general I find OSX to be well tuned for the G4 7450 in my Powerbook with 1GB ram. That said, I find reiserfs to be faster at copying than HFS+. I find the OSX GUI a lot faster than linux's Xfree 4.x, contrary to a lot of posters, as the Radeon drivers, especially 3D, are a lot better in OSX than they are as compiled on my specific kernel/gnu subsystem/files system, with my C flags, compiled with GCC 3.4 on PPC.

So 3D graphics (and multimedia in general) are faster in OS X, and less processor-bound as compared to linux, while simpler things that access the filesystem (copying, deleting) are likely to be faster on linux.

For the most part, unix apps compiled on either OS and appropriately optimized for the processor (ie: G4) will likely be just as fast.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stimuli wrote:
For the most part, unix apps compiled on either OS and appropriately optimized for the processor (ie: G4) will likely be just as fast.


That's exactly in contrast to what my experience is with term applications...

Anyway, talking about the two OS. Let's have a deeper look, shall we? Linux is monolithic, it's a big chunk of application running in the same address space which communicates with the outside world through processor interrupts. OS-X is a Mach kernel, different parts of the kernel run as seperate processes that communicate with one another through defined protocols. Mach was never mature, and Apple added layers to handle mobility/plug&play, Java etc. As far as I understand it, they've added quite some overhead to the kernel, that simply doesn't exist inside of Linux. And because they are completely different architectures, it's hard to compare them. Doable nevertheless (google for it, I am sure you'll find heaps of fancy graphs and tables).

As the previous posters have pointed out, it's not that easy to measure which of the two "is faster". Although, I do believe that there's a rule-of-thumb if you define what you're looking at. But I repeat what stimuli and Oscarwild have been saying, so I shut up and go to work now :-)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stimuli wrote:
Evangelion, your rude posting to Oscarwild is bewildering. He is accurately answering your questions.


Well, it's not "bewildering" IMO. I mean, we routinely see different OS'es benchmarked against each other. *BSD and Linux are compared, hell even Windows and Linux are compared (since there are apps that run on both). But now that I ask about OS X/Linux-comparisons, people make it sound like the most difficult task in the world!

Yes, there are different optimization-settings and the like. But that doesn't seem to stop people from comparing Linux to *BSD, Solaris and Windows. Why should it stop Linux from being compared to OS X?

Quote:
You are asking for a "general rule of thumb" with regards to OSX as compared to a family of kernels and a plethora of versions of gnu/unix it runs on, under non-specific levels of optimization, on an unspecified filesystem, and you seem to expect this abiguous question to be answered. The very fact you are asking this question belies your cluelessness, and your rudeness at Oscarwild's reponse reinforces it. What we are trying to tell you is that there is no 'rule of thumb.'


and, like I said, people are happily comparing Linux to Windows, Solaris and *BSD. Why is that comparison possible, but not comparison with OS X? Seriously?

Quote:
Linux running 2.2 kernel and ext2 may be slower than OSX at some things and faster at others. Linux running 2.6 and reiserfs may be faster than OSX at many things but slower at some. Some of the time. Under certain circumstances. Depending on the app.


OK, let's make this simple: when I asked about comparison between Linux and OS X, I was referring to a modern Linux-distro. And that would mean 2.6-series kernel and journaled filesystem.

Quote:
So 3D graphics (and multimedia in general) are faster in OS X, and less processor-bound as compared to linux, while simpler things that access the filesystem (copying, deleting) are likely to be faster on linux.


So, you spend alot of time telling me how my question is next to impossible to answer, and then you proceed to answer my question? Well, I thank you for your anwer.

Quote:
For the most part, unix apps compiled on either OS and appropriately optimized for the processor (ie: G4) will likely be just as fast.


Considering that there are serious differences in (for example) process- and IO-schedulers between the two, I fail to see how that could be.

Anyway: my apologies to Oscarwild if he was offended by my remarks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In theory:

-In cause of "Micro-kernel" used in OS X (Mach) Mac OS would be slower on system-call than a 2.4 or 2.6 linux ("modular" kernel for 2.6).
-Apple have better knowledge about mac hardware than independant developpers, they could do better code
-Apple perharps use xlc ....... I'm not sur...

Other facts:

-X11 with KDE or Gnome (without transparency) seems to be faster than OSX Aqua... but if you compare X11 with transparency and Aqua you'll see that new mac on OS X (with quartz enable) have a better responsivenes and use less CPU time.

If you search only the faster OS, I think you'll never find it.

Somebody here says exactly the "truth": it depends of hardware, linux and software version, config files, what you search (fast "finder" response, fast compilation, faster mail, fasteer webbrowser, faster ....)

We could say something else: The advantage of linux is that you have the choice to be a litlle bit faster on some kind of work... On OSX you don't.

Personally I prefer Mac OS X. I work faster on it in cause of I have an ready to use OS and stable. But I use linux for some work I need to have an open source and flexible OS.

(sorry for my "spanish-cow" english...)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well here are a few things I've noticed when comparing OS X 10.3 <--> Gentoo on a PowerBook G3 FW 400 (384 MB RAM, 60GB 5400rpm disk; 2 batteries: one good, one bad). Generally the main difference for me between the two is that Gentoo "idles" very well, but if there are apps open under Mac OS X they usually cause more cpu load while running in the background.

Comparing the "same" apps I get similar launchtimes for OpenOffice (around 15+ seconds on first launch, but it varies) but responsiveness in OpenOffice is much better under Gentoo. Similarily if I run glxgears under Mac OS X it performs rather bad and gives around 80-110 fps (~110 only if I stop other processes, such as Mail, Safari, MSN Messenger, Microsoft Word etc.). Glxgears under Gentoo goes a little faster, 420-490 fps (490 only if fully idle, running just GNOME). But here we're comparing X11 apps, running within X11 under both Mac OS X and Gentoo. X11 obviously does not use as much acceleration through the ATI Rage Pro 128 8MB card for its 2D/3D operations under OS X.

Comparing something that runs "natively" under OS X and Gentoo is mplayer for playing movies for instance. Under Mac OS X I usually can't play large movie files (200-700MB .avi, .mpg etc.) on my hardware; video skips quite a lot and audio doesn't sync. Mplayer uses 100% of the cpu under Mac OS X. Under Gentoo I can easily watch whatever large movie file in mplayer that Mac OS X couldn't, and the cpu load is nothing like 100%, it's usually around 50-70% even when playing very large files. (contrary to Mac OS X, I cannot play DVDs under Gentoo).

I have tried similar things on another computer just like mine (with more memory) and got very similar results. These graphical processes would probably run better with altivec-enabled cpus and quartz extreme when running Mac OS X.

Lastly: battery life. Since OS X is always "using" the cpu for something, it usually doesn't go below 10% when there are apps running. If MS Word, Messenger, Safari, Mail ... are open, then the load is around 30-40% constantly. Thus the battery runs for around 3 hours under OS X with brightness nearly all the way down, but under Gentoo with similar processes running (openoffice instead of Word...) it's around 5 hours; 6-7 hours under Gentoo if I turn off both networking and sound.

This maybe gives some idea, but I mostly use the computer for word processing, email, web and chat, and these aren't very processor-intensive.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got 10.3.9 running on a B&W Rev.2 G3 with 400MHz and it runs fine. Gentoo boottime is a bit longer than OS X. Trying to improve that, but too lazy at the moment. Gimp runs a little better on Gentoo than on OS X and GFTP, too.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on older systems, linux would probably be faster for the simple reason that you can customize it pretty much infinitley. you can get a good window manager that won't use a lot of resources, etc. while with os x you don't get that choice.

though os x vs. gentoo w/ KDE. os x wins hands down.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is obviously totally subjective, but on my TiBook 867mhz (w/ radeon 9000 32MB), I find OSX neither slow nor crufty. I don't notice the speed improvements that so many other seem to. Especially when you consider window zooming to the dock, or exposé (which barely even blips on my CPU), when you consider all OSX does, it amazes me how little CPU it needs. Just dragging a mozilla window around in X11 on a barebones fluxbox setup quickly hogs a lot more CPU than switching virtual desktops in OSX with Desktop Manager (3rd party freeware). In short, (unsurprisingly) I find OSX to be much more highly tuned to my laptop hardware than linux.

Don't get me wrong; I love linux and continue to play with it for no logical reason. I'm all about the fluxbox, aterm and artwiz fonts, if you know what I mean, but X11 is very weak in comparison to quartz on my radeon. More CPU time to do vastly simpler operations. I get comparable FPS playing Ghost Recon in OSX with full screen to armagetron in an 800 x 600 window in linux. Of course, all this really benchmarks is the ATI acceleration under both, and of course linux/ppc is using reverse-engineered drivers.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, this may be comparing apples : oranges, but still:

Running command yes >> yes.txt for 10 seconds produces:

- a 27 MB text file in Mac OS X 10.3.7 (Apple's Terminal)
- a 61 MB text file in Gentoo Linux with a 2.6.10 kernel (Gnome's Terminal)

I've re-run these a couple of times and got similar results every time.
This is a PowerBook G3 400 with a 5400 rpm hard drive. Under both OSes the computer was as idle as it could get under normal circumstances, i.e. no other applications running.

I would be interested in knowing why there's such a huge difference.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about very specific aplicatons: games
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Games performance is much better on OS X, as per my previous post. This is because OS X has official ATI drivers, written specifically for OS X, that support all (or nearly all?) of your card's features. Linux, OTOH, uses reverse-engineered radeon drivers that support only the most rudimentary features of the cards. The older your card, the better the support for your card, in all likelihood. So a newer faster card will actually be worse under linux than an earlier card, because the freestyled linux drivers will be more mature for the older one.

I suspect Filesystem performance is a huge performance barrier for OSX. HFS plus is just an extended HFS, and they are how many decades old now? Reiserfs etc are light years ahead in terms of cutting edge FS ideas put into practice. I mean, Apple only got a journaled FS like a year and a half ago, IIRC. Multiple concurrent reads/writes is just painful under OSX. Example: today I was saving bookmarks in Safari under OSX after installing a security update. The System Update software was 'optimizing' ie: binary pre-linking, and the act of saving bookmarks in Safari was ridiculously slow... because the HD was already in moderate use. The same thing in linux wouldn't even hiccup, I recon, and "prelink -a" takes seconds, not minutes.
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just adding my $0.02.... Gentoo Xorg is blazingly fast on my iBook G4 1.2GHz 768MB RAM and OS X 10.3.9 is just sluggish as all hell. Drop
shadows and transparency are just
not worth it for me. It's nice to have choices again. Also, the system seems to run cooler on gentoo than on OS X. The fan comes on a lot more in gentoo and the case never heats up the way it does in OS X even with the system idle. (AFAIK, I have no choice about the fan behavior in OS X.)

I have also installed gentoo on a G4 Upgraded Pismo 550Mhz 512MB (ATI rage128 video) with similar results, but there were some intermittant problems (system ran slow after wake up, no errors/messages) with sleep and TV/VGA out never worked.

Gentoo forums are the best tech support I've ever had. I've checked out Ubuntu forums and macosxhints and find the typing Gentoo monkeys usually have more intelligent, helpful things to say.

As for games, I play mostly old 2D games like Warcraft II and they work better in freecraft/strategus/mol than they ever did on OS X/classic.

Has anybody got TV-out working on an ATI radeon 9200 iBook G4? If I had that, I could finally say goodbye to OS X for good. When I search, I find a great deal of info about TV-in, gatos, ATI TV Wonder etc. but nothing about using my iBook as a DVD player.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, OSX performs better on newer hardware, especially Quartz Extreme-compatible video cards, PowerPC 970s, and machines with 512MB or more of RAM. Linux leaves OSX in the dust on hardware much older than that.
Your results may vary.
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