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Pagers may be better than cell phones

Discussion in 'alt.cellular.verizon' started by PagerGuy, May 15, 2004.

  1. DevilsPGD

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <<2gnct2F4m96eU1@uni-berlin.de>> "L David Matheny"
    <ldmnews1@netassoc.net> did ramble:

    >> I use a pager in a very simple yet effective way. Our office voicemail
    >> system has an outcall feature that will notify you if you have messages.
    >>

    >I do that with my Nokia cell phone using the ATTWS paging number.


    Unfortunately you have to be able to configure your voicemail system to
    dial a custom string in order for this solution to work.

    A lot of voicemail systems only let you input your pager number, then
    simply listen for one or more beeps and dial the voicemail access number
    or the mailbox number or some other predefined string. Works great on a
    pager with a dedicated number, but not for a cellphone.

    I can't have it dial my cellphone voicemail's access number followed by
    #mycellphone#1<something>## which is what would be required to have a
    voicemail system "page" my cellphone.
    --
    I'm only a pigment of my imagination.
     



    › See More: Pagers may be better than cell phones
  2. In alt.cellular DevilsPGD <lalalaNOSPAM@crazyhat.net> wrote:

    > Which is weird since cell phones typically have voicemail, and will hold
    > SMS and voicemail messages until the cellphone comes back, whereas with
    > a pager, the page is completely lost if it occurs when the pager is out
    > of range.


    Unless you use a pager that has ReFlex service. It's a ping-pong type
    deal...Of course it costs more then your standard pager and service, but
    you will receive your pages when you get in coverage. When I used to
    have a pager I went with Reflex from two different companies. I ened up
    with Metrocall when I turned off the pager and my landline phone and
    went completely wireless in 2001.
     
  3. Robert M

    Robert M Guest

    In article <40A6E57A.17FF1C9F@spamcop.net>,
    Lawrence Glasser <lglasser@spamcop.net> wrote:

    > Mainly because cell phones have more dead spots than pagers!


    It would be nice if ANY carrier had an honest coverage map that showed
    them. They are all ignoring their own "Consumer Code".
     
  4. George

    George Guest

    "Elmo P. Shagnasty" <elmop@nastydesigns.com> wrote in message news:elmop->
    > Not even that. There are holes in Nextel service, for example, even in
    > large cities.


    That is an understatement... Why do you think the most common thing you hear
    when calling a nextel customer is "please wait while we try to locate the
    nextel subscriber" and then voice mail?


    >
    > I've seen pagers receiving pages in basements where cell phones have no
    > service.
    >
     
  5. George

    George Guest

    "Mark E. Daniel" <mark@atarimax.com> wrote in message
    news:2gohlhF4vdaqU1@uni-berlin.de...
    > In alt.cellular DevilsPGD <lalalaNOSPAM@crazyhat.net> wrote:
    >
    > Unless you use a pager that has ReFlex service. It's a ping-pong type
    > deal...Of course it costs more then your standard pager and service, but
    > you will receive your pages when you get in coverage. When I used to
    > have a pager I went with Reflex from two different companies. I ened up
    > with Metrocall when I turned off the pager and my landline phone and
    > went completely wireless in 2001.


    I had a trial of one of those just when paging was starting to really
    decline. The best system in my region has 15 transmitters. The 2 way company
    only had 2 , 2 way sites to service the Reflex pagers. So most of the time
    the display would say something like "standby" or "waiting". Both providers
    were bought by Metrocall about the time Metrocall went into bankruptcy.
     
  6. In article <BOypc.49206$Dc1.11202@newssvr29.news.prodigy.com>, wctom1
    @pacbell.net says...
    > Cellphones are banned in many hospital areas, so pagers are de rigeur
    > for hospital workers.


    Another case like at the gas station and aboard airplanes--zero
    confirmed problems but we're going to CYA.....

    >
    > So...I have to lug around both a cellphone and a pager. I bet there is a
    > market for a dual-use phone with individual pager and cell-phone
    > circuitries.


    Several years ago the Cellular Buyers Guide actually listed such an
    animal--totally different ciruits. A lotta people at the time were
    taping pagers to their phones (before the days of tiny phones).
    Apparently it never flew.

    The main problem I had getting rid of my pager was that several devices
    had to be able to page me and they had a limited amount of digits to
    work with so the clumsy page access number Cingular uses wouldn't work
    (required too many digits). And before anyone says you can page through
    the voicemail menu--DEVICES can't do that since the phone would ring and
    if I answered the call it would never get to VM. Maybe there are some
    people out there that can hear a string of tones in their ear and be
    able to recognize a code string (oh server#3 is down!!) but not me. I
    only solved the problem by using a one-number service with a dedicated
    number and a single digit menu to access the numeric page function.
    Works fine but I'd like to see the cellular carriers offer a seperate
    phone number that goes straight to the numeric paging prompt. It could
    be another $4/month charge for them.

    --
    Jud
    Dallas TX USA
     
  7. Jer

    Jer Guest

    Please invert everything left of the @ to reply wrote:

    [....]

    > 4) Paging infrastructure is more robust. Paging (and 2-way messaging using
    > Blackberries and Palm Sevens) worked continually despite the collapse of
    > the WTC. It took weeks to get the cellular net back up. Talk to anyone who
    > worked at Ground Zero, and they will tell you pagers, and paging-based
    > systems such as old Blackberries and Palm Sevens saved their butts.


    Considering there were two cellular call processing centers located at
    the WTC, several weeks doesn't surprise me a bit. If the paging system
    had been there, that system would've been offline too.


    --
    jer email reply - I am not a 'ten' ICQ = 35253273
    "All that we do is touched with ocean, yet we remain on the shore of
    what we know." -- Richard Wilbur
     
  8. Jer

    Jer Guest

    Ray wrote:

    > I use a pager in a very simple yet effective way. Our office voicemail
    > system has an outcall feature that will notify you if you have messages.
    >
    > Having it call my cell phone is a nuisance because it causes the phone
    > to ring rather than just notify me. Digital paging on a cellphone is a
    > worthless feature as far as I'm concerned. I always turn the prompt off
    > that suggest that people leave a callback number on the cell phone. If
    > they call my cell phone, they can just leave a voicemail message. By
    > the way, with Sprint, you can turn all of the prompts off, which I have
    > done.


    By the way, you can turn all those prompts off with Cingular, too, which
    I haven't done because forcing people to sit through all that gibberish
    makes them think I'm a really important busy person. :)

    >
    > The pager is set for simple tone paging, meaning that when the outcall
    > feature makes the call, it just beeps or vibrates the pager. Nobody
    > else knows my pager number so it always means that I have calls waiting.
    > It costs me $5 per month for tone paging service. You can do the same
    > thing with digital paging, but it takes some extra programming on the
    > voicemail system. The problem is, some of the paging companies either
    > don't offer tone paging or don't understand what it is. I dropped Arch
    > Paging and with the local provider for this reason.
    >
    > Low tech, but it works great for me.
    >



    --
    jer email reply - I am not a 'ten' ICQ = 35253273
    "All that we do is touched with ocean, yet we remain on the shore of
    what we know." -- Richard Wilbur
     
  9. O/Siris

    O/Siris Guest

    In article <rmarkoff-415120.06232216052004
    @news06.east.earthlink.net>, rmarkoff@yahoo.com says...
    > It would be nice if ANY carrier had an honest coverage map that showed=20
    > them. They are all ignoring their own "Consumer Code".
    >=20


    There's never going to be the kind of map you expect, Phill. That=20
    kind of detail is physically impossible to provide *or* guarantee.

    Too many variables able to induce drastic, and possibly short-lived,=20
    problems in very tiny areas.

    --=20
    R=D8=DF
    O/Siris
    I work for Sprint PCS
    I *don't* speak for them
     
  10. Prilosec

    Prilosec Guest

    I had a pager and cell phone(s) for years. I dropped the pager a couple
    years ago for a few reasons:
    1. I need a large coverage area (NE US) with no gaps. This precludes the
    satellite services, as there are HUGE gaps between cities. Cell phone is
    much, much better coverage for very wide areas or national.
    2. Pager technology has not evolved at all. Pager transmitter companies
    have discontinued producing equipment, and most pager operators are
    maintaining their old equipment or buying used equipment at auction. It is a
    dying technology.
    3. Missed pages were just plain missed. Missed cell calls route to
    voicemail which is delivered when I got back into coverage. True, there is a
    pager service that does this, too, but it costs nearly as much as basic cell
    service.
    4. My "superwide regional" pager coverage cost me about 12.00 a month when
    I quit. Basic cell service for the same area costs about 25.00 a month.
    5. Every single page still results in a cell phone call from my end to
    return the page. Waste of time.
    6. My cell phone is now about the same size as my beeper was. Battery life
    is no longer an issue, either. My cell phone can vibrate like my beeper did,
    etc..
    Sorry, pagers are a dying technology. There is no advantage to them at all
    for me, and probably not for anyone else fairly soon.
    "PagerGuy" <pageguy@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:40A5A705.C5AA69C4@nospam.com...
    > From newsgroup: news:tnn.comm.pager
    >
    > What is a Pager or Beeper?
    >
    >
    > You probably have some idea since you are reading this, but a
    > definition is always a good way to be sure that we are talking about
    > the same things. A Pager is any device that carries numeric or
    > alphanumeric information, but not voice information, without wires in
    > a human readable form.
    >
    > Isn't this a dead technology?
    >
    >
    > No, there are still advances being made in this technology! There are
    > .
     
  11. Mike Shea

    Mike Shea Guest

  12. Prilosec wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Sorry, pagers are a dying technology. There is no advantage to them at all
    > for me, and probably not for anyone else fairly soon.


    UNLESS, once again, you're in a venue where communication is a must, and
    talking on a cell phone is impossible.

    Larry
     
  13. Scott

    Scott Guest

    > Considering there were two cellular call processing centers located at
    > the WTC, several weeks doesn't surprise me a bit. If the paging system
    > had been there, that system would've been offline too.
    >

    Since you seem to be knowledagble in this are, "dumb question" if I may.
    On 9-11 I was just about on the GWB when the tragedy began. My cell phones
    (Verizon and AT&T at the time) were pretty useless pretty quickly but my
    Blackbery (957) from Earthlink (using Motient/Cingular) never stopped
    working and allowed me to stay in touch with family. I had a similiar
    experience last summer during the NYC blackouts.

    Though I was happy to stay in touch, I was surprised. Does the Blackberry
    work on differnt towers/transmitters than cellular? Also, I have
    considered switching from my 957 to a phone type Blackbery but based on
    the above experiences, I was concerned. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Scott
     
  14. [ a m z ]

    [ a m z ] Guest

    YMMV. I carry both pager and cell phone and have different experiences.
    Answers below:

    "Prilosec" <purple@nni.net> wrote:
    > I had a pager and cell phone(s) for years. I dropped the pager a couple
    > years ago for a few reasons:
    > 1. I need a large coverage area (NE US) with no gaps. This precludes the
    > satellite services, as there are HUGE gaps between cities. Cell phone is
    > much, much better coverage for very wide areas or national.


    I find the opposite is true in WA and OR. My pager reaches almost
    everywhere, while my multi-band (TDMA & GSM/GPRS) cell phone has all kinds
    of gaps -- especially in rural and semi-rural areas. Also have fewer
    problems with pager in buildings, etc. However, your comments about
    national service could well be true.


    > 2. Pager technology has not evolved at all. Pager transmitter companies
    > have discontinued producing equipment, and most pager operators are
    > maintaining their old equipment or buying used equipment at auction. It is

    a
    > dying technology.


    Pretty much true. However, I'd say it is a *stagnant* technology.


    > 3. Missed pages were just plain missed. Missed cell calls route to
    > voicemail which is delivered when I got back into coverage. True, there is

    a
    > pager service that does this, too, but it costs nearly as much as basic

    cell
    > service.


    You can also get message storage &/or voicemail inexpensively. I pay less
    than $15, including all of the BS taxes and surcharges. Even though a
    (numeric or voice) page doesn't get through, it is stored in a
    voicemail-like box. It doesn't keep notifying like a cell phone, but the
    message isn't totally lost. Also, cell phone voicemail notifications aren't
    perfect. I've had messages with no alert... and a persistent alert icon
    with no messages in the box. And... pager notifications, in my experience,
    are much more timely. I've had cell phone notifications and SMS's that are
    significantly delayed.


    > 4. My "superwide regional" pager coverage cost me about 12.00 a month

    when
    > I quit. Basic cell service for the same area costs about 25.00 a month.


    You forgot that cell services tend to tack on much larger taxes and fees.
    Here, you're probably looking at $14 & $32 for the same two packages.


    > 5. Every single page still results in a cell phone call from my end to
    > return the page. Waste of time.


    Not always. Even with just numberic paging, you can use "pager shorthand"
    to send messages regarding times or the relative importance of the message,
    etc.


    > 6. My cell phone is now about the same size as my beeper was. Battery

    life
    > is no longer an issue, either. My cell phone can vibrate like my beeper

    did,
    > etc..


    Unless you have a teeny-tiny Barbie-sized cell phone like the ones in the
    Will Farrell SNL skit, that isn't true. My Motorola pager is about the size
    of a thick Zippo lighter. And it also takes *much* more abuse than a cell
    phone would.


    > ... There is no advantage to them at all for me...


    For you and others, this could be very true. But everyone's needs and
    experiences are different. For example, I don't need to play "trucker" with
    Nextel PTT service -- "Breaker 1-9, Breaker 1-9... we got us a convoy!"
     
  15. George

    George Guest

    "Prilosec" <purple@nni.net> wrote in message
    news:40a8a1bd$0$3056$61fed72c@news.rcn.com...
    > I had a pager and cell phone(s) for years. I dropped the pager a couple
    > years ago for a few reasons:
    > 1. I need a large coverage area (NE US) with no gaps. This precludes the
    > satellite services, as there are HUGE gaps between cities. Cell phone is
    > much, much better coverage for very wide areas or national.


    I operate in the same area and came to the same conclusion. From my
    experience the "satellite" system always had the worst coverage because they
    only had a few transmitters in each city.

    > 2. Pager technology has not evolved at all. Pager transmitter companies
    > have discontinued producing equipment, and most pager operators are
    > maintaining their old equipment or buying used equipment at auction. It is

    a
    > dying technology.


    That is pretty much what is going on here. Some of the systems are dead and
    the ones that are up need to buy used equipment to keep going. Last time I
    checked Motorola no longer made pagers and the largest pager system operator
    (Metrocall) was still in bankruptcy. Someone I know who had a good regional
    system ended up having to sell it cheap just to get out from under it
    because he was down to less than 10% of his former customers. He wasn't
    making enough to pay the bills.


    > 3. Missed pages were just plain missed. Missed cell calls route to
    > voicemail which is delivered when I got back into coverage. True, there is

    a
    > pager service that does this, too, but it costs nearly as much as basic

    cell
    > service.
    > 4. My "superwide regional" pager coverage cost me about 12.00 a month

    when
    > I quit. Basic cell service for the same area costs about 25.00 a month.
    > 5. Every single page still results in a cell phone call from my end to
    > return the page. Waste of time.
    > 6. My cell phone is now about the same size as my beeper was. Battery

    life
    > is no longer an issue, either. My cell phone can vibrate like my beeper

    did,
    > etc..
    > Sorry, pagers are a dying technology. There is no advantage to them at all
    > for me, and probably not for anyone else fairly soon.
     
  16. George

    George Guest

    "Mike Shea" <Mike_member@newsguy.com> wrote in message
    news:c8aeac0119g@drn.newsguy.com...
    > There is an interesting article that touches on this as well -
    >
    > How Reliable are Cell Phones -
    > http://www.ringtones-central.com/how-reliable-are-cell-phones.htm


    Most of the time we use the TAP protocol as described in the article to send
    alpha pages to our phones. VZW maintains a TAP interface with a toll free
    number.
     
  17. Isaiah Beard

    Isaiah Beard Guest

    Let me guess... you have a vested stake in the pager industry, don't you?

    PagerGuy wrote:

    > Isn't this a dead technology?
    >
    >
    > No, there are still advances being made in this technology! There are
    > many advantages to using these devices and still 12 million users in
    > North America!



    I won't deny that paging technology is very useful. It's found a good
    niche in telemetry applications, which has been its bread and butter for
    a while now since the public at large has ditched paging for cell
    phones. Is it as useful to the average person as a cell phone, however?
    That's debatable, and I'd argue that in many cases, no. This is why
    cellphones have long overtaken paging. the price point is right, and
    the features are more useable.

    >
    > What are the advantages of Pagers?
    >
    >
    > Here are the major advantages.
    > It is less intrusive than telephones, you decide when and if you call
    > somebody.


    *shrug* I decide when and if I call someone with my cellphone too. I
    guess people fail to realize that having a cellphone doesn't mean you
    must answer every call. If intrusion is a problem, you look at the
    caller id info and decide for yourself if you want to answer the phone
    or not.

    > Safer to be beeped while driving than to take a phone call.


    How so? if I take my eyes off the road to see who's calling me on a
    pager, then I've taken my eyes off the road and compromised everyone's
    safety.

    > Safer in environments such as hospitals and construction zones.


    How? Explain how an RF device, especially the newer two-way pagers that
    are out there, are any safer.

    > Better penetration of buildings.


    This has always been an illusion. A lack of signal strength indicators
    does not mean that you've always got a good signal. it's simply harder
    to discern whether you've actually got good coverage on a pager than it
    is on a cell phone.

    > News and email availability allow savvy users to "be a little online
    > all the time."


    Mobile web surfing on your cell phone, anyone?

    > Much less expensive, can lower cellphone bill by screening through
    > pager also.


    This was the case back in, say, 1996, when cell phone minutes were
    scarce and you actually got charged for things like LD. With bucket
    minutes, if a person has a plan with more minutes than they ever use,
    then the benefit they see having a pager around is zero in terms of
    reduced costs. And even if someone is constantly going over their plan,
    not answering the phone and observing CID info is just as good as a
    pager in many respects.

    > A lot of people carry both Cellphone and Pagers. Some people find that
    > in their area they are not always in cellphone range and carry the
    > pager as a backup.


    Ah yes, I subscribed to that farcical notion too. Unfortunately, people
    don't often tell you that they paged you and ask you if you got it...
    they just assume you did and that you ignored them.

    > Then, some people are tired of the cost of cellphones. Those plans
    > where you are buying so many minutes a month are very expensive for
    > those who never use the phone unless they need to call a tow truck.


    ....and a pager will allow you to call a tow truck, how? Besides,
    there's pay-as-you-go services for people who don't use the cell phone
    that often.

    > The feature of "free voicemail" on cellphones is there just so you
    > have to use airtime to listen to the message, then use more airtime to
    > make a return call.


    Actually, everyone knows that you can check your voicemail from a
    landline and not get billed airtime. Which is what you'd be doing
    anyway if you had a pager and no cell phone, or had a cell phone but
    were THAT worried about wasting your minutes.


    >
    > Then, of course, the pager is often better at email and news then
    > cellphones.


    Really? Based on what? A one way pager requires me to rely on whatever
    news source the paging carrier has contracted with, and I'm stuck with
    small stale headlines that are a couple lines long per item (I know
    because I used to subscribe to this back in the day). With a cell
    phone, I can choose my news source, and get a completed story at will.

    > How can I make people send me text pages?
    >
    >
    > Your email program should have a function to set a "reply-to address."
    > This address when set, makes an answer to your email go to that
    > address regardless of the address in the "from." Field.


    Ohh lovely, spam on my pager. Tell me, what happens when someone goes
    over their monthly character limit? That's right, overage charges...
    Now, how is that any different from someone going over their monthly
    airtime limit?

    You address that problem rather poorly here:

    > If I toss my email address around the web, won't I get spammed on my
    > pager, and charged for that message from my pager company?
    >
    >
    > It's a risk.


    Gee, thanks. At least with a cell phone, I can choose not to answer.
    With spam on a pager, i've received the message whether i wanted to or
    not. Nothing I can do about that once it's happened.


    --
    E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
    Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
     
  18. In alt.cellular.sprintpcs Isaiah Beard <sacredpoet@sacredpoet.com> wrote:

    > How? Explain how an RF device, especially the newer two-way pagers that
    > are out there, are any safer.


    I'll take this one.

    All two-way pagers can be set to "hospital-friendly" one-way, receive-only
    mode. You won't be able to make use of stuff like the Motorola ReFlex
    technology found in a lot of two-way units, though - with ReFlex, if you're
    out of coverage or the pager's off, the pages are held for a few days until
    the network can find you again. In one-way mode, if you miss a page, it's
    gone forever. In this respect, cell phones and two-way units win over one-
    way -- usually the cellular network will continue to try to deliver your page
    until it can be delivered.

    Hospitals don't have issues with receive-only pagers.

    You can't turn a phone's transmitter off.

    > Mobile web surfing on your cell phone, anyone?


    A great deal with other carriers like Sprint that allow unlimited 1x
    web browsing (they charge $15 per month for the privilege, but the airtime
    used doesn't count against your monthly voice allotment). Not a bad deal
    with Verizon NationalAccess either if you have the package that only uses
    airtime but you still must watch your usage carefully - or pay a lot more
    than $15/month for flat-rate usage.

    >> The feature of "free voicemail" on cellphones is there just so you
    >> have to use airtime to listen to the message, then use more airtime to
    >> make a return call.

    >
    > Actually, everyone knows that you can check your voicemail from a
    > landline and not get billed airtime.


    ....if you have a Verizon phone, but. I'm not sure if that's true for everyone.
    I did just confirm that you don't get billed airtime on a Sprint phone if
    checking from a landline, but I don't know about other carriers (I have
    active accounts only with Verizon and Sprint).

    Maybe a couple Cingular or ATT customers could chime in here and enlighten
    me :)

    >> Then, of course, the pager is often better at email and news then
    >> cellphones.

    >
    > Really? Based on what? A one way pager requires me to rely on whatever
    > news source the paging carrier has contracted with, and I'm stuck with
    > small stale headlines that are a couple lines long per item (I know
    > because I used to subscribe to this back in the day). With a cell
    > phone, I can choose my news source, and get a completed story at will.


    SMS is limited to 160 characters. My Motorola Timeport P900 and my
    PageWriter 2000 before that (both two-way alpha pagers) could hold 500
    characters per message, with messages longer than 500 characters broken up
    into chunks of 500 characters each.

    > Gee, thanks. At least with a cell phone, I can choose not to answer.
    > With spam on a pager, i've received the message whether i wanted to or
    > not. Nothing I can do about that once it's happened.


    Uhhh... same with SMS spam to a cell phone.


    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, Apple Valley, CA PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
    Domain Names, $9.95/yr, 24x7 service: http://DomainNames.JustThe.net/
    "someone once called me a sofa, but i didn't feel compelled to rush out and buy
    slip covers." -adam brower * Hiroshima '45, Chernobyl '86, Windows 98/2000/2003
     
  19. O/Siris

    O/Siris Guest

    In article <fPedneZBttu-ZDXdRVn-hg@adelphia.com>,=20
    George@nospam.invalid says...
    >=20
    > "Mike Shea" <Mike_member@newsguy.com> wrote in message
    > news:c8aeac0119g@drn.newsguy.com...
    > > There is an interesting article that touches on this as well -
    > >
    > > How Reliable are Cell Phones -
    > > http://www.ringtones-central.com/how-reliable-are-cell-phones.htm

    >=20
    > Most of the time we use the TAP protocol as described in the article to s=

    end
    > alpha pages to our phones. VZW maintains a TAP interface with a toll free
    > number.
    >=20
    >=20
    >=20


    So does SPCS.

    --=20
    R=D8=DF
    O/Siris
    I work for Sprint PCS
    I *don't* speak for them
     
  20. Isaiah Beard wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > This has always been an illusion. A lack of signal strength indicators
    > does not mean that you've always got a good signal. it's simply harder
    > to discern whether you've actually got good coverage on a pager than it
    > is on a cell phone.


    Maybe yes, maybe no.

    It's more of a binary (on/off) phenonenon, rather that incremental.

    My pager (a 2-way Motorola PF 1500) displays "Receiving Messages" when it's
    out of transmitting range, and "Storing Messages" when it's completely out
    of range.

    And, while not scientifically proven, at least by me, my pager *does* seem
    to have better coverage than cell phones.

    I'm frequently in lead-lined, or highly shielded, areas, where *no one's"
    cell phone gets a signal, yet I'm able to send/receive paging messages.

    Larry
     

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