• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Build Conference



    The last week has been pretty amazing, the BUILD conference had lots of great sessions explaining how to get productive with Microsoft’s new development tools, services and technologies.

    The following are some of the highlights of the Build sessions which were attend by over  4000 developers. The complete list of sessions and videos are available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011 which can you can view at your leisure. 

    BUILD Keynote with Steven Sinofsky

    The Overview of Windows 8 and Metro

    Day 1 Keynote with Steven Sinofsky

    8 Traits of Great Metro Style Apps with Jensen Harris

    If you want to learn more about Windows 8 Metro UI additionally if you want more designer-oriented information, check out Designing Metro style: principles and personalities.


    Platform for Metro-Style Apps with Ales Holecek and John Sheehan

    A great overview of the platform, Windows RT and Windows 8 itself. If you want to know more about the API.

    Platform for Metro-Style Apps with Ales Holecek and John Sheehan

    Tools for Building Metro-Style apps with Chris Sells and Kieran Mockford

    This is the second part of the Platform talk

    Tools for Building Metro-Style apps with Chris Sells and Kieran Mockford

    Lap around the Windows Runtime with Martyn Lovell

    This gives you a deeper look at WinRT

    Lap around the Windows Runtime with Martyn Lovell

    Metro-style apps using XAML: what you need to know with Joe Stegman

    Get the XAML info right from the lead of Windows 8 XAML team

    Metro-style apps using XAML: what you need to know with Joe Stegman

    Metro-style apps using XAML: Make your app shine with Marco Matos

    This is the talk that explains how to deeply integrate your XAML application with Windows 8.

    Metro-style apps using XAML: Make your app shine with Marco Matos

    Make great touch apps using XAML with Alnur Ismail

    Learn all about touch and gestures obviously very important to Windows 8 Metro applications.


    Stand out with styling and animation in your XAML app with John Papa

    Here's where you'll learn about styles, animations and more

    Stand out with styling and animation in your XAML app with John Papa

    Reach all your customers' devices with one beautiful XAML user interface with Tim Heuer

    Learn how to adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions and more

    Reach all your customers' devices with one beautiful XAML user interface with Tim Heuer

    A deep dive into Visual Studio 11 Express for designing Metro apps using XAML with Joanna Mason and Unni Ravindranathan

    Want to learn about the tooling and the features of Visual Studio 11

    A deep dive into Visual Studio 11 Express for designing Metro apps using XAML with Joanna Mason and Unni Ravindranathan

    Future directions for C# and Visual Basic with Anders Hejlsberg

    Learn more about async and the future of Visual Studio with Project Roslyn copy and paste code transformation

    Future directions for C# and Visual Basic with Anders Hejlsberg

    More Videos to Watch

    Check out the full set via http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011

    Or simply use the list below to go to content based on topic areas

    More Windows 8 XAML

    .NET and C#/Visual Basic
    Windows 8 and WinRT General
    Games and DirectX

    So overall an amazing conference, content and announcements. Please visit the following online resources to view the 200 + hours of content at your own leisure http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011

    For further references and to download a developer preview of Windows 8 visit dev.windows.com and keep an eye on the Building Windows 8 Blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    A summary of Build



    This week I have been Microsoft’s BUILD developers conference in Anaheim, California.

    BUILD is an event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows and provides an avenue for them to discuss other products and tools that Microsoft is working on. The buzz from around the conference has been amazing with delegates super excited about the variety of new features within Windows 8 such as touch-first user interface, powerful applications and a seamless experience that syncs across all of your devices. The increased accessibility of applications across devices also brings about some exciting opportunities to drive innovation and creativity within the developer community. But, this week isn’t only about Windows, but advancements in Microsoft technologies, including Visual Studio 11, code-named “Windows Server 8,” and new capabilities for Windows Azure.

    So if you are interested in knowing more about BUILD or what’s new from Microsoft, check out

    The Microsoft News Center feature

    The Microsoft Blog

    Watch the keynotes from the BUILD website 

    and watch all the presentations at the Channel9 BUILD site.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Faculty Connection Newsletter August/September 2011


    Faculty Connection Newsletter

    Welcome to the August/September edition of the Microsoft® Faculty Connection newsletter. This resource provides information about new curriculum resources and other useful educational content for use in the classroom

    Please feel free to subscribe today to receive future editions directly to your inbox


    Python Tools for Visual Studio
    Python Tools for Visual StudioPython Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) turns Visual Studio into a Python IDE. It is a free and open source plug-in for Visual Studio 2010 from the Microsoft Developer Division. PTVS lets developers use all the major productivity features of Visual Studio to build Python code using either CPython or IronPython, and it adds new features such as support for High Performance Computing clusters to scale your code.

    Cloud Infrastructure Soars in Europe
    It was barely a year ago that European scientific and industry leaders came together to develop, test, and deploy a high-quality, interoperable cloud platform for industry and research. The result was VENUS-C (Virtual multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud infrastructures). Jointly sponsored by the European Commission and a consortium of 14 partners, among them Microsoft Research, VENUS-C was conceived to meet the needs of seven different research and commercial areas: bioinformatics, systems biology, drug discovery, civil engineering, civil protection, civil emergencies, and marine biodiversity. VENUS-C has since developed into a functional, operational platform, and is now being used for 15 new pilot projects, which received seed funds after an open call that elicited 60 proposals from throughout Europe.

    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available
    KinectInterest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released in June, has been strong, and we're delighted to learn that so many developers and innovators who are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor. In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we have released a refreshed version of the SDK. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items you've told us about.


    The Faculty Connection Resource Center is the place to find these and other classroom-ready teaching materials:

    Mango Jump Start: Building Applications for Windows Phone
    Mango Jump StartThis introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. It also explores options for debugging solutions using the Windows Phone Emulator or an actual device as well as managing the solution properties for deployment in the marketplace. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Mango Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps.

    Windows PowerShell Overview
    In this video presentation, Kurt Callemin provides an introduction to PowerShell, tells you what it is used for, why you should use it, and how it works. The goal is to make you familiar with the concepts behind this scripting language with examples and teach you how to explore the world of PowerShell in more depth.

    Students to Business Day Belgium 2011 
    View these video presentations from the event:


    Microsoft ResearchFind recent news from a Microsoft Research site near you.

    Faculty Summit 2011
    Microsoft Research Connections hosted its 12th Faculty Summit in July, providing a forum for lively debate on the development, application, and funding of technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres. Presentations and streaming video of keynotes, talks, panels, workshops, and demonstrations are now available on-demand; find links to them on the Faculty Summit agenda page.

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications
    Create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services included in the Project Hawaii Software Development Kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.


    CALL FOR PAPERS: Worldwide Microsoft Dynamics Academic Preconference 2012
    Microsoft DynamicsThe Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) will host the Worldwide Microsoft Dynamics Academic Preconference in Houston, Texas, USA on March 17-18, 2012. This is an event that all members of the DynAA should attend! You have the chance to:

    • Experience hands-on training with Microsoft Dynamics products
    • Hear from Microsoft experts
    • Present and attend concurrent sessions from other DynAA faculty
    • Attend DayONE User Group sessions with Microsoft Dynamics customers
    • Attend Convergence 2012 keynotes, general sessions, user labs, and parties!

    Find more information about this event, including links to last year's preconference.

    DynAA invites papers/abstracts in research, research-in-progress, teaching, applications, and case studies incorporating Microsoft Dynamics into business and information systems curricula. The deadline for refereed paper submission is January 1, 2012. DynAA will publish conference proceedings in CD/DVD format and online. In addition, the best quality papers from those accepted will be recommended to the Journal of Integrated Enterprise Systems (ISSN: 2162-9285) for publication. The deadline for presentation and panel discussion submissions is February 1, 2012. For more detailed information, please visit: clcloud.com/DYNAA2012.

    Sign up for other Microsoft newsletters



    The Faculty Connection Resource Center contains recommended Curriculum Resources, Reference Materials, Software, and Supplemental Resources:


    View the Faculty Connection Resource Kit page for curriculum materials on areas such as Cloud Computing and Operating Systems. These kits contain lecture materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, white papers, labs, and more that can be used for classroom presentations.

    Find Higher Education and Teacher resource kits to help you engage your students.


    Find additional faculty and student resources:


    These are the top downloads by faculty and teachers from the
    Faculty Connection Resource Center:

    1. Windows Phone Programming in C#

    2. Introduction to Programming Through Game Development Using Microsoft XNA Game Studio

    3. Windows Operating System Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK)

    4. A Comparative Analysis of Cloud Computing Environments (简体中文)

    5. Programming with C# and XNA 0.5: Jump Start

    6. A Lap Around Microsoft Expression Blend®

    7. Learn Programming with XNA

    8. Expression Web 4 Quick Start Tutorial: Beaches Around the World

    9. Введение в современные веб-технологии (in Russian)

    10. Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Silverlight (Lecture 3 of 3)


    If you have any questions or would like to know more about Microsoft Faculty Connection, please send us an email at fchelp@microsoft.com.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Web developers will be able to easily leverage their HTML5 skills to target Windows Phone.


    If your not really a phone app developer or if you don't have curricula aimed at a specific mobile platform, you may want to look at the opportunity of the PhoneGap libraries.


    So what is PhoneGap?

    PhoneGap is an open source mobile framework that enables developers to build applications targeting multiple platforms, by using standard web technologies (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript). On Windows Phone Mango PhoneGap leverages the new HTML5 support provided by IE9.

    PhoneGap is currently in beta, but does includes most of the basic features, and includes JavaScript APIs to use Windows Phone Mango features like:

    • Access Device Information (UDDI and stuff)
    • Add and search Contacts
    • Connection status (network / wifi connection status)
    • Alerts/Notification (alert and confirm)
    • Media Capture (Image and Audio)
    • Camera
    • Accelerometer
    • Geolocation

    Here’s a screen shot of the PhoneGap Unit Test application running on the Windows Phone emulator:


    This is a new option to build applications targeting Windows Phone and gives your students more choices . PhoneGap is unique as its aimed at Web developers and simply allows them to leverage their HTML5 skills to target Windows Phone IE9 browser.

    The beta version of the PhoneGap libraries can be downloaded from: https://github.com/phonegap/phonegap-wp7

    Additional Resources

    For more details and information please read Nitobi’s blog post to get more details on how the whole process works. With the availability of Windows Phone developer tools, made available freely via DreamSpark to all students and academics and the fact that Windows Phone Mango Released to Manufacturing and developer tools hitting “Release Candidate”, it’s the perfect time to start trying this out.

    So please get developing  give feedback and join the PhoneGap open source project.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Preparation for Build Windows useful links and URLs



    So its now only a few days until the Build Windows conference, BUILD takes place between 13th – 16th of September 2011.

    The event has been total sold out for many months. I have to say I am pretty excited!  why?  I am lucky enough to be attending the event.  As your aware from my previous posts Build Windows is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. So make sure you take note of the URLs and twitter addresses below to learn how the new Windows 8 UI is being designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors.

    BUILD will be the first place to take a dive deep into the future of Windows. Microsoft is extending its newest developer event Build Windows globally in multiple ways including live streamed keynotes, having a major international presence in Anaheim. So it want to learn about the future of Windows make sure you take a look at the following..

    BUILD Conference Site - http://www.buildwindows.com/

    BUILD Conference Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/bldwin make sure you follow @bldwin

    BUILD Conference Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Build/156095381124816

    Building Windows 8 Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

    Building Windows 8 Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/BuildWindows8 make sure you follow @BuildWindows8

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows HPC with burst to Windows Azure - Code Samples now available




    Windows® HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 enables administrators to increase the power of the on-premises cluster by adding computational resources in Windows Azure.

    With the Windows Azure “burst” scenario, various types of HPC applications can be deployed to Windows Azure nodes and run on these nodes in the same way they run in on-premises nodes.

    Were please to announced the availability of a selection of code samples which can be download for free, the samples include:

    • Parametric sweeps
      • CPU spinner
      • Image rendering on Renderman files (console client)
      • Image rendering on Renderman files (Windows Phone 7 client) - New!
      • BLAST - New!
    • SOA
      • Square Service
      • Asian Options service
      • Word-association service - New!
    • MPI
      • Pi (π) Calculator - New!
      • Tachyon ray-tracing - New!
    • Excel
      • Asian Options UDF

    The download also includes the AzureBlobCopy utility that is mentioned in the paper. This utility helps you copy files to and from Azure Storage, Azure Nodes, and on-premises computers.

    Note: Code samples that were added in the September 2011 update are denoted as "New!". MPI samples are supported on Azure Nodes that are deployed on a Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 cluster that has Service Pack 2 installed.

    There are also technical articles which provide technical overview of developing HPC applications that are supported for the Windows Azure burst scenario. The article addresses the application models that are supported, and the data issues that arise when working with Windows Azure and on-premises nodes, such as the proper location for the data, the storage types in Windows Azure, various techniques to upload data to Windows Azure storage, and how to access data from the computational nodes in the cluster (on-premises and Windows Azure). Finally, this article describes how to deploy HPC applications to Windows Azure nodes and how to run these HPC applications from client applications, as well as from the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 job submission interfaces.

    Download the files

    The links in this section correspond to files available for this download. Download the files from below or visit http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=12006.

    File Name Size
    HPCAzureBurstCodeSamples.zip 60.0 MB Download
    HPCAzureBurstSampleData.zip 130.0 MB Download
    WindowsHPCBurstToAzureApps.docx 379 KB Download
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone - “Mango” Jump Start Videos Just Released!



    Microsoft Learning hosted another new and exclusive Jump Start virtual training event featuring renowned MVPs Rob Miles, University of Hull & Andy Wigley AppMundi over 1,270 people joined the two-day event (Aug. 23-24, 2011).

    The two days of Building Applications for Windows Phone Mango Jump Start was extremely popular and we are thrilled to announce the availability of HD-quality video recordings for FREE on Channel 9! There is over 14 hours of course content covering all aspects of Windows Phone development Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight, Expression, data storage, networks, user interface, XNA and the Marketplace.

    Format of training

    Team teaching with every module having engaging discussion, packed full of best practices and real-world demonstrations and examples.

    Where do I go for this great training?

    · Entire course on Channel 9: “Building Applications for Windows Phone Mango Jump Start


    Links directly to specific modules:

    Mango Jump Start (01): Building Windows Phone Apps with Visual Studio 2010

    Mango Jump Start (02): Silverlight on Windows Phone—Introduction

    Mango Jump Start (03): Silverlight on Windows Phone—Advanced

    Mango Jump Start (04): Using Expression to Build Windows Phone Interfaces

    Mango Jump Start (05): Windows Phone Fast Application Switching

    Mango Jump Start (06): Windows Phone Multi-tasking & Background Tasks

    Mango Jump Start (07): Using Windows Phone Resources (Bing Maps, Camera, etc.)

    Mango Jump Start (08a): Application Data Storage on Windows Phone | Part 1

    Mango Jump Start (08b): Application Data Storage on Windows Phone | Part 2

    Mango Jump Start (09): Using Networks with Windows Phone

    Mango Jump Start (10): Tiles & Notifications on Windows Phone

    Mango Jump Start (11a): XNA for Windows Phone | Part 1

    Mango Jump Start (11b): XNA for Windows Phone | Part 2

    Mango Jump Start (12): Selling a Windows Phone Application

    Where can people learn more?

    After this Jump Start, please check out the Microsoft Learning Windows Phone training options to better understand mobile certifications and where to find instructor-led classes to help you and your students gain accredited certification into Windows Mobile application development.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft ITL Research – Helping develop an understanding of innovative teaching and learning practices



    Due to my role, I have interactions with Universities across the length and breadth of the UK. I have the great fortune of seeing best practices and some truly transforming faculties, departments and schools. From my visits I get to hear and learn from educators and  I’m always inspired and amazed with the activity which is being undertaken. However innovation in education is a global issue and something we all must work to solve and identifying innovative teaching practices and the impact that they can have on student outcomes is a great place to start.

    There is now a real need to transform education to align with the realities of life and work in the 21st Century. This is not just about the effective use of technology but about developing the future generation to be deeply engaged in the learning process and taking the initiative to learn and to continue to have the desire, passion and want to learn throughout their career.

    As part of Microsoft’s commitment to education transformation, Microsoft have initiated the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research project http://www.itlresearch.com

    The purpose of ITL is to contribute information and policy insights on where and how effective education transformation is taking place around the world. ITL Research is a multiyear global research program designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching practices and the impact those changes have on students’ learning outcomes across a broad range of country contexts.

    Microsoft is working with global and local education leaders such as UNESCO and local Ministries of Education and will be sharing data and results openly with all research partners and with the broader academic education community.

    The goal of ITL is to recognise the importance of innovative teaching practices, inspire others to commitment to scaling innovation and creating a foundation for holistic education transformation. Another exciting component of this project is the opportunity for individual schools and leaders to take part.  Microsoft’s Partners in Learning School Research is a self-assessment survey research system that helps educators and school leaders understand and measure innovative teaching practices that develop the skills students need for life and work in the 21st Century.

    The online tool is an incredibly powerful tool that will give individual leaders an opportunity to measure and identify innovative teaching practices and compare and measure against the global survey results.

    The process is also very easy to administer…

    1. A school signs up on this website.
    2. A administrator from the school sends out the survey to all educators and leaders.
    3. Each educator and leader takes a 15 to 20 minute online survey about innovative teaching practices.
    4. Once the surveys have been completed, a research report based on the responses is sent to the administrator within 24 hours, who can then share it.
    5. The report shows measures of innovative teaching practices and examples of innovative teaching practices.
    6. The surveys can be repeated each year to track and measure progress.

    Visit http://www.pilsr.com to learn more about this project and how your school can take part.

    Also you can watch the video below which provides an overview.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    2011 Microsoft IT Academy UK Summit




    We would like to invite you to the 2011 Microsoft IT Academy UK Summit

    We shall be hosting this year’s event at the Microsoft UK headquarters at Thames Valley Park Campus on Wednesday 19th October from 9.00am.  Registration is now open and you can book your place here ››

    Speakers from Microsoft, industry and the academic community will be covering a full range of topics to set you up for the new academic year and to help you get the most from your IT Academy memberships.  Sessions and discussions will include;

    · How will the shift towards Cloud technologies change the skills that the IT Industry will demand?

    · Updates on new IT Academy benefits including free certification vouchers

    · Discover new technology releases and how they can help you, including Windows Phone and Kinect

    There will also be opportunities for networking with other academies, Microsoft employees and our education partners. Spaces are limited to 200 so make sure you book your place soon. 

    We all look forward to seeing you soon.

    Register Here >>

    Useful Resources

    Microsoft IT Academy Website

    The new MTA exams

    Free Student Software at Dreamspark

    Latest Windows Phone News

    Microsoft UK Education Website

    UK Innovative Teachers Blog

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure Bootcamp - Powered by UK Tech.Days Fun, Free & Open to all!



    Want to get up to speed quickly with Windows Azure?

    The Windows Azure Bootcamp will take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having written some code, deployed it to the cloud service and made a simple application available on the public Internet. We’ll even give you a special free pass to help you get started.

    Back in May we ran some Windows Azure Bootcamps that we got some good feedback on (thanks to those who attended), so this time the camps will run for a whole day and we’ve got a camp held in Manchester as well as London.

    During the Bootcamp there'll be experienced people available to guide you through each exercise. Once you have the basics in place, you'll be up and running. To get your applications running, you'll need an Azure subscription, so we can provide you with a special free pass that will entitle you to four compute instances, 3 GB of storage, Two* 1GB Web Edition databases. You can carry on using this subscription until it expires, after you've left the training course. You don't need a credit card to activate this free pass.

    When you walk away from the Bootcamp, you can either de-activate the Azure application before you leave, or leave it running so that when you get home you can continue with your Windows Azure coding adventures. In any case you'll walk away with the code you've written on your laptop and an ability to modify it, test it locally on your laptop and deploy it to your free Windows Azure subscription any time you choose!

    If you're a developer who uses a laptop, you'll almost certainly have most of these development components already installed. Please pay particular attention to the SQL Server setup - you'll need to use the same account during the labs as the account that was used to install whichever version of SQL Server you decide on from the pre-requisites list.

    • A wireless-enabled laptop with either Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
    • Visual Web Developer Express or Visual Studio 2010 installed along with the Windows Azure SDK and Tools version 1.4 (including the SDK pre-requisites):
    • NET Framework 3.5 SP1
    • IIS 7.0 (with ASP.NET, WCF HTTP Activation, Static Content, IIS Management Console and optionally CGI)
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 or Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2 or Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 (please use the same user account to install this as you will use in the labs on the Bootcamp)
    • SQL Server Management Studio
    • Bring the power supply, you will be using the laptop all day.
    • A basic knowledge of programming concepts and familiarity with Visual Studio
    • A basic knowledge of web-programming and how Internet applications work
    • An understanding of the Microsoft web-stack (Windows Server, IIS, basic security etc.)

    Register for a bootcamp to get your complimentary Windows Azure Pass – we’ll send you all the necessary instructions following registration.

    Important Tip: Please ensure that you have completed all of the prerequisites (including getting your Windows Azure Pass) so you can maximize your time at the bootcamp to run through the practical labs and exercises provided.

    Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Azure Bootcamp today!

    Got a question? You might find the answer below…

    How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp?

    You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.

    Who can attend the bootcamps?

    Academics, Students, developers, technologists, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.

    How much does it cost to attend this bootcamp?

    Your luck's in - it's FREE.

    What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the bootcamp?

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the bootcamp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the bootcamp.

    What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day?

    Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!

    Register at the event of your choice below. Go on. You know you want to.

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