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Possible early divergence in Kelvin-Timeline?

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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,259 Arc User
    They did not have neural communicators unless you count the remote-control brainless Spock or Pike's life support chair, which would be a stretch at best. Some of the aliens did have it though, such as the temporary teaching machine in the same "Spock's Brain" episode that had the Spock drone.
    Or the dress used by that telepathic blind human lady...
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  • azrael605azrael605 Member Posts: 10,590 Arc User
    > @phoenixc#0738 said:
    > I saw some of those, though they came out after I had drifted away from Trek for the most part so I only saw them once or twice out of nostalgic curiosity, unlike the old days before TMP where, like a lot of other Trek fans, I hunted down every scrap of information available to the public (and there was quite a bit), and then again for scenario ideas running a Star Trek game campaign in the '80s and '90s and as debate points in the Star Wars vs Star Trek debates of the early and mid 00's.
    >
    > Mostly those shows are good, especially for something looking back fifty years through the lens of a totally different zeitgeist, but I would suggest going closer to the source and reading books about the subject like "The Making of Star Trek" and recorded talks and interviews from back then too. There is a lot of candid offhand things people say when a show is officially dead few are even thinking seriously of bringing it back despite what the fans wanted. And, as I said, the changing zeitgeist makes a big difference in interpretation and even how people remember things much later if they do not take it into account.
    >
    > And yes, Roddenberry was known for a somewhat high BS quotient. A good example of that is that instead of just telling people the truth about the stardates in the shows being out of order because the network did not bother to show them in order, he could not resist spinning a convoluted pseudo-science thing about it depending on where you are in the galaxy. But Star Trek itself would never have come about if he was not a fast-talking hustler to some extent since the show concept was not in the networks' comfort zone.
    >
    > Also a lot of those "myths" are actually supported by the internal memos that were circulating in fan circles and published in books like "The Making of Star Trek" and other sources of information like talks and Q&As with Roddenberry and others at conventions (some of which were recorded, there was even an official LP record sold of one of Roddenberry's longer ones).
    >
    > A lot of those stressed that they were going for a smooth minimalist and practical style inside and outside of the ship for instance, and including the uniforms which were supposed to look comfortable (they were actually hot and scratchy) and like they were made of futuristic materials. There were also mentions of a lot of those sfx tests, including references to the opening scene of what became "The Cage" where the camera was supposed to close in on the name and registration on saucer, skim along the hull and enter through the front of the bridge but proved impossible to do in a way that looked good, and the suggestion that they use the vent hole and attachment ring for the "wild" wall sections over the set for the camera entry point since it was a natural mask. That documentation also mentioned things like the burning control panel transparencies and other "myths".
    >
    > People nowadays like to look at all of the kludges and think that is exactly what they were trying to do back then instead of something more, that somehow all "modern" ideas are very recent and no one could possibly think of anything like that back then. But that is not the case and never was, it is very common for ideas to exist in various forms long before anyone can actually do them with technology, and that includes show production technology.

    I have a copy of "The Making of Star Trek" on a shelf 3 feet away from me, along with I Am Not Spock, Star Trek Memories and many other things. Thing is many of the claims made in those books are called out as false in the documentaries, especially any notions of a "plan" or "vision" ever existing. To put it bluntly, Gene made any planning impossible as his behavior alienated writers producers directors and actors.

    Gene talked up his supposed plans and visions in later years, but they never existed. Star Trek is no different than any other TV/Film franchise and it never has been. There are no special rules, it does not have a noble purpose, it exists to make money, nothing else. What it is, what it looks like, who the characters are, and everything else are 100 percent in the control of the owner of the IP (which was never Gene BTW) and can be used and/or changed in any way they see fit. The same as any other IP.
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  • starkaosstarkaos Member Posts: 10,950 Arc User
    azrael605 wrote: »
    I have a copy of "The Making of Star Trek" on a shelf 3 feet away from me, along with I Am Not Spock, Star Trek Memories and many other things. Thing is many of the claims made in those books are called out as false in the documentaries, especially any notions of a "plan" or "vision" ever existing. To put it bluntly, Gene made any planning impossible as his behavior alienated writers producers directors and actors.

    Gene talked up his supposed plans and visions in later years, but they never existed. Star Trek is no different than any other TV/Film franchise and it never has been. There are no special rules, it does not have a noble purpose, it exists to make money, nothing else. What it is, what it looks like, who the characters are, and everything else are 100 percent in the control of the owner of the IP (which was never Gene BTW) and can be used and/or changed in any way they see fit. The same as any other IP.

    But there is no way to entirely know what is true when the documentaries or novels happened decades after TOS. Human memory is lousy in trying to remember some minor detail that happened a year ago much less decades ago. The only reliable source of information is finding documents with the relevant information created during the production of TOS.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,259 Arc User
    Enh, one documentary I read talked about how badly they had to scramble due to time crunches, and that part of the awkward writing in TOS is because scripts got "finished" hours before shooting started and often needed to be improvised on set.
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  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 746 Arc User
    edited September 21
    azrael605 wrote: »
    I have a copy of "The Making of Star Trek" on a shelf 3 feet away from me, along with I Am Not Spock, Star Trek Memories and many other things. Thing is many of the claims made in those books are called out as false in the documentaries, especially any notions of a "plan" or "vision" ever existing. To put it bluntly, Gene made any planning impossible as his behavior alienated writers producers directors and actors.

    Gene talked up his supposed plans and visions in later years, but they never existed. Star Trek is no different than any other TV/Film franchise and it never has been. There are no special rules, it does not have a noble purpose, it exists to make money, nothing else. What it is, what it looks like, who the characters are, and everything else are 100 percent in the control of the owner of the IP (which was never Gene BTW) and can be used and/or changed in any way they see fit. The same as any other IP.

    While some hype their particular one while and others don't, a "plan" or "vision" always exists in at least some minimal form in any coherent production, it is not some kind of religious revelation or whatever. Without it you get scrambled nonsense like the ultra-low-budget horror (some of which claimed to be sci-fi) flicks where the director makes it all up on the fly. It does not have to be all spelled out, figured out, and aligned to the last detail like some OCD executive's desktop, but it does need a theme and basic rules and Star Trek had that at least as much as other quality productions (and even a bit more since it was rather unusual and scriptwriters unfamiliar with the concepts had to be brought up to speed).

    And yes, Hollywood is a business and everything is done for making money. I never said it wasn't or that Star Trek was some exception. How to make it there boils down to two main branches, which are go with the flow like lemmings and coattail other successful productions, and the other is to deliberately do something very different from what others are doing to stand out and attract people who are bored with the usual.

    Roddenberry went with the latter approach and the memos along with anecdotes from others like Jefferies bear that out. As part of that "do something different" approach they also went with a lot of non-traditional modern (for the time it was made) ideas that happened to mesh well with the zeitgeist more than the traditional roles and ideals.



    As for the IP thing, that always rested with Desilu and followed the studio through all the name and organizational changes from buyouts by Gulf+Western, Viacom, and the split to CBS where it rests now. But while it is legally true that the IP holder sets the rules, the entertainment industry is no different from any other service industry in that "the customer is always right" (even when they are not) and they have to please that customer enough to stay in business, which in turn influences what they do.

    Desilu did not have a huge impact on Trek besides telling them what soundstages to use, what their budget was, and other practical production considerations, beyond the obvious budgetary one that lead to the invention of transporters to avoid the expense of landing models on miniature terrain every week and some of the show's other cost-saving innovations and kludges. The creative end they left up to Roddenberry and his team, and it was mainly Roddenberry who had to haggle with and please the customer (NBC) on that front. It was NBC, not the IP holder Desilu, who had the greatest impact on looks and plots outside of the production team themselves.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 48,896 Arc User
    Wasn't there a time during the production of TOS where they were plagued by bees?
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Member Posts: 33,273 Arc User
    NOT THE BEES!​​
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  • khan5000khan5000 Member Posts: 2,642 Arc User
    Hornets. During the shooting of the second TOS pilot. Shatner got stung on the face which is why in some scenes his cheek is a little puffy and his eye a bit swollen
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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 48,896 Arc User
    I think the show was actually plagued by them on two occasions.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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  • ryan218ryan218 Member Posts: 34,484 Arc User
    Then off course there's the (possibly anecdotal) time Kirk kissed Uhura and the network apparently forced a rewrite of the scene to avoid enraging the Deep South; at which point Shatner deliberately hammed up his new takes for the rest of the shooting time for that scene so the producers had to put the take with the kiss in. Seriously, sometimes the BTS events compete with the actual episodes for cowboyism.
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,660 Arc User
    David Gerrold wrote The World of Star Trek in 1973. He made it pretty plain that just about everything was done on the fly - and that's not criticism, because back in the day everything on TV was done that way. Episodic television didn't go in for grand arcs until much, much later (there's a fair argument that Babylon 5 was the first long-format TV show). Episodes were written and filmed with little if any reference to one another, because they could wind up being shown in just about any order. That's why "The Man Trap" was aired before any other episode, despite being (IIRC) the third episode filmed, while the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", aired third.

    What's more, most of the details that we think of as making up Star Trek (Klingons, Romulans, the UFP, Starfleet) were created by Gene Coon or Dorothy Fontana. Roddenberry was a "vision" guy, not a "detail" guy, and if he'd been as meddling as he tried to be with TNG, the entire series would never have gotten off the ground (or in this case, I guess, left spacedock).
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  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 746 Arc User
    Definitely true about the arcs, a lot of people thought Straczynski was taking too big of a gamble with the arc/episode blend concept. Up until that point serial and episode formats were rather rigidly separated, with some shows pushing it a bit with two-part or even rarer three-part episodes sprinkled in here and there along with the occasional offhand reference to something earlier in otherwise independent episodes and/or the once-in-a-series coma-schtick clip episode.

    Even worse, serial format was mostly dismissed as "kids stuff" after all the cheap single-sponsor kids serials (which were in essence long sneaky commercials) that had their heyday in the '40s and '50s but are still being made to some extent today (those shows are spoofed in movies like "The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space" which Nichelle Nichols had a part in, btw).

    Back in the old days when a lot of third-party scripts were used it was not uncommon for a writer to submit a script for a show and when it was rejected do a quick rewrite to adapt it to a different show which might not even be of the same genre as the first one (nowadays the trend is to keep it in-house). That is about as "ad-hoc" as you can get from a series point of view, but all the good series had a final check and polish step to make sure the script fit the show's style and setting criteria. That final step is a large part of what Coon and Fontana did besides writing episodes themselves. It was a lot like writing for a shared universe like Eric Flint's "1632" setting, or even a more coherent than usual fanzine (though a few of the TOS scripts were radically re-written, to the point that they were in essence a new story based on the original episode writer's script).

    The Romulans are a good example of that kind of polish. They were originally created by Paul Schneider as a sort of envelope for the U-boat captain and crew with a Roman flair (Roddenberry had a thing for Romans it seems and was more likely to accept scripts loosely based on them) but were heavily refined by Coon and Fontana (and Fontana was the official go-to person for the Romulans shortly thereafter).

    While the episodes were standalone order-wise for the most part they were all part of a larger (and deliberately rather sketchy) picture set forth in things like the series bible and the editing ideas of Roddenberry, and later Coon and Fontana.
  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Member Posts: 33,273 Arc User
    and then once he did it, EVERYONE started doing multi-part TRIBBLE far and beyond 2-parters...*cough*MMPR Green with Evil 5-parter*cough*​​
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  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,811 Arc User
    ryan218 wrote: »
    Then off course there's the (possibly anecdotal) time Kirk kissed Uhura and the network apparently forced a rewrite of the scene to avoid enraging the Deep South; at which point Shatner deliberately hammed up his new takes for the rest of the shooting time for that scene so the producers had to put the take with the kiss in. Seriously, sometimes the BTS events compete with the actual episodes for cowboyism.

    Actually the studio fought the network on that one. The network didn't want to show them kissing per the script because it would TRIBBLE off southern stations, yes. They eventually settled on an agreement that they'd shoot a few takes of each.

    Shatner and Nichelle Nichols then proceeded to deliberately ruin every take that didn't show them kissing, e.g. rolling their eyes.
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  • azrael605azrael605 Member Posts: 10,590 Arc User
    Oh my god phoenix for the millionth time there was NO plan ffs.
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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Member Posts: 33,273 Arc User
    GIRLS! you are both pretty - now sit down and shut up!​​
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,259 Arc User
    and then once he did it, EVERYONE started doing multi-part TRIBBLE far and beyond 2-parters...*cough*MMPR Green with Evil 5-parter*cough*​​
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  • wingedhussar#7584 wingedhussar Member Posts: 118 Community Moderator
    Okay, seriously, what the heck is going on in here?

    Don't answer that question, I don't care. Just cool it.
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  • iamjmphiamjmph Member Posts: 133 Arc User
    well this got off topic fast...

    gonna throw one thing i find interesting out there and then say Mods you can close this if you want( i dont think i can).

    So i was watching Star Trek(2009) yesterday and i noticed something i've never noticed or seen mentioned before. There was apparently an engineering miracle worker before Scotty(I'm pretty sure Tucker was more along the lines of La Forge, amazing but not on par with dear Mr. Scott) .

    Here's a clip: https://youtube.com/watch?v=TzzC5ASyXBI

    At @ 35 seconds in the Engineer(i am going to quote from the transcripts) tells the captain: "
    [Engineering]

    ENGINEERING OFFICER: Weapons are offline. Main power is 38%."

    At @ 40 seconds in we see an outside view which shows... the Kelvin firing phasers at incoming missiles!

    Weapons were fixed in about 5 seconds, i don't even think Scotty could have pulled it off!
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 746 Arc User
    iamjmph wrote: »
    well this got off topic fast...

    gonna throw one thing i find interesting out there and then say Mods you can close this if you want( i dont think i can).

    So i was watching Star Trek(2009) yesterday and i noticed something i've never noticed or seen mentioned before. There was apparently an engineering miracle worker before Scotty(I'm pretty sure Tucker was more along the lines of La Forge, amazing but not on par with dear Mr. Scott) .

    Here's a clip: https://youtube.com/watch?v=TzzC5ASyXBI

    At @ 35 seconds in the Engineer(i am going to quote from the transcripts) tells the captain: "
    [Engineering]

    ENGINEERING OFFICER: Weapons are offline. Main power is 38%."

    At @ 40 seconds in we see an outside view which shows... the Kelvin firing phasers at incoming missiles!

    Weapons were fixed in about 5 seconds, i don't even think Scotty could have pulled it off!


    It was actually about twenty seconds, since the damage that knocked them offline happened at around 20 and the phasers fired at about 40 and both the automatic systems and the engineers would have started fixing it as soon as the damage was noticed. In fact, my guess would be that it was the automatics rerouting stuff that brought them back online, that or something had to reboot after a surge or outage caused the problem.

    Of course, setting up such systems the best way and making sure they are always working at peak efficiency is a mark the kind of engineer who gets a miracle worker reputation.

    One thing I find interesting is that the USS Kelvin had a screen based bridge just like all the other Star Trek ships shown before that movie instead of the silly picture window their version of the Enterprise has. It implies that the windows may have been a very limited fad on Starfleet ships that peaked during the early to mid 2250s and not the "retcon" that some people seem to think it is.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 48,896 Arc User
    Actually...
    NVVPt.jpg
    That triple viewscreen...
    intelkelvin_bridge.jpg
    Lines up with what do look like bridge windows.

    So Starfleet was toying around with window viewscreen tech as far back as 2233 at least.
    I don't see it as a retcon. One thing that has been a common element in viewscreens is that, other than the holographic one on the Enterprise-E in First Contact, they've ALWAYS been on and most of the time showing what's ahead of a ship.

    Frankly if the Enterprise in Wrath of Khan had a window style viewscreen it might have made spotting the Reliant easier because while the Mutara Nebula interferes with sensors, sometimes it would just be easier to look out the window with a Mk. 1 Eyeball.

    Some might see the window style as a structural weakness, but you have to consider that maybe its some kind of transparent metal like the normal viewports on the ship.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
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  • khan5000khan5000 Member Posts: 2,642 Arc User
    I don’t see how a bridge window makes a weak spot when all the ships are literally covered in windows.
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  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,660 Arc User
    I don't recall the refractive index of transparent aluminum being mentioned in dialog, just its ability to withstand pressure (they'd specified the dimensions of Plexiglass needed to withstand a certain mass of water, then offered to show the engineer a way to manufacture something that would "do the same job" at half the thickness). Also, transparent aluminum isn't aluminum, any more than tritanium is titanium. We have no idea what its melting point is, nor its ability to withstand impact.
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  • starkaosstarkaos Member Posts: 10,950 Arc User
    jonsills wrote: »
    I don't recall the refractive index of transparent aluminum being mentioned in dialog, just its ability to withstand pressure (they'd specified the dimensions of Plexiglass needed to withstand a certain mass of water, then offered to show the engineer a way to manufacture something that would "do the same job" at half the thickness). Also, transparent aluminum isn't aluminum, any more than tritanium is titanium. We have no idea what its melting point is, nor its ability to withstand impact.

    It is also possible that Transparent Aluminum was no longer used in the 23rd Century. However, 23rd Century materials would require manufacturing facilities that would not be available on 20th Century Earth. It took less than a month for the transparent aluminum aquarium to be built using 20th Century technology. So if transparent aluminum is twice as strong as Plexiglass, then transparent aluminum would not be used as starship windows.
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 746 Arc User
    edited October 4
    jonsills wrote: »
    I don't recall the refractive index of transparent aluminum being mentioned in dialog, just its ability to withstand pressure (they'd specified the dimensions of Plexiglass needed to withstand a certain mass of water, then offered to show the engineer a way to manufacture something that would "do the same job" at half the thickness). Also, transparent aluminum isn't aluminum, any more than tritanium is titanium. We have no idea what its melting point is, nor its ability to withstand impact.

    Actually, transparent aluminum already exists, it is known by the trade name "Alon" (for ALuminum OxyNitride) so its properties are actually well known now (it is about six times stronger than the windows on the big aquarium park tanks in the movie btw which is pretty much in line with the dialog). I did get the melting point thing wrong though, I thought it was close to aluminim's but looking it up again it turns out to over three times higher.

    Still, it melts at 2150 degrees centigrade which would have failed well before the Enterprise-D's tritanium hull (which was still holding on at 3300 degrees in "Arsenal of Freedom") (though the deflectors were trashed by the heat), and I seem to remember the TOS Enterprise taking more than that at one point (though to be fair, the white ceramic hull coating the Federation uses on everything but DSC ships could have something to do with that too).

    It also might make some sense with the mundane titanium hulls used in at least some DSC ships (according to dialog the ship they rescued some people from in S2E1 was titaniam hulled) since titanium melts at 1668 degrees centigrade.

    If you are curious there is a short introduction video to Alon here:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=DduO1fNzV4w

    Another thing that is bad news for the crew is that transparent aluminum passes both infrared and ultraviolet even more readily than regular glass.
    Post edited by phoenixc#0738 on
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,660 Arc User
    The substance called "transparent aluminum" in reality is not the substance called "transparent aluminum" in Trek, any more than the real dilithium is a crystalline substance that focuses warp drives (real dilithium, Li2, is a diatomic molecule composed of two lithium atoms, and it's a gas).

    For that matter, you're assuming that those screens are constructed of Trekian transparent aluminum, something which is never established. Again, we have no information - all we can be certain of is that they aren't empty spaces held by force fields, because losing power doesn't cause the bridge to vent all its air to space.
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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Member Posts: 33,273 Arc User
    forcefields designed to cover an area of the ship that would otherwise be exposed to vacuum would NOT be tied to main power - they would have their own dedicated power supply to prevent EXACTLY that​​
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  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 746 Arc User
    edited October 4
    jonsills wrote: »
    The substance called "transparent aluminum" in reality is not the substance called "transparent aluminum" in Trek, any more than the real dilithium is a crystalline substance that focuses warp drives (real dilithium, Li2, is a diatomic molecule composed of two lithium atoms, and it's a gas).

    For that matter, you're assuming that those screens are constructed of Trekian transparent aluminum, something which is never established. Again, we have no information - all we can be certain of is that they aren't empty spaces held by force fields, because losing power doesn't cause the bridge to vent all its air to space.

    Actually, in an interview back when the movie came out one of the writers (I forget which one at the moment) mentioned hearing about people working on making transparent aluminum and thought it would be neat to include in the movie, and the one-to-six conversion between it and plexi does look like it came right out of the theoretical specs for alon. The process was actually first patented in 1980, six years before the movie came out though I don't think they were able to make more than little proof of concept samples until well after the movie.

    It always makes me laugh when I hear about all the wonderous things writers predicted out of thin air would be invented. The thing is, they do not (usually anyway) live cut off from all outside contact with just their typewriter and envelopes to put the manuscripts in, they read things and hear about theories and projects just like everyone else, but instead of just thinking "that's nice" and going about other business, a sci-fi writer tends to think how to use the concepts and theories and whatnot in stories along with their own made up stuff.

    Often they misinterpret what they hear of course, for example in the case of transparent aluminum in "The Voyage Home" the writer may have been thinking of it as a transparent version of the metal and not a variant of artificial sapphire, (though the equivalence being right on the money hints at better story research than that).
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,811 Arc User
    Sometimes Star Trek actually does do the research. Any time they mention evolution you're probably guaranteed there's a biologist crying somewhere, but when I was writing A Good Compromise for the Masterverse, I found that the Teplan blight was surprisingly easy to map onto basic real-world virology. I essentially interpreted it as varicella on steroids: the initial infection that produces the black streaks is chicken pox (a latent virus that goes dormant for many years), the lethal stage is shingles.
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