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STUDENT COMPUTING SERVICES (SCS)

Gear2Go: Digital Camera and Equipment Loans

Student Computing Services (SCS) maintains a collection of digital cameras, audio recorders and other devices exclusively available to university students, faculty and staff for academic purposes. A reservation request must include your TU email address (NetID@students.towson.edu or NetID@towson.edu) and you must present your valid TU OneCard when picking-up equipment.

go to Equipment Reservation formsContinue below to learn more about the equipment available from SCS Gear2Go and to access links to specifications, user guides, and other resources. If you are already an experienced borrower and you are ready to make a reservation, just click the "Reserve Gear" button on the right. Enjoy the light and sound!  

Jump to:
arrow head bullet Digital Video Camcorders
arrow head bullet Digital Still Cameras
arrow head bullet Digital Audio Equipment
arrow head bullet Tripods and Other Equipment  

click for overview movieHow do I reserve equipment?

  1. Click the "Reserve Gear" button above to select from all available items, or click the appropriate "Reserve It" button below to select a particular device from this page.
  2. On the next page, click the "Book" button adjacent to the item you wish to reserve.
  3. Follow the screen prompts to complete the process.
  4. Watch your inbox for a message confirming your reservation.

If you prefer, you may call 410-704-5151 (Options 2,1,3) or visit the SCS Service Desk in CK-35 to make a reservation with staff assistance. But, we strongly encourage borrowers to make their own reservations online to avoid problems associated with miscommunication. SCS will call or email you if we are unable to accept your request for any reason.

It is our practice to cancel reservation requests made with any non-TU email address; only addresses ending in "@students.towson.edu" or "@towson.edu" are acceptable. 

jump to topHow long may I keep the equipment?

You may reserve an item in advance for a period of one to four days. This term is intended to  ensure fair access to our relatively modest inventory and to discourage borrowers from losing track of equipment. SCS may grant extensions under the conditions described below, but no item may ever remain checked-out for more than eight days without the explicit authorization of an SCS professional staff member. SCS retains the right to change this policy if necessary (providing advanced notice on this page) to insure equitable access and to prevent abuse.

  • Any student, faculty, or staff client may request a reservation extension during an active reservation by calling, emailing, or visiting SCS. Please do not simply make a new reservation online. You may inadvertantly reserve an item other than the one you already have; if this happens, we will automatically cancel the second reservation and email you.
     
  • Faculty and staff clients may make two back-to-back reservations in advance, if needed. To request a loan term exceeding eight days, faculty/staff borrowers should email or call Robert Cave (rcave@towson.edu, 410-704-3024). Students may not make multiple back-to-back reservations in advance.
     
  • Please understand that if we are unable to grant an extension due to conflicting reservations, you must return the equipment by the agreed-upon due date of the initial reservation or we will consider it overdue.
     

jump to topWhat are the pickup and return procedures?

When you arrive to pick up equipment, an SCS staff member will initiate the check-out process, confirm that all kit components are present, and answer any questions you may have. We no longer  print checkout receipts; however, we will gladly send you another confirmation email reflecting updates, if any, to your original reservation.

It is your responsibility to know and adhere to our terms and conditions.

When you return equipment, a staff member will inspect it to verify that it is undamaged and that all components are present. Then, we will record the date and time of the return. If components are missing or damaged, we will require more information to record the damage and determine who should be responsible for the repair/replacement costs.

We expect equipment to fail over time as a consequence of day-to-day use; we hold clients responsible
only for loss and damage beyond normal wear and tear.  
 

What happens if I return equipment late?

Your delay in returning equipment might prevent other clients from completing important assignments or projects on time. Consequently, we regard your due date seriously and ask that you call us immediately should an emergency situation prevent you from returning equipment on time.

SCS tracks the incidence of late returns. If a client reaches a total of 6 late return days* or 3 late return incidents, SCS will suspend his/her borrowing privileges for both off-site and on-site resources for 6 months. (*Because your late return of 3 items---for example, a camera, a tripod, and a microphone---could affect 3 separate clients waiting for those items, we record one day per item when equipment is late.) We will suspend indefinitely the borrowing privileges of clients who do not respond to our email or telephone alerts and make it necessary for us to secure assistance from the TU Police in recovering our property.
 

What happens if I fail to pickup equipment without notifying SCS?

When you make a reservation, the equipment is held for you. No one else can reserve it. If you don't pick up the equipment---in other words, you abandon the reservation---it remains unavailable to others, nevertheless. We recognize that plans sometimes change, but we believe that in such cases it is reasonable to expect the client to contact us and cancel the reservation. If your plans change and you will not be picking-up a reserved item, please email scs@towson.edu and include "Cancel Gear2Go" in the subject so that we may release the equipment for other borrowers.

SCS tracks the incidence of abandoned reservations. After a client's 3rd abandonment, SCS will suspend his/her borrowing privileges for both off-site and on-site resources for 6 months.


If my borrowing privledges have been suspended, is there somewhere else I can borrow a camera to complete an assignment? 

We are unaware of any other campus or community services of this type. However, if your need is urgent, you can ask your professor to request an exception on your behalf by writing to rcave@towson.edu. In such cases, we will allow a student to borrow a Gear2Go item for up to four days. 

jump to topWhat kinds of devices are currently available?

SCS circulates the following types of multimedia equipment. The numbers in brackets indicate the number of units SCS currently offers. If you would suggest adding equipment not represented here, please let us know

bullet Pocket digital video camcorders, flash memory-based  [8]
bullet Advanced digital video camcorders, flash memory-based  [5]
bullet Digital video camcorders, MiniDV tape-based  [2]

bullet Digital SLR camera  [3]

bullet Digital compact cameras  [2]
bullet Digital audio recorders  [2]
bullet Tripods  [11]
bullet Wireless lavaliere microphones  [3]
bullet
Wired lavaliere microphones  [2]

bullet Portable LED Video Light Kit [1]  (for use on site only)
bullet Portable video/photo background/screen with stand [1]  (for use on site only)
bullet Wired headphones  [10]  (for use on site only)  

bullet Graphics Tablet  [1]  (for use on site only)
bullet Trackball  [1]  (for use on site only)
bullet Flatbed scanners  [4]  (for use on site only)
bullet MIDI keyboard headphones  [1]  (for use on site only)  


jump to topDigital Video Camcorders

photo for Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera
Kodak Zi8 Camcorder  [5]

This pocket-sized 1080 HD camcorder is easy to use and features removable SDHC media and an external microphone port. Use the included AC adapter to power the camera and you won't have to worry about the batteries dying in the middle of a shoot.
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Resources
Kit Tips 
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of Flip UltraHD pocket camcorder
Cisco Flip UltraHD Camcorder  [3] 

This pocket-sized 720 HD camcorder is the easiest-to-use camera we offer. Two words: dead simple. In our experience, you can expect to get 60 minutes of recording from a set of 2 fully charged batteries. The kit includes 4 batteries (which must be returned) and a portable recharger allowing for two hours of recording. Battery recharging requires approximately 6 hours.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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photo of Sony HDR-CX550V camcorder
Sony HDR-CX550V Camcorder  [3]

This full-featured 1080p HD camcorder records to both removable SDHC media and an internal 64GB hard drive. It  features an high capacity battery and a viewfinder, and it supports manual control for the artistically inclined. It also shoots standard definition video and excellent 12.3 megapixel stills.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of Sony HDR-CX560
Sony HDR-CX560 Camcorder  [2]

This full-featured 1080p HD camcorder records to both removable SDHC media and an internal 64GB hard drive. It  features an high capacity battery and it supports manual control for the artistically inclined. It also shoots standard definition video and excellent 12.3 megapixel stills.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual
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photo of Panasonic GS250
Panasonic PV-GS250 Camcorder  [1]

This full-featured digital camcorder records video to MiniDV tapes and 3.1 megapixel still images to SD media cards. It  circulates with a full set of accessories including an external microphone and wired remote control.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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This is a tape-based camcorder. Transferring video to a computer for editing will be more time consuming and may require special equipment. Bear in mind that you can can reserve the SCS Studio and request assistance when you're ready to transfer.

 

< Reserve It
photo of Sony DCR-HC46
Sony DCR-HC46 Camcorder  [1]

This easy-to-use digital camcorder records video to MiniDV tapes and connects to computers via USB and i.Link (Firewire) when mounted on the included docking station.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual
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This is a tape-based camcorder. Transferring video to a computer for editing will be more time consuming and may require special equipment. Bear in mind that you can can reserve the SCS Studio and request assistance when you're ready to transfer.

 

< Reserve It
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 60D Digital SLR [3]
This professional-level DSLR camera records 18MP still photographs and full-HD video to SDHC media. It includes a Canon EF-S 18-135 F3.5 lens* and a vast selection of automatic and manual controls. The 60D connects to computers via USB. (*Borrowers are strongly discouraged from removing the lens; open Kit Tips below for more information.)
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Resources
KitTips
Specifications
Manual
Lynda.com Course
Some chapters are available without logging in. For full access, reserve LDC via SCS access.

To provide fair access to this limited resource, new reservation rules go into effect September 10, 2012. Clients may make only one four-day reservation at a time. This reservation may be made up to 30 days in advance. Clients may make a new reservation on the final day of an existing reservation, provided that a kit is available. As mentioned above, DO NOT simply make a new reservation online. We will cancel it. Instead call or visit to request that your existing reservation be extended. These new rules apply our Canon 60D kits only.

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< Reserve It
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jump to topDigital Still Cameras

photo of Canon PowerShot A95
Canon PowerShot A95  [1]  

This excellent 5.0 megapixel digital still camera sports a 3x optical zoom, an angle-adjustable view screen, and manual control options.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of Kodak EasyShare C663
Kodak EasyShare C663  [1]

This excellent 6.1 megapixel digital still camera features a 3x optical zoom and shoots web-quality (640x480) MPEG video. 
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of Olympus C3020
Olympus Camedia C-3020  [1]

This lower-resolution 3.2 megapixel digital still camera features a 3x optical zoom and a bright F2.8 lens; it also supports manual settings and records QuickTime movies.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
 

jump to topDigital Audio Equipment

photo of Zoom H2 Audio Recorder
Samson Zoom H2 Digital Audio Recorder  [2] 

This small, lightweight digital audio recorder will capture vocal and instrumental performances, as well as interviews and lectures with stunning clarity. The device features four on-board microphones and records in a variety of formats and quality levels to affordable SDHC media cards. 
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of AT Pro88W mic system
audio-technica Pro 88W Wireless Mic System  [3]

This rugged, easy-to-use wireless microphone system offers two switchable frequencies and supports a 100'-300' range. It's great for video applications. The transmitter and receiver each use a single 9 volt battery.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
photo of wired microphone
audio-technica 805b Wired Mic  [2]

This classic wired lavaliere microphone is suitable for interviews in the studio; it includes a 1/4" to 1/8" plug adapter and runs on a single button cell battery (included). Spare batteries are located in the front zippered pocket of the kit case. 
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications Unavailable
Manual Unavailable
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< Reserve It
Blue Yeti USB Mic
Blue Yeti USB Mic [1]

This advanced multi-pattern (4) USB microphone is well suited to recording a wide variety of audio sources--from narration to choral and instrumental performances--directly to a computer. There is a headphone port for monitoring.  
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications
Manual
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< Reserve It
Genaray LED Light Kit
Genaray LED-6200T Video Light Kit [1]

This 4.5"x2.5" LED video light is perfect for self-illumination during webcam recording. Both the light intensity and temperature/color is adjustable. The kit also includes a battery, a power adapter, and a small tripod.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications
Manual
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
Savage LS-C8 Reflector Stand
Savage LS-C8 Background Stand [1]

This three-section stand is topped with a clip designed to grip a collapsable reflector or background. Paired with our blue-gray photo background, it will allow users to hide background cluuter and activity during self-recording.
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Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications
Manual
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
photo of Sony MDRXD 100 headphones
Sony MDR-XD100 Headphones  [1]

These lightweight, comfortable studio monitor-style headphones convey bass sounds more accurately than open-air headphones.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual N/A 
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
Berhinger headphones Behringer HPS3000 Headphones [8]

These
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Resources

Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications
Manual
 
 
This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
M-Audio Axiom49 keyboard  M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI Keyboard  [1] (1st Gen)

For use with DAW (audio) software (e.g., Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Garage Band) to input/edit music.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual 
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
     
     
Other Equipment
Wacom Intuous4 tablet  Wacom Intuos4 6"x8" Graphics Tablet  [1]

This input device for the artistically inclined includes the Intuous4 medium tablet, pen, mouse and a pen stand all in a soft case.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual 
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
trackball   Kensington Expert Mouse USB Trackball  [1]

This mouse alternative may give your wrist a rest and provide you better control of your cursor. 
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual 
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only.
epson scanner  Epson Perfection 3490 Photo USB Flatbed Scanner  [2]

This 3200 dpi flatbed scanner can be connected to any SCS computer for digitizing photos, art work or printed pages. 
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development) 
Specifications
Manual  
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This device is available for use on site (in SCS facilities) only. 
   

jump to topTripods 

photo of Sony VCT-R640 tripod
Sony VCT-R640 Video Tripod  [9]

These video tripods are light enough to carry around all day, yet sturdy enough to support rock-solid recording in all but the most extreme conditions. The pan-tilt head and quick release are perfect for your next video or photo project.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)  
Specifications
Manual N/A
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< Reserve It
photo of Velbon Victory 480 tripod
Velbon Victory 480 Video Tripod  [1]

Solid support with a 3-way pan-tilt video head and quick release.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications Unavailable
Manual N/A
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< Reserve It
Quantaray Titan QII-550 Video Tripod  [1]

Solid support with a 3-way pan-tilt video head and quick release.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications Unavailable
Manual N/A
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< Reserve It
Manfrotto Tripod 
Manfrotto 3001BPRO Video Tripod  [2]

Solid support with a 3-way pan-tilt video head and quick release.
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Resources
Kit Tips (in development)
Specifications Unavailable
Manual N/A
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< Reserve It 
jump to top 

Gear2Go / Gear4Here Terms & Conditions

In taking possession of the equipment you are requesting from Student Computing Services, 

(A)
you attest that you are a Towson University student, faculty member, or staff member and possess a valid TU OneCard identification;

(B)
you agree to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the equipment from damage and theft, to adhere to the SCS guidelines for equipment care and to return the equipment in the same state you received it;

(C)
you agree to return the equipment and all constituent components on or before the due date and time indicated in your reservation confirmation and receipt;

(D)
you acknowledge your understanding that if you do not return the borrowed equipment on time, SCS may deny your reservation and borrowing requests in the future;

(E)
you acknowledge your understanding that if you do not return this equipment within one week of the due date, SCS may bill you for the replacement value of the equipment through the Towson University Bursar's Office;

(F)
you acknowledge your understanding that if you repeatedly reserve equipment and then fail to pick it up without alerting SCS, we may deny your reservation and borrowing requests in the future;

(G)
you acknowledge your understanding that Towson University, the Office of Technology Services, and Student Computing Services will not be responsible for file or media loss due to equipment malfunction or misuse;

(E)
you acknowledge your understanding that Student Computing Services routinely deletes all borrower content (i.e., image, audio and video files) from returned equipment and that it is your responsibility to transfer your files to your own computer or storage device before returning borrowed equipment. 


Late Return Policy 

Your delay in returning equipment might prevent another client from completing an important assignment or project on time. Consequently, we regard your due date very seriously and ask that you call us immediately should an emergency situation prevent you from returning equipment on time. SCS tracks the incidence of late returns. If a client reaches a total 6 late return days* or 3 late return incidents, SCS will suspend his/her borrowing privileges for both off-site and on-site resources for 6 months. (*Because your late return of 3 items---for example, a camera, a tripod, and a microphone---could affect 3 separate clients waiting for those items, we record one late return day per item when equipment is late.) We will suspend indefinitely the borrowing privileges of clients who do not respond to our email or telephone alerts and make it necessary for us to secure the assistance of the TU Police in recovering our property.

Abandoned Reservation Policy  

When you make a reservation, the equipment is held for you. No one else can reserve it. If you don't pick-up the equipment---in other words, you abandon the reservation---it remains unavailable to others, nevertheless. We recognize that plans sometimes change, but we believe that in such cases it is reasonable to expect the client to contact us and cancel the reservation. SCS tracks the incidence of abandoned reservations. After a client's third abandonment, SCS will suspend his/her borrowing privileges for both off-site and on-site resources for 6 months.

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OTS TechHelp

Gear2Go Graphic
 

Media Advice

photo of SDHC media cardPlan to use a device that records to removable SDHC memory cards? We suggest that you consider buying your own SDHC memory card, Class 6 or faster, for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your card's history and so that you can more conveniently access your recordings after returning the camera or recorder.

photo of MiniDV tapeIf you plan to use a MiniDV tape-based video camera, we highly recommend that you buy a new MiniDV tape for each video recording project. Or, at the very least, use a tape that you know has not been overused.

SCS offers no assurance that the "courtesy" tapes and media cards that we circulate with the cameras are reliable. New MiniDV tapes and SDHC memory cards are readily available at photo, electronics, and office supply stores.


How Much Camcorder Do You Need?

Unless you require and are willing to spend time learning the special features of a more advanced camcorder, we suggest that you borrow one of our HD pocket camcorders.

The Kodak Zi8 and Flip UltraHD models are much simpler to use. And they produce very respectable HD video recordings that are easier to process and edit than those from more advanced camcorders.

If high-quality audio is important to your project and you plan to use an external microphone, be sure to borrow a Kodak Zi8; the Flip UltraHDs do not have mic inputs.

If you determine that the Sony HDR-CX550/CX560, the Canon 60D DSLR, or one of our MiniDV cameras is better suited to your purposes, be sure to consult the manuals and decide how you will need to configure the camera before you start shooting. Also, be certain to shoot some test video with your selected settings and then import it into your computer to verify that your planned approach to editing and processing will be compatible with the video you capture.

The Sony HDR-CX550/CX560 can be set to record in standard definition (STD) as well as high definition (HD).

 
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