Personal calendar

  1. Add an event [top]
    In the New menu, select Event or click in the corresponding timeslot.

    A window appears with Subject and Location. Enter a subject and click on Save if you're finished. If you wish to change the schedule or add other data (description, etc.) or add participants, click on More....

    Events have a default duration. You can change it in the Preferences.

  2. Add an "all day" event [top]
    In the New menu, select Event or click in the corresponding timeslot. Enter a subject and click on More. Then, tick the (day) checkbox. The all-day event appears at the top of the page.
  3. View event details [top]
    You have 3 options:
    • Bring the mouse on the event and click on More... in the info bubble that appears.
    • Double click on the event, with the left mouse button.
    • Click the right mouse button to display the Actions and select Details
  4. Duplicate an event [top]
    If you need to create an event similar to an existing event, select Duplicate in the Actions of the existing event, make the necessary changes and click on Save to create the new event.

    If you need to create many similar events, maybe you should use the Periodicity tab.

  5. Repeat an event [top]
    Some events occur repeatedly, such as birthdays, some meetings, sport activities, etc. Instead of creating an event each time, you can create a single event and define the periodicity pattern.

    Display the event details and click on the Periodicity tab. Tick the Enable checkbox to choose the options.

    This operation will create an event series. According to the circumstances, you will be able to act on a given event or on the whole series. For instance, if you have a weekly meeting, there will be weeks when the meeting will not occur at all (holidays, etc.). You will be able to create such exceptions without impacting the series. In this case, just delete the corresponding events; Before each action (edit, delete), you will be asked whether the action will impact the selected event or the whole series

    However, if you end up with only exceptions, we advise to use the duplicate feature instead.

  6. Availability [top]
    These options are standards. You will find them in third-party software, such as Microsoft Outlook. Note that Apple iCal only supports 2 of them: Free and Busy.
    • Busy: This is the default status for normal events, meaning that you are actually busy because of this event.
    • Free: This means you are still available, despite the event. For instance, you have created an event to remind you that an item will be delivered between 2 and 4 but you are not actually busy waiting for it and unable to do something else. "Free" is the default status for "all day" events because you are at work although it is John's birthday (or even yours).
    • Tentative: This status is for unconfirmed reservations in your calendar. Meetings invitations that you haven't accepted (or refused) yet appear with a tentative status; when you accept them, they switch to the busy status. Use the Tentative status when you create an event which is not sure yet.
    • Out of office: This status means you can't accept events because you are not at the office, for professional or personal reasons. If you want a day off because it's your birthday, create an all-day event and apply this status, instead of the default status (which is "Free", as explained before).
  7. Private events [top]
    A private event does not appear at all to group members, even as a busy timeslot. To make an event private, display its details and tick the Private checkbox.

Personal calendar sharing

  1. Default access rights [top]
    • View events: all group members may always view busy time zones in your calendar (cannot be changed). However, you can hide an event completely by setting it private.
    • View events details: yourself (can be changed).
    • Add events: yourself (can be changed).
    • Delete events: yourself (can be changed).
  2. Display your Calendar access rights [top]
    In the My calendar Actions, select Access rights. Then, select a group.
  3. Change a Calendar access rights [top]
    Tick checkboxes to grant more rights:
    • Add content: create events; the creator name will be displayed in the event details
    • Delete content: delete any event, including these you created yourself
    • View details: display the subject, description, etc. for all your events
    • Edit content: edit any event
    • View busy/free: cannot be edited. Group members always see busy timeslots in your calendar.
  4. Display access rights for an event [top]
    In the event Actions, select Access rights. Then, select a group.
  5. Change an event access rights [top]
    Tick checkboxes to grant more rights:
    • View details: display the subject, description, etc. for this event only
    • Edit: edit details for this event only
    • View busy/free: cannot be edited. Group members always see busy timeslots in your calendar.

Group member's calendar

  1. Access to someone else's calendar [top]
    • If you will access this calendar frequently
      Under My calendar, you will find a folder named Direct access. Display its Actions and select Settings. Then, click on Add a person or group calendar, choose a calendar and click on Save. The chosen calendar becomes available in the Direct access folder: click on it to display its events. The next time, you'll only have to open the Direct access folder to display previously selected calendars.

      To go back to your own calendar, click on My calendar.

    • If you need to access the calendar just once
      Select Members in the context selector (which default value is "Private") and choose a group member. The chosen calendar is displayed and will disappears when your session ends.

      To go back to your own calendar, select Private in the context selector.

    Note: in both cases, events are displayed as busy timeslots. You will view the details (title, description, etc.) only if you have been given the necessary access rights.

  2. Edit a group member's calendar [top]
    The calendars of other members function just like your own. However, in order to add, edit or delete events, you must have been given rights by the calendar owner.

    When you use repeat and reminder features in another member's calendar, the reminders are sent to the calendar owner (and not to yourself). Likewise, you can create meetings in another member's calendar (and invite yourself, or not).

Group calendar

  1. Access to a group calendar [top]
    Select the group name in the second pull-down menu (the default value is "Private").
  2. Group calendar usage [top]
    The group calendar will contain events of interest for all group members.

    According to the access rights you have received from the group administrator, you will be able to add or delete events. You will be allowed to edit an event only if the event creator has allowed you to do so.

  3. Default access rights [top]
    • View events details: all group members (cannot be changed).
    • Edit an event: the event creator (can be changed).
    • Add events: group administrator (can be changed).
    • Delete events: group administrator (can be changed).
  4. Invite all members to a group event [top]
    Tick the Invite all members checkbox so that the event appears in all group members personal calendars. A meeting will be created in all personal calendars.

    Note: this option is available only when creating an event in a group calendar; it is not available for personal events or when editing a group calendar event.

  5. Reminders in group calendar [top]
    There are no reminders for group calendar events.
  6. Display a group calendar access rights [top]
    Select Access rights in the group Calendar Actions.
  7. Group administrators: change access rights [top]
    Tick the checkboxes to grant more rights:
    • Add content: create events; the creator name will be displayed in the event details
    • Delete content: delete any event
    • View details: cannot be changed in a group calendar
    • Edit content: edit any event
    • View busy/free: cannot be changed.

Delete events

  1. Delete a single event [top]
    Move the mouse to the event to display the info bubble or right click on the event to display its Actions. Then, select Delete.
  2. Delete old events [top]
    Select Delete between 2 dates in a calendar Actions. Choose the 2 dates and click on Delete.

    Be sure to choose the right dates because the deletion cannot be undone.

Layering

  1. Features [top]
    You can layer calendars, whether they are managed by the virtual office (internal calendars) or available on the Web in the .ics (vCal/iCal) format (external calendars).

    Access rights apply for layered events:

    • Internal calendars
      The actions you can perform (view details, edit, delete) depend on the access rights the calendar owner has given to you.
    • External calendars
      These calendars are always read-only: you cannot therefore edit them.

    Besides, layered events are not in your personal calendar: you cannot therefore share them, add a reminder, etc.

    Note: Your subscription sets the maximum number of calendars you may layer.

    To configure the layering, click on Layer in the menu bar.

  2. Activate layering [top]
    Add at least one calendar and tick the Activate layering box.

    The layering is permanent: it is active until deactivation.

    In layering mode, each event appears with the initials of its owner (person or group).

  3. Deactivate layering [top]
    Untick the Activate layering box. You can reactivate the layering anytime without having to add calendars again.
  4. Add an internal calendar [top]
    Click on Add a person or group calendar. Tick the appropriate boxes and click on Save. The new calendar appears in the list. Click on Save to display the new layering.
  5. Add an external calendar [top]
    An external calendar contains public events (bank holidays, school holidays, sports events, etc.) and is available on the Web (see for instance iCalShare).

    Click on Add an external vCalendar. Enter a name for this calendar, its URL (it must begin with http://). You can also enter a description and choose a color for all events of this calendar. Click on URL check and, if the URL is accepted, click on Save. The new calendar appears in the list. Click on Save to display the new layering.

  6. Delete a calendar [top]
    A calendar can be suppressed temporarily or permanently.
    • Temporarily
      Untick the box next to the calendar name in the View/ column: the calendar is not layered anymore. You can have it layered anytime by re-ticking the box.
    • Permanently
      Click on the Trash icon next to the calendar name.

Meetings

  1. What is a meeting? [top]
    An event is turned into a meeting when you invite participants. These participants are selected among group members and contacts (only contacts with an e-mail address can be selected).
  2. Pending meetings [top]
    Click on Invitation under My calendar to display the list of meeting invitations you haven't answered yet. Double click on a meeting to display its details or select your answer in the Actions menu.

    Note: invitations to past meetings are not displayed.

  3. Accept or decline a meeting [top]
    The invitation to a meeting is indicated by the or pictogram. Click on its subject to display the details.
    • To accept the meeting, click on Accept and the pictogram becomes or . Once the invitation is accepted, you can always decline it later on.
    • To refuse the meeting, click on Refuse. You can enter the reason why you decline. An email notification is sent to the meeting creator. Once the invitation is declined, the meeting disappears automatically from your calendar.
    • To refuse the meeting but keep it in your calendar, click on Refuse but don't delete. The meeting creator receives a notification stating you refuse the meeting. Later, you will be able to accept the meeting and the meeting creator will be notified as well. A refused meeting is indicated by the or pictogram. This feature is useful if your schedule is changed in the meantime or if you wish to keep track of a meeting without actually participating.
  4. Create a meeting [top]
    When creating an event, click on the Participants tab. Then click on Add to access your addressbook (private and group). Select the boxes to invite the participants. You can easily invite all group members by ticking the first box (All members).
    • Participants with a virtual office account: the meeting proposal appears directly in their calendar with a flickering question mark. By clicking on the meeting subject, they accept or decline the meeting with a single click. In case they decline, you get an email notification (with a reason for declining if provided) and the meeting disappears from their calendar.
    • Participants without a virtual office account: an email will be sent to them with the details of the meeting. They can accept or decline it with a single click. In case they decline, you get an email notification.
  5. Invitations follow-up [top]
    The meeting creator can at any time view the answer of each participant from the participants list. The possible status are: Invited (but no answer), Accepted or Refused. Please note that a participant who has first accepted a meeting may decline it later.

    The pictogram which signals a meeting in the calendar can change:

    • or : At least one person has declined the meeting .
    • or : Everyone has accepted the meeting.
  6. Send reminders to participants [top]
    You can send a reminder to a participant who hasn't answered to the meeting invitation.

    In the Participants tab, display the participant Actions and select the reminder type.

  7. Edit a meeting [top]
    Only the creator of a meeting may edit it.

    Details (schedule, subject, description and/or location) or participants can be edited. To make the changes, first click on the meeting subject.

    When the details are edited, the status of the invitations is reset: the participants must accept or refuse the edited meeting. An email notification is sent. You can disable this notification for each meeting.

  8. Cancel a meeting [top]
    The meeting creator may at any time cancel the meeting by deleting it in his own calendar. Delete the meeting as you would delete a regular event. The meeting disappears from the calendar of the participants and an email notification is sent. You can disable this notification for each meeting.
  9. Remove a participant [top]
    You can remove a participant, even if he has already accepted the meeting. Please note that the removed participant will not receive a notification.

    In the Participants tab, display the participant Actions and select Delete.

  10. Repeated meetings [top]
    You can create repeated meetings in a single operation. A repeated meeting is a meeting with the same participants occurring each week, or the first day of the month for instance. Create an event, set the periodicity and then choose the participants.

    Note: participants will get a single e-mail notification for the whole series, instead of an e-mail for each meeting. Participants with a virtual office account will view all meetings in their pending meeting invitations (by clicking on Invitations in their calendar).

    Participants will be able to accept or refuse each meeting.

    A repeated meeting behaves just like a repeated event: you will be able to edit (change the schedule, add or remove a participant, etc.) a single meeting or the whole series. You can also remove one or more meetings from the series (because of holidays, etc.).

    If the periodicity is too complex and you end up with a series made only of exceptions, it is advised to create meetings using the Duplicate feature instead.

Reminders

  1. Create an email reminder [top]
    Display the event details and click on the Reminders tab. Tick the e-mail checkbox and select the time. The reminder is sent to your default e-mail address.
  2. Create an SMS reminder [top]
    Display the event details and click on the Reminders tab. Tick the SMS checkbox and select the time. The reminder is sent to the phone number in your Personal data.
  3. Agenda by SMS [top]
    Click on SMS in the menu bar and choose the days as well as the day of reception (the same day or the next day).

    Note: If your agenda is empty for one day, you will receive no SMS.

    You can edit the settings at any time or cancel the calendar by SMS feature by selecting off all boxes in the "Send my calendar for" section.

    You can also make a copy of your calendar on your cell phone by clicking on Now!:

    • If you chose to receive your agenda the same day, the agenda of the current day will be sent to you
    • If you chose to receive the agenda the next day, the agenda of next day will be sent to you.

Search

  1. Search in all tools [top]
    A search field is displayed in all tools. In the left menu, select All tools. By default, only tour private data will be searched. Select Include group data if you wish to include them. Your choice is saved.
  2. Search in a single tool [top]
    • Simple search
      A search field is displayed in all tools. In the left menu, the current tool is automatically selected, but you can choose another one. Choose whether to include group data. Your choice is saved.
    • Advanced search: most tools have an advanced search, the search criteria being specific to each tool. Select Advanced search in the search field right pull-down menu.
  3. Search field syntax [top]
    • if you enter several words, you will get data that contain all these words. If you enter "OR" between words, you will get data that contain one of the words.
    • The search does make a difference between uppercase and lowercase.
    • You can add a star (*) after at least 4 characters to search on all words starting with these characters.
    Examples:
    • holiday hawaii (equal to holiday AND hawaii) will return data containing holiday and Hawaii.
    • Maui OR hawaii will return data containing Maui or Hawaii.
    • "great holiday" (with the quotation marks) will return data containing the "great holiday" expression.
    • "info*" will return data containing words starting with info (informations, informative, informed, etc.)
    • virus -computer will return data containing the word "virus" but not the word "computer".
    • tag:urgent will return data with the "Urgent" tag.
  4. Results display [top]
    Results are limited to 200 items and are sorted by relevance. This order cannot be changed for now.

    Depending on the tool where the item belongs, different Actions will be available: Open, Open in context/Open in the containing folder, etc.

    If you search in all tools, you can launch the same search in a single tool by selecting it in the search field left pull-down menu.

  5. Recent searches [top]
    The 5 more recent searches can be recalled from the search field right pull-down menu.

Print

  1. Print a calendar [top]
    Choose a view (day, week, etc.) and select Print in the More menu.
  2. Print an event [top]
    Display the event info bubble or Actions and select Print.

Tags

  1. What are tags for? [top]
    Tags allow for organising your data with labels such as Urgent, Important, etc. and/or by project, client, etc. The first step is to create your own tags.
  2. Access to the tags [top]
    Select any data, display its Actions and select Tags.
  3. Create a tag [top]
    In the tag window, enter the new tag name in the upper part of the window and click on Add. Then, you can choose the optional colour.
  4. Edit a tag [top]
    Tag names cannot be edited. However, you can change their colours.
  5. Delete a tag [top]
    In the tag window, click on the red cross next to a tag.
  6. Tag some data [top]
    Select Tags in the item Actions. In the tag window, tick one or more checkboxes, depending on the tags you wish to set. Later on, you will be able to select other tags or unselect the current ones.
  7. Filter the current view by tag [top]
    Select a tag in the calendar upper part, right to the date. This will display only events with this tag. To get back to the normal view, select "Tags" in the pull-down menu.
  8. Display data with a given tag [top]
    There are two ways to do this:
    • Enter "tag:TAG_NAME" in the search field available in all tools. Choose whether to search in the current tool only or in all tools.
    • Open the Advanced search and select a tag.
  9. Tags and groups [top]
    Tags belong to a person and not to a group: there are no group tags. It is not advised to use tags in a group data.

Mobile synchronization

  1. Features [top]
    Synchronize your smartphone (iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) apps with the ContactOffice Messages, Calendars and Contacts. Access ContactOffice data directly in your phone apps (example: the iPhone Calendar app) and synchronize with them.

    You can synchronize several devices, ContactOffice being the synchronization server.

    Should a problem occur during the synchronize process (lost connection, power failure, etc.), the next synchronization will assume that up-to-date data are on ContactOffice.

    This synchronization keeps the data already present in your smartphone.

  2. iPhone/iPad [top]
    • 1 - Make sure you are connected to a reliable and fast network (3G or Wi-Fi).
    • 2 - Tap the 'Settings' icon from the home screen.


    • 3 - Select 'Mail, Contacts, Calendars'.


    • 4 - Tap 'Add account'


    • 5 - Tap the 'Microsoft Exchange' icon. Note : This is where you come in if you tap the Mail app from the home screen with no accounts configured.


    • 6 - Now you will enter your ContactOffice account information:
      • Email: enter your ContactOffice email address
      • Domain: leave empty
      • Username: enter LOGIN (your ContactOffice login)
      • Password: enter your ContactOffice password
      • Description: enter 'ContactOffice'
      Email_ContactOffice
      LOGIN
      ContactOffice_password
      ContactOffice


    • 7 - Tap 'Next' and the iPhone will attempt to auto-discover and configure the account. Note: This can take up to 5 minutes because the autodiscovery is not supported by our servers. So, it will fail saying it couldn't validate your account, and you will have to manually enter the server name: 'www.contactoffice.com'.
      Email_ContactOffice
      www.contactoffice.com
      LOGIN
      ContactOffice_password
      ContactOffice


    • 8 - Tap 'Next' and the iPhone will check the configuration. By default, the iPhone will synchronize all tools (Mail, Contacts, and Calendars) with ContactOffice, but you can turn one or more off if you wish.
      Tap 'Done' and the iPhone will finalize the configuration and return you to the 'Mail, Contacts, Calendars' menu while your iPhone communicates with the server.
      Note: It can take a few minutes for calendar entries and contacts to show up.
  3. Android (Samsung, etc.) [top]
    • 1 - Make sure you are connected to a reliable and fast network (3G or Wi-Fi).


    • 2 - Click the 'Settings' icon.


    • 3 - Click on 'Accounts & Sync'.


    • 4 - Select 'Background Data' and 'Auto-Sync'. Click on 'Add account'.


    • 5 - Click on 'Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync'.


    • 6 - Enter your ContactOffice account information and click then on 'Next' or 'Manual setup' if 'Next is not available.
      Email_ContactOffice
      Password_ContactOffice


    • 7 - Enter the following information:
      Warning, do not click the 'SSL' button, otherwise the connection will fail.

      LOGIN
      ContactOffice_password
      www.contactoffice.com


    • 8 - Your Android now tries to communicate with the server.
      Note: It can take a few minutes for data to show up.
    • 9 - Select the following parameters:
    • 10 - Name your connection and click on 'Done'. You are ready to sync.
      There are some other parameters that you can tweek to get more flexibility but we leave it up to you to find what best suits your needs.
      ContactOffice
  4. BlackBerry[top]
    AstraSync is a BlackBerry synchronization application used by tens of thousands of BlackBerry smartphone owners worldwide. Once the application is installed, AstraSync performs two-way over-the-air synchronization of email, calendar and contact data with Exchange ActiveSync compatible servers.

Read and write access from third-party software (CalDAV)

  1. Features [top]
    Besides read-only access, calendars can be accessed with read and write rights from CalDAV compliant third-party-software.

    Please read the limitations though.

  2. Limitations [top]
    Synchronizing between different software implies limitations:
    • Reminders are not synchronized because they are software specific.
    • For now, categories (tags) deleted in the third-party software are not deleted in ContactOffice.
    • If you use the calendar at the same time in ContactOffice and in one or more third-party software: make sure to update the calendar in the third-party software before you make any change from it, otherwise changes made in ContactOffice will be lost.
  3. Compatible software [top]
    Note: Microsoft Outlook 2007 has no CalDAV capabilities.
  4. Software settings [top]
    The settings depend on the software.

    Lightning

    1. In the "File" menu, select "Subscribe to Remote Calendar".
    2. In the following screen, select "On the network".
    3. In the following screen, select "CalDAV" and enter the following address in the "Location" field: http://www.contactoffice.com/dav/LOGIN/private/events
    4. In the following screen, choose a name and a color (optional). Untick the "Show Alarms" checkbox.
    5. Enter your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and password.
    Apple iCal
    1. In the "iCal" menu, select "Preferences".
    2. Select the "Accounts" tab.
    3. Click on the "+" in the lower left corner. In the window that appears, enter a name for this calendar in the "Description" field.
    4. Entrer your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and password in the 2 remaining fields.
    5. Click on the triangle next to "Server options" to unfold and enter the following address in the "Account URL" field: http://www.contactoffice.com/dav/principals/accounts/LOGIN/.
      Note: Do not forget the final "/", otherwise the connection will fail!
      You can also use the URL https://www.contactoffice.com/dav/principals/accounts/LOGIN/ if you wish a secure connection.
    Apple iPhone
    1. In the "Settings" menu, select "Mail, Contacts, Calendar", then "Add an account"; select "Other", then "Add a CALDAV account".
    2. Enter www.contactoffice.com in the "Server" field.
    3. Enter your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and password in the remaining fields.
    4. Go back to the "Settings" menu, select "Mail, Contacts, Calendar" and then the CalDAV account, then "Advanced settings".
    5. Enter http://www.contactoffice.com/dav/principals/accounts/LOGIN/ in the "Account URL" field.
      Note: Do not forget the final "/", otherwise the connection will fail!
      You can also use the URL https://www.contactoffice.com/dav/principals/accounts/LOGIN/ if you wish a secure connection.

Read-only access with iCal compliant software

  1. Features [top]
    Third-party software can connect to ContactOffice, which is a calendar server.

    You cannot add or edit events using such software. The calendars are protected by your usual login and password.

    In your virtual drive, you will notice in the main folders (private + one folder per group) some "calendar.ics" files used for this feature: their size is 0 Kb. These files cannot be deleted.

  2. Compatible software [top]
    Lightning, Apple iCal, Microsoft Works, etc.
  3. Software settings [top]
    For your private calendar, use the address:
    http://www.contactoffice.com/docs/LOGIN/private/calendar.ics.

    For a group calendar, use the address:
    http://www.contactoffice.com/docs/LOGIN/GROUP_NAME/calendar.ics

RSS access

  1. What's RSS? [top]
    RSS will notify you of new items on a Website, RSS is used in a RSS reader. You subscribe to RSS feeds and the RSS reader will refresh them periodically.

    The virtual office offers several feeds, all protected by your usual login and password.

  2. Available feeds [top]
    Each (private or group) calendar has 4 RSS feeds:
    • Today
    • This week
    • This month
    • 30 days (from today)
  3. Compatible software [top]
    All RSS readers that manage authentication (feeds with login and password): Feedreader (Windows), for instance.

    Note: If you wish to use an RSS reader that can access secured feeds but does not hide the password (Firefox for instance), use the following syntax for the feed URL: "http://login:password@feed_url".

  4. Where to find feeds? [top]
    In a Calendar Actions, in the left part of the screen, select RSS.
  5. Software settings [top]
    1. Click with the right mouse button on the RSS icon and select Copy this link location.
    2. Go to the RSS reader, create a new feed and paste the address.
    3. Enter the virtual office login and password in the RSS reader, and give the feed a name.
    4. Set up the automatic refresh rate in the RSS reader.

Import - Export

  1. Import [top]
    Before importing, select a private or group calendar. To import one or more events in vCal/iCal format, click on Import in the menu bar and select the vCal/iCal file on your computer.
  2. Export [top]
    Before exporting, select a private or group calendar.

    You can export one, several or all the events from a calendar in vCal/iCal format to reimport them in a software compatible with this format:

    • Export only one event: click on the event subject and then on Export.
    • Export several events: select a view (day, week or month) and click on Export in the menu bar and then on Export the events of this page only.
    • Export the entire calendar: click on Export in the menu bar and then on Export all events of this calendar.

Preferences

  1. Access to Preferences [top]
    In the More menu, select Preferences.
  2. Time zone [top]
    Make sure your calendar is using your time zone. This will allow for smooth collaboration with users on other time zones.

    When you go abroad, you can set your calendar to the local time zone. All your events will then display in the selected time zone.

    Note: the selected time zone is also used in the e-mail dates, in the creation and last modification dates, etc.

  3. Default event duration [top]
    Events have a default duration of one hour. You can set a shorter or longer duration, that will apply only to new events.
  4. Calendar resolution [top]
    The resolution sets how much content will be displayed on the page. If you have a large screen, you will probably choose a lower resolution.
  5. Display event details automatically [top]
    When the mouse is on an event, some details are automatically displayed. You can disable this.
  6. Confirm drag and drop operations [top]
    Enable this option if you fear to move events by mistake with drag-and-drop.
 

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