Jeff Croft

I’m a product designer in Seattle, WA. I recently worked at Simply Measured, and previously co-founded Lendle.

Some of my past clients include Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and the University of Washington.

I’ve authored two books on web and interactive design and spoken at dozens of conferences around the world.

I’m currently accepting contract work and considering full-time opportunities.

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  • Blog entry // 10.01.2003 // 1:25 PM // 0 Comments

    I’ve got a long dock.

    Since everyone is comparing the size of their docks, I thought I’d throw a picture of mine into the mix. I’d say I have a big dock, although not painfully so. My dock is large enough to be satisfactory, but not big enough to cause problems. Overall, I’d say my dock is slightly larger than average.

    My big dock.

    Ok, seriously now. This is the dock on my work iMac. From left to right: Finder, System Prefs, Sherlock, Mail, Safari, Internet Explorer, NetNewsWire, Transmit, Word, Excel, Entourage, Dreamweaver MX, BBEdit, Illustrator 10, Photoshop 7, ImageReady 7, iTunes, Process Viewer, Network Utility, Terminal, X11, Microsoft Remote Desktop Client, Computer, Home Directory, “Servers” folder (contains SSH, telnet, X11, and RDC bookmarks to my servers), and the ubiquitous Trash Can. I use magnification (although only slighty), and leave bouncing turned on.

    My dock at home is a bit larger (perhaps I’ll post it later today), but contains many of the same items.

    Honeslty, I’m not sure I feel comfortable with pictures of my dock floating around the Internet. I’m trying to be open-minded, here.

  • Blog entry // 09.29.2003 // 3:52 PM // 1 Comment

    Review: Lost in Translation

    For a few weeks I’d been hearing talk that Lost in Translation, the second feature by Sofia Coppola (it follows The Virgin Suicides) is this year’s must-see film. Lost In TranslationThe trailer made it look good enough, so Michelle and I rolled out to Olathe (sadly, Olathe’s Studio 30 is the nearest theatre showing this film) and took in the late showing. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great film, subtle as can be, yet laugh-out-loud funny in many places.

    The story is deceptively simple: Bob (Bill Murray) is a 50s-ish actor, visiting Tokyo for a week to shoot whisky commercials. He’s getting paid two million dollars to do the ads, but he seems to loathe himself for accepting the job. He’s battling dislocation — he doesn’t know the language, doesn’t have any company, and generally doesn’t know what to do with himself in Japan. To make matters worse, his spouse, back home in the States, seems both clingy and indifferent. Oh, and he’s got one helluva case of sleep deprivation.

    Whist killing time in his swanky hotel’s bar, he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a gorgeous 20-something American who came along with her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi), on business in Tokyo. Her husband is never around — he’s too busy with work and too excited that a famous actress he once photographed remembers his name. Charlotte is sarcastic and witty, and also seems to have a quarter-life crisis that rivals Bob’s mid-life one. Seems she has stumbled upon the realization that her life is not what she’d hoped, and her marriage is far from satisfying.

    Clearly, the two are attracted to one another. Bob is inspired by Charlotte’s youthful energy and she is comforted by his words of encouragement. The two share a great time in the unfamiliar land, and their time together is marked by flirtation and laughter. As much as they enjoy their time together, though, they seem to realize that their distant spouses make an intimate relationship impossible — or do they?

    Featuring an actor at the top of his game, and an actress just starting to show that she’s got game, the performances in Translation are nothing short of remarkable. Even considering his brilliant turns in Groundhog Day and Rushmore, I’m inclined to call this Murray’s finest hour (closer to two hours, actually). After showing promise in Ghost World, Johansson demonstrates a great deal of maturity here. Small roles from Ribisi (Boiler Room) and Anna Faris (Scary Movie) are strong, as well.

    Never having been there, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the film’s depiction of Tokyo. However, I can say that I was completely enthralled by Coppola’s vision of the city. I was amazed at how different the land seemed in some scenes, yet it was so familiar in others. While the professional culture Bob is greeted with seems so foreign, a romp through the club scene mid-movie shows a remarkable similarity to its American counterpart. The photography is brilliant and almost hypnotic at times.

    But the real gem of this brilliant film is the characters and their unique relationship. You’ll laugh out loud, but that’s just at the surface of it. You’ll wonder if Bob and Charlotte will act on their desires. You’ll argue with yourself on whether they should act on them or not (note to guys: do not argue this matter with your wife or girlfriend).

    Lost in Translation is a brilliant film. Don’t miss it.

  • Blog entry // 09.26.2003 // 2 PM // 1 Comment

    Just wondering…

    Since when it is appropriate to add and extra “OL” to your “LOL” in order to increase the impact of your laughter? I’ve seen this a lot recently. For example:

    Joe: This is a funny joke.
    Jane: LOL
    Joe: This is a really funny joke!
    Jane: LOLOL

    Personally, I find this to be not only incomprehensible, but also profoundly stupid. As if “LOL,” which stands for “Laughing Out Loud,” wasn’t ridiculous enough, the kids these days find it necessary to proclaim that they are “Laughing Out Loud Out Loud,” when in fact they are probably doing nothing of the sort. We all know they’re probably naked and operating the mouse with their left hand, so what is their point in trying to convince us that they are “Laughing Out Loud Out Loud?”

    I don’t get it.

  • Blog entry // 09.24.2003 // 12:27 AM // 1 Comment

    Lost In Translation

    God I want to see this movie. Too bad it’s playing nowhere near me.

  • Blog entry // 09.23.2003 // 4:39 PM // 0 Comments

    Burination Shall Commence

    In one of my fantasy football leagues, two unlikey victors have jumped out to an early lead. Apparently, football knowledge is not actually a prerequisite for success. In any case, the two 3-0 teams face each other in week four. One team, the “trogdor_burninators,” is laying the smaque down on his opponent, “Hey That’s My Bike” by offering up the following bulliten board material in anticipation of this week’s matchup:


    You can see it in all its majesty over at Dustin’s site. You may be wondering what the hell a trogdor is. Well, if you don’t know, now you know.

  • Blog entry // 09.23.2003 // 10:08 AM // 0 Comments

    Power Rankings, Week 3

    I’m just doing the top five (OK, maybe six) this week. Enjoy!

    1. Chiefs Kansas City - While rolling up Houston isn’t exactly a power win, the Chiefs are doing what they have to do. They’ve been dominate in all three phases of the game.
    2. Seahawks Seattle - They’re the best team in the NFC, at least for the moment. Both offense and defense look to be going strong in Sea-town.
    3. Broncos Denver - Much as I hte to admit it, these Broncos are movin’ on up. Plummer looked great Monday night — we’ll see if he sticks.
    4. Colts Indianapolis - Everyone knows they can play offense, but Dungy and company have the Hoosier’s defense rolling, too.
    5. Panthers Carolina - Off this week, the Pathers stay in the top five.
    6. Vikings Minnesota - The Vikes are in a great position right now, but Culpepper’s injury looks like it might hurt ‘em.
  • Blog entry // 09.19.2003 // 10:48 AM // 0 Comments

    It’s that time of year again…

    That’s right, it’s interntational Talk Like a Pirate Day once again. Hop on over to the official site, or check out Jeremy’s translator. Lastly, check out this site in Pirate-speak.

  • Blog entry // 09.17.2003 // 11:06 AM // 0 Comments

    NFL Power Rankings

    After watching two weeks of great NFL football, I’ve put together my very own power rankings. I’ll try to do this every couple of weeks or so. For now, I’m happy to report that my Kansas City Chiefs are the team to beat.

    1. Chiefs Kansas City - The Chiefs look like they may be real deal, even on defense. If this team plays to it’s potential, it should easily go 4-0 to start.
    2. Bills Buffalo - Bledsoe and his Bills have a couple of easy wins aganist average teams. If they can take care of Miami this weekend, they’ll make a strong push for the top spot.
    3. Colts Indianapolis - After they throtteled the Titans, it’s hard to call them anything but a contender. A back-to-his-old-self version of the Edge doesn’t hurt.
    4. Panthers Carolina - With great defense and a good running game, the Panthers are much better than they get credit for.
    5. Seahawks Seattle - They need a couple of wins aganist stronger teams, but right now the Seahawks look upstopable. Their offense will continue to impress.
  • Blog entry // 09.15.2003 // 2:47 PM // 0 Comments

    Jamal Who?

    Not to take anything away from the amazing day that Jamal Lewis had yesterday, but I think it’s safe to say that everyone still knows who the NFL’s best running back is. Don’t believe me? Check the polls.

    Priest Holmes

    At this point I’m confident in my prediction that my Chiefs start the season at least 4-0.

  • Blog entry // 09.15.2003 // 10:52 AM // 1 Comment

    Esquela de Espanol?

    I want to learn Spanish. I took a year of Spanish in high school, and I have a surprising level of retention from it, but I really want to learn to speak it fluently. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn, but I’ve been thinking about it even more latley, having spent a few days in Florida and on a very multi-lingual cruise ship. This weekend, I went to see Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and that got me thinking about it again.

    I wonder if I could learn it on my own — like online? Anyone know of a good place to start?

  • Blog entry // 09.12.2003 // 11:30 AM // 0 Comments

    Natural Color Selections

    Boxes and Arrows has a great article on “Natural Color Selections.” They suggest that it is often wiser to choose a color scheme found in nature for UI design, rather than the drab and typical corporate blue look. Great read.

  • Blog entry // 09.12.2003 // 10:51 AM // 0 Comments

    RIP, Man in Black

    Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day
    And tell the world that everything’s OK
    But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back
    ‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black

    Johnny Cash, dead at 71. Somehow I always figured he was too mean to die. A brilliant songwriter and American icon, may he rest in peace.

  • Blog entry // 09.11.2003 // 6:11 PM // 0 Comments

    Piracy alternatives?

    If the RIAA’s well-publicized suits aganist individuals sharing music on peer-to-peer networks do suceed in scaring people away from piracy, what will they do instead?

    I know what they won’t do. They won’t resort to buying CDs from an industry that wants to sue them. If I were too scared to use Kaaza (and so far, I’m not), I sure as hell wouldn’t go out and pay good money for a product offered by the group that threatened to sue me. It seems to me that they are just alienating current and potential customers.

    Note to record industry:
    You can scare me out of piracy, but you can’t scare me into buying anything from you.

  • Blog entry // 09.11.2003 // 10:16 AM // 1 Comment

    What about 9.11.2002?

    Yes, I said 2002. And that’s what I meant. While everyone is remembering those who died at the hands of terrorism on September 11th, 2001, I wonder who is stopping to consider those who died in Iraq on September 11th, 2002. Or any other day over the past two years, for that matter.

    We should absolutly never forget the tragedy that was 9.11.2001. The innocent people that died that day should never be far from our thoughts. However, I am irritated by those who feel that the countless deaths in Iraq are meaningless because the victims were, primarily, non-American.

    Let us remember all those who have died in the past two years due to terrorisim and its resulting war, not only those who were American.

  • Blog entry // 09.09.2003 // 11:26 AM // 0 Comments

    Bahamian Cruise

    As you may know, my family and I spent the weekend on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas. My mother, father, brother (Matt), girlfriend (Michelle), and I flew down to Orlando last Thursday morning, where we met my sister (Jennifer) and her husband (Kris). We bussed over to Cape Canaveral, and met up with my aunt (Pam), uncle (Dennis), and cousins (Brian and Eric) on board the ship.

    RCI's Soverign of the Seas

    Select the “more…” link to view a handful of my favorites, cropped and resized. Check the Photo Gallery for the whole collection, raw and unedited.

  • Blog entry // 09.09.2003 // 9:20 AM // 0 Comments

    Scheme on.

    Last week I said that this may be the best color picker ever. I was wrong. This is the best color tool ever. Wow, what a gem. It will come in handy time and time again, I’m sure!

  • Blog entry // 09.03.2003 // 3:38 PM // 1 Comment

    Pretty unfair?

    Frank Deford’s latest column on is an interesting read. He’s wondering why people get all up in arms about the amount of attention Anna Kournikova, who’s never won a tournament, gets…mostly because of her looks. But these same folks don’t seem to mind much when a terrible, but good-looking, actress gets a part instead of someone who is more talented, but less beautiful. Or when an attractive, but untalented singer (Hello, Britney) ends up with big hits, rather than better singers who are less sexy. Or when…well, you get the point. And if you don’t, I’ll lay it out for you. Why should we hold sports to a higher standard than any other form of entertainment? Also, let’s not pretend this is only about perverted guys — Andre Agassi has been a sex symbol for women almost as long as he’s been alive. Or Andy Roddick? Tiger Woods? George Brett?

    Also, before we say Anna, who’s never won a tournament, made her name soley on looks, let’s not forget that she was a top-ten player before some very serious injuries.

    My take? Simple. I don’t care. I’m still trying to figure out why anyone cares about Anna when there are people like Jennifer, Martina, and the Williams’ in the sport.

    After all, Anna’s never even won a tournament.

  • Blog entry // 09.03.2003 // 2:58 PM // 0 Comments

    Haiku: “Ode for a Day’s End”

    Please, today, just end
    For you are long and boring
    and I hate my job

    Tomorrow shall come
    Our cruiseliner will embark
    to the Bahamas

    Hurricaines aside,
    The trip should be relaxing
    I may not return

  • Blog entry // 09.03.2003 // 2:52 PM // 0 Comments

    Neat color toy

    Coolest color picker ever? Perhaps.

  • Blog entry // 09.03.2003 // 10:31 AM // 0 Comments

    Typography Quiz

    I like type. I consider myself to be somewhat knowledgable when it comes to typography. So, I tried my hand at this typograhy quiz. It’s hard. I got nine out of 30 correct. I only was able to wager a guess on 10 out of 30. Here are the quiz and the answers. Have fun.

  • Blog entry // 09.02.2003 // 9:25 AM // 1 Comment

    Minor Annoyance

    So I get to work this morning and hear some kind of alarm going off. As I walk by the back door, I see a sign. It reads:

    WU Police has been on-site and looked at this alarm. They stated that it is a low battery alarm. It will not clear.

    I’m not sure I understand every word of this, but I have been able to decude that it means I’m likley going to be listening to this obnoxious sound all damn day. Grr…

  • Blog entry // 09.02.2003 // 9:20 AM // 1 Comment

    Weekend Report

    First and foremost, it rained. A lot. All weekend. Non stop. Northeastern Kansas has been in a drought for months, and I guess Mother Nature saw fit to correct that situation in one massive and perpetual downpour. Couldn’t the bitch have picked a weekend other than Labor Day?

    Friday night Michelle and I went to see S.W.A.T, mostly because there wasn’t really anything we wanted to see. S.W.A.T. is a well-done flick. It is what it is — a cop movie — and it doesn’t try to be anything more. This is a good thing. It’s generally more character-driven and more realistic than others in the genre. As the film itself points out, this is no John Woo movie. No Academy Awards here, but it was certainly entertaining.

    Saturday night Michelle and I headed out to beautiful Memorial Staidum to watch two horrible football teams fumble the ball around. Kansas vs. Northwestern gave a great look at the worst of the Big 12 and the worst of the Big 10. That said, we had a good time. It poured rain on us, and we were soaked to the bone. The game got more exciting in the second half, and while our Jayhawks didn’t pull out the victory, they did end up giving us a thing or two to cheer about last in the game. Oh well — basketball will be here soon enough.

    On Sunday, we went over to Andrew’s for a little get-together with Ben and Laura. We went bowling, and I won (Booya!). That evening we watched Head of State with Megan and Rusty. It’s not a very good movie, but it did make me laugh out loud more than once.

    On Labor Day Monday I did almost nothing. Laundry, dishes, and a bit of packing for our cruise, which sets sail on Thursday.

    All in all, a nice long weekend, despite the weather.

  • Blog entry // 08.29.2003 // 4:09 PM // 0 Comments

    Life Without Outbreak?

    Ever wonder how much better our life would be if it weren’t for that load of crap known as Microsoft Outbreak — errr, Outlook? Sure you have.

    And so did John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, a Mac-oriented weblog (although this particular article isn’t decidedly Mac-specific). In his article Good Times, he explores reasons for the widespread standardization on Microsoft, and particularly Outlook.

    If corporate America didn’t insist on using the Exchange/Outlook combination, it’s possible we wouldn’t be in our current situation, where millions of PCs are more cruded up than the monkey that killed Kevin Spacey.

  • Blog entry // 08.29.2003 // 9:29 AM // 1 Comment

    It’s Friday, if you need it.

    Oh, and next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day…so, you know, if you want to you can go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

    If you don’t know, now you know.

  • Blog entry // 08.28.2003 // 4 PM // 0 Comments

    Happy B-day, sis!

    It’s my sister’s 23rd birthday! In an effort to drive her utterly mad, I’m encouraging everyone to send her a birthday wish. In order to make it easy for you, I’ve created an online form.

    Help me flood her e-mail box!

    Update: We got her! Jennifer was completley tripped out. It was beautiful. I got this e-mail from her:

    Yesterday I got a ton of birthday emails from people I don’t know and some of them I think you might know. I haven’t opened any of them, so it’s not causing me any problems, but I was just wondering if you knew. Michelle was on there and an address was there. Hopefully you are not having computer problems, but I thought I should let you know. Have a great weekend! Jennifer Croft Genetic Counseling Intern Northwestern University

    And I responded with:

    Hehehe. :) I think this might answer your questions: I just decided you need extra birthday e-mails, I guess. :) Hope you had a great birthday and we’re too annoyed by the e-mails! By the way — Michelle sent hers separately…I’m not responsible for that one! Jeff

    And she came back with:

    You are such a brat!!! I wanted to post a reply on your sight to thank everyone for the birthday wishes, but I’m not (sure how). Please tell them all that I said thanks and I had a great birthday. See you soon Jennifer

    Indeed. Thank you all. :)

  • Blog entry // 08.28.2003 // 9:07 AM // 0 Comments Goes Syndicated

    I’ve now got an RSS feed up for this site. If you use an RSS reader, such as the great NetNewsWire, subscribe to the following URL:

  • Blog entry // 08.27.2003 // 8:44 PM // 0 Comments Redesign

    By the best, for the best. Two of my favorite web designers, Jeffrey Zeldman and Douglas Bowman, are collaborating with Apple’s in-house team to makeover Apple’s site is still quite beautiful, and has been imitated and echoed many times over — but it is due for an update. As Bowman and Zeldman are amongst the world’s foremost web standards experts and evangelists, we can only assume that the new Apple will feature an amazing CSS design. To give you an idea of what could be in store, check out Bowman’s recent redesign of Adaptive Path.

  • Blog entry // 08.27.2003 // 3:47 PM // 0 Comments

    New Links Page

    I finally got some semblance of a links page online. It’s not complete, but it’s failry comprehensive.

  • Blog entry // 08.26.2003 // 4:07 PM // 0 Comments

    His name is Andy.

    Just a quick link to one of my daily visits: Andy Budd’s Blogography. Not only does it have a beautiful design, but the writing is great, as well. Right now, he’s writing about the value of design. Here’s a preview:

    As an industry we need to start educating the public about the value of design. We need to change peoples perception that design is simply about “look and feel”, about colour and composition. Good design is about creating strategic solutions to business problems and needs to taken as seriously as any other business service.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • Blog entry // 08.26.2003 // 11:46 AM // 0 Comments

    Bowman on MX 2004

    So I was going to make an entry today about the release of Macromedia’s Dreamweaver 2004 MX (and a gaggle of other MX 2004 products). But then I took my daily trip over to StopDesign and found that Doug Bowman had already said everything I was thinking. Thanks for doing this post for me, Doug. Now I’m stuck doing real work. Yeah, thanks a lot.

  • Blog entry // 08.26.2003 // 12:38 AM // 0 Comments

    Design Council

    Design Council LogoThe Design Council. It’s worth a bookmark, to be sure. In particular, they have a nice article titled “What is Design?,” which goes along way towards dispelling the conception of the layperson that design is all about style, fashion, and “look and feel.” In reality, of course, design is about making things useful, simple, functional, personal, and attractive. Most people just don’t get it.

  • Blog entry // 08.25.2003 // 10:29 AM // 2 Comments

    CSS Thumbnail Zoom

    After Dan at Simplebits posted a CSS-based thumbnail zoom rollover effect he developed, I go involved in the discussion on his site. While I liked his concept, I felt that the method was overkill. I have modified a version done by “Paul,” and created something that works in most modern browsers, and degrades gracefully to those that don’t support the effect. You can find my version here:

    CSS Thumbnail Zoom Willie ZoomsThe picture of Willie the Wildcat to the right is also zoom-able. However, the version I have implemented on this site does not work in IE/Windows (because it doesn’t support the :hover puesdo-class on the img tag). I created a work-around for this in the example above, but chose not to do the same for my own site.

  • Blog entry // 08.24.2003 // 12:44 PM // 4 Comments

    KSU vs. Cal at Arrowhead

    Last night I went to the Kansas State vs. California football game at Arrowhead Staidum (home of the Chiefs). Along came Michelle (my girlfriend), Haley (my daughter), my brother and his girlfriend, and my Mom and Dad. We had seats in the sixth row, and we were on the asile, so it was very easy to go down to the railing for pictures, etc. Of particular photographic interest to me were Darren Sproles (halfback, KSU), attempting to caputre the pagentry of the college game, and of course — the streaker. Here’s a handful of my shots. Some are digital and some are 35mm (scanned). Click the “more…” link for the full set.

    KSU vs. Cal

  • Blog entry // 08.21.2003 // 3:26 PM // 13 Comments

    Caribou Lou

    151 Proof Rum + Malibu + Pineapple Juice = Caribou Lou

    For those who don’t know, that’s Caribou Lou — origin in Mizzou.

    Tech N9ne

  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 3:39 PM // 1 Comment

    Zen Top Ten

    Someone asked me which CSS Zen Garden Designs were my favorite. I told them I’d post them here. Click the “more” link to see my selections and my reasons.

    Doing this little excercise clearly identified that type and color are the two most important elements in a design to me, and that I like clean, minimal designs (most of the time) — nothing I didn’t already know.

  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 2:29 PM // 0 Comments

    Dave Shea Interview

    The DMXzone (which, incidentially, is about Dreamweaver MX, not the popular rapper DMX) has an interview with Dave Shea, who probably holds the title of Jeff’s Favorite web Designer — at least for the moment. The interview is a very good read, once you get past Dave in his goofy-looing Zen Garden atire.

  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 9:47 AM // 0 Comments

    Netscape 4: Just Die Already!

    There’s a good discussion going on over at Dave Shea’s Mezzoblue about that jurassic browser that just won’t die. I’m participating, so you know it’s worth reading.

    Ok, maybe not. But still, Dave’s site is one of my two or three favorites right now, so hit it up already.

  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 9:32 AM // 1 Comment

    Emotion Eric

    Eric Conveys Emotion. It’s ok if you don’t get it.

  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 8:52 AM // 0 Comments

    Best Idea Ever?

    There is a new virus out there. However, this one has a twist: it’s actually designed to clean up your system when it’s installed. It will actually attempt to remove the Blaster worm and then patch the hole it exploited. Brilliant.

    This worm spreads by exploiting a hole in Microsoft Windows. It instructs a remote target system to download and execute the worm from the infected host. Once running, the worm terminates and deletes the W32/Lovsan.worm.a process and applies the Microsoft patch to prevent other threats from infecting the system through the same hole. When the system clock reaches Jan 1, 2004, the worm will delete itself upon execution.
  • Blog entry // 08.19.2003 // 8:46 AM // 1 Comment

    Madden Box Cover Curse?

    There is a Madden Box Cover Curse, and its wrath is not pretty. Take a look:

    Madden Box Covers

    • Eddie George, 2001: Titans choked that year, and George has been plagued with injury ever since.
    • Dante Culpepper, 2002: Vikings choked, despite being preseason Superbowl favorites.
    • Marshall Faulk, 2003: Rams choked, Warner got hurt, and Faulk himself spent much of the season on the sideline with injury.
    • Michael Vick, 2004: Broken leg in the preseason. Should return. Will he overcome the Madden Box Cover Curse? Stay tuned.

    Thank you, EA Sports, for not putting Priest Holmes on the cover this year.

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