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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 02:58 PM
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328i test drive

Just flogged a 328i loaner car. Random thoughts from an E90 owner (shields up!!!):

- Are polarized sunglasses banned in Germany? This car had the Tech Package and the HUD was completely invisible.

- I'm sold on the N20/N26. It pulled plenty hard, the turbo lag was comparable to that of my N54-powered 335i and the long-term MPG average in the computer was 24; pretty darned good considering it was a loaner car that probably has the s*** beaten out of it on a regular basis. My guess is this car would score a solid 5+mpg higher all around compared to my 335i in similar driving conditions.

- The auto-stop/start didn't bug me at all. I reserve the right to change my mind if I were to live with the car longer.

- It leaned over like my 4Runner in turns but I suspect that's because this was a base model and not Sport Line. Definitely needs Sport Line (and optional summer rubber and not the weak sauce Pirelli all-season junk).

- The interior was ho-hum. The quality is NOT higher than that of the E90. All you have to do is knock your fingers against the center console below the shifter and listen to the tinny, hollow sound characteristic of flimsy plastic. The materials are cheaper and there's no question in my mind about this. This particular unit had the "metallic" trim and I'm sure if it had wood trim it would have felt nicer.

- I would totally skip the Technology Package, not only because of the aforementioned polarized sunglasses problem with the HUD but because the placement of the LCD screen on the dashboard made for the perfect resting location for my Android smartphone. The rubberized case on my phone "sticks" to the LCD screen easily, and Android's voice-activated, turn-by-turn Navigation blows away any auto manufacturer's system in terms of ease of use and quality of directions. I suppose that's one good aspect of the mandatory dashboard LCD in the F30.

That is all.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:18 PM
trinipirate trinipirate is offline
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i agree that android turn by turn is great. but presonally i couldn't spend that kind of cash on a car and have to walk w/ my own navigation system.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:36 PM
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makes sense
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by trinipirate View Post
i agree that android turn by turn is great. but presonally i couldn't spend that kind of cash on a car and have to walk w/ my own navigation system.
I just don't see the value in a $2,500 option when:
- you can't see the HUD wearing polarized sunglasses
- the navigation system is rendered obsolete by a typical smartphone (iOS6 users excepted
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:45 PM
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This is a great, eye-opening post. If HUD doesn't work with polarized sunglasses thats a big issue. I wear polarized sunglasses all year round and one of the main reasons I was considering tech package is for HUD.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:51 PM
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I wear polarized sunglasses in my car and while the HUD is dimmer it's still useable. My glasses are tinted brown, but I don't know if that makes any difference. Different angles produce different results though, so maybe if you're taller (I'm not very tall) it becomes very difficult to see.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Y View Post
I wear polarized sunglasses in my car and while the HUD is dimmer it's still useable. My glasses are tinted brown, but I don't know if that makes any difference. Different angles produce different results though, so maybe if you're taller (I'm not very tall) it becomes very difficult to see.
+1

I won't give up my Polarized Ray Ban's for anything, and the HUD works just fine with them on so long as you crank up the HUD brightness in settings to MAX. It's dimmed, but you can see it quite clearly.

BJ
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kobechrome View Post
This is a great, eye-opening post. If HUD doesn't work with polarized sunglasses thats a big issue. I wear polarized sunglasses all year round and one of the main reasons I was considering tech package is for HUD.


HUD works with Polarized lenses, just crank the brightness to MAX in settings.

Also, because the HUD hovers right over the edge of the hood that also means that it's hovering underneath your sunglasses. If I want full visibility, I merely tilt my head upwards 1 or 2 degrees and the HUD sits right under my lenses.

Just letting you know that it was going to be a dealbreaker for me too, but I tested it extensively in my test drives and it's actually a non-issue.

BJ
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:25 PM
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It also works if you keep your head tilted at a 90 degree angle........
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
It also works if you keep your head tilted at a 90 degree angle........
For the older E90 orange LCD radio display that was a good option.

In the new F30, the large LCD display has no issues whatsoever with Polarized lenses. The only concern would be the HUD and, as just explained, you just need to crank the brightness to MAX and the problem is solved.

BJ
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:17 PM
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The technology package is great. I have no problem seeing the HUD, even if it is dimmed with my Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. When you get used to seeing your speed, navigation turn, iTunes tracks, etc, displayed on the windscreen it seems completely barbaric to go back to looking down at the instruments or over at the LCD for these things.

Tech package also makes it so that you can stream audio from your BT phone wirelessly, as well as get album art, Pandora, etc, on the center screen when the phone is plugged in.

Got a text message on your commute? Simply read it right on the large display.

Why even enter directions on the BMW Nav? You can use their app on your iPhone to look up an address with google and then beam it to the car where it shows up in the nav system a minute or so later. It's awesome.

All of this is a helluva lot safer than jacking around with a smart phone with an itty bitty display while you are supposed to be driving.

The tech package is the best option next to adaptive m suspension as far as I am concerned.

I don't agree on the "cheapness" interior comments either. The interior on the F30 is just a mild notch below that on the F10, which is itself at least two-three notches above even a well appointed E90. I don't know about you but I don't spend time in my ride tapping on the plastics to see how solid they feel. I do observe how the textured materials feel to the hand, how the interior itself looks, how airy it feels, etc.

Maybe you drove a car with base no-lines interior. Those look noticeably cheaper than the sport, luxury or modern line interiors.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
The technology package is great.
One of the un-sung features of the Technology Package is BMW Assist which lets you:
  • Contact BMW service if you have a flat or need a tow or battery jump.
  • Automatically contact authorities and report an accident if your airbags deploy.
  • Have BMW track your car in case its stolen.
  • Unlock your doors by merely calling BMW or using the iPhone app.
  • Locate where you parked your car by calling BMW or using the iPhone app.
  • Send an address to your car by using Google Maps on a PC or in the iPhone app.
  • Have Teleservices monitor your car and call you when its time for service.

We talk a lot about the HUD, larger LCD screen, enhanced USB & Bluetooth streaming, text messaging, iPhone/iPod integration, and the other goodies in the Technology Package, but BMW Assist is pretty cool too, really makes the package worth the money.

BJ
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post


HUD works with Polarized lenses, just crank the brightness to MAX in settings.

Also, because the HUD hovers right over the edge of the hood that also means that it's hovering underneath your sunglasses. If I want full visibility, I merely tilt my head upwards 1 or 2 degrees and the HUD sits right under my lenses.

Just letting you know that it was going to be a dealbreaker for me too, but I tested it extensively in my test drives and it's actually a non-issue.

BJ
You can move the position of the HUD display up or down in the settings.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:54 PM
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You can move the position of the HUD display up or down in the settings.
Yes.

The screen embedded in the dash that actually creates the reflection is about 4" x 5" so you can increase/decrease the elevation by around 4".

The other adjustment is 'rotation' which allows you to compensate if it looks a little crooked. It's a balance between 'elevation' and 'rotation' so if it goes downwards it pulls inwards, if it does upwards it pushes outwards.

It's nicely executed and able to be fine-tuned nicely. I rarely use it for navigation, but for flipping radio stations or scrolling through songs on iPod it's invaluable. I like to keep it as low to the hood as possible.

BJ
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
+1

I won't give up my Polarized Ray Ban's for anything, and the HUD works just fine with them on so long as you crank up the HUD brightness in settings to MAX. It's dimmed, but you can see it quite clearly.

BJ
+2

It works with polarized lens as long as you set it to the MAX. The side effect is ghost shadow that you will see while driving after dark if you continue to leave the HUD setting @ MAX.

BTW, that's a beautiful Z8.

Last edited by bayoucity; 11-28-2012 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
+1

I won't give up my Polarized Ray Ban's for anything, and the HUD works just fine with them on so long as you crank up the HUD brightness in settings to MAX. It's dimmed, but you can see it quite clearly.

BJ
I must have extra strength polarization Ray-Bans because the HUD display completely disappeared when I was wearing them. It was very clearly visible without my glasses.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
The technology package is great. I have no problem seeing the HUD, even if it is dimmed with my Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. When you get used to seeing your speed, navigation turn, iTunes tracks, etc, displayed on the windscreen it seems completely barbaric to go back to looking down at the instruments or over at the LCD for these things.

Tech package also makes it so that you can stream audio from your BT phone wirelessly, as well as get album art, Pandora, etc, on the center screen when the phone is plugged in.

Got a text message on your commute? Simply read it right on the large display.

Why even enter directions on the BMW Nav? You can use their app on your iPhone to look up an address with google and then beam it to the car where it shows up in the nav system a minute or so later. It's awesome.

All of this is a helluva lot safer than jacking around with a smart phone with an itty bitty display while you are supposed to be driving.

The tech package is the best option next to adaptive m suspension as far as I am concerned.

I don't agree on the "cheapness" interior comments either. The interior on the F30 is just a mild notch below that on the F10, which is itself at least two-three notches above even a well appointed E90. I don't know about you but I don't spend time in my ride tapping on the plastics to see how solid they feel. I do observe how the textured materials feel to the hand, how the interior itself looks, how airy it feels, etc.

Maybe you drove a car with base no-lines interior. Those look noticeably cheaper than the sport, luxury or modern line interiors.
With an Android smartphone, all you have to do is push the search button and say something like "Navigate to Irvine BMW, Irvine, California". The phone takes care of the rest. This is easier and faster than using any navigation method offered by the Tech Package. Furthermore, you will never need to get a costly map database update at the dealer.

The other Tech Package goodies like Pandora and Bluetooth Audio Streaming don't mean much to me. I've tried using BT streaming before; it sounds like s*** because it uses an aggressive lossy compression algorithm on the audio.

Technical gadgets go obsolete quickly; we trade in our smartphones every year or two for a far improved model. Given the nature of how this works, I'd actually prefer *less* gadgetry in my car because I *don't* trade them in every year like I do my phone. The navigation system in my 335i is so dated that I rarely every use it anymore; I normally use my phone instead. Similarly, there will come a day in the not too distant future where all the stuff in the Technology Package becomes useless as well. Remember all those E38s and E39s from the late '90s that had the integrated analog cell phones and how we laugh when we see them today?

We'll have to agree to disagree on the interior (design and material quality). I do admit that the loaner I drove was a base model (no lines) but it did have leather as a standalone option.

I really *want* to like the F30 because my E90 is getting close to six years old now and I would love to schedule another Euro Delivery but I'm really having a hard time doing so..
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK View Post
With an Android smartphone, all you have to do is push the search button and say something like "Navigate to Irvine BMW, Irvine, California". The phone takes care of the rest. This is easier and faster than using any navigation method offered by the Tech Package. Furthermore, you will never need to get a costly map database update at the dealer.

The other Tech Package goodies like Pandora and Bluetooth Audio Streaming don't mean much to me. I've tried using BT streaming before; it sounds like s*** because it uses an aggressive lossy compression algorithm on the audio.

Technical gadgets go obsolete quickly; we trade in our smartphones every year or two for a far improved model. Given the nature of how this works, I'd actually prefer *less* gadgetry in my car because I *don't* trade them in every year like I do my phone. The navigation system in my 335i is so dated that I rarely every use it anymore; I normally use my phone instead. Similarly, there will come a day in the not too distant future where all the stuff in the Technology Package becomes useless as well. Remember all those E38s and E39s from the late '90s that had the integrated analog cell phones and how we laugh when we see them today?

We'll have to agree to disagree on the interior (design and material quality). I do admit that the loaner I drove was a base model (no lines) but it did have leather as a standalone option.

I really *want* to like the F30 because my E90 is getting close to six years old now and I would love to schedule another Euro Delivery but I'm really having a hard time doing so..
HUD: I'm guessing that because it was a loaner you didn't adjust the HUD-specific brightness setting to MAX and thus the visibility issue.

NAV: Siri for BMW + iPhone is coming in a few months (see thread on this board) which does a great job of recognizing "common sense" speech and integrating it into the stock nav (looks likely). Stands to reason the Android version if this "eyes free" protocol will arrive shortly. Consider this as it makes the BMW nav more robust. If you skip the Tech package you not only miss out on current technology but also future iterations.

BJ
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
The technology package is great. I have no problem seeing the HUD, even if it is dimmed with my Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. When you get used to seeing your speed, navigation turn, iTunes tracks, etc, displayed on the windscreen it seems completely barbaric to go back to looking down at the instruments or over at the LCD for these things.

Tech package also makes it so that you can stream audio from your BT phone wirelessly, as well as get album art, Pandora, etc, on the center screen when the phone is plugged in.

Got a text message on your commute? Simply read it right on the large display.

Why even enter directions on the BMW Nav? You can use their app on your iPhone to look up an address with google and then beam it to the car where it shows up in the nav system a minute or so later. It's awesome.

All of this is a helluva lot safer than jacking around with a smart phone with an itty bitty display while you are supposed to be driving.

The tech package is the best option next to adaptive m suspension as far as I am concerned.

I don't agree on the "cheapness" interior comments either. The interior on the F30 is just a mild notch below that on the F10, which is itself at least two-three notches above even a well appointed E90. I don't know about you but I don't spend time in my ride tapping on the plastics to see how solid they feel. I do observe how the textured materials feel to the hand, how the interior itself looks, how airy it feels, etc.

Maybe you drove a car with base no-lines interior. Those look noticeably cheaper than the sport, luxury or modern line interiors.
Voip its nice to read posts that you put up that are very informative and give great information to those that are interested in purchasing a BMW not a bunch of BS like the OP that can led future buyers astray. Keep it up
cheers
vern
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
NAV: Siri for BMW + iPhone is coming in a few months (see thread on this board) which does a great job of recognizing "common sense" speech and integrating it into the stock nav (looks likely). Stands to reason the Android version if this "eyes free" protocol will arrive shortly. Consider this as it makes the BMW nav more robust. If you skip the Tech package you not only miss out on current technology but also future iterations.
Future iterations? I see other posts here about the "new" nav system coming in 2014. You really think you're going to get all the new features retrofitted to your car via software update? Speaking of which, enjoy all those annoying trips to the service department for firmware updates trying to explain to your overworked service advisor exactly what you want "because you heard it on the Internet" and getting upset at how every time Apple updates iOS it breaks something on BMW's iDrive system (and then waiting for BMW to fix it...maybe).

I just saw this come across the wire this morning... how timely!
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/1...m-obsolescence
http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wirele...less-appealing
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:58 AM
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Future iterations? I see other posts here about the "new" nav system coming in 2014. You really think you're going to get all the new features retrofitted to your car via software update? Speaking of which, enjoy all those annoying trips to the service department for firmware updates trying to explain to your overworked service advisor exactly what you want "because you heard it on the Internet" and getting upset at how every time Apple updates iOS it breaks something on BMW's iDrive system (and then waiting for BMW to fix it...maybe).
Yes I do.

99% of Siri works right now in my F30 as is. The only thing missing is the ability to press a button on the steering wheel. If I push and hold the home button on my iPhone, all of Siri's functions work hands-free and eyes-free.

As for other features, that's what the enhanced Bluetooth and USB option is for. Because of the BMW Connected app, even if there are features that are unavailable the older nav system they can be made available via docking the iPhone to the USB port. Many of the new BMW features are designed to generate increased revenue for BMW. There is no real point creating an app store business model if it won't allow the 10 million cars out there with existing iDrive systems to take advantage of them immediately.

BJ
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:27 AM
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Absolutely NOTHING dates a modern car like an in-dash NAV system. It's like a technology time capsule.

I'll probably go through three or four smartphones and even more Apps during the lifetime of my car. I can't see myself using the same system the entire lifespan. Plus, that polarized issue would drive me bonkers.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:36 AM
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Absolutely NOTHING dates a modern car like an in-dash NAV system. It's like a technology time capsule.

I'll probably go through three or four smartphones and even more Apps during the lifetime of my car. I can't see myself using the same system the entire lifespan. Plus, that polarized issue would drive me bonkers.
I agree. If you look at the nav on a MB form 3yrs ago it's such a depressing sight. I've said for the longest BMW should go android... customers will be thrilled. Give the people free updates to a system that has professionals working on it round the clock. It's not so much the hardware, its the software. In about 5 yrs, maybe even less the idrive in the F30 will look like crap... the navigation currently isn't even that great as far as presentation. That being said, I still wouldn't get my F30 w/o it personally. At the end of the day the nav gets ou from point A to B. If ou opt for no nav, the idrive will still be dated regardless and someone on the market for an F30 yrs from now will still probably prefer nav over non nav on the same dated idrive. Not that i'm ordering a car for its future driver, but it wont be as detremential in the future as you might think. i also prefer to have my phone free when i'm driving while playing music and having the nav lower the volume to give turn by turns. this system works exactly how I want.

I'm an apple user but I believe android would be perfect to replace idrive.
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  #24  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
Absolutely NOTHING dates a modern car like an in-dash NAV system. It's like a technology time capsule.

I'll probably go through three or four smartphones and even more Apps during the lifetime of my car. I can't see myself using the same system the entire lifespan. Plus, that polarized issue would drive me bonkers.
You are absolutely right, but the problem is this technology is becoming increasingly indispensable in our cars (at least for those of us who are in them for long stretches, need access to email, etc, for business reasons while on long trips and so forth).

So, the dilemma is, do you use your phone in the car instead (unsafe and illegal in many places), do you buy a tech system that will be outdated in just a couple of years and you are stuck with for a decade of ownership?

Or, do you lease?

Yeah, I leased. Car tech is changing too fast right now... I don't want to live without the tech but I also don't want a 5+ year commitment to dated tech.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Or, do you lease?

Yeah, I leased. Car tech is changing too fast right now... I don't want to live without the tech but I also don't want a 5+ year commitment to dated tech.
Agreed, the lease makes this issue go away to a large degree. BMW is state of the art with these systems so for the time being you can't do much better.

For a critical "zero failure" type of system that you rely on in your car I'll take the closed and single use technology. I don't think there is much that we are not getting and what we do get works extremely well it appears (my F30 is on order, my last iDrive was an early E90 that left something to be desired - certainly in comparison to the current tech package).
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