Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions


I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, New Year's Resolutions.

"With all eyes on Palm Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein and his senior management team in 2008, here are some New Year’s resolutions the company might take under consideration.


Closing the Books on 2007

2007 was a tough year for Palm. Earnings were down for two consecutive quarters. The Treo 755p failed to meet the target delivery date for the crucial holiday shopping season for carrier partner Verizon Wireless. The Foleo mobile companion was cancelled just weeks before it was due to begin shipping. No new handheld PDAs were shipped. And Palm CEO Ed Colligan suggested that the new Linux-based operating system, “Palm OS II” as I call it, would not appear on devices until 2009.

There have been a few successes for Palm. The new Centro smartphone has been a hit. Currently available only from Sprint and in black onyx and ruby red, there are rumors of the imminent release of a new pink Centro on Sprint and the launch of a white GSM Centro on AT&T Wireless. And Palm sold about 27% of the company to private equity firm Elevation Partners.


Looking Ahead to 2008

This New Year, Palm should consider the following resolutions:

1. Drive “Palm OS II” to completion

The single largest liability for Palm right now is the age of its Palm OS 5 operating system. The current code base that powers the Treo 680, 755p, and Centro was never really intended to power smartphones. The new Linux operating system needs to be completed this year and certified by Palm’s major wireless carrier partners.

Some of the features that customers will be looking for in Palm OS II include:
• a true multitasking operating system (voice and data at the same time)
• an updated modular user interface that still preserves Palm’s ease of use
• robust file management tools that will interact with other Palm devices
• robust web browser and email client
• support for multiple active wireless radios (cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi)"

Keep reading...

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Astraware Mogmanay Party 2008!

Join Astraware for their Annual Hogmanay Party and save on a range of great games!

KEELE, Staffordshire, UK - Monday 31st December 2007 - Astraware would like to invite you to their Annual Hogmanay Party sale which starts today - 31st December 2007 - and runs until midnight PST on 11th January 2008!

Each day during this New Year celebration, one or two games will be offered with huge discounts. With a wide range of action, adventure, word games, puzzles, strategy and card games to choose from, there's certain to be something for everyone. Each offer lasts for just 24 hours, changing at midnight, so make sure to check back for the new offer each day!

The first game in the Annual Hogmanay Party on Monday 31st December is the beautiful puzzler Glyph for just $9.95. To grab this, or any of the great Hogmanay offers, head over to http://www.astraware.com/promo/hogmanay08.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rumor: Photos of the Pink Centro Appear

SprintUsers.com forum member TheRobin has posted what appears to be a promotional photo of the rumored pink Palm Centro that is expected to arrive on Sprint sometime in January or February 2008.

The information on the release date has been all over the map with rumored launch dates of January 6, January 13, and February 14 (Valentine's Day).

Palm and Sprint are going to sell a lot of these things.


[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handango Year End Sale

With PalmGear gone, I've started purchasing software from Handango. If you are looking to purchase some software for your new, or not so new, Palm handheld or smartphone you can get 25% off your purchase if you use the codeword YEARENDSALE during check out.

This offer is good from now until the end of the year (2007).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Chirstmas from Foleo Fanatics



Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings from your friends at Foleo Fanatics!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Missing Sync 6.0.2 Now Available

Mark/Space The Missing Sync for Palm OS version 6.0.2 is now available. The Missing Sync is a total replacement for Palm Desktop and HotSync Manager for Palm customers using Mac OS X.

The Missing Sync 6.0.2 is a big deal for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users because this version is fully compatibly with Leopard. Some of the other cool features the Missing Sync brings to Mac OS X users include:

  • PIM sync with iSync and Microsoft Entourage
  • iPhoto and iTunes sync (DRM content can't be synchronized)
  • Wi-Fi network synchronization
  • Mac OS X folder to SD card folder synchronization
The Missing Sync 6.0.2 is a free upgrade to Mark/Space customers already running an earlier version of 6.0. Mark/Space customers running versions prior to 6.0 are eligible for special upgrade pricing.

Look for a review later this week on my 1SRC.com Palm-Powered podcast, show 161.

More information...

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays from Palm



A friend of mine emailed me a Palm e-greeting card this week and I wanted to share it with my Foleo Fanatics readers.

As it turns out, there are four versions of Palm's holiday wishes. There are e-cards featuring the Centro, Treo 680, Treo 750, and the Treo 755p.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Treo 755p Reviewer's Notes: Stop the Blinking!

So I've had the new Verizon Treo 755p for a few days and things have been going well. I've moved all of my applications, games, and data over to the 755p and I'm using it as my everyday production device.


But there is one thing that is driving me absolutely crazy: The nonstop LED blinking while the cell radio is turned on.


That is where Treoware's LEDOff comes in. With LEDOff, you can control what alarms and events trigger the LED to pulse. I just turned off Signal blinking for In coverage and now the Treo 755p on Verizon works my Treo 700p on Sprint.


LEDOff is "donationware" and can be downloaded from the Treoware website.

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Rumor: AT&T Centro Announcement at CES?

TreoCentral.com member Nomad2000 has posted some pictures of the GSM AT&T Centro. (The pictures, reportedly, came from Hi-PDA.com.)

Palm has recently posted that they will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held in Las Vegas this January. The Sprint exclusive on the Centro is coming to and end by mid-January.

Is this a cleverly disguised hoax or are Palm and AT&T getting ready to launch another Centro early in 2008?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Treo 755p First Impressions

Earlier this week Palm and Verizon launched the Treo 755p on the Verizon Wireless EVDO network and today I received Gadgets On The Go's review unit. Like a kid on, well, Christmas Morning, I tore into the shipping carton to unbox the new Treo.

Let me start off by saying that new azure green is much better in person than it looks on the computer screen. Sitting on my desk, the new Treo looks like a dark grey or black. Early next year when the company I work for starts deploying them, I will have no hesitation deploying them to the executive team.

Today is the first time I've had a chance to play with the 755p. I really like the the new Treo 755p soft touch paint. The 755p's new contours along the side along with the soft touch paint make the Treo fit comfortably in your hand. When holding the Treo 700p and 755p, one in each hand, the difference is like night and day.

I plan on using the Treo 755p as my primary device for the next few weeks and concluding my test drive with a review here on Gadgets on the Go.

For more information about the Treo 755p, check out Palm's website.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Palm Treo 755p Available on Verizon Wireless








Earlier today, Palm launched the Treo 755p smartphone on the Verizon Wireless network.

Compared to the Treo 700p which it replaces in the Verizon smartphone line up, the Treo 755p offers a sleeker body design that has previously only been available to Sprint and AT&T customers. Like other recent Treo smartphones, the Verizon Treo 755p features an internal antenna and the soft-touch paint. This version of the Treo 755p comes in azure green (a deep blue-green color if you are Pantone color chart challenged like me). Sprint offers the the 755p in burgundy and midnight blue while Alltel offers the smartphone in black.

The Treo 755p, like the 700p, features a full suite of software for both business and personal time. Documents To Go, Pocket Tunes, and VersaMail lead off a full feature list. Also included in this Treo is Verizon's Wireless Sync software that allows customers to wireless synchronize email, contacts, calendar, and tasks from a home or business Windows PC.

The Treo 755p will sell for $400 with a new two-year service agreement and after a $50 mail in rebate. Customers who also purchase a qualified voice plan are also eligible for an additional $100 rebate. The Treo 755p will sell for $580 for customers who do not wish to extended there service plans with Verizon.

Full details on all versions of the Treo 755p can be found on the Palm website.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Treo 750 Update 2.25 Recovery Tool

I don't know how many people have seen this or not, so I wanted to mention it here. I'm a Palm OS user, and I carry a Treo 700p. That said, I try to keep up on what is going on over on the Windows Mobile side of the Palm house.

While researching the Treo 750 Updater 2.25 (the one that adds Windows Mobile 6.0) for a customer over on the Palm Community Help Forums, where I'm a moderator, I ran across the directions for using the Updater 2.25 Recover Tool.

I'm actually excited to see that Palm has packaged this tool into the upgrade kit. While I don't have a Windows Mobile device to test this on, the tool appears to give customers a second chance to recover from a Treo that was "bricked" by a failed upgrade.

AT&T and Cingular Wireless customers can download the 2.25 Updater here. The directions for using the recovery tool can be found here.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

PDALive Turns 8!

Justin Nolan, the captain over at PDALive.com, sent me a note earlier today to let me know that PDALive.com is turning 8 years old! That is a major accomplishment, congratulations to Justin and the entire team over at PDALive.

To help celebrate, Justin is running a cool contest.
Well it has been another whole year. PDALive is turning 8 years old and to celebrate we are having a contest. We are giving away an Apple iPhone. All you need to do to enter the contest is post in this thread what you think we could do to improve PDALive. The contest is going to run through the end of the year. The contest is only open to actively participating PDALive members.

Also to celebrate we are offering 20% off all software in the PDALive Store all you need to do is enter the coupon code: pdalivewinter all one word. The discount is good through the end of the year also.

Thanks
Justin Nolan

Check out PDALive.com now...

Palm Foleo Makes Popular Mechanics 10 Worst List















Popular Mechanics has released their Top 10 Worst Gadgets list for 2007. Coming in at number 1 is Palm's Foleo mobile companion.

Erik Sofge, writes for Popular Mechanics:

"Sometimes, a product makes a Worst of the Year list for all the wrong reasons. Take the Foleo, Palm’s perfectly reasonable attempt to revolutionize ultra-lightweight laptops. We tested this 2.4-pound computer, which ran for up to 5 hours per charge, and despite a relentless pre-release trash-talking from the tech world (mainly from bloggers who hadn’t touched the thing) we liked it.

The 10.2-in. screen and meager flash-based storage were good enough for word processing and Web surfing. Without even realizing it, we started carrying it everywhere. Within days, the tiny machine was a fixture in our dorky lives, tucked under our arms, popping open at every meeting, and drawing as many chortles as breathless questions. Like it or pity it, the Foleo was generating a buzz.

But before a single Foleo hit the shelves, Palm killed it, claiming that they needed more time to develop the Foleo 2. The bloggers won, Palm lost, and our review unit became a bizarre unreleased prequel to a product that might never exist. It wasn’t perfect, but the Foleo deserved better. "
Just for the record, I was one of the bloggers who did touch a Foleo. And I'm waiting, not too patiently I might add, for the Foleo II running Palm OS II.

Read the full Popular Mechanics article...

[Thanks to bulls96 for the tip.]

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Apple's'Podfather' Now Aims to Revive A Wilting Palm

An interesting article from today's Wall Street Journal has appeared in a Yahoo Finance discussion forum discussing some of the changes that are taking place inside Palm. The one thing that I have learned recently about companies when private equity firms come in is that they like to run things "lean and mean." That, I believe, is why people are in such a tailspin about the as yet confirmed global layoffs at Palm.

The Wall Street Journal article reads, in part:

"Mr. Rubinstein now faces numerous challenges at Palm. Last week, Palm warned it would miss estimates when it next reports earnings on Tuesday, sending its stock plunging. Yesterday, Palm made some reassignments and staff reductions.

Since it typically takes at least 18 months to develop new phones from scratch, it may take years for Mr. Rubinstein's impact to show up. "With the business smart-phone market dominated by RIM and the personal smart-phone market dominated by Apple, it's hard to say where Palm's opportunity is," says Andy Neff, an analyst at Bear Stearns & Co.

So far, Mr. Rubinstein -- who heads all of Palm's research, development and engineering -- has kept mum about his plans. But people familiar with his thinking say he is focused on a new Linux-based software platform that would create one set of applications for all Palm products. He wants the platform, due out sometime next year, to be the basis for new phone formats, including possibly a 12-key phone."
Read the full article here...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rumor: Treo 800w on Sprint in February

A Palm Community Help Forum member claiming to be an employee of Sprint has posted that the Treo 800w will be coming to Sprint in late February 2008 to replace the Treo 700wx.

Rumors of a Treo 800w, a new Treo running the Windows Mobile operating system, have been circulating on the Internet for months now with little bits of information popping up every few months.

Are these rumors of the Treo 800w real? I'll leave that for you to decide.

Related Articles

Rumor: Treo 800w Reference Image...
Rumor: Treo 800w Coming to Verizon...

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Push To Talk Comes to the AT&T Treo 680

Earlier today Palm and AT&T Wireless released the Treo 680 Update 2.11 for AT&T and Cingular branded smartphones.

According to the Palm website, the update includes the following features:

  • Push to Talk
  • Microsoft Direct Push Technology for instant email, calendaring updates
  • IM application for access to AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo!
  • TeleNav GPS service
  • Power saving enhancements
  • Support for Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards
  • Enhanced ringtone support: MP3, AAC, AAC+, MIDI, WAV, and AMR
  • Cingular graphics will be updated with the AT&T graphics
  • Update roll ups: Camera update, Daylight Savings Time update, and Update 1.09
This update is intended for AT&T or Cingular branded Treo 680 smartphones only. Mac OS X and Vista customers will need a blank SD card with which to perform the update with. BlackBerry Connect customers are being told to not upgrade at this time as this update is not compatible with that software. Lastly, customers who update will be eligible for a free copy of Astraware Sudoku.

Download the AT&T Treo 680 Update 2.11...

[Thanks to my anonymous tipster for sending this in.]

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Astraware Casino Review

Astraware’s latest game, Casino, brings all the fun an excitement of a trip to the casino without the risk of losing your shirt.

Last week saw the release of yet another high-quality game for the Palm OS and Windows Mobile platforms: Astraware Casino. Astraware Casio is a collection of eight popular casino games: Texas Hold ‘Em Limit Poker, Baccarat, Video Poker, Craps, Video Keno, Slots, Roulette, and Blackjack.

I enjoy playing card games in a casual setting when friends stop by to visit, but I’ve never been one to spend much time at the casino. After downloading and installing the demo, I was happy to learn that Astraware Casino is geared for the casual gamer. When you start the game, you are given $1,200 ($1,000 in your wallet, $200 in the bank) and all the games start off in “Tourist” mode. This mode is intended for the casual casino game player and there are limits on the minimum and maximum bets. For example, the Blackjack table has a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet limit of $250. In the third gaming level, “Regular”, the table limits are changed with the minimum bet set to $100 and the maximum bet set to $5,000. New modes of play are unlocked based on how frequently you play and win at the games in the Astraware Casino.

Playing Astraware Casino is a breeze. As with other recent games from Astraware (Solitaire and Boardgames) you move around the game board with the 5-way navigator, or if you prefer, the stylus. The first time to select to play a game that you have not previously played, the game’s rules are displayed in a How to Play window. The directions are well written and easy to understand. You can always view the game directions by tapping the Menu button and selecting Instructions from the menu. (I am still having trouble with the Craps game. I may have to get my book of Hoyle games out and read up on game play strategies.) Moving between the different games and the bank is easily done. Just select Bank or Choose Game from the menu and you will be back to the high stakes action in no time. Adding to the fun are unlockable souvenirs that you win while playing the game. So far my favorite souvenir is the Hawaiian Shirt, with the Ace of Spades a close second.

Astraware Casino is available for both Palm OS handhelds and Treo smartphones, and Treo smartphones running Windows Mobile 5 and 6. This includes the newest Palm smartphones, the Treo 500v (Europe) and the Centro (United States). I tested the game on the Palm TX, Treo 650, and 700p and the game experience was good. Astraware has made a time limited trial available for download. That is a great way to try the game out before you buy and the make sure your hardware is supported. Astraware Casino for Palm OS and Windows Mobile is available now from the Astraware online store and sells for $19.95.

Regardless of weather you are a casual card player or an adrenaline junkie who likes to live life on the edge, with Astraware Casino loaded on your Palm you will be able to take a little piece of the Las Vegas thrill with you wherever you go.

For more information or to download the demo, visit the Astraware website.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Will New Palm Directors Take Bigger Roles




CNNMoney.com has an article posted today which provides, in my opinion, a sobering and accurate picture of the situation that Palm finds itself in.

"NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Palm Inc.'s (PALM) warning that a key new product will miss out on the holiday shopping season illustrates the string of bungles that has weighed on the smartphone maker.

The problems call into question Chief Executive Ed Colligan's ability to effectively manage the company. It also brings up the possibility that the incoming directors from Elevation Partners - Jon Rubinstein, Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee - may take a bigger role in day-to-day operations than previously thought.

"I would not be surprised if they were to assume a more active role in the company's management," said Lawrence Harris, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "I would have to think they are concerned at this point."

Under Colligan's watch, which began in February 2005, Palm has suffered from several certification delays and an especially embarrassing product misfire in the Foleo. The problems underscore Palm's tenuous position in the smartphone market as it gets overrun by larger, more dynamic rivals, such as the iPhone.

As a result, the Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of smartphones and PDAs has lost more than three-quarters of its market value over the past 20 months. The stock hit a bottom of $5.33 Friday, its lowest point in nearly four years, and recently traded at $5.63, down 14.6%. Its market cap is now about $600 million."

Keep reading...

[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]

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Astraware Casino Released

Earlier this week, UK-based Astraware released their latest game, Casino.

Astraware Casino features 8 of the most popular games found in casinos around the world including Texas Hold 'Em Limit Poker, Roulette, Slots, and Blackjack. You'll also get $1000 in your virtual wallet so you can start playing right away.

"Our casino has all the fun games and attraction, but unlike a real casino, the odds are with the player, so your chances of winning - and winning big - are that much better," said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. " Take you pick from a choice of games, try your luck on the slots, use your skill at blackjack, keep your cool and make your bluff in poker, there's something for all players!"

Astraware Casino is available for Palm OS(R) 5 devices with hi-res screens, and Windows Mobile(R) devices running 2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6 and with square, QVGA, and VGA portrait and landscape screens. The game is priced $19.95.

Download the free trial now...

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Windows Mobile 6 Treo 750 Now Available in the US

Earlier today Palm issued two press releases indicating that US customers can now use Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system on their smartphones. This will be welcomed news for AT&T customers who have been waiting a long time (but not as long as Treo 700p customers) for their operating system upgrades.

Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional for AT&T Wireless Customers

The first press release was to announce that the Treo 750 Updater 2.25 for AT&T customers. This update brings Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional to AT&T and Cingular branded Treo 750 smartphones.

There are a number of enhancements in this upgrade, including:

  • HSDPA support for faster data network connections
  • Improved support for the Calendar application
  • Enhanced support for HTML based email messages
  • Microsoft Windows Vista compatibility
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Better security and IT policies support
  • USB cable charging

It is important that you read and understand the upgrade directions before attempting this upgrade. The one download limit is also being enforced (you will need your Treo 750's serial number handy) with the US version of the upgrade as has been the case with previously released international releases. It is a good idea to backup your Windows Mobile 6 upgrade installer before attempting the upgrade.

The complete features list, upgrade documentation, and downloads can be found on the Palm website.

Download the Treo 750 Updater 2.25...


Unlocked Treo 750 Now Available in the US

The second press release from Palm was to announce that an unlocked Treo 750 is now available for purchase from directly from the Palm website or retail locations.

Today's press release reads, in part:
"The Treo 750 offers the hallmark Palm experience in a multifunction phone with access to email, Palm's exclusive threaded text messaging, web browsing and organization software all in a compact design. Added features such as Windows Live increases communication capabilities by letting users send voice recordings via Live Messenger and integrating Outlook and Live Contacts to show who is online directly from the Contacts screen. The device is compatible with HSDPA, allowing faster data-download speeds on 3G/UMTS/HSDPA networks."

The unlocked Treo 750 retails for $549USD.

Read the complete press release...

For more details about the new unlocked Palm Treo 750, visit the Palm website.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Alex Pruss Freeware Software Archive

When the "new" PocketGear.com went online recently, I discovered that I was unable to find NVBackup in the catalog of software. I figured that I was doing something wrong and started poking around the PocketGear site thinking that I was looking in the wrong place.

The PocketGear.com Developer Guide shed some light as to what was going on. The following are excerpts from that document.

"Affiliate relationships associated with PalmGear, however, have ended with the exception of the existing Palm.com partnership. Motricity will cease support for the existing PalmGear platform and infrastructure. As a result, the classic PalmGear site will redirect in the near future to the unified new PocketGear. This move to the new platform and site will limit our ability to support existing affiliate locations. We are preparing to launch a new affiliate program in the near future, and look forward to presenting our partners with new opportunities for distribution and sales."

This includes the software store that was being hosted for ACCESS, formerly known as PalmSource. Jim Della, ACCESS Software Store Manager, writes on the ACCESS website:

"The ACCESS Software Store will officially close on November 27th. We thank you for your patronage.

You will still be able to review and purchase Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS) applications at www.pocketgear.com, an exciting new online store launched by Motricity, the ACCESS partner formerly hosting the ACCESS Software Store."
The Palm online software store is still very much running and open for business.

My problem is with the following passage from the PocketGear Developer Guide:

"We have taken careful steps to ensure that the new PocketGear is populated to the fullest extent and reflective of our prior catalogs at the 'legacy' sites. While we have eliminated much of the outdated and freeware listings, actively selling current titles have been migrated to the new PocketGear. Please note that listings at the new PocketGear have been assigned new product ID's as well as new urls."

Way back when I first got started in the Palm user community, great sites like PalmGear helped me learn about my new Palm IIIx, but introduced me to a world of great commercial, shareware, and freeware applications for my device.

The elimination of freeware from the new PocketGear and the shuttering of PalmGear is clearly a business decision that Motricity is free to make, but I don't have to like it.

That said, I have decided to do something about this situation. I have obtained permission from Alexander Pruss, who is a well known and respected Palm OS application developer, to host his freeware applications here on FoleoFanatics. Over the coming weeks I will grow the catalog of software that is available for download.

It is this spirit of community that really is one of the best rewards of being a member of the Palm user community.

Enjoy!

Alan Grassia
Editor, FoleoFanatics

Visit the Software by Alex Pruss archive...

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