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tokyoracer

IIvx not powering on.

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Hi guys, been a while.

 

In my absence, I've actually been quite busy. I've been sorting out alot of my old Mac 68K (and a few PPC) machines and over the past few years, bringing them out of storage with mostly positive results.

 

However this IIvx (I know, hardly one of the 'good' ones but I kinda like it in it's own way), doesn't want to power on, as in at all. This was working prior to storage too. So, the first port of call was to replace the PSU with a known working unit (from a Quadra 650). Still nothing, soft or hard power.

 

I know there is power going to the PSU atleast as I hear a small snap of electricity as the 'kettle' style lead is inserted. It could be my imagination, but I'm sure I sometimes hear a micro relay switching too sometime when power is applied (or atleast attempted).

 

I know the PSU is good, hell I think it's original one is working too. The 6 pin 'chocolate' block connector is definitely making contact with the female connector on the motherboard.

 

This has completely stumped, anyone have any idea where I should look or if there's any tests I can make? O do have a multimeter on standby.

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1 hour ago, PB145B said:

Has the logic board been recapped? The IIvx is definitely old enough that it’s going to more than likely have bad caps.

I'm pretty sure they're probably original, atleast I haven't ever replaced them. Would they cause the machine to not even switch on though?

 

The board itself is clean, I see no signs of leakage anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I certainly will get into cap replacement once I home my skills and get the right equipment for it. I got a while load of systems queuing up for it.

Edited by tokyoracer
Typo.

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55 minutes ago, tokyoracer said:

I'm pretty sure they're probably original, atleast I haven't ever replaced them. Would they cause the machine to not even switch on though?

 

The board itself is clean, I see no signs of leakage anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I certainly will get into cap replacement once I home my skills and get the right equipment for it. I got a while load of systems queuing up for it.

I’m not 100% sure. I’ve never owned a IIvx, so I don’t know too much about them.

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My IIvx stopped powering up, the power supply in it works when put in my 7100 so that makes it a motherboard issue, now I need to try caps and go from there.  Knowing it worked before i set it to the side leads me to believe mine is a caps issue.

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Well this is a real change of events. I (unintentionally) left this thing plugged in (but not powered on obviously) and came home a couple of hours ago, just thought I'd try it to see if it's still broken and would you believe it, it's powered up!

 

I've heard of this trick before on other electronics but honestly didn't think it would apply here but there we go.

 

I'll update on the status over the next few days on this but so far. Soft powering is working once again. I haven't tried unplugging it, yet (*gulp*).

 

25 minutes ago, Macdrone said:

My IIvx stopped powering up, the power supply in it works when put in my 7100 so that makes it a motherboard issue, now I need to try caps and go from there.  Knowing it worked before i set it to the side leads me to believe mine is a caps issue.

You might want to try what I did. Let me know if you get anything after a few hours plugged into the mains.

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Okay, so since unplugging for a while, it does seem to me that it could be a capacitor issue. So you guys are probably on the money with the caps being at fault.

I would imagine they are relied upon for the soft powering system. Since it only starts after being plugged in for 10 mins or so, my best guess it's capacitors are not taking a charge quickly anymore, hence the long wait for powering up and lack of response from pressing the power button.

 

Thankfully there's no signs of leakage on the board but until I can get the skills/equipment to replace them, I will just keep check of it's condition from time to time.

 

I did manage to update it's system OS in the mean time and found some higher capacity SIMMs to take it to 20MB. The caddy CD drive door needs a little attention at some point though. :)

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Okay, so the saga continues it seems. . .

 

For a while everything has been fine but now there's a couple of other issues that have cropped up.

 

Now the mouse and keyboard isn't responding, however soft-power via keyboard is working and the wireless mouse I use is definitely responding to the receiver.

 

Also the onboard audio doesn't chime but yet the speaker beeps when there's a pop-up (the one about shuting down the machine blah-blah). 

 

Could caps prevent both ADB ports to stop working (but for some reason, allow soft-powering), and not chime anymore but still play sounds once booted?

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On 11/2/2018 at 2:42 PM, tokyoracer said:

Okay, so the saga continues it seems. . .

 

For a while everything has been fine but now there's a couple of other issues that have cropped up.

 

Now the mouse and keyboard isn't responding, however soft-power via keyboard is working and the wireless mouse I use is definitely responding to the receiver.

 

Also the onboard audio doesn't chime but yet the speaker beeps when there's a pop-up (the one about shuting down the machine blah-blah). 

 

Could caps prevent both ADB ports to stop working (but for some reason, allow soft-powering), and not chime anymore but still play sounds once booted?

Yes

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The great question of the hour is not whether bad caps can cause this behaviour, but whether new caps are best not wasted on a IIvx.... Okay for word processing, I guess, but what a disappointing machine it was.

 

I know — I innocently bought a Performa 600 (same thing, apart for cache and a 688882) back when young and foolish in 1992. I bought a dud that ought never to have come on the market.

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12 hours ago, beachycove said:

whether new caps are best not wasted on a IIvx

How much do new caps cost? If someone has the machine, and it works other than a bunch of symptoms which generally mean the machine needs to be recapped, and the skills to do it, I don't see why a IIvx would be unworthy of saving.

 

They're slow, and they represent a particular set of choices in Apple's product line, same as the LC and the PowerBook 150 and the 6200.

 

The trade-off in most of those cases is that the machine in question (the "road apple" to use the LEM terminology, which everybody probably knows that I absolutely hate) is almost always cost.

 

I don't happen to have the 1992-1993 issue of MacWorld in which the Performas 200/400/600 were reviewed, but I seem to recall they were largely positively accepted, mainly because they were "fast enough" and quite inexpensive, especially given the six slots and a CD-ROM.

 

The other thing I'll mention is that compared to the other thread recently brought back on the issue of the IIvx/P600 in particular, here in 2019, getting 68k Macs can be a little costly, as the stock has dwindled over the years.

 

If someone can economically repair a IIvi/vx/P600 and either use it or pass it along to somebody who might, I think it's worth doing.

 

12 hours ago, beachycove said:

but what a disappointing machine it was.

Is that, as new, compared to what you replaced it with? or compared to what that money would've bought you from Compaq? Or compared to something you could've bought as part of a later generation of machines (like the 605/610)?

12 hours ago, beachycove said:

I bought a dud that ought never to have come on the market.

I argue frequently Apple made loads of bad business decisions from 1987 to 1997, and I won't necessarily contest that this machine's existence is one, but I'd want to review more information before saying so myself. Apple probably had some kind of reason for doing it, feeling that it met some kind of need. Even if that need was short-lived, or perhaps ill conceived (especially given, if I'm remembering correctly, this machine existed alongside the LC II, which by all appearances, you are arguing it's not a better machine than, despite that it's got a faster CPU, a higher ram ceiling, more and more common slots, and a CD-ROM drive.

 

All of that said: Apple was, I'll argue, totally notorious for leaving machines on sale for way too long. The P600 should probably have been discontinued way earlier than it was, given that by the time it was discontinued, you could get a Quadra/Centris 610, which I'll agree was a much better computer, for less. (Though: I don't know off hand what the bundling was like on the P600, everymac says $2000 for it, I don't know if that's inclusive of a display, software, and keyboard, because the C/Q610 for $1449 (apple's own mail-order catalog price) would only have included a mouse.) But, by then, you also have the Mac TV and LC/Performa 520 and 550 bundles.

 

One more thought, if any of these thoughts are based at all on the editorializing done in LEM: It's clear from MacWorld at the time, and from thinking about it at all that Apple didn't mean the IIvi/vx or P600 as an upgrade or replacement for IIci owners. It was almost certainly supposed to either be a first computer, a first Mac, or an upgrade from something much older and lower end.

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Yes, yes, yes. One gets to be ironic sometimes, does one not?

 

I do still have my P600, but haven’t replaced the caps. 5 or 6 years ago, I booted it up to check on it, and was so horrified by the performance (with a fresh installation of 7.1 on a decent hard drive!) that I confess I gave up on it, and back on the pile it went in favour of less disappointing options.

 

But I had 50+ machines to choose from in those days.... I am down to ~ 15 now! Maybe one of these days it will get some TLC.

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I've been thinking about this today.

 

Firstly, I apologize if I missed a joke.

 

Secondly, I think it's worth considering the issue of "whether it's worth fixing a {any road apple}" and "whether or not {model} should have existed" separately, because they really are two different things.

 

In the modern environment where it can be harder and harder to track down working vintage Macs, I think it's worth repairing every Mac, even ones that'll be slow. In addition, yeah, the IIvi/vx/P600 will be disappointing compared to {better machine}, but they should be reasonably performant compared to older and smaller machines. For somebody who didn't have a specific need for, say, an LCPDS Apple IIe card, I see no reason why a IIvi/vx/P600 wouldn't work for them. Plus, with metal frames and as far as I know relatively few problems where there is plastics, these machines should ship well.

 

Ultimately, to not keep and restore and for a couple people not to be using these machines (and other "road apples") would essentially be revisionist. If we're at all in it for appreciating the platform, then it's worth appreciating the whole platform. (This applies even to those of us who have specific interest in other machines, for whatever reason.) But, for lack of a better way to put it, puttering around in Finder, basic productivity software, simple games and things like HyperCard is what most people do on most vintage Macs, so the fact that the IIvi/vx/P600 doesn't live up to the performance of some other models, or the needs of 1992's DTP/Photoshop power users isn't strictly relevant, here. Heck, just about everything I've been doing on my 840 over the past few years would work fine on a P600, just, I'd lose out on my 1152x870 display unless I put in a card. (to be perfectly honest: that's no big deal, I was also doing all that stuff at 640x400 on a PB180.)

 

The other issue, of whether or not Apple should have built it (or handled its release, pricing, positioning, and discontinuance) any different is, well, a different issue. My main comment there is that, arguably, Apple flubbed the entire Mac product line from 1987 to 1997, so arguing for or against specific models becomes kind of moot.

 

My recollection (Macworld, November 1992, P.112) is that the Performa 600 retailed in a bundle for around $2500, including 5m/160m a CD drive, and 1MB of video ram, or $2000 for 4/160, no CD, and 512k VRAM, whereas the IIci was (still) on sale for around $4000 for a 5/80 config. MacWorld said it was "bargain pricing", although they admitted that overall the P600 should come in around 50-80% the overall performance of the IIci. (Again, Quadras also already existed, so we're definitely talking about a machine designed to be sold alongside washing machines and vacuum cleaners in a department retail setting.) As a bundle note, it looks like the Performas 400 and 600 did not include monitors. The new Performa display was $450, compared to the $999 of the 13-inch high resolution display, so figure about $3000 out the door for a Performa 600 and close to $6000 out the door for a IIci with its "matching" display, a keyboard, and application software, which was varyingly bundled with the initial group of Performas. (the article isn't clear if there was a single bundle or if different retailers changed the bundle, as with all subsequent Performas.)

 

It's not hard to see why Apple did what they did with the Performas, and in terms of building systems that were a reasonable value and provided a reasonable amount of choice and variety, the 200/400/600 are what I'd call a reasonably good product stack. These were systems designed to try to win people over from cheap 286es and super-budget 386es - not high performance graphics or office computers.

 

All that said: the P600 does lack cache functionality, but IIci CPU upgrades should work in it, so it's also got that going for it, relative to, again, lower end machines.

 

Overall, I actually question why the IIci was on sale when the clear flagships at the time were Quadras 700 and 900.

 

To re-address the editorializing on LEM's profile of the P600, I don't think anybody who already owned a IIci in 1992 was looking at all seriously at the P600, unless perhaps they had a need for another computer, in addition to the one they already had. (For an employee or family member to use, or to use as a home computer where their IIci was in an office.) MacWorld is very straight-up about the P600's performance, but it could've looked attractive as it would've been faster than the P200/400 (CII/LCII) and used common expansion and upgrade boards with other Mac II family machines, making the P600 a potential candidate to slot in, say, where an original Mac II had been. (MacWorld doesn't address that directly, however.)

 

So, there's my bit... again. Sorry for duplicating much of that stuff, in an effort to hopefully provide it in a more structurally sound way.

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Funny you bring it up--I was just reading that issue last week. The 600 was indeed very positively reviewed, so much that it was viewed as a superior option to the IIci (still on the market despite being several years old at the time). What MacWorld failed to mention was the crippled data bus, looking only at clock speed. The CD-ROM was another huge perk.

 

They really liked the 200 as well, as it was priced the same as or less than the Classic II but included software. That issue didn't mention anything about specifics with software, but it wound up being ClarisWorks. 

 

Other companies were bundling software and introducing novice-friendly features. I have an IBM PS/1 from the same timeframe (1993, but close enough) and it came with both MS-DOS 6 (yes, you read that correctly, an IBM shipped with MS-DOS and not PC-DOS) and Windows 3.1--plus MS Works 2.0 for Windows and a host of simplified features. Among the most notable is a menu that appears at startup where one can choose between Windows, the DOS shell, and the DOS prompt. There were some simplified utilities in Windows, a Mouse Practice type program, and easy to read manuals.

 

Also like the Performa, costs were kept down by not including system disks. I have a stack of floppies made from a backup program and remember the task of making them!! This was my grandfather's computer; he had to go to an office supply store in the middle of the process because it took 13 floppies and he only had a box of 10.

 

One more similarity--it could be upgraded, but most of the user-friendly features got wiped out. When I got the PS/1, I upgraded it to Windows 95. In doing so, the menu was bypassed and the computer pretty much felt like and worked like any other Win95 box. The same could be done with a Performa and, say, System 7.5 (even if 7.5 did incorporate some Performa features).

 

As for the IIci being on the market--it hadn't been a flagship machine since the IIfx was introduced but was a very close second for its first two years of life. Since the tooling for the computer was quite old at that point and the prices were still quite high, my guess is Apple kept it around for the profits. It was a proven winner by that point and was even "upgraded" in 1991 when the cache card began to ship standard from the factory. There also wasn't any compelling reason to replace it given where it sat in the hierarchy of Mac models by that point. The LCII was released for the ability to use virtual memory, the Classic II was intended to consolidate the black and white compacts (even if the Classic wasn't technically discontinued for another year--although I have never personally seen a 1992 manufacture Classic), the Q950 was a speed bump to differentiate the higher end Quadra more, and the 600/VX was a new design altogether that just seemed more "consumer" than the CI. 

 

Of course, the IIsi was also still on the market...a machine that seemed to suffer from a problem of poor fit for a while...

 

The IIvi is the real mystery. It's an LCII that can't run System 6 in a case with more slots and an optional CD-ROM drive. I've actually wanted one for a while just because of how obscure it is, although I've been out of space to put another machine in my personal collection since plunking down a whopping $30 on a IIfx last fall. 

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:34 AM, beachycove said:

The great question of the hour is not whether bad caps can cause this behaviour, but whether new caps are best not wasted on a IIvx.... Okay for word processing, I guess, but what a disappointing machine it was.

 

I know — I innocently bought a Performa 600 (same thing, apart for cache and a 688882) back when young and foolish in 1992. I bought a dud that ought never to have come on the market.

You were IIvx-ed!

 

Sorry, couldn't resist :)

 

c

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On 3/12/2019 at 10:42 PM, Scott Baret said:

What MacWorld failed to mention was the crippled data bus, looking only at clock speed

I'd argue they absolutely didn't fail to mention the important facts, which are that the machine was going to be slower.

 

They credited no cache and no FPU rather than the bus speed, but they did run and show benchmarks and they were straight-up about the performance. From a customer's perspective, it doesn't really matter why the computer is half as fast as another one, just that it is.

 

MacWorld November 1992 P 113 showing Q950, Mac IIci, Performa 600 and Mac Classic/SE benchmarks

 

Much of their point was that if you don't need IIci or Quadra performance, the Performa 600 is a great deal because you can get one with CD-ROM for half what it'll cost to get a IIci running.

 

Remember, if you wanted high performance, in late 1992, the Quadras 700, 900, and 950 were all out.

 

I'm sure it's arguable (and, I mean, Apple will have argued this) that there was a place for the IIci, but I have trouble seeing it, unless the Quadra 700 was still selling for very close to its original price, which is just shy of twice what MacWorld cited the IIci was selling for.

 

On 3/12/2019 at 10:42 PM, Scott Baret said:

Also like the Performa, costs were kept down by not including system disks

That's hilarious, and I believe ended with the 630 series, for which I've absolutely seen restore CD-ROMs before. I would be extremely surprised if the CD 300i version of the Performa 600 didn't come with a restore CD, as well.

 

I wonder how much Apple saved by not including restore disks with those systems. The Performa 200/400 were a couple hundred dollars less than their traditionally labeled siblings, but I can't imagine bulk manufactured high density floppy diskettes were actually very costly in 1992, compared to the price of an entire Mac.

 

On 3/12/2019 at 10:42 PM, Scott Baret said:

The IIvi is the real mystery. It's an LCII that can't run System 6 in a case with more slots and an optional CD-ROM drive.

That is one of the weirdest ways I happen to have ever seen that system described. Just because something has a 16MHz '030 doesn't mean it is an LCII, especially with so many architectural differences. Architecturally, the IIvi was probably a II series system but with a slower CPU. Basically, identical to the IIvx and P600.

 

On 3/13/2019 at 12:50 AM, CC_333 said:

You were IIvx-ed!

Technically, yes. I'll admit, for someone who wanted but perhaps couldn't strictly speaking afford a lot of power in 1992, and was paying attention, it absolutely had to have been fairly galling. The feeling would likely have been the same if you'd shelled out twice as much for a IIci in those months, too.

 

But, this is how technology goes. Admittedly, Apple absolutely had to have known the 610 and 650 were coming down the pike, so I can see why this gets them specific ire.

 

Hilariously, the columnists in MacWorld at the time (through around early-mid '94) tended to brush this off, (correctly) suggesting that this was a common feature of owning and using computers at the time.

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Regarding system discs/disks...I'm not sure about the 600CD, but there were a few other systems without them. Notable among them was the PowerBook 145B, a cost-saving computer.

 

Floppies may have been cheap, but Apple was looking for any way to save cash by that point. They may have also used that as an excuse, as they saw PC companies not doing it and felt like playing the same game.

 

I know for a fact the 575 came with a CD, which would place the timeline of definitely including CDs in early 1994. I just sold a Performa 575 last fall with an original restore CD. 

 

The 550 is another story. I'm not sure if they ever came with CDs in later times, but they did have restore partitions on their hard drive. It's well documented in early editions of Mac Secrets.

 

Apparently there were disks available if you asked Apple nicely--again, it was mentioned in Secrets or some other old Mac book. I believe there was also a CD for Apple techs to use that had the Performa systems on it at one point in the late 1990s.

 

I'll have to go back and read that MacWorld article again to see what they said about performance. 

 

Regarding the Iivi/LCII comparison...ooh, that could be a good topic of debate for many computers! IIx and SE/30? Classic and SE FDHD? LCII, CC, Classic II, and Iivi? Portable and PB100? Lots of ways of looking at them; not one of them is wrong, all are from different vantage points.

 

Regarding the IIci--another thought is they kept it around but were just using up inventory. Apple seems to do this sometimes. The Plus was technically on the market through October 1990, but how often do we see Pluses made in 1990? The same goes for 1992 Classics. Latest I've seen of each is December 1991 (Classic) and December 1989 (Plus)--although someone in one of the groups once told me he had an early 1990 Plus. (This can also go the other way--there are a TON of early 1991 SE SuperDrives out there despite the model being discontinued formally a few months earlier; likely just had a bunch of extra parts to use up and made a batch of them for those who pined for the expansion slot the Classic lacked).

 

Those of you out there with a IIci--what's your manufacture date? Anyone have one past mid-1992?

 

One random question about Performas--were the IBM 80MB drives common in them across the board? I have one in my 200. They seem relatively rare in other Macs from that era, most of which had the Quantum or Conner of some variety.

Edited by Scott Baret

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I have an LC520 restore CD, but it was a lab-pack configuration. I actually have the packing lists on my web site, I'll have to find the images and upload them here. The system came with the power cord, keyboard and mouse, and there was a single documentation pack meant to be shared among an entire classroom or lab's worth of computers, with a, restore CD, and the manual.

 

I forget if each system included its own CD caddy or if the documentation pack included it.

 

I believe the Performa 520 and 550 would have included their own CD-ROMs.

 

33 minutes ago, Scott Baret said:

not one of them is wrong,

I mean, architecturally, the IIvi is a particular thing. That thing isn't an LC II - but, the speed comparison is interesting - but suggesting they're the same machine or electrically the same design is ignoring an awful lot about the IIvi at absolute best. I really would argue that it's better described as a cost-cut IIci/IIvx.

 

That said: I don't happen to have seen the IIvi/vx dev-notes, so I can't strictly speak to how the II and LC architectures compare.

 

47 minutes ago, Scott Baret said:

Lots of ways of looking at them

It's extremely interesting to see how people group different systems. This is similar to the "Quadra 630, it's totally a Real Quadra because it was introduced with that label ten whole days before it was introduced as an LC/Performa" discussion that occurred a few months ago, where I tend to classify the entire 630 family as an LC because architecturally it's basically the 475/605 design but with some a/v stuff tacked on, whereas all the other Quadras and Centrises share common features such as NuBus slots and room for onboard ethernet (even if it wasn't integrated in particular models).

 

Along the same line, despite the fact that most people won't have categorized them this way, the 190 is essentially a mobile 605/630 and the 5300, 2300, and 1400 are mobile 6200s with various go-faster stripes applied.

 

So, it's interesting to see the idea that (if I'm reading you correctly) the IIvi might be split from the IIvx by which particular performance band it belonged to, and not by which physical features (or name) it had. (which makes the idea that the IIvi gets classified alongside Classics and LCs and the P600 gets to sit with the IIvx/IIci that much more entertaining to me)

 

(Re Classic/CC, just briefly, which I saw mentioned, I believe the Classic is a cost-reduced SE design and the CC is well known to be the same platform as the LC II, adapted to an AIO design. Same as the LC III/520/550 and the 475/605/575.)

 

There's also a super interesting disconnect between the 630 and 6200 where people believe the 6200 is this radically different thing and believe, due to misinformation from LEM, that it's a much worse machine than it really is, when in reality the 6200 is a 630 but with a PowerPC upgrade pre-integrated, and it benches the same as the 6100. It's especially interesting to see that same crowd identify 50MHz PowerPC 601 upgrades as being desirable.

 

 

40 minutes ago, Scott Baret said:

Regarding the IIci--another thought is they kept it around but were just using up inventory. Apple seems to do this sometimes

If by "sometimes" you mean "constantly, from 1987 to 1997" - yes, absolutely. Apple cited it as one of their own risk/problem factors in (I forget which) either their 1996 or 1997 annual report.

 

Ultimately, Mac sales channels were clogged for that entire time and for anybody who remembers getting catalogs and Mac magazines in the late '90s they stayed clogged with old product for quite a long time (from all vendors). UMAX S900s stayed on sale until, like, the middle of 1999. PowerBook 1400s were on sale until at least mid-1998, and so on.

 

Arguably, this aspect of modern Apple is one of the better things Tim Cook has ever built, as he was hired almost exclusively to fix that particular problem. (Also, Power Mac G3 mass customization, when it came on-line in 1998, is likely his doing.)

 

 

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