The Clinic

Welcome to the clinic, a place to get help and constructive criticism on your projects. Here's a brief intro on what it is, written by AngryRedhead:

"Some Instructables don't get the attention that they deserve. Many times the reason boils down to presentation, and if the presentation is off in one way or another, an Instructable might flop no matter how wonderful the project is. The presentation of an Instructable requires a certain set of skills which involve story telling, technical writing, planning, and photography. Even the most experienced technical writers and photographers still benefit from an edit or an outside opinion. As an author, it's difficult to see the flaws and errors because your thoughts and experience fill the gaps that might leave readers puzzled. It happens to every author.

If you feel you have an Instructable that isn't getting the attention that it deserves and you would like some ideas on how to improve its presentation, please post a link to it! We're not here to tear it apart or to tell you that you're the most horrible, stupidester person in the whole wide world. We're here to give you ideas for improvement and hopefully get you more attention and recognition for your project ideas. Think of this like editing or proofreading which is something everyone needs regardless of experience, intellect, and knowledge.

If you would like ideas on taking your idea to the next level and making it bigger and more awesomer, please say that you would like this extra advice. You can even post a link to an unpublished instructable if you like, but just remember, please check out the featuring checklist first since this will tell you all of the things that the best instructables have."

So... that's what this forum topic's for. There's a team of seasoned Instructables authors watching this topic, waiting to give you help!

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Kiteman3 years ago

Starting your first Instructable?

Then you need to read this how-to guide.
(Please remember that comments here are the opinions of those making the comments, and do not guarantee that your work will be Featured or win a contest.)

Any suggestions on this instructable

Thank You

Hi ThisIsSteve :) Glad to see you're back with more SparkCore instructables.

A few suggestions :

- in Step 1 : Getting started, you could add links to the SparkCore website as well as your previous Instructables since you're mentioning them in the text ;

- in Step 2 : You could go into much more detail on how to setup your breadboard, where to put the components and how to hook them up to the SparkCore. A lot of people might have no experience using a breadboard at all, and wonder why you're putting components where you're putting them ;

- in Step 3 : Buzzer, all one can see on your picture is the Buzzer - the photoresistor is gone. Therefore it doesn't really seem to show the next step in the project so much as a setup for another part, and doesn't seem to show how the whole circuit interacts together. Perhaps reuse the picture from Step 5 ?

- In Step 4 : Code, you could either provide a link to SparkCore's Tutorial 101 or detail uploading code in detail ;

- in Step 5 : Finishing, you could use this step to show how to make the circuit more permanent - maybe with soldered wires or gator clips ? - and how to set it up so that you can actually use it as a burglar alarm (to each side of a sliding window for example ?).

It's a really great idea for a beginner project with SparkCore though, and I look forward to your next Instructables !

Hey Deslivres, Thanks for the fast reply and I'm editing on the project, as you said. I will get proper images of the breadboard, and I will let you know when its done. And I also have one more instructable with spark core coming up in a day or two.


I could use some advice on this guy.

Thanks to anyone who helps.

Hi NomadHobbyist :)

First off : Looooove Minecraft :D A series of basic tutorials to do in Minecraft could be a great idea for new players as well as parents wanting to play with their kids (for the parents or for the kids).

Second, suggestions :

- Your title : you might want to add "In Minecraft" in there somewhere so that people who're looking to build an actual jungle treehouse don't get the wrong idea ;

- Step 1 : Materials : you could insert the crafting recipes as a picture for the people who don't know how to make the materials for the project.

That's all I can think of right now - if you make more Minecraft Instructables, do try to link from the last step for anyone who might be looking for inspiration after they are done with this project. I hope this helps !

Thanks you guys!

I changed it!

Sorry it took so long:)

I don't know much about Minecraft, so I can't help much on the ible itself. However, I agree that the title could be better. The "Make your own" portion is always unnecessary when writing an ible title. It's the point of instructables to show how to make something, so you don't need to say it in your title.

good day . i really need help . how this BC547 works on the circuit and its flow? please . I need to present this on my class . thanks .

5 LEDchaser ..gif

This forum is for authors who need help with their Instructables. You would probably get more help if this was posted in the Tech section. Having said that, one thing I would recommend is bread boarding the circuit so you can watch it operate and see how the LEDs light up. In this circuit the capacitors are blocking DC current and the transistors connect each LED to ground. Think about what happens when the current flows through each resistor and the transistor is turned on- when the transistor base (b) is powered electricity flows from the collector (c) to the emitter (e), connecting each LED to ground and allowing it to turn on. So what you need to figure out is why are the capacitors there and how do they affect the transistor function.

How could I improve this one, apart from more pictures (since I don't have those but would still like to make it as good as possible):

That's a tough one. Maybe show the different types of brushes you used and why you used different brushes in different areas? Or maybe show different brush techniques?

The only area that I think really needs any improvement is between the Tardis outline sketch and the next step. It seems like you would need something in between the two that show some work in process. I know that's difficult (if not impossible) to do at this point. I think a lot of people who are wanting to learn how to paint would like some sort of guide here- something like "I blocked in the blue first," etc. Maybe you could do a sketch like the Tardis sketch that shows a numbered sequence for how you began putting the color down?

Edit: I've recreated all the steps of the painting process to make it clearer

That is a huge improvement- well done! It looks great. Of course I'm a big Doctor Who fan and my middle name is Vincent since van Gogh was my Dad's favorite painter so maybe I'm a bit biased. :)

Thanks again! It is a great combination ;D

Thank you so much for your advice! I've recreated a few steps to clarify the process a bit.

Dr. Joe7 days ago

I have an idea that I don't know where to share it. This is the project.

Dr. Joe7 days ago

Hi: I am new to this game this year and am trying to learn to play by the rules. I entered a story that I thought would be a two for one. One idea in two contests. The contests are Para Cord and Protect. After a day of trying to come up with an idea. I thought about self defense for my daughters, not that my son could use this skill too. I also thought about when I fly on an airline how I sometimes feel vulnerable thinking only the bad guys might have a weapon. What could I do to protect my family. I have packed a metal water bottle my daughter gave me for years as I travel the air lines. Then there was the aha moment.

A water bottle on a cord could be a great defensive weapon. It passes thorough security if it is empty. I don;t think it would raise an eyebrow in a social setting for an old man to carry a water bottle and a cord. In my backyard test it looks like it would be a powerful weapon that does not take much training to use.

The project was accepted for the para cord but rejected then accepted and rejected again on the protect contest. with this latest comment.

"I'm sorry for the back and forth on this, but in the end it was decided
that the material in your Instructable is too sensitive to be included
in the Protected Contest." They suggested I post this on the clinic.

I would like advice on where I went wrong.

Here is the link.

Honus Dr. Joe7 days ago

I'm guessing it was rejected because you are endorsing carrying a weapon on an airplane.

Dr. Joe Honus7 days ago

Good point. Thanks. Sometimes when I get too close to a forest I can't see the trees.


Please check out my instructable and suggest me if there needs to be any changes made to make it better. This is my first instructable by the way. :

Thanks in advance.

I think it's well written, easy to understand and the project is easy to duplicate. Nice circuit diagrams too! The only suggestions I can think of are maybe change the lead image to a nice clear photo that shows the finished project as I think people tend to respond better to that than illustrations. When the first thing I see is a photo of the finished project it tells me that you've actually made the project.

The other suggestion I have is to change the title to something shorter, maybe something like "Human powered phone charger"?

Thank you so much once again Honus. Following your suggestion made me get featured :D :D :D

Thank you for the appreciation :)

Thank you very much for the suggestions Honus. I have made changes as per your suggestions. Hope it gets featured.

zimitt8 days ago

I was lucky enough to be featured with my first instructable and I'm addicted to the drug. Need some more.

My second did not create the same high. Could use some advice.

How can I improve this instructable-
Thank You


This was my first Instructable and I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips to make it better. Thanks!

Great first ible! Your biggest issue is that your primary image is difficult to read since your paracord is the same color as your bag. Try some different lighting to see if you can get an image that shows off your work better, or perhaps you could make another one in a different color.

liakparker10 days ago

HELP ME OUT! I just laid down my first "ible". It's titled "how to make "David's Sling"". Read, critique, and make me a better maker! Thanks, guys!

Hi, I just checked out your 'ible, it looks great!

A video may make it a bit better but apart from that, it looks awesome!

I voted for you - I hope you win!

YOU ARE THE BEST! Thanks for giving it your time! I'm going to have to work on my video editing skills and start learning to document with that media. Your encouragement helps.... as well as your votes! I appreciate the feedback. It sure does help a first timer get started on the right foot!

That is totally fine, if you scroll through the comments in the clinic you will see that I have asked for plenty of help myself - time to give back!

JM199911 days ago

Can I please get some suggestions on the linked 'ible?

I have done the clearest photos I can and described everything to what I thought was feature worthy but it seems I am missing something.

ThisIsSteve11 days ago

How can I improve these instructables -

Thank you

tomheylen15 days ago

This is my 2nd instructable and I'm planning to make a lot more.

So I would like to have some feedback on this instructable to be able to provide good quality for the next instructables.


Tom Heylen

Honus tomheylen14 days ago

Hi Tom,

I really liked the diagrams, especially the one showing all of the materials- I thought that was great. Overall I found it very easy to follow.

What I think would make it better would be more step by step large construction photos with notes or a even a video in the instructable that shows the construction. Maybe you could have a temperature sensor at the inlets/outlets to show people how well it works?

tomheylen Honus13 days ago

Thanks for the feedback Honus.

For now I'm staying in another country far away from the heat exchanger.

But when I get back I'll make some footage and add it to the instructable.

Have a nice day,


Wired_Mist15 days ago

I was a bit disappointed that this didn't get featured. I know I need to take a cover shot that shows more of the chicken, rather then the Pasta and Sauce it's sitting on.

Any other thoughts on how to make my next one better?

Based on your comment, I'm assuming that you originally had the picture of the finished product as your primary image. I would put it back the way it was. It looks quite appetizing in that image. Photographing food is hard and that picture is pretty good. The chicken in the pan isn't as interesting or yummy looking.

Also, I'd enter the superfood challenge. When you enter a contest, an editor has to look it over to make sure it qualifies. They may decide it's feature-worthy in the process.

Fair enough, I'll do both for sure!

Thanks for the help :)

I could use some tips, I'm not sure the next few steps to take to improve my Instructables projects. This is my most recent one (my second Instructables project):

Thanks to anyone who has feedback!!

Some suggestions:

1. You might want to change your title to something like Giant Touch Sensor Controller. An oversized box is an oversized box.

2. Do up a separate intro which is like a summary to the project. A big part of the audience here does not know what the MaKey MaKey is or what it does. The rest of the instructions are pretty intense and might want to edit some of the narrative style for more succinct steps.

3. Use an intro image, which becomes the thumbnail, of a clearer shot of the controller box with fingers touching it. It is hard to make out at a glance looking at the entire setup to figure out what you made. Use a contrasting background to your plain lasercut box.

4. The video could be improved with better sound and closeup of the items. I had to play it a few times to see it was triggering some garageband like drum setup on the laptop,.

5. It's fine to promote your hackerspace, do it in the intro.

I wanted to thank you again for this feedback. We ended up getting this featured in Science. You have been an excellent source of feedback for us for multiple projects. This is the kind of thing that really gives meat to a community. Thank you for being open and encouraging. Great feedback that works!

Back again.. I made some changes. I need to get more pics and better video, but I think this might be a start. I tried addressing the name of the project like you suggested, cleaned up the intro, added resource links and summary info for those unfamiliar with MaKey MaKey, and added a more clean intro image. I might post a better one, but regardless am going to add pics for more of the sub steps and try to get a better quality video with good sound and res. Thanks again! This was very helpful feedback.

Thanks!! I will work on this. This was very helpful

Hey there, I am not too concerned about whether or not this gets Featured but I would appreciate feedback. I am still new here and trying to figure this all out. Care to take a look? Thanks for any help!

I would change the title to something more descriptive for the big non-tech audience here to Liquid Button Drum Controller or Liquid Button Keypad... Hydrophobic or Hydroscopic, I can't remember and MaKey-MaKey is a product known more in electronics circles. I really had to go through the whole ible a few times to see that you only float the surface of the cut out button shape with water but thought you flood the box with water but then how did you fill up the shapes? Then is the wire sandwiched between your cutout acrylic or it needs to contact that water button. Maybe a video of you using it, what happens when all the water is splashed off the button. The build steps are fine but you want to explain what a MaKeyMaKey is and show how cool your adaptation of capacitance touch works. Good luck.

Hi, caitlinsdad! Thanks for the feedback. It is useful to see how this comes across to some people. Having said that, I am not going to make all the changes you suggested at this time. I tried to link to MaKey MaKey and to a resource on hydrophobics, but I have edited in a little more to the first step summary with some more layman information. I will work on a video, I think that's a great idea. I think I will keep the name, however. This is for an Instructables Build Night with MaKey MaKey and it is aimed at people who already have or will be getting a MaKey MaKey. I won't say that it is useless without one, but getting into capacitive touch sensing on an Arduino or other microcontroller is well beyond the scope of this Instructable. I'm OK with this being a bit of a niche Instructable in that regard. I'm also OK with leaving "hydrophobics" in the name because that is exactly what it is. I don't know if you noticed, but we included a 3D print badge people can put on their fridge to show they learned about hydrophobics. I am all for reducing unnecessary entry barriers, but I am going to gamble that hydrophobics isn't too big of a concept to take on for most people. It might help with my new summary and especially, as you suggest, with a video. You brought a lot for me to think about and I really appreciate it! Best wishes!

No worries, if it works, don't touch a thing.

Thanks so much for all your help. We got this project featured in Science and then homepaged to top it off!! I feel like your advice helped us take it to the next level to make that possible, thanks for being so awesome!

I would say it works better now because of your feedback. I'm working on a video. You gave excellent constructive criticism, which is what this thread seems to be about. Greatly appreciated, mate!

dashinggurl21 days ago

i am not getting as many views as i am expecting?

please give your suggestions where i did wrong?

wall hanging pocket vase..that i make.

Hi there dashinggurl ! Here are a few suggestions for your hanging vase Instructable :

- double check your spelling - there are a few spelling mistakes here and there through your tutorial ;

- retitle Step 1 - the title you chose for it would fit your Instructable better than for this specific step. Perhaps you could call it "Materials" or "Things you'll need" ;

- use a bullet list in step 1 instead of a numbered list - bullet lists make more sense when you're just listing things in no particular order, such as materials for a project. You can use numbered lists for lists of things to do in a specific step instead ;

- split Step 2 in 2 parts - you could then explain more into details how to make the whole structure and how to decorate it ;

- use picture annotations - you took a lot of pictures for your Instructables, so make the most of it ! Use the annotation function to highlight what you're doing in the picture ;

- link to more flower types - you could look around for other tissue paper flowers around Instructables (perhaps even those you might make in the future) and link to them from your wall-hanging vase Instructable.

I hope this helps, and good luck for your next Instructables !


Pleasure to help, have a good day !

You have comment number #1000 on the clinic!

:D Next up, first comment over #9000 ! Thanks for the heads-up.

joachimba24 days ago

Could someone have a look at my instructable? I might be able to take new photos of the finished project, but not the process unfortunately...


You could change the title to Custom Boat Cabinet. I guess the thing that is missing is seeing the refrigerator. Is there ventilation for the compressor, is it a special kind of refrigerator for marine/mobile camper use? The table top hinges open? You could lay out a few charts to make the picture more interesting. You might want to take a longer shot of the boat interior as I couldn't picture where you had to shoehorn in the cabinet as you described the ladder but it doesn't look like an access hatch next to the spot where the cabinet is placed. More familiar woodworking terms in English are sheets or cuts of plywood. The rod would be a moulding or trim strip. Good luck.

Thank you. I have done some modifications and will probably do some more. Your input is highly appreciated!

M3G25 days ago

Hey instructables! I've been going through some of my old posts trying to improve the writing and such. Any suggestions for this instructable? Thanks!

Wired_Mist M3G22 days ago

I Would suggest a different background. If you want to showcase your piece, It needs a different material in the background then the piece it's self. Personally I like white office paper. as per writing, mabye some filler before you go to point form? Hope it Helps!

M3G Wired_Mist22 days ago
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll get to work.
vsiderskiy27 days ago

Hello Clinic volunteers,

Thank you in advanced for taking a look at my Instructable, I would like to do what ever is necessary to make it better.

When making my Instructable my main priority was to make the project reproducible, adding as many photos and details as possible. I believe in holding a certain amount of responsibility to guiding my readers properly in to a feasible project. Now I would love for someone to take a fresh look. Maybe some steps should turn to videos (like step 6 which is mostly about cutting wire). Also I have a step that maybe has too many photos (like step 4). Or maybe I can just add something to make everything more appealing.



I think it is great.
Maybe to satisfy Brooklyntonia you could mention using Chua systems for cryptography like you do on your site.
Chaotic attractors are a small niche on the internet. But cryptography will likely have far more attention.

Thanks. I added the two paragraphs I have on my site.

The most important thing it's missing IMO is...

What is a chaos circuit, and why would I want to make one?

This info would be very helpful in your info step.

Thank You. I added a bit more information without going into too much detail.

Hi . Good day . can I please ask for help . can u help me explain how clap switch using a BC547 works? please . thanks

You really need to start a fresh topic in the Tech forum for that - click the link below:

ThisIsSteve1 month ago

Still need some help with this


Hello ThisIsSteve :)

It's been some time since you posted, so I hope this'll still be relevant advice you're looking for. Here are a few suggestions :

- check for spelling and typography : there are a few mistakes here and there through the text (for example, arduino/Arduino, led/LEDs, etc.) ;

- check your links : for example in Step 2 : Setting up the core, a link is missing for the Tinker app download and the link to the Spark Store doesn't seem to work ;

- add more details : for example, you could expand the whole section about pairing with the Spark Core for a step-by-step explanation, as well as add picture(s) for the various states of the Spark Core (or link to a tutorial about that process) ;

- use the code format for code : in Step 3 - Blinking LED time, you could use the code formatting option from the editor menu to separate it from the rest of the text.

- lead your readers on to a follow-up : in Step 4 - Flashing, you mention moving on with your next tutorial, but don't provide a link. Adding it would help your readers naturally follow up on what you taught in this Instructable. You also mentioned you and your friends decided to write your own instructables together : you could add links to these as well ;

- give more context : you could add links to explain what you exactly mean by Build Night Program, as well as links to the official website for Spark Core and links to beginner tutorials or community forums where you readers might find help troubleshooting their issues. Besides, a big share of working with open-source platforms is to join the corresponding communities ;

It's nice to have Instructables about new development/hobbyist platforms, and congratulations on you and your friends on writing instructables for the community at large. Let me know if this helped !

Hi . Good day . can I please ask for help . can u help me explain how clap switch using a BC547 works? please . thanks

shazni28 days ago

I'm so confused as to why this is not featured.

My ballerina was not homepage material , it this not homepage and featured material too? please let me know where I am giong wrong


Wow, this is a lovely project shazni ! I don't know the first thing about quilling, but that certainly makes me want to give it a shot at some point.

Now for a few suggestions :

- check your links : the link to basic quilling shapes you provided in your intro doesn't seem to work

- use bullet lists for your list of materials to help readability

- provide links to quilling board templates, where to download a template to make one yourself or suggest stores where they can be found

- check your titles : Step 3 has no title !

- explain quilling more : if this was someone's first contact with quilling, and because it's such a beautiful project, you'd want them to be able to find all the information they need to make the project. Barring that, you can link to another Instructable about the basics of quilling ?

I hope this helps - let me know what you think !

Thanks for your input ! I think those are all wonderfully useful suggestions and made due changes as per your suggestions .

Yes, I must put another tutorial on all the shapes that can be made. The one I linked to is not so clear and it's not the total of all basic shapes. So stay tuned for that tutorial ;-)

I hope you get into paper quilling it's a wonderful craft and very inexpensive too. You can basically start with the stuff you have on hand.

Last year I put up many paper qulling tutorials in the hope of winning a cricut machine (which I didn't win. I hope I have better luck this time!! pray pray pray) Check them out and try it :-)

Hi shazni,

You're welcome ! Good luck with your future entries into Instructables contests, and I'm definitely looking forward to your next tutorials on quilling - especially the beginner level ones. See you around !

Nawaz28 days ago

Any pointers as to why my instructable was not featured? What did I miss and how could I have made it better?


Instructables get featured for all sorts of reasons, not always beause they are good or complete.

As many will say: A catching front pic is often enough to get featured.

Check some features 'ibles and you see what I mean ;)

So don't worry too much if you won't get featured for this one - I quite like it!

Hey Downunder35m,

Thank you for your kind words. Actually it's not about getting featured or not. But as you know, there are some requirements you need to get featured which includes proper documentation with adequate pictures.

Whenever I plan to post something, the main goal is to make sure anyone can understand it. So naturally, when my instructable was not featured the first thing that came to mind was something is missing there. Which is why I wanted feedback from others.

Also, since this instrucable is a fix and not a build, the front picture is limited to showing what the problem is.

But as you said, instructables get featured for all sorts of reasons and not always because they are good or complete.

Kind Regards,


Deslivres Nawaz27 days ago

Hi Nawaz :)

First off, congratulations on writing that Instructable : it is very detailed and very thorough, for a very technical problem.

Now for some suggestions that could help make it better (an Instructable is never really finished !) :

- spelling ad grammar : there are a few spelling and grammatical mistakes through your Instructable (for example, your first step spells "Tool required" when it should be plural ;

- use the appropriate lists : bullet lists for lists of items, and numbered lists for steps to follow : in "Step 3 : Disassembling the phone" you use numbered lists for boths, which (I think) can hurt readability.

- use bold text for important points : for example, you highlighted how you tested the power connection without the battery in Step 3 part 6, but you didn't use it to highlight the important elements of each step, which could help readability a lot.

- provide component references and suppliers : if possible, share some product IDs with your readers to make it easier to order what they need, and even better, provide links to suppliers catalogues. Extra points for pointing to suppliers that will ship internationally !

I hope this helps, let me know what you think. Keep up the great work, and here's to a new year full of projects for you !

Nawaz Deslivres27 days ago

Hello Deslivres,

Thank you for taking the time to go through my intructable and for your suggestions.

I already made some changes, especially for the bullets and numbering. Am pretty sure there must be other spelling and grammar mistakes to be corrected.

Kind Regards,


Deslivres Nawaz27 days ago

Hi Nawaz,

Pleasure to be of help. See you around !

(Leave it to me to make typos in the section of a comment dedicated to spelling and grammar... :p)

Olike1 month ago

Hey, I've got this instructable and I think it's a quit good idea but it didn't get featured. Some help maybe :) ? Thanks

1. Yup, "The Clinic" is the right place to come to get your swinging balls checked out.

2. It is a good ible but it is hard to tell what is on the minds of the featuring powers that be. Don't worry, ibles can be featured later on, maybe this might be more popular when we have warmer weather here or outdoor activities.

Olike Olike1 month ago

I've added some better pictures :)


Hello everyone! I came up with this new i'ble,

Its a very unique idea, and I have documented it extensively. It got featured, but isn't getting as many views I expected, and isn't on the home page.

Can anyone tell me what's missing?!

It's the holidays so many readers are not ible'ing. I think they may have done something with the homepage featuring/display and gone back to the channel/category featuring thing. Don't worry, views should catch up once people get back to things.

nancyjohns29 days ago

I want to keep making instructables that use my dad's SECRET family recipe:(

But I don't want to disclose the information, but the recipe isn't the same....Because I can make cinnamon rolls, pretzels, bread, etc. Is there some way I can do this without using the recipe? I think it's nice to keep it a secret so no one else can make it like my family and I do.

Half the fun of cooking is reverse engineering a dish that you do not know what the secret ingredient is, special technique or tools used to make it. I would do the ible and just say there are additional secret ingredients or whatever. Actually title your ible SECRET FAMILY RECIPE BREAD, it should pique the interest of the readers.

JM19991 month ago
Could I please have some help on the linked 'ible?

I have done it fairly well, it has been entered in 3 contests so it has been reviewed.

Thanks in advance, JM1999

JM1999 JM19991 month ago


HowToLou1 month ago

Hi - This video instructable was just published at Hackaday and is getting over 100 views per hour. I think it is very clear and teaches people how to build a $700 laser hat for $60. I have posted 100+ instructables, and a few have been featured. I don't expect most of them to be featured, but I thought this one was pretty useful.

Any thoughts? Thank You.

JM1999 HowToLou1 month ago

Is it your video?

If not it can't get featured.

If it is your video I think you should do a better write-up on it and go from there.

HowToLou JM19991 month ago
It is my video.
JM1999 HowToLou1 month ago

Cool, well I don't know much about video 'ibles but the least I can say is give it a bigger write-up and see what happens.

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