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120HZ Monitor, will it help with eye strain?

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November 14, 2009 10:03:38 AM

Will a true 120hz monitor,like the Samsung unit for 3D help with eye strain? Thanks for your help.
November 14, 2009 2:15:12 PM

Eye strain caused by flickering was a problem for CRT monitors not LCD because they do not "refresh" like CRT monitors. So... no.
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November 15, 2009 2:37:57 AM

^Yeah, in a CRT, it actually flickers which hurt the eyes but LCD's don't have that problem a 60hz will be fine.
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a b C Monitor
November 15, 2009 3:23:14 AM

Disagree, 120hz monitors will make your LCD "feel" like a crt because everything move more fluidy.......... mouse, graphics in some games, etc. Will help kill some of the lag/ghosting/.... don't know the right terminology, but 60hz monitors seem to not display the graphics quick enough and cause some kind of fuzziness..??? because the 60rate can't give it to you fast enough.............Anybody know WTF I'm talking about that could explain it better...???? PLEASE! You gotta make your video card do it though ( 120Hz refresh rate )
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November 15, 2009 7:23:21 AM

Ghosting is caused by response time, if its slow like 8ms or more then you get it, but anything below 8ms usually doesn't have it. And on an LCD screen i'd really like to see you notice a difference between 60 and 120hz refresh rates...and the lag you are talking about is just a low fps.
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November 15, 2009 8:26:17 AM

+1 60Hz for LCD is fine becasue it is always lit, only changes pixel color when refresh, it does not turn it off. On crt's there is one beam that scans the screen and lits pixels one by one, by the time it returns to the same pixel it has faded to dark. Check the photos taken of crt's You will see black lines on them where the pixels has faded out. On LCD photos You will see full screen because it is always lit and just changes pixel color /brightness when refreshed. I can see CRT's flicker at 60Hz but most of the people cannot see it. I need at least 70Hz for CRT but LCD is just fine at 60Hz.

Eye strain is caused also by other factors not only by flicker. Because You are looking at the same distance all the time eyes are remain focused at the same distance and does not get exercise.

Other one is That if You are concentrating hard on what is going on screen You blink less frequent. Blinking cleans eye surface, applies moisture and makes eye to refocus giving it some exercise.

Or maybe You are just sitting too close to the screen.

Take frequent barkes, give eyes some workut looking at objects at different distances, sit further from screen.
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a b C Monitor
November 15, 2009 9:33:52 AM

have you seen an optician?
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November 15, 2009 9:46:45 AM

Thanks for the information!!!!
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November 15, 2009 11:07:01 AM

A small thing to add, if you have a TFT screen, make sure you are connected via a digital source (ie DVI or HDMI) - I find that when you have an analogue signal you still get some sort of refresh shimmer that does give me eye strain, but it's all fixed with a true digital source signal.
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November 15, 2009 11:29:23 AM

Thanks again
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November 17, 2009 7:54:29 PM

I've had eye strain problems for years with computer monitors. It is not an issue of focusing too close. I don't know exactly what the problem is. I do know that if you monitor can't display a certain color it will quickly flash between two similar colors to give your brain the illusion that you're seeing the correct color. This could be the problem. Also the type of backlight could be the problem. My eyes seem equally bothered by both fluorescent or led backlighting.

Actually even if I look super close to my monitor, just a few inches away at a white area there is a sort of buzzing going on. My eyes are bothered much more by lots of white space on the monitor which is how most websites are designed. On my PC I went into preferences and changed all my white backgrounds to gray. This has helped a bit. My eyes down burn as much. I have a feeling a higher refresh rate will actually help.
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November 17, 2009 8:28:48 PM

^No...higher refresh rate only helps on crt monitors, you need to understand how the different monitors work. Refresh rate has nothing to do with it. In a crt screen, there is an electron beam projector that shoots electrons at a phosphorus material with color on the actual screen. The electron beam can only do a certain if not 1 pixel at a time. Therefore to display an entire screen, the tiny beam projector must rotate and turn to get the beam aimed exactly at the amount of pixels the TV is, so lets say the TV shows 1080p. This means that the crt monitor has 1920x1080=approximatly 2,000,000 pixels (if i did my math correctly). It needs to send a certain beam at a certain pixel 2 million times in a fraction of a second to refresh the screen. Now the flickering part comes in when, the beam projector has passed the pixel and goes to new ones, the ones it passed already turn off and must wait for the next round of electron beams to come along witht the appropriate command and thats why the screen flickers many times a second. The faster the beam projector is, the less flickering cause it canr refresh is many more times. Thats why CRT monitors can cause eye strain and brain aches. LCD's do not have this problem, the technology is much different, in an LCD, it has a backlight which is always on, it never flickers, the only thing that changes is the liquid crystals which shift colors. Thats why LCD's dont cause eye strain or seizures since there is no flashing. The refresh rate really doesn't matter. You wont notice, rather the response time is what matters because thats how fast the crystals can change color but either way none of those should be causing any kind of eye or brain strain. :) 
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November 17, 2009 8:45:11 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
^No...higher refresh rate only helps on crt monitors, you need to understand how the different monitors work. Refresh rate has nothing to do with it. In a crt screen, there is an electron beam projector that shoots electrons at a phosphorus material with color on the actual screen. The electron beam can only do a certain if not 1 pixel at a time. Therefore to display an entire screen, the tiny beam projector must rotate and turn to get the beam aimed exactly at the amount of pixels the TV is, so lets say the TV shows 1080p. This means that the crt monitor has 1920x1080=approximatly 2,000,000 pixels (if i did my math correctly). It needs to send a certain beam at a certain pixel 2 million times in a fraction of a second to refresh the screen. Now the flickering part comes in when, the beam projector has passed the pixel and goes to new ones, the ones it passed already turn off and must wait for the next round of electron beams to come along witht the appropriate command and thats why the screen flickers many times a second. The faster the beam projector is, the less flickering cause it canr refresh is many more times. Thats why CRT monitors can cause eye strain and brain aches. LCD's do not have this problem, the technology is much different, in an LCD, it has a backlight which is always on, it never flickers, the only thing that changes is the liquid crystals which shift colors. Thats why LCD's dont cause eye strain or seizures since there is no flashing. The refresh rate really doesn't matter. You wont notice, rather the response time is what matters because thats how fast the crystals can change color but either way none of those should be causing any kind of eye or brain strain. :) 


I understand the differences between monitors and I realize that on paper it may seem that there should be no eye strain with an LCD monitor but for some people, like me, there is. This is no doubt not an issue for you. I wish it weren't for me either. I will continue to look for a solution. Ironically a CRT monitor is easier on my eyes.
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November 28, 2009 4:27:15 AM

itsdonny said:
I understand the differences between monitors and I realize that on paper it may seem that there should be no eye strain with an LCD monitor but for some people, like me, there is. This is no doubt not an issue for you. I wish it weren't for me either. I will continue to look for a solution. Ironically a CRT monitor is easier on my eyes.


I was just asked this question by my brother today. His wife gets migraines from fluorescent lighting, and from working at the computer for extended time periods. I was wondering if her head aches from working at their LCD was because it also has a fluorescent back light (As do just about all computer monitors and most laptops).

I was going to try and find an LED back lit monitor, or a 120hz to see if that would help. Anybody know if there are any LED back lit computer monitors yet?
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a b C Monitor
November 28, 2009 4:37:13 AM

There are several. It's mostly in laptops, since it allows for a brighter, lower power screen though.
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November 28, 2009 5:00:49 AM

Yeah there are many LCD backlit monitors coming out now on laptops. Let us know how it goes. My wife has a deal mini 10v that is LED backlit and that irritates my eyes also.

Turning the brightness down seems to be the only thing so far that really makes a difference for me.
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January 2, 2010 7:50:43 AM

LCD monitors refresh by the line, this is why they cause some strain to users at 60hz.

Example here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRidfW_l4vs

120 hz certainly refreshes faster and feels a LOT smoother. Though even 72-75 hz is enough to prevent the strain of 60hz. Don't buy in to the "the human eye can't see past 30, 60, 75, etc hertz" it is blasphemy. These rumors spread from the fact that the BRAIN begins to comprehend motion instead of still pictures at somewhere around 30 frames per second. Numbers like 60, 72, and 75 come from the most current LCD refresh rates. The human eye sees constant, it doesn't refresh. Because of this, if you put a 60hz monitor next to a 120hz monitor with a 120FPS source, you will definitely see a smoother picture on the 120hz monitor.

Your real problem will be obtaining a 120hz source. ;) 
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January 21, 2010 3:44:33 PM

I am also looking to buy a new monitor as my old Sony 24" Widescreen CRT is starting to go slowly. I got my CRT monitor when LCDs were the big thing because of the eyestrain problem with LCD monitors. Trust me, every LCD I have ever seen cannot even compare to the smoothness of my CRT at 120Hz refresh rate. I know everyone says that refresh rate is different on LCD, etc, etc, but after doing some research on the new Samsung 120Hz LCD 3D gaming monitor, I'm convinced that this will probably be my next monitor within the next month or two and it will hopefully be as smooth as my 120Hz CRT.

Here is a link to a review that distinguishes the differences between a standard 60Hz LCD and the Samsung 120Hz LCD:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/monitors/display/samsu...

As you can see in the reviewers illustration, the white blocks on a 120hz lcd are half the size of a 60hz lcd, which would definitely make the picture smoother and less irritable to the eyes.
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a b C Monitor
January 21, 2010 5:19:27 PM

-Gamah said:
LCD monitors refresh by the line, this is why they cause some strain to users at 60hz.

Example here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRidfW_l4vs

120 hz certainly refreshes faster and feels a LOT smoother. Though even 72-75 hz is enough to prevent the strain of 60hz. Don't buy in to the "the human eye can't see past 30, 60, 75, etc hertz" it is blasphemy. These rumors spread from the fact that the BRAIN begins to comprehend motion instead of still pictures at somewhere around 30 frames per second. Numbers like 60, 72, and 75 come from the most current LCD refresh rates. The human eye sees constant, it doesn't refresh. Because of this, if you put a 60hz monitor next to a 120hz monitor with a 120FPS source, you will definitely see a smoother picture on the 120hz monitor.

Your real problem will be obtaining a 120hz source. ;) 

Not true at all. LCDs refresh the entire screen at once. CRT monitors are the ones that refresh on a line-by-line basis, and that slow motion video you linked to is a CRT. That was why CRT monitors caused eye strain and flickering at 60Hz, and also why LCDs do not have such a problem.
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a b Ô Samsung
a c 195 C Monitor
January 21, 2010 5:49:16 PM

enzo matrix said:
Eye strain caused by flickering was a problem for CRT monitors not LCD because they do not "refresh" like CRT monitors. So... no.


Actually, certain LCD monitors do in fact flicker.

TN panel are based upon 6-bit color technology. Basically that means They can only produce 64 shades of Red, Green, Blue which results in a total of 256k possible colors. *VA and IPS panel use 8-bit color technology which means 256 shades of Red, Green, Blue which results in a total of 16.7m possible colors.

TN panels uses temporal dithering (spatial dithering was used in the past) to display colors outside the 256k color range. The pixels basically flashes very quickly between two colors to create a 3rd color.

For example, suppose purple is not one of the 256k a TN panel can display. What the panel will do is flash very quickly between red and blue so that your brain thinks it is seeing solid purple.
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January 21, 2010 7:06:14 PM

maybe certain ones, but all normal LCD's refresh color at once....remember LCD's have a backlight which is always on...just the pixel's color change when needed, LCD's cause absolutly no eye strain from refreshing, maybe your eye strain is from some kind of brightness, contrast, color...etc change.

cr3flo:
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Trust me, every LCD I have ever seen cannot even compare to the smoothness of my CRT at 120Hz refresh rate.


^Maybe you should start looking at real LCD's then, your eye won't tell a difference, what are you saying?...that LCD's are choppy and aren't smooth?, well in that case dozens if not hundreds of million of people would have to disagree.
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a b Ô Samsung
a c 195 C Monitor
January 21, 2010 8:06:27 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
maybe certain ones, but all normal LCD's refresh color at once....just the pixel's color change when needed


All modern TN panels flash between two colors when it attempts to display a color outside of thier 256k color palet, except those using the older spatial dithering technolgy. That represents a signicant number of LCD monitors since *PV and IPS monitors are basically priced at $500+ (with a few exceptions).
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a b C Monitor
January 21, 2010 10:05:59 PM

True, but they do so at extremely high frequency, and not all pixels get brighter at the same time (so the overall monitor brightness stays roughly constant).
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January 24, 2010 4:52:11 PM

At last: someone else out there who is adversely affected by modern LCD displays. Some data points:

1) CRTs below 75Hz give me migraines
2) I can see the difference between a CRT at 75Hz and 85Hz
3) LCD laptops from 1995 to around 2003 were fine - heavy ghosting with movement and you couldn't watch a DVD on them, but no problem for me to look.
4) circa 2003 laptops came out that you could watch a DVD on - except these now cause me migraines.
5) I am using a 4 year old last of the old stock HP NC4200 which still has a usable for me screen.

So it seems like there is some persistence or flicker effect. But most vendors parrot the line about LCDs don't flicker so go away :-(

So - anyone else out there who is sensitive to LCDs had a chance to try a 120Hz monitor ? I'm even thinking of buying one and passing to the kids if I can't use it.

Can anyone confirm they display normal display material (eg, desktop, everything else on the screen) at 120Hz, not just a custom prepared game ?

Or can anyone point me to the *PV or IPS monitors mentioned ? I may try them.

thanks, Keith
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January 30, 2010 10:45:04 PM

2049594,24,554761 said:
At last: someone else out there who is adversely affected by modern LCD displays. Some data points:

1) CRTs below 75Hz give me migraines
2) I can see the difference between a CRT at 75Hz and 85Hz
3) LCD laptops from 1995 to around 2003 were fine - heavy ghosting with movement and you couldn't watch a DVD on them, but no problem for me to look.
4) circa 2003 laptops came out that you could watch a DVD on - except these now cause me migraines.
5) I am using a 4 year old last of the old stock HP NC4200 which still has a usable for me screen.


Kieth,
I have the same problem - that is how I found this thread. I have for the past 15 years not been able to use CRT less than 75mhz and I have used a laptop for the past 8 years and if the refresh on it or the often attached LCD second screen, I get headaches. Actually after about 2 days, I feel like my left eye has been punched.

My problem is I have a new Panasonic toughbook. $3,000 computer and it is only capable of 60hz in any resolution - even external monitor.

I was searching for and external video card and they generally only have 60hz refresh rates also.

Now I see this forum. Of course the new LCD I bought a month ago is the TN type. That may be causing my headaches instead of the refresh- or perhaps both. I don't know.

If anyone has had headaches and soled them with an IPS, please let me know. Here is a good wiki showing the differences. It says some people don't like VA type and it bothers them so I may go and buy an IPS locally and try it out. It will cost at least an extra $100.
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January 31, 2010 12:19:57 PM

I am wondering if the article at http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/monitors/display/lcd-g... maybe explains some of the problem : FRC (Frame Rate Control) done to interpolate from native 6 bit colour depth leading to flickering at 60Hz - but only some of the time, on some images.
I think I am going to invest in one of these IPS screens too, to see what happens
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January 31, 2010 12:49:26 PM

Keith,
I plan on doing the same, please reply with your verdict after you get one.
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February 21, 2010 7:40:03 PM

MPdesign said:
Keith,
I plan on doing the same, please reply with your verdict after you get one.


+1

If anyone who is bothered by most normal LCD screens has solved it with the new 120Hz models (such as the Samsung Syncmaster 2233RZ) please do tell. I also want to know if I should buy one.

Thanks.
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Anonymous
a b Ô Samsung
a b C Monitor
March 25, 2010 2:26:47 PM

I also am bothered by LCD panels. I can't watch any LCD for any length of time before my eyes freak out and I feel nausea and become light sensitive. I tried dimming the panel to no backlite. Still had problems. I bought and returned a Samsung XL2370 LED monitor as it caused the same issues. My eyes have been checked and are fine.

The last thing I didn't consider was the refresh rate of 60 hz. So since I use a CRT at 85hz, I bumped it down to 60 hz. Sure enough my eyes started hurting and I felt nausea. So I think that the 60 hz is the issue that is causing us the pain.

I am now looking for a 120hz monitor to try in Canada. Any suggestions.
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May 2, 2010 12:49:53 AM

2012618,13,515405 said:
I understand the differences between monitors and I realize that on paper it may seem that there should be no eye strain with an LCD monitor but for some people, like me, there is. This is no doubt not an issue for you. I wish it weren't for me either. I will continue to look for a solution. Ironically a CRT monitor is easier on my eyes. Keith, you are not the only one whose eyes are bothered by LCD monitors. Unless my eyes can recover, I will have to start wearing glasses. I am convinced the problem is due to a low refress rate because I first noticed the monitor was hurting my vision by the way my vision was disturbed when I would go into a department store lit by overhead fluorescent lighting. I figured that my eyes had becomes sensitized to the 60 cycles per second flicker of the fluorescent back-light of my lcd monitor, so when my eyes were subjected to more of the same on a large scale in the form of the overhead fluorescent lighting of a store, it bothered them. In researching the problem I found that Microsoft recommended a higher refresh rate to avoid or lessen eye strain. As I recall, their advice was at least 85 cycles per second. I bought a more expensive monitor that enabled me to increase the refresh rate to 85, and that helped, but not enough. So I plan to buy one with a native refresh rate of 100 or 120. The other factor contributing to the problem is, I suspect, based on what others have told me about their vision problems, that the monitor is too close. In the old days when one sat watching t.v., the t.v. was usually on the other side of the room--probably at least 8 feet away, maybe 12 feet or more. In theory it isn't supposed to strain our eyes, but in reality many people find that it does. I think the reason some people find that it strains their eyes and some don't is due to a combination of how good a pair of eyes they were born with together with how old they are and their general health and how much daily abuse they are currently subjecting them to. Watching t.v. for an hour or two after diner is one thing, but spending all day in close up work, reading and writing, whether on paper or on screen is, I think, not something our eyes were designed for, but it is what I do. Maybe when I was younger my eyes could have taken the abuse, but I guess I've been hard on them for decades and they are telling me that enough is enough. So I plan to buy a big 100 0r 120Hz monitor and put it on the wall 8 feet away, and see if that helps. Dave J
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October 20, 2010 6:57:45 PM

Further update, and hopefully some relief to others suffering from migraines with TFT/LCD monitors.

The answer seems to be "IPS" (check Wikipedia) rather than the normal (cheaper) TFTs.
Either current generation IMAC, or for a PC something like the Viewsonic VP2365 (plus many other more expensive variants).

For laptops, they are available as an option on HP Elitebook 8740W - the DreamColour display.

As to why and how, there seem to be 2 theories:
1 - they have 8 bit or 10 bit colur resolutions, while normal TFTs only have 6 bit native colour resolution and hence dither the colours to simulate the windows 8 bit space - and it's this dither that causes flicker.
2 - they are just an optically higher quality display - I used to find aperture grill CRTs were OK while shadow mask CRTs also could cause problems.

So - if you know anyone unable to use a regular TFT display this might just be an answer for them.
Bad news - you will probably have to buy one to find out :-(
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November 16, 2010 9:43:37 PM

ainarssems said:
+1 60Hz for LCD is fine becasue it is always lit, only changes pixel color when refresh, it does not turn it off. On crt's there is one beam that scans the screen and lits pixels one by one, by the time it returns to the same pixel it has faded to dark.



This conversation seems to have missed the central point behind why you would want a 120Hz LCD. The quote above is exactly why we do need higher, true, refresh rates on LCD monitors (as opposed to frame insertion etc.)

The human eye/brain (I will not differentiate what happens where) does not function on draw-and-hold technology of LCD's. This is why there are a group of people out there who claim their experience is 'better' on CRT's, which are instantaneous flashes of images that are not held. If you looked at a 60Hz CRT with a 120 fps camera you would see 60 images and 60 black screens (this is an oversimplification because CRT's are line-by-line, but on average true). Essentially the brain fills in the rest between this instantaneousness flashes, much much more successfully then black frame insertion or interpolated frame insertion has managed.

In fact, the mere existence of these two emerging technologies in the TV world is an acknowledgement to this. Although some might argue it has to do more with the lower frame rate of PAL/NTSC, this is merely the same reason with a lower set of parameters.

LCD's shutter horribly when scrolling text, or in video games, or watching movies because of the draw-and-hold technology they implement. Without hashing through the gory details, your brain gets a little messed up interpreting the motion of an image that is produced through this method. Basically your eye sees an infinite number of 'fps' but you are looking at 60 still images a second held for 16 ms each. This is opposed to say 60 'instantaneous' flashes that a CRT might generate, which mimics how our eyes actually look around and how our brains perceive motion.

Originally LCD's were crap because of ghosting, which was a refresh rate thing. Now we are down to the several ms grey-to-grey flip rate for pixels on your screen, so this is not a problem anymore. A 5 ms event will happen 200 times a second, or 200Hz, if you will. What this does allow us to do is allow us to effectively increase the refresh rate of the draw-hold technology we are dealing with until a point where it no longer appears to be draw-hold to our brains and things can operate smoothly.

This is why we need refresh rates that don't suck! There is lots written about this... feel free to look it up.

If you don't believe me just grab your scroll bar and start scrolling while trying to read this. It shutters to the point you can't read it comfortably. Also, the wheel mouse/down arrow keys don't count cause they aren't continuously scrolling.

Edited for grammar.
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a b C Monitor
November 17, 2010 4:06:23 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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