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Suggestions for Hardware/Software?

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  • planner@frontiernet.net
    I m looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 12, 2013
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      I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

      Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

      Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?
    • Ron Sparks
      I ve never used iTunes, so I don t know how difficult it is. Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper -
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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        I've never used iTunes, so I don't know how difficult it is.

        Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper - http://www.downloadhelper.net/ - it can be configured to download many types of media files quickly and easily from standard web page links.

         

        Have you considered using a Linux based system?

         

        There are a large number of programs available which can be used for downloading, cleaning up sound, editing tags, etc available.

         

        If you are comfortable with installing a new operating system, it may be a good choice. If you have an older machine that is running slow and want to restore it to something more useful, you may want to consider this.

         

        Linux is available in several variations, known as 'Distributions'. Two popular ones for new Linux users are Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

         

        Here's a link to an article comparing them:

        http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

        Note that I do not recommend experimenting with Linux on a machine you are currently using every day and that is running well unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

         

        Installing a new operating system over Windows can be very tricky and is usually not undoable. Some have had good success with dual-boot (Windows and Linux on one machine), but I've found it to be tricky to configure so everything works well. This is particularly important with newer Windows 8 machines. There have been a number of problems with installing Linux on machines with Secure Boot.

         

        If you have any doubts about it, DO NOT INSTALL LINUX until you are sure.

        There are LiveCDs available which you can use to see if you like the Linux experience. You download the iso file, burn a bootable CD and boot the computer from the CD, with out using your current operating system.

         

        As always, before doing any major changes to your computer, DO A GOOD BACKUP of all your data files to some place other than the internal hard drive. Installing a new operating system will mean reconfiguring your hard drive and will probably result in loss of any files on it.

         

        There are many web pages available to help if you decide this is an option to explore.

         

        Hope this gives you another option to consider and allows you to rejuvenate an old, unloved machine.

         

        Ron Sparks

        Gloversville, NY

         


        On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:06:03 PM you wrote:

         

        I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

        Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

        Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?

         

      • Paul
        Just to add to Ron s point about Linux (indirectly). My wife s laptop went pear-shaped a while back and out of urgent need I installed Ubuntu on her machine
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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          Just to add to Ron's point about Linux (indirectly). My wife's laptop went pear-shaped a while back and out of urgent need I installed Ubuntu on her machine just until I could figure out a better fix. Well that was almost 6 months ago and she hasn't complained once and hasn't had to ask me but twice to fix anything on her computer. My wife isn't a tech head in the slightest.
           
          It may seem very daunting to start with Linux (I was worried) but to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I need certain programmes, I too would make the switch full time.
           
          Paul
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:47 PM
          Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?

          I've never used iTunes, so I don't know how difficult it is.

          Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper - http://www.downloadhelper.net/ - it can be configured to download many types of media files quickly and easily from standard web page links.

           

          Have you considered using a Linux based system?

           

          There are a large number of programs available which can be used for downloading, cleaning up sound, editing tags, etc available.

           

          If you are comfortable with installing a new operating system, it may be a good choice. If you have an older machine that is running slow and want to restore it to something more useful, you may want to consider this.

           

          Linux is available in several variations, known as 'Distributions'. Two popular ones for new Linux users are Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

           

          Here's a link to an article comparing them:

          http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

          Note that I do not recommend experimenting with Linux on a machine you are currently using every day and that is running well unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

           

          Installing a new operating system over Windows can be very tricky and is usually not undoable. Some have had good success with dual-boot (Windows and Linux on one machine), but I've found it to be tricky to configure so everything works well. This is particularly important with newer Windows 8 machines. There have been a number of problems with installing Linux on machines with Secure Boot.

           

          If you have any doubts about it, DO NOT INSTALL LINUX until you are sure.

          There are LiveCDs available which you can use to see if you like the Linux experience. You download the iso file, burn a bootable CD and boot the computer from the CD, with out using your current operating system.

           

          As always, before doing any major changes to your computer, DO A GOOD BACKUP of all your data files to some place other than the internal hard drive. Installing a new operating system will mean reconfiguring your hard drive and will probably result in loss of any files on it.

           

          There are many web pages available to help if you decide this is an option to explore.

           

          Hope this gives you another option to consider and allows you to rejuvenate an old, unloved machine.

           

          Ron Sparks

          Gloversville, NY

           


          On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:06:03 PM you wrote:

          I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

          Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

          Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?

           

        • Ron Sparks
          Paul, Have you checked the Wine website http://appdb.winehq.org/[1] to see if your needed programs can run under Wine? Also, many programs are available to
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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            Paul,

            Have you checked the Wine website http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see if your needed programs can run under Wine?

             

            Also, many programs are available to do the same job as their Windows based counter part. Check the list:

            http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Linux_software_equivalent_to_Windows_software

            for some ideas.

             

            Ron Sparks

            Gloversville, NY

            On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 03:55:30 PM you wrote:

             

            Just to add to Ron's point about Linux (indirectly). My wife's laptop went pear-shaped a while back and out of urgent need I installed Ubuntu on her machine just until I could figure out a better fix. Well that was almost 6 months ago and she hasn't complained once and hasn't had to ask me but twice to fix anything on her computer. My wife isn't a tech head in the slightest.

             

            It may seem very daunting to start with Linux (I was worried) but to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I need certain programmes, I too would make the switch full time.

             

            Paul

            ----- Original Message -----

            From: Ron Sparks

            To: oldradioshowsonmp3@yahoogroups.com

            Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:47 PM

            Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?


            I've never used iTunes, so I don't know how difficult it is.

            Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper - http://www.downloadhelper.net/ - it can be configured to download many types of media files quickly and easily from standard web page links.

             

            Have you considered using a Linux based system?

             

            There are a large number of programs available which can be used for downloading, cleaning up sound, editing tags, etc available.

             

            If you are comfortable with installing a new operating system, it may be a good choice. If you have an older machine that is running slow and want to restore it to something more useful, you may want to consider this.

             

            Linux is available in several variations, known as 'Distributions'. Two popular ones for new Linux users are Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

             

            Here's a link to an article comparing them:

            http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

            Note that I do not recommend experimenting with Linux on a machine you are currently using every day and that is running well unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

             

            Installing a new operating system over Windows can be very tricky and is usually not undoable. Some have had good success with dual-boot (Windows and Linux on one machine), but I've found it to be tricky to configure so everything works well. This is particularly important with newer Windows 8 machines. There have been a number of problems with installing Linux on machines with Secure Boot.

             

            If you have any doubts about it, DO NOT INSTALL LINUX until you are sure.

            There are LiveCDs available which you can use to see if you like the Linux experience. You download the iso file, burn a bootable CD and boot the computer from the CD, with out using your current operating system.

             

            As always, before doing any major changes to your computer, DO A GOOD BACKUP of all your data files to some place other than the internal hard drive. Installing a new operating system will mean reconfiguring your hard drive and will probably result in loss of any files on it.

             

            There are many web pages available to help if you decide this is an option to explore.

             

            Hope this gives you another option to consider and allows you to rejuvenate an old, unloved machine.

             

            Ron Sparks

            Gloversville, NY

             


            On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:06:03 PM you wrote:

            I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

            Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

            Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?

             



          • Paul
            Ron, My mind is blown. I had no idea about Wine at all. Within 5 minutes I found that it will let me use iTunes (which is the main programme I was concerned
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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              Ron,
               
              My mind is blown.
               
              I had no idea about Wine at all. Within 5 minutes I found that it will let me use iTunes (which is the main programme I was concerned about) this could be a big influence.
               
              Thanks for the heads up.
               
              Paul
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:08 PM
              Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?

              Paul,

              Have you checked the Wine website http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see if your needed programs can run under Wine?

               

              Also, many programs are available to do the same job as their Windows based counter part. Check the list:

              http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Linux_software_equivalent_to_Windows_software

              for some ideas.

               

              Ron Sparks

              Gloversville, NY

              On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 03:55:30 PM you wrote:

              Just to add to Ron's point about Linux (indirectly). My wife's laptop went pear-shaped a while back and out of urgent need I installed Ubuntu on her machine just until I could figure out a better fix. Well that was almost 6 months ago and she hasn't complained once and hasn't had to ask me but twice to fix anything on her computer. My wife isn't a tech head in the slightest.

               

              It may seem very daunting to start with Linux (I was worried) but to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I need certain programmes, I too would make the switch full time.

               

              Paul

              ----- Original Message -----

              From: Ron Sparks

              To: oldradioshowsonmp3@yahoogroups.com

              Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:47 PM

              Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?


              I've never used iTunes, so I don't know how difficult it is.

              Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper - http://www.downloadhelper.net/ - it can be configured to download many types of media files quickly and easily from standard web page links.

              Have you considered using a Linux based system?

              There are a large number of programs available which can be used for downloading, cleaning up sound, editing tags, etc available.

              If you are comfortable with installing a new operating system, it may be a good choice. If you have an older machine that is running slow and want to restore it to something more useful, you may want to consider this.

              Linux is available in several variations, known as 'Distributions'. Two popular ones for new Linux users are Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

              Here's a link to an article comparing them:

              http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

              Note that I do not recommend experimenting with Linux on a machine you are currently using every day and that is running well unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

              Installing a new operating system over Windows can be very tricky and is usually not undoable. Some have had good success with dual-boot (Windows and Linux on one machine), but I've found it to be tricky to configure so everything works well. This is particularly important with newer Windows 8 machines. There have been a number of problems with installing Linux on machines with Secure Boot.

              If you have any doubts about it, DO NOT INSTALL LINUX until you are sure.

              There are LiveCDs available which you can use to see if you like the Linux experience. You download the iso file, burn a bootable CD and boot the computer from the CD, with out using your current operating system.

              As always, before doing any major changes to your computer, DO A GOOD BACKUP of all your data files to some place other than the internal hard drive. Installing a new operating system will mean reconfiguring your hard drive and will probably result in loss of any files on it.

              There are many web pages available to help if you decide this is an option to explore.

              Hope this gives you another option to consider and allows you to rejuvenate an old, unloved machine.

              Ron Sparks

              Gloversville, NY


              On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:06:03 PM you wrote:

              I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

              Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

              Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?



            • Ron Sparks
              Paul, You re welcome. I ve been using Linux from various distributions for about 7 years now. There are very few things I normally do that require a Windows
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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                Paul,

                You're welcome.

                I've been using Linux from various distributions for about 7 years now.

                There are very few things I normally do that require a Windows program.

                One of the few programs I use Windows for is the OTTER database program from the OTRR group. I do have a new laptop with Windows 8 on it just for using the software. (Yep, that's my reason for buying a new machine this year and I'm sticking to it) OTTER will run under Wine, but it's difficult to configure it so it works well if you're not familiar with Wine.

                 

                 

                I use Audacity, ffmpeg, and sox for cleaning up the audio and EasyTag for the tags on OTR shows that I load on my mp3 player to play in the truck when I am working. I use Dolphin for a file manager which lets me plug my mp3 player in a USB port and just drag and drop the shows I want to load up, and remove the ones I've listened to.

                 

                 

                There are good alternatives to Microsoft Office, I use Kontact for email, RSS feeds and usenet. Mozilla makes Firefox as a web browser and Thunderbird as an email client, too. I use LibreOffice for word processing and spread sheets. A note of caution, however, sometimes LibreOffice and Microsoft Word and Excel do not always play well together if you need to share documents with Microsoft users.

                 

                Ron Sparks

                Gloversville, NY


                On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 04:21:52 PM Paul wrote:

                 

                

                Ron,

                 

                My mind is blown.

                 

                I had no idea about Wine at all. Within 5 minutes I found that it will let me use iTunes (which is the main programme I was concerned about) this could be a big influence.

                 

                Thanks for the heads up.

                 

                Paul

                ----- Original Message -----

                From: Ron Sparks

                To: oldradioshowsonmp3@yahoogroups.com

                Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:08 PM

                Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?


                Paul,

                Have you checked the Wine website http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see if your needed programs can run under Wine?

                 

                Also, many programs are available to do the same job as their Windows based counter part. Check the list:

                http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Linux_software_equivalent_to_Windows_software

                for some ideas.

                 

                Ron Sparks

                Gloversville, NY

                On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 03:55:30 PM you wrote:

                Just to add to Ron's point about Linux (indirectly). My wife's laptop went pear-shaped a while back and out of urgent need I installed Ubuntu on her machine just until I could figure out a better fix. Well that was almost 6 months ago and she hasn't complained once and hasn't had to ask me but twice to fix anything on her computer. My wife isn't a tech head in the slightest.

                 

                It may seem very daunting to start with Linux (I was worried) but to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I need certain programmes, I too would make the switch full time.

                 

                Paul

                ----- Original Message -----

                From: Ron Sparks

                To: oldradioshowsonmp3@yahoogroups.com

                Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:47 PM

                Subject: Re: [OTRMP3] Suggestions for Hardware/Software?


                I've never used iTunes, so I don't know how difficult it is.

                Do you use Firefox for a web browser? If so, try installing DownloadHelper - http://www.downloadhelper.net/ - it can be configured to download many types of media files quickly and easily from standard web page links.

                Have you considered using a Linux based system?

                There are a large number of programs available which can be used for downloading, cleaning up sound, editing tags, etc available.

                If you are comfortable with installing a new operating system, it may be a good choice. If you have an older machine that is running slow and want to restore it to something more useful, you may want to consider this.

                Linux is available in several variations, known as 'Distributions'. Two popular ones for new Linux users are Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

                Here's a link to an article comparing them:

                http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

                Note that I do not recommend experimenting with Linux on a machine you are currently using every day and that is running well unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

                Installing a new operating system over Windows can be very tricky and is usually not undoable. Some have had good success with dual-boot (Windows and Linux on one machine), but I've found it to be tricky to configure so everything works well. This is particularly important with newer Windows 8 machines. There have been a number of problems with installing Linux on machines with Secure Boot.

                If you have any doubts about it, DO NOT INSTALL LINUX until you are sure.

                There are LiveCDs available which you can use to see if you like the Linux experience. You download the iso file, burn a bootable CD and boot the computer from the CD, with out using your current operating system.

                As always, before doing any major changes to your computer, DO A GOOD BACKUP of all your data files to some place other than the internal hard drive. Installing a new operating system will mean reconfiguring your hard drive and will probably result in loss of any files on it.

                There are many web pages available to help if you decide this is an option to explore.

                Hope this gives you another option to consider and allows you to rejuvenate an old, unloved machine.

                Ron Sparks

                Gloversville, NY


                On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:06:03 PM you wrote:

                I'm looking for a good hardware/software combination for OTR content. The ideal system would let me download mp3 files, select the ones I want into groups (podcasts) and sync them with a portable device, preferably with a cable connection.

                Itunes just doesn't cut it. Even when it was only moderately difficult (before they disabled Apache Server) it was a pain.

                Windows or OS X, IOS, Android or whatever, it doesn't matter. Any suggestions?





              • Michael
                @ Ron: You said: I use Audacity, ffmpeg, and sox for cleaning up the audio and EasyTag for the tags on OTR shows that I load on my mp3 player to play in the
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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                  @ Ron:

                  You said: "I use Audacity, ffmpeg, and sox for cleaning up the audio and EasyTag for the tags on OTR shows that I load on my mp3 player to play in the truck when I am working. I use Dolphin for a file manager which lets me plug my mp3 player in a USB port and just drag and drop the shows I want to load up, and remove the ones I've listened to."

                  These programs sound like ones I would like to try.

                  My concerns:

                  I am using a pretty old (5-6 years old) Windows XP machine. Would these work okay on it (as far as you can tell)?

                  Are they free or low cost programs?

                  Are they newbie-friendly?

                  Thanks.

                  Mike
                • Ron Sparks
                  Mike, Yes these programs are all available free for most versions of Linux. They are FOSS (Free Open Source Software) and the Audacity, ffmpeg and sox are all
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 18, 2013
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                    Mike,

                    Yes these programs are all available free for most versions of Linux. They are FOSS (Free Open Source Software) and the Audacity, ffmpeg and sox are all available for both Windows and Linux.

                     

                    EasyTag and Dolphin are Linux programs and don't have a Windows version IIRC.

                     

                    One nice thing about Linux is that it is available for many versions of hardware, including older Windows XP machines. It is a great way of recycling these machines which have no hardware problems, but run slow or are have operating systems which are no longer supported. A new operating system restores these older machines to the original speed - sometimes seeming faster than they did with Windows. If you are not going to be using Windows on the machine or it fouled up to the point it can't be recovered, it is usually best to let the installation routine use the entire hard-drive for Linux.

                     

                    Linux distributions are Free - as in Free Beer. You should never have to pay for a Linux operating system. The software is usually downloaded from the home page of the distribution as an iso file then burned to a disk. You may buy distribution disks if you can't download it some other way. In that case you will pay a small fee for the disc and shipping and handling.

                     

                    The software that runs on the system is also Free. There is no shareware, spyware, cracks etc. You are encouraged to donate to the developers if you feel so inclined, but it does not 'open up' any new features on the programs.

                     

                    Software availablility varies from distribution to distribution. Using a 'mainstream' distribution such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, etc are well supported by many useful and some pretty exotic programs.

                    Most Linux distributions are available for both 32 and 64 bit machines. The 'i586' version is 32 bit and will run on any machine while the 'x86_64' is for newer, 64 bit machines. I am currently running a 64 bit version of Fedora on one of my older dual-core machines. I use it as a torrent seeder for various linux distributions and to process some OTR files using Audacity to clean up some files with out tying up my newer quad core machines. I've used old, single core pentium class machines with Linux with very acceptable results.

                     

                    Since most users are really only interested in browsing the web or some light word processing, there is no need to have a really heavy-duty processor if the operating system is not all clogged up with anti-spyware, anti-virus, etc monitors. Yes, you read that right - there is usually no need to have something like McAfee or Norton running. The way Linux permissions work, a normal user cannot do any harm to the system. The permissions for user 'root' are like System Administrators in Windows and all other users have restricted permissions for things like installing and removing software so getting a virus to infect a machine is not very likely.

                     

                    Remember "Google is your friend". You can find a lot of information about various flavors of Linux on the web.

                     

                    Repeating my link from earlier, here's a comparison of two popular distributions for new Linux users.

                     

                    http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners

                     

                    I've never used either one as they weren't available when I started using Linux and I've grown fond of the Mageia 3 I currently on use on my main machine and the Fedora I have on my server machine.

                     

                    Good luck on whatever you decide.

                     

                    Ron Sparks

                    Gloversville, NY

                    Registered Linux user #425339 since August 2006

                     


                    On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 03:59:52 AM you wrote:

                     

                    @ Ron:

                    You said: "I use Audacity, ffmpeg, and sox for cleaning up the audio and EasyTag for the tags on OTR shows that I load on my mp3 player to play in the truck when I am working. I use Dolphin for a file manager which lets me plug my mp3 player in a USB port and just drag and drop the shows I want to load up, and remove the ones I've listened to."

                    These programs sound like ones I would like to try.

                    My concerns:

                    I am using a pretty old (5-6 years old) Windows XP machine. Would these work okay on it (as far as you can tell)?

                    Are they free or low cost programs?

                    Are they newbie-friendly?

                    Thanks.

                    Mike



                  • Michael
                    Thanks, Ron.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 20, 2013
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                      Thanks, Ron.
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.