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Commodore Returns with New Gaming PCs 281

Posted by Hemos
from the everything-old-is-new-again dept.
JamesO writes "Commodore is a name which will bring memories flooding back to many a gamer and it's been announced that the legendary brand is to return with a new range of high specification gaming PCs. The new Commodore PCs optimized for gaming will be launched at the CeBIT show in Germany on March 15 and attendees will be offered the chance to play the latest PC games using the purpose-built PCs."
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Commodore Returns with New Gaming PCs

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  • by Timesprout (579035) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:42AM (#18248856)
    nuff said.
  • by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:43AM (#18248860)
    Are these machines 64bit too?
    It'd be nice bragging rights: I've got Linux/Windows running on a C64!
    • Dangit! I was gonna make that comment...

      I would love to get my new new Core2 Duo Extreme Commadore 64!
    • by oliderid (710055)
      you meant 64KB?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mlk (18543)
      You can get a Unix/Linux [sourceforge.net] a-like for the C64. :)
    • Hell yeah I'd like a Commodore 64(bit)! :^)

      If they're gonna use the Commodore name though, I hope they take it halfway seriously. There should be preinstalled an emulator and as much software as copyright issues allow, to play nice with those of us with nostalgia for the old Commodores.

      More importantly though, it should come with a useful programming language whose learning curve isn't too steep. BASIC has become obsolete, but when I think Commodore, I think typing in code from the back of magazines. Pyt
  • Bit Early? (Score:5, Funny)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:43AM (#18248864)
    It's a bit early for Slashdot to start posting lame April Fool's articles, right?
    • by rhyder128k (1051042) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:19AM (#18249156) Homepage
      Seems like the old ploy of slapping a respected old brand name on some unrelated kit. There is a company selling Acorn branded equipment in much the same manner:

      http://www.drobe.co.uk/riscos/artifact1698.html [drobe.co.uk]

      I won't consider one of these machines to be a true Commodore until they start to do things like:
      Refuse to give the currently running Star Trek series a free machine as a prop forcing paramount to acquire a Mac instead.
      Make a cut-down budget machine that is more expensive to manufacture than the regular machine (a600).

      When I have some *guarantees* that they are running the business into the ground even though they have massive lead over their competitors, then I'll consider this to be a Commodore. And not before!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You'll know this is the real C= when all the engineers quit and they axe development of a really cool machine in favour of a slapped together piece of crap that even the Taiwanese wouldn't ship.

        Yes I am still bitter about the A3000+, A4000 and the post-AGA chipsets, why do you ask? Medhi Ali can...go do something very rude to himself.
  • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:45AM (#18248870)
    My Atari 800 was way cooler than the C64
  • just a hunch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:50AM (#18248906)
    I have a feeling this is doomed to fail. Anyone who is old enough to remember when Commodore was a decent gaming platform has probably grown into the type of person who builds his own machines. And the Amiga users will just sit there reminiscing about the good old days...
    • by slim (1652)

      Anyone who is old enough to remember when Commodore was a decent gaming platform has probably grown into the type of person who builds his own machines.
      Many will have got bored of tweaking and now be happy to buy a prebuilt machine -- sacrificing power and flexibility for convenience.

      You only need to be 30 to remember Commodore with fondness. Whether that fondness will be enough for the brand to sell fairly ordinary PCs is another matter.
      • by Elemenope (905108)

        You only need to be 30 to remember Commodore with fondness.

        Try 25. That's how old I am, and I remember my C64 as the first home PC my family had, till we upgraded to an 8088! I still remember it and its blue 'bootscreen' glow with fondness.

      • another 25er with fond C64 memories...

        I remember when I had that and an Apple IIe... The poor fruit didn't get any attention...

        Also, I build my own computers for the convinience... It's sad, but I find it easier to deal with the merchants and manufacturers of components when something goes wrong, than to deal with the tech support of most pre-builts. I get faster results too.
      • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:39AM (#18249342)
        Many will have got bored of tweaking and now be happy to buy a prebuilt machine

        You're right about that. There are so many different bus speeds, and CPU types, and memory types, and chipsets, and video cards, and so on and so on... Who wants to keep track of all that shit and build their own computer nowadays just to save $100? It used to be fun back in the day, but nowadays I just feel like, "Sheesh. Just give me something that works already so I can get back to re-drywalling my stupid living room..."
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        I'm 26 with very fond memories of being snowed in and playing Skyfox and a few others.
    • Re:just a hunch (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rucs_hack (784150) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:04AM (#18249034)
      I was going to argue with you.

      However, I'm 40, and every machine I own (ten atm) is home built.

      I guess you're right then.....
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mlk (18543)
      I disagree. I don't want to piss about making a PC. I just want a powerful box that does what is says it does.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)
      I have a feeling this is doomed to fail. Anyone who is old enough to remember when Commodore was a decent gaming platform has probably grown into the type of person who builds his own machines. And the Amiga users will just sit there reminiscing about the good old days...

      No, they hide in dark places from the Atari users, who've been workin' out since the 1980's. We have Ninja skills, nunchuck skills, firearms skills, benchpress skills.

      ATARI POSSE! REPRESENT!
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:50AM (#18248908) Homepage Journal

    ...the new Cray MCX, an amazing new supercomputer with a 2GHz Core2Duo, 512Mb of RAM, and a 40GB hard disk, goes on sale tomorrow.

    I fail to see the point in this product being branded Commodore. It's another PC.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by newrisejohn (517586)
      Macs are just another PC - despite this people still froth at the mouth for them. Maybe Commodore is trying to build on whatever brand power is left. (I am a Mac user and used to be a C64/C128 user, fyi)
    • by paganizer (566360)
      Cray is dead.
      But it was sweet. the servers they were making in '93-'95 are only just now being outperformed.
      I, personally, want a Cray Laptop. I used to joke about getting one with my friends, I've been thinking about taking my HP DV8230US and modding it to appear to be one for the next lan party.
      • by mmkkbb (816035)
        The man may be dead but sgi failed to take down Cray with it. They still make clusters.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)
      I fail to see the point in this product being branded Commodore. It's another PC.

      You do realise that there have been Commodore PCs before - in that Commodore when it existed as a company made PCs?

      There was a lot more to the Commodore brand than the Commodore 64, and all this is is reusing the brand. Is it pointless to use such a seemingly old brand? Well, it nonetheless seems to be getting them lots of extra publicity, which is really the whole point of using well known brandnames...

      And as someone else poin
      • You do realise that there have been Commodore PCs before - in that Commodore when it existed as a company made PCs?

        Yes, I do. Indeed, I even made the same complaints at the time, 17 years ago.

        You know, most of us end users go into modes where we apparently think we're better than Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and explain where they're going wrong and what we would do in their place. And 90% of the time, we're wrong.

        In the case of Commodore's management however, and all of us second guessing them, I think

    • by Lars T. (470328)

      I fail to see the point in this product being branded Commodore. It's another PC.
      Hey, it's closer than these [commodorebillboard.de].
  • by Otter Escaping North (945051) <otter@escaping@north.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:52AM (#18248918) Journal
    "25 years ago, Commodore launched the best selling personal computer of the late 20th Century, the C64"

    -- Bala Keilman, CEO for Commodore Gaming.

    There's a CEO with vision for you. Best PC of the late 20th century. Would've been best all time except for getting pwned by the mid-16th century's "Conquistador 200."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by slim (1652)

      "25 years ago, Commodore launched the best selling personal computer of the late 20th Century, the C64"


      -- Bala Keilman, CEO for Commodore Gaming.


      There's a CEO with vision for you. Best PC of the late 20th century.

      Best selling, fool!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      "Conquistador 200."

      Hey! Mine still works you insensitive clod!

      -Eric

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:53AM (#18248922) Homepage Journal
    I hate to be the cynical one this early in the morning, but it's worth noting that the Commodore brand name has been bought, sold, lost, found, and liquidated ridiculously often [wikipedia.org] since its 1980s heyday. The current owners of the Commodore logo and brand name have about as much connection with the people who made the C64 and VIC20 as the current telephone companies have with Alexander Graham Bell.
    • by Zarhan (415465)
      Yes, but it would still be kinda nice to own a Commodore (Athlon) 64.

      I just wish that they'd use original C-64-like cases..
    • by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:28AM (#18249232) Journal
      The current owners of the Commodore logo and brand name have about as much connection with the people who made the C64 and VIC20 as the current telephone companies have with Alexander Graham Bell.

      Welcome to business. This is true with an awful lot of brandnames. They get bought and sold (e.g., in the UK, the cable company NTL recently renamed to Virgin Media, but it's still basically NTL and not Virgin). But then, even within the same company, over a period of decades you often won't have the same people working there anymore, so it's hard to see there's really a connection, plus of course, even whole companies can be bought and sold, not to mention made public, so often the "current owners" have nothing to do with the people who originally started it.

      I suppose I can see why geeks would be more likely to prefer that brandnames were used on technical similarities rather than for reasons of marketing. Although then again, no one seems to care about reusing the Macintosh brand for different operating systems, or reusing brandnames like "Playstation" for completely different consoles - for some reason it only seems to be the Commodore (and perhaps also Amiga) brands which people complain about here.
      • by mmkkbb (816035)
        Well, the Macintosh and PlayStation are both backward compatible with their predecessors. The SNES is a better example; to play NES games it needed a third party emulator which was more expensive than a NES.
      • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:57AM (#18249518) Homepage Journal

        I suppose I can see why geeks would be more likely to prefer that brandnames were used on technical similarities rather than for reasons of marketing. Although then again, no one seems to care about reusing the Macintosh brand for different operating systems, or reusing brandnames like "Playstation" for completely different consoles - for some reason it only seems to be the Commodore (and perhaps also Amiga) brands which people complain about here.
        Still, some brand names remain a bit constant. If you happened to be hanging around Apple headquarters, you might bump into Steve Jobs or Woz. The current Apple grew directly from the guys who were building the IIc in the 1980s. You could conceivably still find Shigeru Miyamoto running around the Nintendo offices, and you'd know that you're at the birthplace of the NES you were so glued to way back when. Hate Microsoft all you like, but you can still point to Gates and Ballmer and know that these are a couple of the guys responsible for that ubiquitous MS-DOS stuff you used to play with.

        Brand loyalty can be a funny and superficial thing, and I'm not usually a practitioner of it myself, but I still prefer to see it used by those who earned it rather than third parties who scoop up names that others built. As another commenter on this story wrote, it feels pretty much like the retail version of domain squatting.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)
          Still, some brand names remain a bit constant. If you happened to be hanging around Apple headquarters, you might bump into Steve Jobs or Woz. The current Apple grew directly from the guys who were building the IIc in the 1980s. You could conceivably still find Shigeru Miyamoto running around the Nintendo offices, and you'd know that you're at the birthplace of the NES you were so glued to way back when. Hate Microsoft all you like, but you can still point to Gates and Ballmer and know that these are a coup
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I suspect they'll basically just be selling the Commodore logo sticker slapped onto on a modern PC. Of course, anyone could just make a sticker themselves, slap in on their existing computer, and save a lot of money.

      -Eric

  • by nodrogluap (165820) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:55AM (#18248940) Homepage
    To load the games, will you still need to do

    LOAD "*",8,1
    RUN... :-)
    • Re:Loading games (Score:5, Informative)

      by Experiment 626 (698257) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:43AM (#18249382)

      Programs loaded into the C64 with LOAD "*",8 loaded into the beginning of BASIC memory and had to be executed with RUN, but LOAD "*",8,1 loaded the program into a specific location in memory. This could be done for programs started up with SYS (execution jumps to a specific address in memory), as another reply mentions. The most popular use of ",1" however was to overwrite memory such that the address the system returned to after it finished loading would contain a run instruction, causing the program execute with no further intervention after the LOAD command. Or am I overanalyzing the joke and being pedantic?

      • by ElephanTS (624421) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:06AM (#18249630)
        Or am I overanalyzing the joke and being pedantic?

        You betcha!

      • by Kythe (4779)
        Or am I overanalyzing the joke and being pedantic

        Not at all :)

        I wrote a few autoloading programs myself for the C64. They'd use the ",8,1" suffix and load into the stack area, which (fortunately) was located south of location "x0101", if I recall correctly. You could just make the first few tens of bytes "x01" so that the return from the LOAD subroutine would start executing your program immediately (usually a small machine language program at x0101 that would finish the loading process). It was probably
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sharkey (16670)

          ...load into the stack area, which (fortunately) was located south of location "x0101"...

          So THAT'S why SuperHuey kept crashing after I turned my desk to face the window. That put the stack west of "x0101"! Sure wish I'd known that at the time :(

        • by arivanov (12034)
          I am not a commodore expert, but IIRC 6502 and its successor 6510 had the concept of 0 page. A set of shortened (and faster) operands could use simplified conditional jump and arithmetics provided that all args were under 0x100. The basic "load next operand" routine which was invoked for anything (even displaying the command prompt) was written using zero page intructions for speed and resided in the zero page. Replacing this routine was a possibility for auto invocation. Hardly ever used on Apple where eve
    • No, you'd press C= + RUNSTOP :-)

      I paid $99 for Fastload the day it came out, and it was worth every penny... that program absolutely saved my sanity.
  • Don't RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PadRacerExtreme (1006033) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @08:56AM (#18248958)
    The whole thing is in the summary. Why bother linking to a blog with no real information in it?
    <sigh>
  • I just hope they are backward compatable.....
    • by Garabito (720521)
      Most likely they're not, but it would be good for that company if they were. Those PCs would stand out, not like yet-another-generic-PC, they could sell many units solely on nostalgic users. With some PR work, they could generate some fuss about it, which could get the attention of the press and give them publicity.


      And it doesn't even have to be hardware compatible, they could just include an emulator in BIOS or even just preload it in Windows.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:04AM (#18249032)
    the Vic 2.0?
    • by operagost (62405) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:45AM (#18249406) Homepage Journal
      ** CBM BASIC V2 **
      3583 MEGABYTES FREE

      READY.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dogtanian (588974)
        Ooh... let's hope you weren't planning on loading any games from the tape deck.

        If Wikipedia is correct that the tape deck was 300 baud, then that's 37.5 bytes per second, 135,000 bytes per hour.

        3583 megabytes = 3.757 x 10^9 bytes, divided by 135,000 this means your program would take...

        27,830 hours, or 1160 days, or 3.17 years to load a game that filled the computer's memory.

        And let's put this in perspective; that's less than a single-layer DVD's worth. The equivalent of a full 8.5GB dual-layer DVD
  • by mnmn (145599)
    PC is just regular, and this seems like the brand name has been pasted onto beige run-of-the-mill PCs.

    I'd rather see (and purchase) a custom ARM9-based PC with ZetaOS or something with a very funky basic compiler/interpreter on which all programs use BASIC. ARM9 should also bring the price sufficiently down to make the product a success over regular PCs (I mean in the hobbyist market).
    • by l0rd (52169)
      Sorry to be a Negative Nancy, but why?

      I for one have fond memories when computers came with a basic compiler and you could do extremely cool (for then) things with them straight out of the box. You got fed up with a game? Write a crack. You didn't want to pay for some shareware? Write a crack. You wanted to see see what cool stuff your computer could do? Write a small demo.

      However those days are (sadly) long gone. As todays computers are ridiculously cheap, it wouldn't make sense to buy a sperate one just b
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      Actually ARM has some new cars with FPUs and DSPs now http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/ARM1020E.html [arm.com]. One has to wonder just how many ARM cores you could put on a single die at 90nm? Just think about an 8 or 16 core system with are good NVidia or ATI graphics chip running some flavor of Unix. You could use USB to connect drives and printers to it as well. Of course the ideal system would have sixty four sixty four bit cores and 64 gigs of memory :)
      Back to reality that is one thing I do wonder about. Why did
    • That's a good idea. A better one would be an ARM9 notebook with 802.11b (or g or n) functionality and a 9-hour battery life.

      Then, at least, I'd be able to get a reasonable notebook computer.

  • Everybody's favorite computing zombie rises from the grave one more time.

    I loved my C64 and my Amigas but, really, isn't this just the retail version of domain squatting?
  • TV output? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:13AM (#18249106) Homepage Journal

    The original C=64 could output to a TV, and most games for the platform anticipated this. They also were optimized for joystick or joystick+partial keyboard control. But unfortunately, few games for Windows anticipate reading input from two USB gamepads and displaying output on a standard-definition TV. Does Commodore plan to revive the development of TV-friendly computer games?

    • Does Commodore plan to revive the development of TV-friendly computer games?
      In an era where the majority of console makers seem to be pushing towards HDTV over standard def, I'd doubt very much that the current Commodore company would be going the opposite way. However, if you're that into it, you could always get one of these. [wikipedia.org]
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        you could always get one of these.

        Yeah, good luck finding one. The company that made them apparently went out of business about 5 seconds after releasing the first batch. It's a shame too. I know a LOT of people who would have bought one if they had only heard about them (the greatest product in the world won't sell if no one knows about it). I'd still love to have one, but they're impossible to find unless you're willing to spend a fortune trying to win one on eBay.

        -Eric

        • I bought 4 when a local KB Toys was going out of business and had them for $4 each. :) At least I think they are the same one, the games list looks the same anyway. I haven't had a chance to open any of them up, but figure for $4, may as well stock up.
  • by broller (74249) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:17AM (#18249128)
    Abraham Lincoln announced his candidacy for president this morning. Abraham "Honest Abe" Lincoln, a businessman from Chicago announced Tuesday before an invitation-only crowd of "four score and seven" supporters that he intended to "officially throw my stove-pipe hat into the ring." Mr. Lincoln, born Abraham Leibowitz, says that he changed his name last year, "because Leibowitz is hard for voters to spell." His opponents have said that Lincoln is merely trying to capitalize on the popularity of the sixteenth president's name. Lincoln asked that his supporters help to suppress this rumor, adding, "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed."
  • Awesome! (Score:3, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:18AM (#18249140)
    I can't wait to play Zork on a 64-bit Athlon 5200+!

    And it that gets boring, I can play all of Raid over Bungling Bay in 27 millisecond!
    • by MS-06FZ (832329)

      I can't wait to play Zork on a 64-bit Athlon 5200+!

      Then why don't you? I mean, seriously, unless you don't actually have an Athlon 5200+, what are you waiting for?

      World Wide Web
      There is a program called Frotz [csubak.edu] here.
      There is a game called Zork [csd.uwo.ca] here.
      > USE FROTZ ON ZORK
      You're not holding the Frotz.

      World Wide Web
      There is a program called Frotz [csubak.edu] here.
      There is a game called Zork [csd.uwo.ca] here.
      > GET FROTZ
      You now have Frotz.

      World Wide Web
      There is a game called Zork [csd.uwo.ca] here.
      > USE FROTZ ON ZORK
      You're not holding the Zork.

      World Wide Web
      There is a game called Zork [csd.uwo.ca] here.

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:21AM (#18249176) Homepage Journal
    So they're running Linux, right?
  • Already have one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zedrick (764028) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @09:27AM (#18249222)
    I put a nice, thick Commodore sticker on my homebuilt 64-bit desktop.

    It's just as much "Commodore" as these machines. Perhaps even more so, since I've also got a real C-1541 connected to it.
  • The new machines will be ready in 2 weeks?

    (that's for all you old Amiga fans)
  • I guess this means that someone is going to build over-priced PCs with Commodore stickers on them?

    I would say that this is doomed to fail, except that I know there is a market of 30 something virgins with $$ to burn who are going to impress each other with their fancy new Commordore stickered over-priced PCs.
  • and go into an already flooded market.

    Good thinking.
  • When Commodore... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smokin_juan (469699) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:08AM (#18249648) Homepage Journal
    When Commodore -

    - returns to making computers that boots in one second -
    - creates an OS that has programming languages built-in and ready to go -
    - designs a machine that will fit in a backpack -
    - invents a clock that keeps time without power -
    - does something revolutionary -

    that's when I'll buy another Commodore. I'll be damned if I let a group of people manipulate my nostalgia to sell me something as common as air.
    • Actually, one thing I would like to see is almost exactly that... a very simplifed machine with it's own compact OS on-board, dedicated specifically to encourage the user to learn what exactly is going on under the hood without being intimidating. A machine that's inexpensive, portable and about as powerful as a high-end PDA.

      The machine would include a few different programming languages (such as BASIC, JavaScript, Perl, etc...), topping off in power close to Flash. It would have limited networking capabili
      • I feel exactly the same way you do.

        And, actually, I've been looking for a new portable computer on which I can do programming, remote administration, and other basic work tasks without being tied to a desktop or tied to a wall after 5 hours. Like a 13" ARM notebook with a 9-hour battery life. Wouldn't that be just the thing?

  • by spudnic (32107)
    I just had to post to make sure my sig got into this discussion.

  • I can understand that many may have fond memories associated with Commodore, but is that really enough of a market to sell these new machines? There are already a number of game optimized PC brands. What does Commodore bring to the table?
  • The IBM PC and its clones are responsible for the first mass extinction in the personal computer arena. Their proliferation spelled doom to a vast array of different and interesting architectures and resulted in the dullness of the current PC.

    It's tragic the same brand used by excellent and original personal computers like the PET, VIC-20, C-64 and Amiga is now glued to x86 computers that still have some form of an ISA bus inside its chipset and whose processor still wakes up thinking it's an 8088 inside a
  • Paying money for the right to slap a Commodore logo on a completely average PC does not a Commodore make. You would have to be an idiot to infer some sort of association with the legendary Commodore.
    In any case, it's not a Commodore unless I can LOAD"$",8,1
  • by zsazsa (141679) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:48AM (#18250114) Homepage
    In the 80s and 90s, Commodore made a number of 8088/8086 [zimmers.net], 286 [zimmers.net], and 386 [zimmers.net] desktops and laptops [zimmers.net]!

    There's also the bizarre "Commodore 64" Internet Computer [zimmers.net].

    So this use of the Commodore brand isn't completely ridiculous, just a little bit ridiculous.
  • Me, I'm waiting for the Harley PC and Jack Daniel's monitor
  • Does it run M.U.L.E. or Archon? Nope? Well, then, don't think I'm interested.

    Chris Mattern

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.

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