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The Truthful Mouse Guide  

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The Truthful Mouse Guide
I know that there is a CS:S Mouse Optimization Guide already stickied in the forum but I decided to make my own mouse guide because I felt that there were simply a few things left unsaid/misunderstood.

Content
1.Mouse DPI/CPI
2.Windows Pointer Speed
3.Mouse Acceleration
4.How accurate is my mouse?
5.Perfect Control Speed/Malfunction Speed
6.Optical vs Laser
7.Wired vs Wireless
8.Which mouse should I get?/Which mouse is the best?
9.Where can I find more truthful review/information about gaming mice?



1.Mouse DPI/CPI
DPI/CPI refers to dots per inches or counts per inches. It refers to the sensitivity of your mouse. However a very common misunderstanding about it is that DPI/CPI is a benchmark for how accurate your mouse is.
This is wrong! DPI/CPI is just the distance your mouse cursor moves in relation to the distance your mouse moves in real life. So for example, a mouse with higher sensitivity moves 3 pixels/cm whereas a mouse with lower sensitivity moves 1 pixel/cm, BUT they both have the same accuracy. Many gaming companies take advantage of this misunderstanding and often boast about their high DPI/CPI mice when they are actually overpriced garbage. Some gaming companies even use interpolaration (using software to trick the sensor) to increase the DPI/CPI further even at the expense of the mouse's performance. DO NOT BELIEVE their marketing and fall for their traps. DPI/CPI HAS GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH ACCURACY OF YOUR MOUSE. A good example is the microsoft intellimouse 3.0, a very popular choice among professional gamers, it only has 400 dpi but its a very good mouse nevertheless.

2010-01-29_ms_intellimouse-0ver.jpg

So how much DPI/CPI do you actually need?
Quoted From ESReality Mousescore 2007
Quote:
Resolution (DPI)
New gaming mice tend to be released with high DPI counts, but how much DPI is really needed to play games? Higher DPI obviously seems better. Like the steering wheel in a car you want continuous and smooth control over turning. The difference is that game graphics is made up of pixels, rather than the real world which has much more detail. At some point, having more DPI becomes unnecessary because the actual bottleneck is the screen. But how much DPI is enough?

I will use the example of playing an FPS game. If you are playing on a screen resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels, then we can roughly work out the number of pixels in a full horizontal rotation of 360 degrees. We multiply the number of pixels across the screen by 4 (since each screen is about 90 degrees viewing angle).

Pixels in 360 degrees = 1024 * 4 = 4096

Now we need to work out how far we want to move the mouse for a full rotation of 360 degrees. This distance changes depending on the gamer, because changing the game sensitivity changes how far you need to move the mouse for the same effect. By dividing the total number of pixels by the total distance (in inches), we get a rough idea of how much DPI is useful.

High Sens: 360 degrees in 0.1 m (4"), roughly 1000 DPI needed

Medium Sens: 360 degrees in 0.25 m (10"), roughly 400 DPI needed

Low Sens: 360 degrees in 0.50 m (20"), roughly 200 DPI needed


While 3D games don't need you to turn a whole pixel before the screen changes, this is a sensible way to work out when more DPI resolution stops being useful. What we find is that standard 400 DPI mice are ok if you have a low sensitivity, but there are times when more DPI can improve the game. If you have a High Sens and a huge 2560 x 1600 panel to play on, our formula says that our ideal mouse resolution is a whopping 2500 DPI!

So unless your playing with an extremely high resolution (eg:1920x1080) and a high sensitivity, 1000 dpi should satisfy even high sens gamers.

Quoted by Skylit:
Quote:
Not with larger resolutions and scalable FoV's.

At the quoted 4"/360 (high) sensitivity, standard 1920x1080 resolution, and a FoV of 90, estimated useful CPI is around ~1500. The twist is when you use weapons that dynamically change the FoV like a sniper scope, iron/red dot sights or anything else that messes with the natural view. I'm not completely sure, but I believe CoD's engine scales down to 40 FoV when you right click making the estimated useful CPI as high as ~4100 given the same resolution and sensitivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by injx
CM/360 (360 / (y * d * w * s)) * 2.54 C
Inches/360 60 / (y * d * w * s)
CPI/DPI (pi * g) / (i * tan(f / 2))


Part of the reason why lower resolutions under 1024x768 are popular among the competitive gaming community.

2.Windows Pointer Speed
Another popular misunderstood topic.
In the CS:S Mouse Optimization Guide, it was claimed that windows pointer speed should be kept at 6/11 and mouse DPI at maximum and only change your sensitivity in game. This is not entirely true. In fact, there is actually hardly any difference that you probably wont notice it if you use 1800 dpi with 3/11 (0.25) windows pointer speed and 450 dpi with 6/11 pointer speed. In fact, many professional gamers with mice like the deathadder use settings like 1800 dpi, 3/11 pointer speed instead of 450 dpi , 6/11 pointer speed. If it really matters that much to you, you can use the MarkC Windows 7 Mouse fix to ensure you get a 1 to 1 mouse to pointer movement.

And here are the exact sensitivity values for each notch of the windows pointer speed.

1. 0.03125
2. 0.0625
3. 0.25
4. 0.5
5. 0.75
6. 1.
7. 1.5
8. 2.
9. 2.5
10. 3.
11. 3.5


3.Mouse Acceleration
Another highly controversial topic in my opinion. Some say that its impossible to get good with mouse acceleration because its inconsistent. Again this is not true, I think results speak for themselves. There have been professional players who played with mouse acceleration and won tournaments. In fact many professional quake players use mouse acceleration even till today. However with that said, most people would probably find it easier to play without mouse acceleration. I highly reccomend you trying out playing without mouse acceleration for a while (give yourself some time to get used to it), if you feel comfortable with it after a while, just carry on playing with mouse acceleration off, if not just change back.

How do I turn off mouse acceleration?
There are several mouse fixes such as the MarkC Windows 7 mouse fix (win 7 only) i mentioned earlier, Cheese mouse fix and CPL mouse fix.
Unfortuanately the mouse fix is unable to alter mouse acceleration in the mouse/sensor itself.
So how do I know if my mouse/sensor has acceleration? (Don't worry I will be covering that too)

4.How accurate is my mouse?
Obviously every gamer wants an accurate mouse to give him some advantage. But before i touch on this topic, I would like you to know and establish a difference between accuracy and precision. If you are unclear of the differences, please look at the picture below. accuracy_vs_precision_556.jpg

Unless you have a spoiled mouse, all mice are all equally accurate. BUT they all have different precision (think consistency not accuracy). So now you will probably be screaming at your computers "JUST TELL ME HOW GOOD IS MY MOUSE AND CUT THE HORSE****". But I had to make sure you know the clear difference between accuracy and precision so that will not be any misunderstandings.

5.Perfect Control Speed/Malfunction Speed
These technical terms basically measure how precise your mouse actually is. The higher the speeds the better.
Perfect control speed refers to the maximum speed at which your mouse tracks without any mouse acceleration.
Malfunction speed refers to the maximum speed at which your mouse tracks any movement. A good list of the perfect control/malfunction speeds of mice is the ESReality Mousescore 2007. One factor which might affect the perfect control speed/malfunction speed of the mouse is it's polling rate. Polling rate is the rate at which the mouse updates and sends information about its movements/positions. Most gaming mice allow you to adjust its polling rate in the drivers. But in case, you have a regular mouse or cant switch your polling rates with your drivers, there are a few programs which you can download to overclock your polling rate of the mouse manually. Whether your looking for information on how to overclock your mouse's polling rate or just get more detailed information about polling rates, the CS:S Mouse Optimization Guide got it pretty well covered.

Quoted from CS:S Mouse Optimization Guide:
Quote:
2.2 - Overclock your USB port.
Can be risky and you need to be comfortable editing system files to perform this

Skip this section if your mouse reported well above 400hz by default in section 2.1.

One tricks that was tucked away up some sleeves until recently was how to change the USB polling rate to faster than the Windows default of 125hz. For all intents and purposes the default 125hz polling rate has a 8ms built in response time (lag) that cannot be overcome without changing the usbport.sys file. If you change the polling rate to 250hz your mouse response time drops to 4ms. At 500hz it drops to 2ms and 1000HZ it drops to 1ms. This is an obvious advantage in a gaming environment. Some Logitech and Microsoft mice also have a huge performance boost when you overclock the mouse port, because of an interface limit related to the 8-bit data bus. Specifically they are: Logitech's MX300, MX500 & MX510 and Microsoft's WMO, IE3.0 & Laser 6000. My recommendation is to set the USB rate to 500Hz for these mice. However increasing the reporting rate of any mouse will benefit from smoother tracking and faster response, however not all mice will dramatically reduce negative acceleration and improve perfect control like these do.

There are things to consider before changing anything in your system. First of all, you have probably been using the standard 125hz for quite awhile. You are used to it. You have learned to compensate for the delay however minute it is and if you change the polling rate of your system there will be an adjustment period. At first it may seem awkward but in my experience the change made the tracking in my mouse feel noticeably smoother. Turns were more natural and fluid. I have also heard some players did not like the change and some couldn't tell the difference. Your mileage may vary.

Also, not all mice are created equal. There should be no harm to your system or mouse if you attempt to change your system to a polling rate that the mouse does not support. There should be no system hangs or glitches if you perform the tweak correctly. However, all mice have relative limits and just because you set a mouse to 500hz does not mean it will report at that speed. Furthermore wireless mice cannot be overclocked since their limitation is not in the USB interface but in the wireless transmit speed so don't try. Raising USB report rate increases CPU utilization slightly, if your computer is very old you may notice a small FPS drop, use a slower setting.

Read or print my instructions and the readme files before starting! You won't have internet connectivity while in Safemode.

1. The first thing you will want to do is download a mouse rate checking program, and see what your average mouse rate is using the USB interface. So you can compare to see if you have improved it.
2. Now if you have 32-bit Windows XP you can download the USB Mouserate Switcher below and extract it to your desktop. If you have 64-bit Windows XP you will have to do it a different way which I will cover after 32-bit Windows
You can download it,
here: http://hosted.filefront.com/antigen07
here: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/S...switcher.shtml
and
here: http://www.majorgeeks.com/USB_Mouser...her_d4469.html
3. Reboot your computer and before Windows begins to load rapidly press F8 on your keyboard to get a startup selection screen. If your computer loaded back up to regular windows try again and make sure you are not using a USB keyboard, either use a PS/2 adapter or turn on something called “USB Legacy Device Support” in your system BIOS. Finally if you still can't boot into safe mode you may just have to use MSConfig. Go Start>Run type “msconfig” without quotes, click the 'BOOT.ini' tab, just check “SAFEBOOT” and click Okay and say 'Yes restart my computer'.
4. If you get the the windows startup diagnostic screen use the arrow keys to select safemode, make sure to sign into an account with administrative privileges and click yes when it tells you Safemode is for diagnostic purposes.
5. Make a backup of your C:\Windows\system32\drivers\usbport.sys file!! You can rename it something like usbport.sys.old or usbport.sys.bak and just leave it in the folder. If you ever need to revert back to the old settings you can delete the patched files and rename your backup to usbport.sys.
6. After backing up that file and while still in safemode, run the usbmrs11.exe file and follow the instructions. I suggest you first try changing your USB polling rate from 125hz to 250hz. This change alone reduces mouse latency to 4ms. You can go higher later.
7. Now install the patch, then you will have to restart your computer for it to take effect, boot into safe mode again in case you need to revert back to the previous setting or want to keep pushing the port higher. To pick a setting above 250hz say 'no' to the prompt of setting it to 250hz, and then say 'yes' to the prompt of setting it to 500hz.
8. When your computer loads into safemode, run the 'Mouserate Checker' to see if the change has taken effect. If it did not, get out of safemode and do a good search for “USB port overclocking” or “USB Polling Rate” in Google you might find some more help. Make sure you followed all the instructions properly.
9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 until you've hit and tested the speed you want to stay at, I don't really recommend 1000hz since it's overkill and most mice can't obtain that speed. Best to pick a speed your mouse handles. If you used MSConfig to make your computer boot into safe mode, run msconfig again and then just click the circle by “Use Original BOOT.ini” and restart and you will have your computer back.


Here are some guidelines for knowing when you've overclocked far enough. First off, I don't recommend you use 1000hz it is twice the stress on your USB components for only a 1ms improvement in latency (vs 500hz). My G5 can be overclocked to 1000hz, but actually only averages at 620hz, which I can't tell the difference from 500hz, so I keep it on default. You want to raise your average mouserate by overclocking, so if you try 250hz and your average hz increases, and then try 500hz and it doesn't increase much, you've probably hit the limit of your device and should stick with 250hz.


Furthermore, you want the update rate to be stable, that is to say, does not constantly vary wildly between different values when you are moving the mouse quickly at speed in the box. If you overclock you mouse and you get a series of update rates in the box like 125,250,125,250,... it means your mouse does not like it's new settings. Not only that, this may make you play worse, because the response time on the mouse is not being consistent.


So just remember when you overclock:

1. You want to see a real improvement in your average mouserate, not just setting it as high as possible if you are only going to average at 133hz for example.
2. You want the polling rate to be very constant or close to rock solid, it it's flipping between different rates every other polling or once every 3 pollings that is not good for the mouse, and not good for your gaming consistency. See my pictures for illustration of this tip.
3. Remember every USB component in your system is also connected at this speed, if you set your polling rates too high your mouse may do fine and pass the first two tips, but your USB sound card might start crackling or your printer might not print, be safe rather than sorry is the rule here.

(For example after several months of 500hz, my Steelsound 5Hv2 USB soundcard began to crackle from time to time. I am not sure if it would have started to do this anyways because it was a cheapy 15 dollar sound card, but it's worth noting. Just don't let this stop you from overclocking at all, because more than likely you wont have any problems.)

Okay, now if you have 64-bit windows and really want to do this, it will take a bit more skill and you have to thank me greatly for hosting the required .sys files. It took me about 3 hours of searching the internet just to find someone who had manually patched and would give me the unlocked usbport.sys drivers for 64-bit windows.

1. Same as 32-bit step 1. Test your Mouserate.
2. Download the x64 Mouserate Switcher file from my ftp, this is the only place you can get this on the internet as far as I know. You can download it here: http://hosted.filefront.com/antigen07
3. Same as 32-bit step 2. Boot into Safe Mode.
4. Once you are in safemode make a backup of your usbport.sys you can find it in this folder:
C:\Windows\system32\drivers\usbport.sys
5. Extract the 64-bit mouse rate folder you will see several more folders inside, named things like 1830_usbport.sys_250hz_4ms
Inside each folder there is a modded usbport.sys file, select the rate you would like to overclock to and copy that usbport.sys
6. Head to your 'C\Windows\system32\drivers\' folder and paste your usbport.sys into there, don't overwrite your old one, just rename the backup one to 'usbport.sys.bak'. Also don't delete anything else in this folder or your computer will be broken very quickly.
7. Restart your computer into safemode again and use Mouserate Checker to see if your setting has taken effect.
8. Repeat steps 5 through 7 except now it's okay to overwrite the modified usbport.sys since you're replacing patched versions and not the original. Follow my tips above while you look for a stable setting that is good for your mouse (and other USB devices!).
9. Reboot into normal Windows XP and enjoy your new mouse.


6.Optical vs Laser
Probably the most misunderstood topic in my opinion (you can see people making these mistakes even in mouse reviews!). Many people assume that laser technology is superior to optical just because its newer. When in actual fact optical sensors are superior because they are more reliable and precise as they have higher perfect control speeds and higher malfunction speeds. I am pretty sure some random guy will come and scream "NO~~~ LASER MICE CAN TRACK ON GLASS, OPTCIAL CANT, LASER MICE FTW". Sure, your laser mouse tracks well on your window pane but simply fails on a cloth mousepad like the QCK. Anybody who owned a laser mouse would probably have noticed they are extremely particular about the surfaces they are on unlike optical. They tend to jitter alot on certain mousepads and just track randomly.

****, What should I do if I am using a laser mouse?!
Switch to an optical mouse and you will see an improvement. I will list some laser mice and suggest some optical replacements that are of similar shape(even cheaper as well).

Laser - Optical
Mamba/Habu - Deathadder/Microsoft IE3.0
G500/G5/Imperator - MX518
Xai - Microsoft IMO 1.1

Still, many people believe that laser mice are just as good as optical mice. So I decided to backup my claims with some statistics quoted from ESReality Mousescore 2007.

Quoted From ESReality Mousescore 2007:
Quote:
I've also devised a second chart to show Bang4Buck as our friends at Hexus like to put it. This one shows how much Mousescore you get for each pound spent on the mouse. For mouse shopping on a budget, this is the chart for you since you can pick a really good value mouse from the list.
50188-results_bang4buck.png
Quote:
Laser vs Optical
In almost every mouse review I've read, the writer makes the automatic assumption that laser mice must be better than optical. I imagine it's down to the perceived firepower of each word. No one ever destroyed an Imperial Cruiser with an LED gun. The performance benchmarks show that todays batch of laser mice can't keep up with the finely tuned optical ones. They do have slightly higher resolution, but not enough to make up for their poor performance at speed.

And an opinion quoted from Fatal1ty's website by himself:
Quote:
I'm using Microsoft 1.1 SE and/or Microsoft 3.0... I used my Fatal1ty 2020 Laser Mouse for a while, but I use such low sensitivity, that lasers can't keep up with my fast flick shots... Using a laser mouse is cool, because it usually has really good DPI - which mine had, but for close combat it was not ideal... Only way to fix this, was to use a higher sensitivity or use Mouse Accel - either in some ways altered both my long range performance and consistency. With optical, it’s very exact, especially when overclocked to 500hz... It’s about as good as it gets... Don't listen to the hype right now about laser mice... You’re going to end up sacrificing one thing or the other; it will either be incredible at close range or incredible at long range. You can't have both with that device. So I advise optical as the way to go right now till the bandwidth on laser mice is improved so it can keep up with your moves.

This is believeable because he says that even though the mice that were branded after him were using laser sensors.

And here's another benchmark done on the steelseries i2 mousepad (glass not cloth), so we would expect the laser mice to have the upper hand over optical right?
oix45k.gif
A mouse with good tracking should have a nice diagonal line with the pixels closely knit together until it reaches its perfect control speed. A good example is the deathadder. If you look closely, you can see the lines of the X8,G9x and mamba are not as smooth, the gaps between the pixels are also larger. This indicates that it is less consistent in its tracking.

Probably one of the more popular laser mice in the market at the moment - the Steelseries Xai which uses the Avago ADNS S9500 sensor. It has mouse acceleration present in the sensor itself EVEN at very low speeds which cannot be fixed from mouse fix (amount of acceleration varies between different mousepads). It has both positive and negative mouse acceleration as you can see from the graph.
belsqdbh6ng4hh0nr.gif
Other popular mice that uses the same sensor and might be suffering from the same issue is the G500/G9x/G700

Quoted by Derp:
Quote:
Think about the definition of perfect control speed, read the ESR review. Then realize that because the ADNS 9500 has acceleration even at slow speeds it has one of the WORST perfect control speeds. The only thing the ADNS 9500 excels at is a very high MALFUNCTION speed and even that is only possible on a hard surface. I doubt even the lowest sensitivity gamers need much over 2 m/s. Perfect control speed is much more important compared to malfunction speed as long as the malfunction speed is above 2 m/s IMO.
If you really insist on using a laser mouse, here are a few tips to get the best tracking out of it.
1.Get a hard mousepad (preferably it should be plain with lesser graphics)
2.Check that your mouse does not jitter on the mousepad (don't assume that all hard mousepads would do the job)
3.Keep sensor and mousepad away from dust (clean if you have to)





7.Wired vs Wireless
With wireless gaming mice like the mamba and g500 becoming more popular, I feel that this is a topic I should include too.
Long story short, get a wired mouse.
Afterall one of the main reasons why you spend so much of a gaming mouse is because its more responsive. So why buy a wireless gaming mouse to negate all the advantage you can get with a gaming mouse?
Not to mention that most wireless mice have laser engines (inferior to optical) and are more expensive/cumbersome (heavier with battaries/have to constantly recharge/change battaries).
No matter how gaming companies try to advertise about their "near 0 response time" wireless gaming mouse, fact is they respond slower than their wired counterparts. Again, I will suggest some replacements if you are interested in a particular wireless mouse.

Wireless - Wired
Mamba - Deathadder
G7 - MX518

8.Which mouse should I get?/Which mouse is the best?
Obviously there isn't a 1 mouse fit all, so I cant tell you which mouse to get. But what I can tell you is what to look for/ignore/avoid, so you can make a purchase that is truly worth the money and not fall into gaming companies marketing strategies.

What to look for:
1.Shape (Personal Preference)
2.Size (Personal Preference)
3.Weight (Personal Preference)
4.Build Quality
5.RMA Support
6.Perfect Control Speed/Malfunction Speed
7.Sensor Position(usualy preffered to be centre)
8.Price (DUHHHHH)

What to ignore:
1.DPI/CPI
2.Professional Gamers "commenting" about a certain product (more like boot-licking, obviously they get paid)
3.Reviews made by uncredible sources (sponsored/affilated) (again they will praise the product to the skies)
4.Gold-plated USB connector (a gold plated usb connector and a normal 1 have the same speed/connectivity because its the internal components (same) that actually affects speed/connectivity)

What to avoid:
1.Laser sensor
2.Wireless


9.Where can I find more truthful review/information about gaming mice?
ESReality Mousescore 2007
Ramla777 youtube videos
OCN Mouse Sensor Reference and Performance Sheet

Forgive my spelling/grammar mistakes. Have fun and feel free to ask me any questions/comment tongue.gif

Edited by lewis6194 - 2/28/11 at 9:28pm
post #2 of 72
Bold the title of each section so it is easier to read and use the list function when you list things to make it neater.
 
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post #3 of 72
I was with you until the optical vs laser part. Yeah, laser mice can be inconsistent on some surfaces, but both an optical and a laser mouse on a good hard mouse pad will be equally good. You make it sound like optical mice are superior, which simply is not the case.
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post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 
haha it wasnt really completed, didnt expect somebody come in and take a look so quickly.
post #5 of 72
Wow and you go on to say wireless mice are less consistent than a wired mouse. This is another commonly held misconception. A good wireless mouse (G700/Mamba) will track just as well and just as consistently as a wired mouse as long as its somewhat near the computer and the batteries aren't dying. If I don't recommend a wireless mouse, its purely based on battery issues.
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post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 
nono~~ I didnt say wireless mice are less consistent, i said they were less responsive.
post #7 of 72
sinep
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sinep
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post #8 of 72
You are wrong about lasers vs optical mice. The Avago ADNS-S9500 laser sensor has a higher perfect control speeds and higher malfunction speed
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaiiYaa;12540867 
You are wrong about lasers vs optical mice. The Avago ADNS-S9500 laser sensor has a higher perfect control speeds and higher malfunction speed

Maybe, but that sensor has positive acceleration.
sinep
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sinep
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post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaiiYaa;12540867 
You are wrong about lasers vs optical mice. The Avago ADNS-S9500 laser sensor has a higher perfect control speeds and higher malfunction speed

Think about the definition of perfect control speed, read the ESR review. Then realize that because the ADNS 9500 has acceleration even at slow speeds it has one of the WORST perfect control speeds. The only thing the ADNS 9500 excels at is a very high MALFUNCTION speed and even that is only possible on a hard surface. I doubt even the lowest sensitivity gamers need much over 2 m/s. Perfect control speed is much more important compared to malfunction speed as long as the malfunction speed is above 2 m/s IMO.

The OP is right about acceleration, some people can adapt and play very well with acceleration but good luck if you are one of the many that cannot play well with acceleration and your crappy laser mouse can't disable it.

If Sujoy ever came back and reviewed the G500 on his Qck test rig you would see how much of a piece of crap the sensor actually was.
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