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Old 02-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #1
knc1
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Kindle ssh/scp with the USBnetwork package

This thread is a continuation of the Kindle networking thread at:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=204676
Which gave an introductory course in reading and understanding the Linux firewall tables used on the Kindles (with Kpw-5.3.3 firmware as the example).

Conditions:
Prior to the Kindle networking thread, you had already installed the USBnetwork, kindle-usbnet-0.7.N.zip package, as described in:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=204450
That thread left you using telnet to access your Kindle.

In the prior thread on the Linux firewall tables, you found there are no restrictions on the USB0 interface. Your also read about the restrictions present on packets originating on the wlan0 (and 3G) interfaces.

You made note of the sequence required to start/stop USBnetwork, from the spoiler in the USBnetworking thread, which is repeated here:

Quote:
This order should work on all firmware versions.
Early firmwares, v-2 and v-3 may also work with the cable attached.
  • un-plug cable (if still plugged in)
  • toggle USBnetwork ON in launcher
  • plug the cable
  • kill any automation (or configure yours to do: )
  • sudo ip link set up dev usb0 (It may already be up)
  • sudo ip address add 192.168.15.201 peer 192.168.15.244 dev usb0
  • use the networking until your done (telnet 192.168.15.244)
  • un-plug cable
  • toggle USBnetwork OFF in launcher
You may or may not have configured your network automation to automatically bring up the link and set the point-to-point address that you are using on your host PC.
There are a number of network automation things used by the various Linux distributions, refer to your distribution information on how to set up yours (not here, your distro's help forum).

We know from a prior thread that the networking over the USB cable was working.
We know from a prior thread that telnet over USB was working.

Now telnet into the Kindle (telnet 192.168.15.244).
This should confirm that things are working the same as before.
(You can leave this connection up during the following if you wish or type exit to disconnect now.)

Try to access the Kindle via ssh over the USB cable.
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh 192.168.15.244
The authenticity of host '192.168.15.244 (192.168.15.244)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 4e:30:f8:bf:3e:92:b6:ad:18:21:b3:47:95:9e:02:30.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '192.168.15.244' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.


Welcome to Kindle!

mszick@192.168.15.244's password: 
Connection closed by 192.168.15.244
NOTE: The expected result since there is no user account by that name on the Kindle.

The first line of that warning above:
Quote:
The authenticity of host '192.168.15.244 (192.168.15.244)' can't be established.
Means that the client does not recognize the server's host key (server is on the Kindle).
There are 'host keys' already generated and included with the USBnetwork package. Every Kindle that uses this package will have the same host key, rather than a unique host key.
This should not cause any problem as long as only one Kindle is reachable from the local network.
When the Kindle's ssh server is accessible over public WiFi, this one-key-for-all-Kindles can be a source of problems.
In this 'HowTo' generating a unique host key for each of your Kindles will be a subject addressed later in the thread.
So in this case, just answer 'yes' to your client's question, as shown above.

Now try to log-in with the administrator's user name, without using a password (just press 'Enter'):
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh -l root 192.168.15.244


Welcome to Kindle!

root@192.168.15.244's password: 
#################################################
#  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  # 
#################################################
Rootfs is mounted read-only. Invoke mntroot rw to
switch back to a writable rootfs.
#################################################
[root@kindle root]#
NOTE: The expected result since the dropbear application in the kindle-usbnet-0.7.N.zip package has been modified to not require a password for connections over the USB0 network interface.

For those readers who have the Linux command line crib-sheet open, linked from the thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=204534
Take note that the versions of those commands provided by Busybox are often simplified versions of the full commands described in that crib-sheet.

The Kindle's Linux operating system needs its date and time set somewhere close to reality, or at least close to the time and date of the machine it is connected to.
Use a pair of commands and our new, fancy, encrypted connection to the Kindle to set both the system and the hardware clocks of the Kindle.

On your PC, learn the current universal date & time:
Code:
core2quad ~ $ date -u
Mon Feb  4 17:49:18 UTC 2013
On the Kindle:
The format which the Busybox 'date' command expects when setting the date and time is:
Code:
date [-u|--utc|--universal] [MMDDhhmm[[CC]YY][.ss]]
Just manually set the system time by typing in the date and time set on your PC:
Code:
[root@kindle root]# date -u 020417492013
Mon Feb  4 17:49:00 UTC 2013
That only set the system time. I.E: The time within the Linux kernel.
Now write the current system time to the hardware clock (and also verify that both the system and the hardware times are as expected):
Code:
[root@kindle root]# hwclock -w
[root@kindle root]# hwclock
Mon Feb  4 11:50:44 2013  0.000000 seconds
[root@kindle root]# date
Mon Feb  4 11:51:17 CST 2013
Without any options, the system and hardware times are shown in 'local time', although we did set both to UTC time above.
Now the Kindle is ready for creating files with proper timestamps.
Also, some Kindle features and custom add-on packages assume that the date and time is properly set to something close to reality.
When the Kindle's networking features are completely set up properly, this setting of date and time can be automated (beyond that provided by Amazon).

When the USBnetwork package's dropbear is used over the Wifi interface, it will require authentication.
Either a proper username/password pair or public key authentication.
Using public key authentication is highly recommended, and can be used over any network interface on the Kindle.

Public key authentication uses a (cryptographically) matched pair of key files.
The PRIVATE key remains on the host computer (your PC).
The PUBLIC key can be used on any remote computer which you wish to authenticate with, after all, it's PUBLIC.
By design, the sshd server package does not include key pairs, nor the file (authorized_keys) where they are stored.
You will have to generate a key-pair of your own.
dropbear uses the same format key-pair as that of OpenSSH (and Putty can generate that format key-pair).
It is recommended that you do not use the same key-pair on two or more computers. There is no programmed enforcement of that recommendation, it is just a 'best practice' to follow.

On the PC:
The first step in using public key authentication is to generate a (new) key-pair on the local (will be the 'client') machine.
The default location for the key-pair files is: ~/.ssh , a hidden directory that was created when your ssh client was installed.
It is important to change the basename of the key-pair files when creating a new key to avoid trashing your existing, default, key-pair.
Other than that, the defaults used by OpenSSH (Linux and MacOSx) for the key generation are good for our purpose.

Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/mszick/.ssh/id_rsa): /home/mszick/.ssh/kpw_id_rsa
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /home/mszick/.ssh/kpw_id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/mszick/.ssh/kpw_id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
0e:10:74:d2:b6:72:aa:8a:7d:16:6f:9c:1e:39:4f:26 mszick@core2quad
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|   .+..          |
|     +o          |
|    .. .         |
|    ..o          |
|     +. S        |
|    o  +         |
|   . +E.+        |
|... o =B         |
|o..o o. .        |
+-----------------+
NOTE: The changed line: Enter file in which to save the key (/home/mszick/.ssh/id_rsa): /home/mszick/.ssh/kpw_id_rsa
For this example, leave the passphrase empty. There are other ways to protect the key-pair files than by using a passphrase.

As a matter of convenience, give the Kindle's network address a name in the client's /etc/hosts file.
An example /etc/hosts file before the addition of the ken1 nickname:
Code:
127.0.0.1       localhost
127.0.1.1       core2quad

169.254.0.4     eepc701.morethan.org    lanntp
169.254.0.104   wolf466.morethan.org    wolf466

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
The above example uses a domain name which I own.
If you don't have a domain name to apply to your network, use: local.net (or whatever floats your boat and isn't a domain name registered to someone else).
Use your favorite text editor as the superuser 'root' to edit the /etc/hosts file on your PC.

The example /etc/hosts file after the addition of the ken1 nickname:
Code:
127.0.0.1       localhost
127.0.1.1       core2quad

192.168.15.244  ken1.morethan.org       ken1

169.254.0.4     eepc701.morethan.org    lanntp
169.254.0.104   wolf466.morethan.org    wolf466

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
Yes, Virginia, WinBox'en have an etc/hosts file also.

We can refer to the Kindles IP address by name (or nickname) rather than by number:
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ping -c 3 ken1
PING ken1.morethan.org (192.168.15.244) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from ken1.morethan.org (192.168.15.244): icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=0.842 ms
64 bytes from ken1.morethan.org (192.168.15.244): icmp_req=2 ttl=64 time=0.524 ms
64 bytes from ken1.morethan.org (192.168.15.244): icmp_req=3 ttl=64 time=0.455 ms

--- ken1.morethan.org ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 1998ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.455/0.607/0.842/0.168 ms
Take a look at the files (of interest here) present in ~/.ssh :
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ls -l .ssh
total 76
- - - - -
-rw-r--r-- 1 mszick mszick 5234 2013-02-04 11:22 known_hosts
-rw------- 1 mszick mszick 1675 2013-02-05 08:10 kpw_id_rsa
-rw-r--r-- 1 mszick mszick  398 2013-02-05 08:10 kpw_id_rsa.pub
- - - - -
Two things to note in that listing:
The known_hosts file was last changed yesterday. When the Kindle's host key was added above.
The ssh-keygen application generated a pair of files named with the basename we entered.
The file without the extension, and read/write permissions given only to the owner, is the PRIVATE key of the key-pair.
The file with the extension "*.pub" is the PUBLIC key of the key-pair.

With an un-modified sshd server, the 'authorized_keys' file is located at ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
With the modified sshd server(s) in the USBnetwork package, the 'authorized_keys' file is located in a sub-directory of the USB storage area:
Code:
[root@kindle root]# ls -l /mnt/us/usbnet/etc
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          1087 Feb  5 07:43 config
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           458 Oct 20 10:13 dropbear_dss_host_key
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           427 Oct 20 10:13 dropbear_rsa_host_key
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           597 Oct 20 10:13 htoprc
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        245058 Sep 15 15:55 moduli
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           672 Oct 20 10:13 ssh_host_dsa_key
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           227 Oct 20 10:13 ssh_host_ecdsa_key
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          1679 Oct 20 10:13 ssh_host_rsa_key
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          3579 Sep 15 15:55 sshd_config
drwxr-xr-x    3 root     root          8192 Oct  3 15:29 terminfo
Since this is a new installation, the 'authorized_keys' file does not exist.
Since that file is just a list of the public keys, one key per line, that are authorized to access this machine, it can be created by coping the kpw_id_rsa.pub file to it.

scp, like ssh, will ask you for the user's password.
Just press return, for the password-free entry as 'root' in the Kindle modified server(s).
NOTE: The server 'ken1' (for the purposes of ssh/scp) is not the same hostname that is on-file in the known_hosts file.

Code:
core2quad ~ $ cd .ssh
core2quad .ssh $ scp kpw_id_rsa.pub root@ken1:/mnt/us/usbnet/etc/authorized_keys
The authenticity of host 'ken1 (192.168.15.244)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 4e:30:f8:bf:3e:92:b6:ad:18:21:b3:47:95:9e:02:30.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'ken1' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.


Welcome to Kindle!

root@ken1's password: 
kpw_id_rsa.pub                    100%  398     0.4KB/s   00:00 
core2quad .ssh $ cd
Now it should be possible for you to connect to ken1 without entering a password.
Try it now:
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh -l root ken1


Welcome to Kindle!

#################################################
#  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  # 
#################################################
Rootfs is mounted read-only. Invoke mntroot rw to
switch back to a writable rootfs.
#################################################
[root@kindle root]#
NOTE: This is the second log-in of 'root' to ken1 now. The first (which is still up) required the entry of a password. The second (which we just established) did not require the entry of a password, it used the pub-key authentication.
In general, you can start as many ssh connection sessions as you have terminal windows. There is some practical limit, but you will certainly get lost in your collection of open connections before the Kindle looses track of what is what.

The use of ssh/scp commands can be simplified further by the use of a nickname for all of the connection details (such as what name to login as).

Type: exit in one of the ssh sessions or open another terminal window on your host machine.
Code:
[root@kindle root]# exit
Connection to ken1 closed.
On the PC (still):
Make the hidden directory ~/.ssh the current directory;
Open the file named: config in your favorite editor (if config does not exist, this will create it):
Code:
core2quad ~ $ cd .ssh
core2quad .ssh $ sudo nano config

edit, edit, edit, save, exit

core2quad .ssh $ cd
core2quad ~ $
Add a nickname of kpw for the Kindle that looks like this (modified to include your key-pair basename and fully qualified domain name used in /etc/hosts file):
Code:
host kpw
     user root
     hostname ken1.morethan.org
     port 22
     IdentitiesOnly yes
     identityfile ~/.ssh/kpw_id_rsa
The blank line at the end of the parameter block is significant! Include it!

Now you should be able to substitute the connection nickname of 'kpw' for the options and authority field in the ssh and scp commands (and probably in the sftp commands also - but not tested here).
Example:
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh kpw


Welcome to Kindle!

#################################################
#  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  *  N O T I C E  # 
#################################################
Rootfs is mounted read-only. Invoke mntroot rw to
switch back to a writable rootfs.
#################################################
[root@kindle root]#
That feature minimizes the command line a whole lot, something important when scripting ssh/scp interactions with the Kindle.
You can have as many 'nicknames' as you wish in the ~/.ssh/config file (within some practical limit), separated by blank lines.

Now for a simple example of executing shell commands on the Kindle, from the host PC, without ever bringing up a terminal instance on the Kindle.
Background:
ssh (Secure SHell) is a replacement for rsh (Remote SHell). Just like your local shell you can pass it shell commands.

For an example, lets try a one-liner to check the current charge level of the remote Kindle's battery:
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh kpw "gasgauge-info -c"


Welcome to Kindle!

100%
core2quad ~ $
Want another battery report? How about current charge level and current battery current? With a few words tossed in.
Code:
core2quad ~ $ ssh kpw "echo -n 'Charge: ' ; gasgauge-info -c ; echo -n 'Load: ' ; gasgauge-info -l"


Welcome to Kindle!

Charge: 99%
Load: -82 mA
NOTE: A negative value is the battery dis-charge rate, a positive value is the battery charge rate.

All of that whitespace and that "Welcome to Kindle!" message needs to be removed, since both stdin and stdout from the remote shell can be accessed in the ssh command line.

The removal of that banner message requires the applicacion of a patch to the usbnetwork script on the Kindle.

Doing away with the banner (optional, for when using remote commands with output to the client).

Make a working directory (anywhere) named 'old' and make it the current working directory.
Download the attachment to this post: banner.patch.gz

De-compress the patch:
Code:
core2quad old $ gunzip banner.patch.gz
Make a local copy of the Kindle's usbnetwork script:
Code:
core2quad old $ scp kpw:/mnt/us/usbnet/bin/usbnetwork .
usbnetwork                     100% 9263     9.1KB/s   00:00
Apply the changes in the banner.patch file:
Code:
core2quad old $ patch -p1 < banner.patch
patching file usbnetwork
Push the modified script back onto the Kindle:
Code:
core2quad old $ scp usbnetwork kpw:/mnt/us/usbnet/bin/usbnetwork
usbnetwork                     100% 9383     9.2KB/s   00:00
If you ever decide that the patch should be removed (reverted):
Spoiler:

Reverting the patch:
Code:
core2quad old $ patch -p1 < banner.patch
patching file usbnetwork
Reversed (or previously applied) patch detected!  Assume -R? [n] y
Push the script with the reverted patch onto the Kindle:
Code:
core2quad old $ scp usbnetwork kpw:/mnt/us/usbnet/bin/usbnetwork
usbnetwork                     100% 9383     9.2KB/s   00:00


Now follow the normal routine for shutting down usb networking and then starting it again.
There are timing loops in the start/stop script - you might have to repeat the start/stop toggle a few times (with a waiting time in-between) before the old dropbear goes away and the new one (without the banner) starts.

Give the running of a sequence of commands on the remote Kindle another try:
Code:
core2quad old $ ssh kpw "echo -n 'Charge: ' ; gasgauge-info -c ; echo -n 'Load: ' ; gasgauge-info -l"
Charge: 99%
Load: 142 mA
core2quad old $
No more of the distraction (to a script parsing the output) of blank banner lines and an un-welcome message!

Also note the positive load value, the postive value means the battery is charging at that current.
The actual charge current is probably higher, since that measurement was taken while the on-demand kernel was running at least three active processes (ssd, gasgauge-info, and the shell script).


Before we play with ssh/scp over Wifi, which requires Wifi to be enabled, we need to block the Kindle's "call home" habit. That will require another iptables HowTo on modifying the rules, see: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=205068

For now, enjoy.
Attached Files
File Type: gz banner.patch.gz (312 Bytes, 51 views)

Last edited by knc1; 02-07-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Will be putting the additions to the above HowTo down here when required.

Last edited by knc1; 02-05-2013 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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This is excellent information, well laid out.

Thanks from us all, silent and not.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Its soup.

Typo's fixed and the patch to remove the banner output attached to first post.
Directions and a test example of dropbear with the removed banner added to the top post.

NOTE:
The banner could probably have been blocked with an addition to the config file.
But that has the disadvantage of being a user point of change (the config) file - hence it would have to be hand-entered by each user, exactly.

For now, a patch to the script is the way the banner is killed.

Last edited by knc1; 02-05-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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Device: Kindle Touch 5.3.2
What's the best way to connect to Kindle Touch via SSH?
I do jailbreak all the time when need SSH connection. I found this USBNetwork 0.7N (4MB) and SimpleUSBNetwork 1.1 (280kb) hacks. What's the difference?
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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I know nothing about SimpleUSBNetwork 1.1
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:54 AM   #7
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I found this one: simple_usbnet_1.1.zip. It's much more smaller, and people say it also works.

Last edited by Glosnik; 02-12-2013 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glosnik View Post
I found this one: simple_usbnet_1.1.zip. It's much more smaller, and people say it also works.
The size difference would be because NiLuJe includes more than just the ssh server in his package.

I have just chosen to integrate the various services provided by the larger package in addition to the ssh server.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glosnik View Post
I found this one: simple_usbnet_1.1.zip. It's much more smaller, and people say it also works.
It's ancient. and the author certainly wont be rolling out updates.

but if it works for you "it works".

I would use the other one.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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simple_usbnet was Yifan's original, quick & simple way to get an SSH server on the Touch devices. It's basically just dropbear (possibly the one from the early K4 diags), and a very plain & 'dumb' script to toggle it. KISS.

USBNetwork is the port of the K2/3 hack of the same name, with a bunch of different set of configuration available (a choice between dropbear and OpenSSH, WiFi, ...), and a few extra tools bundled with it. It's also patched to make it friendlier with our hacked devices.

As an example, you probably won't be able to sftp to your device with simple_usbnet alone, and I'm not even sure about scp (can't remember if it's bundled in the default FW on the Touch/PW, it wasn't on earlier devices).
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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... and I'm not even sure about scp (can't remember if it's bundled in the default FW on the Touch/PW, it wasn't on earlier devices).
[root@kindle root]# what
Quote:
Kindle Touch!

[root@kindle root]# which scp
Quote:
nuttin to see here...
so "No" then

[root@kindle root]# finder scp
Quote:
/usr/bin/scp
/usr/bin/dbscp
[root@kindle root]# ls -al /usr/bin/scp
Quote:
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 32 Jan 9 18:19 /usr/bin/scp -> /mnt/us/usbnet/bin/dropbearmulti

Last edited by twobob; 02-12-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #12
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On the other hand, simple_usbnet does install an scp symlink to dbscp, so, err, scratch that ^^.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Just wanted a simple ssh connection, without stuff I won't even use It works, so I'll let it live.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #14
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sounds like a plan
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