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Newbie with several questions

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by KPC, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. KPC

    KPC Member

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    Hello, I currently own and operate an industrial coatings business.

    Just this week I picked up a Roland PC600 "Print & Cut" machine. I had no problems connecting it and getting it to work properly. The machine was just serviced by an authorized Roland technician right before I purchased it.

    The previous owner included a roll of printable white Avery vinyl.

    I picked up Corel Suite 12 and was able to use Corel Draw to make a sticker design, then save it as a jpg file, and then use the supplied Roland bridge to take the jpg file and print it with the Roland PC600.

    The only problem is that I can't figure out how to "Print and Cut".

    Remember, I didn't buy this machine to go into the sign making business. I purchased this machine because I need to make small (1 ft x 1ft) stickers that can be slapped on the side of my company vehicles to advertise our industrial coatings service.

    I also plan on getting a setup together to where I can travel to different car shows, and advertise my industrial coatings business using one of those Easy-Up tarps. I want to be able to use standard colored vinyl, use the Roland to cut out the business name and stick it to the front of the Easy-up. Or possibly buy a banner (4-5 feet long x 2-3 feet high) that I can hang from the front of the table, and cover the banner with vinyl to show what all we offer at our shop.

    One thing that sets my current business apart from the competition is that we always present ourselves as being very professional in both attitude and appearance.

    I don’t have the time to close up my business so that I can go work for $5 an hour at a Fast Sign’s that is over an hour away, just to get some “hands on” training. Ultimately, I’m posting this thread because I need some good advice or better yet point in a direction to possibly buying a set of instructional DVD’s that I can watch in my spare time, that will crudely teach me everything from what materials are needed to how to apply the materials on the substrate. Such as how to properly weed a cut sticker to applying transfer tape, to marking the substrate and the transfer tape, to squeegeeing <-sp? the vinyl to remove air bubbles, etc..

    I was looking around eBay and came across these 2 dvd set

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vinyl-Graphics-Plotter-Cutter-Training-2x-DVD-Car-Bike_W0QQitemZ330021048849QQihZ014QQcategoryZ46741QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I never took any classes in college about graphic design, using a vinyl machine, etc..

    Some may instantly start asking, why would anyone shell out thousands of dollars on a machine that they have absolutely no idea how to use. Well, I have the ambition to learn how to use this equipment and I feel that over time, I will recover the upfront cost + I like the idea of being able to do all of my own vinyl work on a moments notice.

    I kindly than everyone in advance.
     
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  2. Whit

    Whit Member

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    I'm thinkin you'll need a vector format around your jpg
    in order for it to cut as well as print !!!
    This is not my area so may or may not be the case !!!
    Welcome to the forums,,, from Texas !!!
     
  3. Bradster941

    Bradster941 Very Active Member

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    :Welcome: KPC.

    To do the plot I beleave you will need a trace around it and that will be a vextor format / file type.

    I'm sure someone here will be able to step you through it.

    You should also look in the Corel software area and Hardware sections for a wealth of information.
     
  4. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    You need to make a CutContour line in a special color ( I used magenta) in your custom color palette..... go to Roland and they have the steps to do this. I is not hard....just follow the steps. I printed and cut from Corel 10. The Roland user forum has alot of information ..... they have a section just for colorcamms. Hope this helps you .
     
  5. KPC

    KPC Member

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    bump.

    I've spent the better part of today looking around on the internet trying to find any good training resources and I've found very little.

    What options are out there for the average Joe who has no formal signage training but wants to produce small stickers & small door signs for on the side of work trucks, etc..

    I can't see it being difficult by any means, to produce a simple "Text Only" sign for the side of a normal utility work van.

    Something like

    Jimbo's Plumbing - We offer services 24 hrs a day
    Call (999) 555-1234


    Sure, it isn't a "professional" sign, but I'm not looking to get into the professional sign business.

    I just want to be able to decently use this Roland PC-600 printer / cutter.

    I've found "start-up kits" such as this:

    Ordway Signmaking Starter Kit *** CLICK HERE ***


    But even if I buy this and attempt to use the tools, I'm not going to be doing it the "Correct" way. I'll probably get lots of air bubbles and the sort..

    I don't have the time to "self learn" how to become semi-decent in the world-of-signs

    What is this average Joe supposed to do? I'm not looking to do this as a business, so it isn't like I'm going to be hurting the general public by someone over paying me for a cheap quality sign. I just want to use the machine for advertising my current industrial coatings business.

    While searching and reading many threads on this forum, I ran across someone who asked if there were any good suppliers in the Pittsburgh area.

    Someone replied with a company called "Pioneer".

    So I called the company and asked if they had a showroom with a few machines where maybe one of their salesmen could show me the ropes on a machine. I would be happy to pick up some supplies while I was there and then could use both the supplies and what I learned during the demonstration and take that back to my shop where I could possibly put the two into use, creating some stickers / signs for myself.

    After I said that to the lady on the phone, she pretty much said that they were only distributors of materials and that nobody in the office had any hands on experience working with the machines or producing stickers.


    I feel like I'm running out of options. It's getting down to the point where I wish I could find someone in a 150 mile radius that would welcome me to their shop / home to show me the ropes. I understand that this is probably unlikely, because anyone who is already established in the sign business is going to want to keep their knowledge a secret so that others can't take away from their business.

    Anyway, if anyone can comment on all of this, it is all greatly appreciated.

    Please don't be rude though. I didn't buy the cheapest machine that was offered. I feel that I have my foot in the door by at least owning a good machine. I just need some training on how to use it.

    What are my options?
     
  6. KPC

    KPC Member

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    Is there any chance that someone could post a file of a sticker that is finished and ready to be printed and cut.

    That way, I can use the file and work backwards and try to figure out why the file works vs. my jpg files that will only print but will not cut.

    I have macromedia fireworks mx, photoshop 6.0, adobe imageready 3.0, corel suite 12.

    Hopefully one of these software titles will allow this this machine spit out a sticker. I don't care what the sticker says.

    All that I have at the moment is white vinyl. If possible, I'd like the sticker to be rather small. I don't want to waste all that ink and vinyl printing out a 3 foot long multi colored banner, if you know what I mean...



    :thankyou:
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    From the sound of your first post to only your second post, you’ve gone from not wanting to be in the industry at all and only doing your own in-house needs to now wanting to do half quality jobs for half price.

    Remember, I didn't buy this machine to go into the sign making business. I purchased this machine because I need to make small (1 ft x 1ft) stickers that can be slapped on the side of my company vehicles to advertise our industrial coatings service.
    AND
    I like the idea of being able to do all of my own vinyl work on a moments notice.

    You’re already telling us in your second post how it isn’t difficult.

    I can't see it being difficult by any means, to produce a simple
    AND
    but I'm not looking to get into the professional sign business
    AND
    I don't have the time to "self learn" how to become semi-decent in the world-of-signs
    AND
    I'm going to be hurting the general public by someone paying me for a 1/2 quality sign.

    You requested that we answer without being rude. Well, my take on this whole scenario is that you just want to cut your sign company out of his fair market price for doing work that you don’t understand or know how to do. You questions are purposely misleading and then you have the gall to ask for help from the very people you’re trying to screw

    To make matters worse, you then admit that you want to do half-assed signs and charge ludicrous prices and undermine the trade in your area. Being able to buy some toys and spending a few hundred or thousand dollars doesn’t warrant you’re need to understand a trade that so many take seriously.

    Sure, it isn't a "professional" sign, but I'm not looking to get into the professional sign business.

    If this is how you run your other business, I feel sorry for your customers with your kind of business ethics and integrity… or lack of, I should say.
     
  8. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    We agree with Gino and ADD...

    We originated by doing in-house work, but we already had prior graphics experience. We always supplied our own artwork.

    You make it sound like you can learn what to do (and what we do) in fifteen minutes - which is just not possible, and even insulting to many of us.

    You are correct that people in this business are protective of what they do, just as you are. What you do not understand is that the majority of the people in this business read and listen quite well. One minute you are tooo busy (meaning that you are making money with your current business) and the next minute you are speaking of selling cut-rate signage. The two statements in themselves are contradiction, and a red flag.

    Honestly and integrity are two requirements that are taken very seriously in what we do. It is a craft - not the pushing of a retail product, like paint and coatings.
     
  9. KPC

    KPC Member

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    You guys got it all wrong! I went back and re-read what I typed earlier and I admit that I can see how you got it wrong. From the way I wrote my second post, it seemed as though I wanted to produce signs for customers.

    let me try to clear things up for good:




    1. I have no interest at all of going into the sign business.

    2. I bought the machine ONLY to promote my current business, and the option of maybe doing a few tiny stickers and the sort for family and close friends. For little to no charge. Pretty much, if you want a sticker made, catch me when I'm not busy, and just cover my costs for the ink and vinyl.

    3. As for the idea of Jimbo's plumbing, I think this is where most of you took me to sound like I wanted to produce a sign for an actual "Jimbo's plumbing" Please understand that I simply used this as an example for my own business. I can't see it being difficult to produce a sticker that has text only "meaning no logo's graphics" that I can slap on the side of MY work truck.

    Right now, I don't care if I produce a "non-professional" sign for the side of my work truck. Even if the sign, just has the business name, and the shop phone number, that is good enough, while I learn how to better use the software and equipment.


    Then down the road, if I get better at using this equipment, I can rip off the old "text only" sign, and put on a more graphic sign on the side of MY work truck.

    I'm not saying that "from an experienced point of view" that it easy to do a text only sign. I'm saying from an amateur's point of view, that I can't see it being that difficult.

    4. I've never admitted to wanting to do a half-assed sign for anyone. I'm saying that I can understand that a true professional business, wouldn't want to teach some amateur how to make a sign, if that amateur is going to use it against the professional, by offering a 1/2 quality sign at 2 times fair market price.

    I can go on an on, but you're taking everything opposite of what I mean.

    There is absolutely no chance in hell that I'm trying or would even think about screwing anyone over. I paid good money for what I figure is a decent quality machine. I want to use this machine to better advertise my current business.

    That is all there is to it.
     
  10. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Take a class at you local community college or get someone to produce the decals/signs for you. It would be like someone here saying I just bought an industrial powder coater to spray all my sign frames and sign blanks and would like to find someone in that industry to teach me how to use this equipment, I am not going into the powder coating industry I just want to coat my own fabricated metal items.

    Believe that and I have some ocean front property for sale in the Pittsburgh area!
     
  11. KPC

    KPC Member

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    I guess that I had figured there would be a set of instructional DVD's out there that were professional produced.

    Seeing how there are so many of the really dirt cheap cutters scattered all over the internet for sale, especially on eBay, that there would be a great deal more people that are in my shoes, who doesn't give a damn about going into business with their machine.

    They just purchased it for the pride in doing their own stickers. It is the same thing as the guy down the block, who goes out and buys a decent air compressor, and a decent spray gun, and wants to spray paint the hood of his daily driver car just because he is tired of having all of the rock chips in the hood.

    He doesn't want to take it to a professional paint shop and pay $1000 for the hood to be professionally painted. But at the same time, he has absolutely no formal training on how to paint anything. Sure, there are several week long courses at the local community colleges on how to learn professional auto body painting but the average Joe looking to clean up and repaint the hood doesn't need formal / professional training. He is just looking for a little advice on how to tune the gun so that sprays the paint out in the correct amount.

    When you guys head into your local home improvement store and ask the paint department what tools and techniques are needed to paint a room in your house, do they turn to you and say, you are an incapable ameature. Go flip through the phone book and find a professional to paint the walls. Of course they wouldn't treat you like that. In the back of his/her mind, they might feel that you can't produce a finish that will have the quality of a professional, but there are a lot of people out there that take pride in doing work themselves.

    In my humble opinion, I believe where the problem lies is that you guys fail to realize, is that what “You Do” is far beyond what most of us amateurs ever dream of doing. To take it even 1 step further, I myself and I bet that I can speak for many amateurs as a whole that "we" don’t even dream about doing everything that "You Guys Do", because simply put, we don’t care to ever do it.

    Just as the guy down the block who wants to paint the hood of his car, or the next door neighbor who decides he is tired of looking at the white walls of the living room and wants to paint them a different color.

    Yes, I'm sure that there are many people out there that buy a $500 cutting machine and think they are gonna head into business and take over the sign making world. However, I spent many times that and I can tell you that all I want to do is produce a few damn stickers for my own use...

    I'm in the shoes where I just wish I could find someone local who would share just an hour of their time to say, look, click here, to make a box, fill in the box, by clicking this button, and enter the text here. Once the sticker prints, you head out to your work truck, take a pencil, measure up from here, and draw a line. Match that same line on the sticker peel off the backing squeegee it out, and poof, there is your sticker.

    Just as the guys above need help with choosing the materials, and techniques to paint the hood of their car or the walls in their living room. The difference between feeling comfortable "doing it yourself" might be just that 1/2 hr talking with the guy from the paint department in the home improvement store.

    Sure, to the professionals, I'm bet the hair on the back of your neck stood up just thinking of how "low quality" the sign might look. But for me, I need to start somewhere. And if all that I get is an hour of someone’s time, to me I would be greatly appreciative. Because that hour of someone’s time, probably very well saved me 1-2 weeks worth of trying to figure it out on my own.


    But as this thread seems to be going, I'll do as instructed and head back into the cave where all of us beginners belong. I'll be sure to outsource all of my stickers / truck signs and donate the machine that I just purchased since it will not do me any good. :rolleyes:

    Sorry if I have offended anyone. That was never my intention.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Deeper and Deeper

    I don’t think you’ve wasted anyone’s time here other than maybe your own. Did you ever hear the saying digging deeper and deeper ?? Well, you’re back pedaling at such a rate, that now you’re swearing at yourself in your posts, for no good reason.

    Me thinkst thou protesteth too much.

    Did you happen to go out and buy a compressor and gun and forget to get a proper booth, too ??

    Here’s another saying… and being from PA you should know it well…

    Don’t put the cart in front of the horse.

    If you want lessons on how to use this machinery and software you just got, just say so. I’m sure someone will be happy to teach you. They will probably charge you a non-refundable retainer of about $12,000.00 to start. You can get six [6] easy lessons for that and have on-hands training. You should take advantage of it, it will only help you further yourself in life and understand this fine industry.

    You tend to think everything is so easy. Why do you keep on trying to cheapen our livelihood ?? Your downward spin on our trade is insulting. If you want to only produce things for yourself and close family members or friends, you sure have a lot of software you don’t need. Are you just a sucker to buy things before you know how to use them ??

    I don’t mean any disrespect, but what you’ve shown so far for us and ours, leaves no room for any back. Sorry !! :unclesam:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  13. KPC

    KPC Member

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    This thread is essentially getting no where.

    The only reason that I'm getting rather upset is that I came to this forum with absolutely no experience and was looking for some quick and simple advice on how to get this machine to spit out a few small stickers.

    As I play with the software and what not, I'll get the hang of things a little better and produce better results.

    I feel that since the beginning, I've done nothing but try to battle the "professionals" in standing up to the idea that not all amateurs are looking to dive into the sign making business to turn a quick buck. Frankly, I don't care to make any money off of the machine. The money that I save over time being able to produce my own stickers, will pay for the machine. Then I have an asset to my company that is paid off.

    If this forum consists of mostly only professionals who don't want bothered by the amateurs looking to produce a few small stickers, with absolutely no graphic design knowledge, then obviously, I am wasting both my time and everyone else’s.

    I have no probablem openly stating that I have no idea what I'm doing with this equipment. And in my opinion, that shouldn't bother any of the professionals because my lack of experience isn't hurting anyone simply because I'm not selling any graphic products.

    As I used the example in my previous post, about the guy who goes out on a limb and purchases some decent quality spray equipment. Does he pick up a spray booth, NO. Do you need a paint booth to spray the hood of a $2000 car? NO

    If the guy who picks up the equipment, but doesn't buy the paint booth, complains and complains about the quality not being 100% perfect, then yes, I could see people dropping the roof on him.

    But I picked up just what I needed to start producing a few decent stickers. I don't see what is so wrong with that. Especially considering, that I know and admit that I can't produce a "professional" looking sign.

    Not everyone needs everything done professionally for each and every job. Hence what I said about the guy painting the room in his house. Will the job look as good as if a professional paint crew came in to do it for him. NO it will not. But the pride in being able to complete something that you had no former training in, is well worth the rather small offset in quality difference and the huge difference in cost between a professional paint crew and the do-it-yourselfer.

    If nobody can understand where I'm coming from, I will gladly stop posting and just research and figure out how to do the stuff on my own. I just can't believe how some / all of you are looking at what I've typed as being so incredibly rude / deceiving / etc..
     
  14. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    But you are doing signs now,, Your doing something that a signmaker should be doing. You spent large amount of money to do what you want. But a signmaker could've done it for you.

    Then you said....
    This is what we do not wish to hear. Someone doing our work undercutting us but not actually knowing what to do..

    then you said..
    There are so many of them scattered around because there are so many trying to recover a few bux after finding out doing just what you are doing is a waste of time and talent.


    And then,, tomorrow I will come over to your place and ask you to give me a paint job for just about cost. Then I will watch you do it,, then I will purchase a machine so I can do coatings work myself because you cost to much and rip others off. And while I am at it I'll just do a few freinds and other bizz buddies too. Real cheap at that. Not much just enuf to pay for tha machines and tools.

    You see, you are not the first to do this. In fact you are a little late because our attitude is from listening to hundreds of others who just wish to "dable".
    (dam I hate that term)

    We wind up training dablers who bought cheap equipment, to those who have no commitment or vested interest. in our work, only to see our freinds suffer hunger pains while those like you undercut and disrespect what we do..
    good luck..
     
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    If what you want is to cut out your prints, you have already been given the answer twice. So here it is for a third time. It is done with a vector. The only application you list which is for vector creation and editing is CorelDRAW. What you converted to JPG was most likely a step backwards if it was vectors in the first place.

    Go to Roland's forum, since you chose not to work with a Roland dealer, and use their search tools to find the information you seek.
     
  16. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Even if I knew how to send a cut file from Corel to a Roland plotter, I wouldn't tell you.
    I work with Gerber.
    To me, you are not a newbie sign maker.
    You are just someone (wanting to "look professional") who was too cheap to pay a professional to letter your vehicles.
    A 1'x1' RTA one-color decal would run you $40 here.
    Did you wire your own house to save $500?
    Operate on your sick pet to save a buck or two?
    I am in the Pittsburgh area, but I really wouldn't want you as an apprentice or a client.
    The folks at Pioneer or Glantz can be quite helpful.
    To a "real" sign guy.
    Since you don't think it will be difficult, figure it out yourself.
    I'm sure that soon you will be cranking out cheap signs and be another boil-on-my-*** sign shop.

    Techman said it far more elequontly than myself.

    Jill
     
  17. Derf

    Derf Very Active Member

    Well you could learn the way I did!

    Sit down in front of the computer and learn the software or don't eat. you'll learn real fast that way!
     
  18. 2972renfro

    2972renfro Member

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    Been reading this posting and something smells fishy.

    The poster seems to be saying a lot of things beforehand in order to avoid being flamed. He talks in great detail about not wanting to compete with the pros, avoiding bubbles in the vinyl, and generally uses ALOT of terminology that only seasoned sign makers would know about.

    My opinion is this is someone who is already a member here under another name and posing as an amateur in order to ruffle some feathers. You guys are wasting your time. This poster has by far been the most articulate person on here - FOR A NEWBIE.

    You are being baited.
     
  19. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    see you insult the people you are asking for help you state "It can't be that hard ! well buddy if it aint that hard why you need help?Oh and buy the way I'll be doing my own coating next week & everyone here I'll only charge cost of material if I can do it in free time for you Its really simple takes No real knowledge to do it any trained monkey can do it. got couple them on order too the supplier really didnt want to sell me supplies since I'm not already a coater , but found tons on ebay :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  20. KPC

    KPC Member

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    I can honestly say that this forum is unlike anything that I've ever visited on the net.

    I frequent several industrial refinishing forums and it doesn't matter if the premier companies are talking about a multi-million dollar refinishing system or the small family run businesses that work 10 times as hard to make 10% of the money, everyone is friendly and willing to help even an amateur regardless if they have a vested interest in the trade or not.

    It is funny because I've spent a few days reading on this forum before posting for the first time. Any time someone said anything about going into business using a small system like mine, everyone says that if you plan on putting food on the table, forget about doing small $2 stickers and the sort. Get a bigger machine and plan on doing larger things like vehicle wraps, larger outdoor signs, etc..

    But I come on here asking for help because I want to produce small stickers, maybe the biggest sign would be a simple banner for use at a trade show, and all of a sudden, I'm this thief who is causing your friends to suffer hunger pains.

    I guess that seeing how I run a business (although slightly different from making signs but still in the same ball park) I remain successful irregardless if a growing amount of people offer refinishing or do their own coating to avoid paying an actual shop. Their will always be people who are "do it yourselfers".

    I fall into this category. When someone asked, did I wire my house to save $500, I couldn't help but break out laughing. Cause the answer is a 100% yes. Everything from bending the conduit, to hanging the lights. I take great pride in doing it myself.

    Obviously my replies are not going to change the consensus opinions, and visa-versa.

    I just don't believe that the people out there who choose to buy a small machine to do their own stickers and the sort are really hurting the industry as a whole.

    Simply because with the industry that I'm in, the same type of situation is going on, but every day my phone still rings and emails pour in from customers who either have no interest or do not have the capabilities of doing their own refinishing.

    It is such a shame how after reading dozens and dozens of threads, so many people shoot down newbies before they even get a foot in the door to say HI. Especially those guys who do it yourself, just like I do.
    I'm going to go out on the kill 'em with kindness because from the bottom of my heart I hope that all true professionals remain successful. I've said it several times and for what it is worth, I am not looking to go into the sign making business. I just wanted to produce my own stickers / small banners, and if there are so many others like me out there which is causing such a shortage of income to the sign making professionals, then I can honestly see why there is such negativity towards the newbies who have no interest in bettering the signmaking community as a whole. I don't know if I should have stated right off the bat as someone else said in another thread "please forgive me because I bring no experience to this forum", or if I should have just never posted anything to begin with.

    Ultimately I want to close by saying, thank you for your time regardless if it was good or bad and I'm sorry for any trouble that I caused. :unclesam:
     
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