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Old 2022-08-13, 05:51   #1
LaurV
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I am going to "give away" a "Colab Pro" account (simple "Pro", not "Pro+") to somebody willing to maintain it and put it to work to whatever job they want, in the following conditions:

1. Account will be created and paid (by me) between 5 and 11 of September (most probably towards the end of the period) and released (to you) in the same day or the day after, so you can use as many days as possible, from the 30 days paid. If things go well (see below) it will continue to be paid monthly on the same date, at least till December, inclusive.

2. You actively run the account, i.e. not leave it dormant. Give those GPUs something to do. On Pro (not-plus), you get two sessions with T4 or P100 each, and rarely K80 or V100, depending on your geographic area, and they last for 24 hours. From time to time (up to you) you may post here (not necessarily in this thread, you can make your own, or use any Colab-related thread, according with the forum rules and netiquette) and tell us how it goes, what GPUs you got, etc.

3. Jobs will only be related to GIMPS (TF, P-1, ECM, LL, PRP). Other things like Crus, Boinc, NPLB, or exotic stuff like Fold-it, IA training, etc, are prohibited. I mean, you can do, but the payments will stop for the next months. Of course, you report the work to PrimeNet on your name, and keep the Gimps credits.

4. Obviously, I will login periodically (like every few days, or weekly, or when I have time, maybe more often in the beginning, before you "get the trust"), which will be transparent for you (this is how Colab works, you can not see if other people are logged in to the same Colab screen from other computers), to see what you are doing. If you change the password, or do "other things" as mentioned above, or I find it laying unused for repeated times (up to my mood, but I can understand that it may be unused once or twice, if the resources were taken away from you, became unavailable, you can't be 24 hours in front of the screen, but the key here is that you should try to actively put this account to work, which WILL consume some of your time! It is not "set it and forget it", you should check it at least once or twice per day, as the sessions only last 24 hours), so, if I find it dormant, then the payments will stop and the password will be changed (if I am still able to do so - I am aware of the fact that you can do some "tricks" that may forbid me to recover the password in case you changed it, but you can not do anything to make me continue the payments, if I want to stop them) and/or the account given to somebody else.

5. If the things go well on both sides, then the payments will continue for the next months, at least till December, or further. I mean, on your side, you put this account to work actively, and on my side the "tricks" I am going to pull out work as I expect. About my side, I will know (and notify you) around September 14 or 15 latest (forum post, I may describe the "tricks"). So, it may be that in any case, and independent of you, you will only have it for 1 month, or for 4 months, or much longer. If you get bored, say so and I will give it to somebody else to play with. Note that this is not a charity, I don't give you anything from my pocket That is why I call the thread "adventure" and not "give away" or "charity", "donation", etc. This is a win-win case, I am going to pull a "trick" with Colab and my wallet that pays it, which is on my advantage, and not at your expense (beside the work you will need to invest running the Colab account, but you get GIMPS credits for it). Which trick, as said, I will describe here later, probably towards the end of September, if it works.

6. Priorities go in order to: (1) people on the forum who helped me in real life, even if I ever met them or not (like for example, they helped me in the past to buy GPUs from ebay, from vendors who wouldn't sell to Thailand). There are not many such people here on this forum, but if they want to dirty their hands with Colab, and have the time, post here or PM me, and I will pick one of you. (2) People I know and I met in real life - yep, there are a few of those here too, and some of them like to play with Colab, so if you are one of those, post here or PM me and I will pick from you, if nobody in (1) is willing to play with Colab Pro on my expense. (3) People with experience in Colab (as shown by the posts they made in the past, or tutorials, or tools they created and made available for the people). That is because I don't want you to waste your time and my money on experiments how to use Colab, instead of squeezing all the juice from it, in an efficient manner. If you want to learn how to use it, learn on a free account. Then, (4) people who may be suggested by the supermods in the moderators' threads (here I count on the fact that I don't know the interests and contributions of everybody, so some mods can have a better idea who should get access to this Pro account), and (5) Rest of the forum members who would like to play with Colab Pro but can not afford the ~US$11 (including VAT) of monthly payments.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2022-08-13 at 06:52
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Old 2022-09-12, 11:32   #2
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Well, here I actually expected to see hundreds of applicants, haha, but only two people seem to be willing to dirty their hands. I honestly expected to see some people from the first two groups (like Mike, or Wayne, who have the knowledge, and need the resources - i.e. they are GIMPS-addicted, haha) - but well... holiday seasons...

Chris was the second to apply, but with him I had an "argument" about those wasted A100 cards. Therefore, Chris got at once a Pro Plus account, initially without any connection to our current "offer" in this thread, and that was a "Plus" (pun intended) because he promised to use it very well. Which he did , as he explained in his Colab thread, he made the A100 work with mfaktc, which was bothering me for ages and I could not sleep, eat, or pee, because of it! hihi. He gracefully gave the account back after his post with mission accomplished.

The second user who was willing to dirty his hands (the first who applied, in chronological order) was slandrum. I don't know the guy, but I checked his PrimeNet and forum activity and he seems OK. And he made a very impressive introduction for himself on PM

So, I decided to give him the same account I created for Chris, which is a Pro Plus (!) account. Of course, I deleted all the clutter from me and Chris and changed the password, but this account is still doing something for me right now, so there will be a 2 or 3 days delay in handling it out.

So, buddy, I will send you the account and password on PM, in two days or so. You will have access to 2 (two) Colab Pro Plus sessions for (about) one month (for starters), and 100 GB storage on gugu drive (also paid by me, yearly subscription). The space may be needed if you decide to play with gpuOwl (for proof files). I won't touch this account, but I may occasionally look inside, tho, to make sure you don't sell drugs or weapons, or something, in my name . You play nice, the time may extend for the following months too. If you try to change the password so I can not login, or try to spend more money on gugu features there, then the deal is off (yep, you have access to the payment profile, and the wallet, once you know the password, but you won't be able to spend, because I get phone confirmation message for the card, which is not controlled from inside of the gugu account, and if I don't confirm, no payment will be done). So, the idea is, do whatever you want in colab, use the gugu drive as storage or not, as you wish (some notebooks are still there, the way I use them, you can use them or delete them), but don't touch the gugu account settings. If you need any change in settings, talk to me first on PM, and we will see how we can accommodate.

If you only used free accounts, then this may be new to you (or not): in Colab, you can open a second session just by opening another browser tab to colab and copy the code into it or write some code there (run it in a different folder, to avoid mixing settings). If you have more notebooks in g-drive, they will open in different sessions when you double-click them (but the total number of active sessions, therefore GPUs, at any moment, is limited to 2). Usually, on my accounts, I make two folders in gugu drive, called, say, g61 and g62 (the g6 is a relic, it means that I am still running version 6 of gpuOwl, because that can make P-1 as a standalone task, not combined with PRP, and it also can make fast LL tests, without Gerbicz check, note that GC is not mandatory needed, as long as all those cards have ECC memory, but LL with gpuOwl is not recommended since the shift is always zero, you have to check the former LL residues/results on PrimeNet and verify the first test was done with a non-zero shift, otherwise your result will not be accepted by the server and you work in vain, but gpuOwl is about two times faster than cudaLucas, so it may worth the effort), both folders contain copies of gpuowl.exe and the two or three lib_blah_blah libraries. I can help you set that up, if you want to go this way.

New as well will be the linux terminal. If you only used free accounts, you didn't have these features till now. With Pro and Pro+, you have access to the linux terminal, so you can do a lot of things there if you know a bit of linux and a bit of python.

Now, for Pro (non-Plus) accounts, you still can get CPU-only sessions rarely, if the servers are so busy and there are no GPU available. For me and Singapore servers it happened very seldom, usually I would get a P100, which is quite good for PRP tests with gpuOwl (related to our PM talk, you should take this opportunity and switch to gpuOwl, if you have no other ideas like doing only TF, or something) and/or a T4, which is very good for TF with mfaktc and gpu72 (Chris' toys), but bad for PRP/LL. There is a captcha sometimes, which is still bothering, but it doesn't appears so often as for free accounts (i.e. once every few days, instead of every 6 hours or so - they will captcha you only when they need to take the resources back, and not timely based). Generally the notebook will run 24 hours if you let the browser open (no need to be on that particular tab, it can be a not-active tab in firefox). Hunting for better cards is also possible (by closing and reopening the sessions, you get different cards, and if you are lucky, you can get a better card for your goal, in few trials - note that this goes both ways, sometimes you are unhappy with a K80, try again and get nada , and nada it is, for the next few hours).

With Pro plus, the main difference, beside the fact that you get better GPUs, like (usually) V100 and sometimes A100, is that you have the "background execution" option, which is, in fact, a good and a bad thing in the same time. It is good because is more like "set it and forget it", for 24 or even 30 or more hours (rarely more than 24, but it happened to me sometimes!) - you don't need to stay connected, you can completely close the browser and/or the computer. Also, there is no captcha, ever. On the other hand, bad thing, ignoring the fact that Plus is 5 times more expensive , background execution is bad because "hunting for cards", doesn't really work anymore on Pro+ accounts. I posted about it some time ago, on the forum. Or it works, but it is not so simple like for free or normal Pro accounts. I mean, you can not anymore disconnect and reconnect ten times in a row to get a better GPU. "Background execution" keeps your notebook running when you disconnect the browser. Once you got a "bad" card (like P100, which happens), it is "attached" to you "forever". So, even if you kill the session and reconnect after few minutes, you still get the SAME card. I don't mean the same TYPE of card (like P100, V100, etc), I mean the same piece of (virtual?) hardware, with same serial number, and all the stuff. I don't know how long you have to wait, to get another one. Never tried. If you are not satisfied with P100 or V100 and want A100, then nothing on this world can satisfy you, hehehe. The card will be taken from you only when THEY decide to cut you off (when time expires, or if they really need the card - this also happens sometimes, i.e. to get cut off before 24 hours). I found out that if you disable the background execution and kill the session from the menu, then it may help to get another card, but in that case, once you get the card and put it to work, you have to let the browser open, otherwise the session will be cut in minutes when you close the browser or lose the connection. Generally, I run with "background execution" and don't hunt for cards (I don't have time for that, as well as I don't have time to maintain so many accounts, that is why I give one to you).

Of course, YMMV, Singapore is not US or Canada. I was joking on the forum already, about the fact that, maybe, they only have one single A100 card there, that is why it is assigned so rarely.

Another point is that, if (A) you are currently using a Free account and want to use a Pro or Pro+ together with the former, or (B) you already use a Free or Pro account, and want to use the Pro+ account together with one of them, then you need another computer, or need to go obfuscated ways, like IP tunneling, or virtual machines, etc. If gugu detects the fact you are using two accounts of different levels, then the lower-level account will usually get no GPU, and sometimes even no connection ("resources unavailable"). There are also suppositions that if you only use one session (instead of two), you will get the A100 more often, but this is only a supposition, it happened to me once or twice, but maybe I only was lucky. You have to decide for you if running two V100 is more beneficial than one A100, for your type of work, or viceversa. Also, after you end a session (24 hours timeout), you may start another one immediately, or wait few hours. As Colab allocates more resources to the people who used them less in the last time (to make sure that everybody gets something, and one can not monopolize all the resources), you have better chance to get a better card after a period of inactivity. If an A100 does in 14 or 16 hours the same job V100 does in 24 hours (numbers used only as example), and you have 50% more chances to get A100 if you wait a while, than if you chain the sessions one from the other, then it worth to wait about 2-3 hours in between sessions, to get 4 or 5 times per week one A100 instead of 2 or 3 times - in that case you will waste about 20 hours total, but will do the same amount of output, or a little bit better. You don't need to do that, the case is only an example. You need to make your own calculation, according with your own goal and work type.

You can go whatever obfuscated ways you want, and keep whatever GIMPS credit you get. Whatever you chose to do, play nice and have fun.

So, once you have the password, go and squeeze those cards off all the juice!

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2022-09-18 at 06:21 Reason: just when I thought I wrote such a long post and don't need any correction....
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Old 2022-09-18, 05:08   #3
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I got this question on PM, and decided to make it public, and my answer too, because it can interest other people. These things were discussed a lot of times, and I feel like a broken record repeating them, but if I got something wrong, or any addition needed, feel free to take me to pieces. I understand that I didn't really reply to the question, but about that "increase" I don't know how to measure it. It depends on a lot of things. Also, I have the feeling that the inquirer doesn't really understand how Colab works. But this may be only my feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by <censored>
At the suggestion of <censored> I am contacting you about Colab Pro.
I am running 3 access codes using 10 different e-mail address which I split on alternate days on Colab. I have looked at Colab Pro and wondered if you could provide me with any recent news about how much of an increase actually is offered over and above the standard Colab. Also if one subscribed to Colab Pro would this be just for a sole e-mail address and access code?
Many thanks
<censored>
Hi [censored], I don't understand what is an "access code". On Colab, you run python (Jupyter) notebooks under Linux. There are no "access codes", or at least, I don't know what they are. If you talk about the access keys that Chris' script offers, those have nothing to do with Colab, but with Chris' GPU72 Colab Notebook making distinction between users. To be more clear, that is something Chris implemented in that particular notebook he offers to public to do TF with gpu72. I mostly run other notebooks, with either gpuOwl or cudaLucas, and I do TF with Chris' NB only occasionally, when I can't get a good GPU to do PRP or LL.

Colab offers you 6 different GPUs, up to availability, geographic area, and type of account you have. All things are documented on the forum, see the related threads, tutorial pages, and my blog too. In fact, I think I will put this on public, maybe others can weigh in. Without disclosing your name, of course, unless you want to come to the front by yourself :)

Pro+ offers mainly V100 cards, and occasionally A100 (much better, about double performance for PRP, about 1.5 times for TF, compared to V100) or P100 (worse, about half performance for PRP and about a quarter performance for TF, compared to V100). Sessions last 24 hours or more, and they have "background execution", i.e you don't need to stay connected to Colab. Pro+ costs US$45 per month, and depending on your country (local taxes, VAT, exchange rates) can cost you anything between $45 and $57 per month.

Pro (non plus) offers mainly T4 (good for TF) but occasionally you get P100 (worse for TF, about 2/3 of T4 performance, but much better for PRP/LL/PM1, about 6 to 8 times the performance of T4, mind that P100 is still about half performance of V100, etc). Rarely you get K80 (better than T4 at PRP/LL/PM1, about triple performance, but much worse at TF, about a quarter performance compared to T4) or P4 (this is a bad one, but still can do average/reasonable work for both LL/PRP/PM1 and TF). Also, sometimes you get no GPU, as all are occupied by Pro+ users, and you need to wait one or more hours before getting one. These accounts cost $10 per month, but they can cost anything between $10 and $13 (with taxes, VAT, blah blah) depending on which country you reside in for taxes/finance purpose. The sessions last for 24 hours too, but not more, and you don't have "background execution", i.e. you must stay connected (let the browser open) continuously, otherwise your session may be interrupted and the GPU relocated to Pro+ users if they requested it, and/or you are inactive [as explained in the previous post, this can be also a good thing, if you "hunt" for a special card]. There are periodical captcha checks, like every day, few days, etc., it seems it depends on your activity and location. You have to be in front of the computer to reply to captcha, otherwise the session will be cut.

The free account is the rest, you only get GPUs which other account types don't use, they are usually K80, or T4 if they are available, or just nothing, and you get captcha few times per session at random times (like 3 to 6 hours, etc). You only get captcha for GPU sessions, it seems like CPU sessions are always free and you can get a lot of them any time. They seem to have a lot of free CPUs, but you need a full time job to handle more accounts, to play with them. Sometime they will catch you and say "no resource available, try later", etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by <censored>
Also if one subscribed to Colab Pro would this be just for a sole e-mail address and access code?
This phrase I really don't understand. If I compile it right, it shows that you don't really have an understanding of how Colab works. You don't get a Pro or Pro+ account by "subscribing with an email address", you get the account by paying the money . You need a payment profile to pay the money, of course (and the email address associated with this payment profile, which address is better to be on Google space, like gmail, etc, to be able to use the Google Drive with your Notebooks, for permanent storage - you need a permanent storage, because the data is otherwise lost when the Colab session is terminated, unless you transfer the data to a permanent store, not necessary Google Drive, it can be any internet-accessible, including your personal computer) . Once you get the account, you have access to a computer running Linux and Jupyter Notebooks in python, on Google servers. What you do with the computer, is up to you.

You have to judge by yourself if it worth for you or not.

Take care.


[disclaimer - this post has some small grammar correction and clarification, so it is not 100% identical to the reply, but all edits were done without changing the meaning]

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2022-09-18 at 06:10
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Old 2022-09-18, 06:37   #4
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Some additional details - from the viewpoint of connecting from the USA (California in particular) - if you have a free account, you can have 1 computer only session going, and 1 GPU session from your account. You can't run 2 GPU sessions, and you can't run 2 CPU sessions, even if GPU's are not currently available. You can create separate google accounts, each with their own email address and google drive allotment and get multiple free colab accounts this way, but that's against their terms. Whether they do anything about it probably depends on a lot of factors.

Free accounts:
Your CPU only sessions can run up to 12 hours. I get a ReCaptcha on them after 6 hours - usually around 6:10 into the session, but sometimes as early as 6:01 into the session. You have about 30 minutes to respond, if you don't the session will get killed. If you respond in time, the session will continue until it's killed about 12 hours in. You can start another CPU session immediately after your prior one has been terminated by Google, or you have terminated it yourself, so with effort you can have a CPU session running around the clock, but if the session is killed without warning you need to be running software that's making regular checkpoints to a drive (possibly google drive) that's outside of the colab session, otherwise you'll lose your work.

You only get one GPU session per day - once it's run its course you can't get another GPU session until the next day. The first few GPU sessions you get may run for several hours - possible 6 to 12. But if you run them every day, you will get shorter sessions and settle eventually into lengths of 2:00 to 3:30. If your GPU session runs longer than about 3 hours, you'll get a ReCaptcha that you need to respond to if you want the session to run longer than about 3:30 (and if Google is letting your sessions run that long). The GPUs you get on the free account are T4, K80 and (rarely) P4. There was a period of a few weeks when I only got K80, there were times when it seemed to be about equally split between K80 and T4, but lately all I've been getting are T4. YMMV - a lot may depend on the time of day that you start your sessions, what region you are in, and whatever Google's latest whims are.

If I don't run a GPU session every day, then I get longer sessions, but the total GPU time/week seems to be maximized by running a session every day.

Periodically one of my free accounts cannot get a GPU session at all for a period of up to 2 weeks. Afterwards it goes back to normal.

Everything is subject to change at any time and with no warning at all from Google.

For Pro/Pro+ accounts:
I don't have much experience here, but you get two sessions, and they can both be GPU sessions.
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Old 2022-09-30, 08:09   #5
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It looks like, starting from today, you can get 4 GPU sessions with a Pro+ account. I don't know the "score" for a normal Pro, not plus. I also don't know if this is a "bug" from Gugu (as a very new introduced feature, see below) which will be soon "fixed", or it is something intended to stay in the future.

TL;DR: We used to try from time to time to get more than the two allowed sessions. Sometimes, rarely, this was possible, i.e. we got a third low-end GPU, like once per week, or 2-3 times per month, or so, and we put it to TF. I guess it depends on the resources they have available. Later this was not justified, as it consumed too much of our time, compared with the gain, and we gave up. More often than rarely, but not often enough, we got CPU-only sessions, like for free accounts, and we don't have the time/motivation to play with those. Also, we didn't talk much about it here around, as we didn't want people to DDoS the Colab servers with requests for a third GPU .

Anyhow... In the last two-three weeks or so, we could not get many "reasonable" GPUs, i.e. nothing better than a P100 was available, with very rare exceptions, with 3 Pro+ accounts. I mean, "normal" sessions, not "additional". The "scarcity" of good GPUs (like V100 and A100) made us willing to bother Gugu more and more with reconnects and requests for new sessions. We just wanted resources we expected for the payments we did. Of course, we understand that resources may not be always available, this is part of the "contract", and we are still happy with what we get, otherwise we won't pay. Fact is we got mostly P100 in September, with very rarely, better (or worse) cards (more often worse, than better). We guess this was related to the students going back to schools and colleges, etc. (beginning or mid of September, usually).

So, not small was our wonder today, when, without any preliminary introduction, and from pure thin air, Gugu asked us for a captcha (!) which, as we said before, never happens for Pro+ accounts, within 24 hours, and background execution. So, we input the captcha, and got a T4 session. We were angry first, but then looked to the other screens and we saw that our former 2 sessions, both with P100, were still running. What the hack?

Moreover, the new session was displaying some message like "this is a low end GPU or something", and if you need a better one, then go and "switch the GPU class to premium". Along these lines. Double shock.

We went to "Runtime"/"Change runtime type" and found there is a NEW option there, yeah, it wasn't there before, which says "GPU class" and you can select "Standard" or "Premium". If we selected premium, it took us to the P100 instance, which was still running. So, you can't have more than 2 "premium" sessions. But... if we selected standard, then we were taken to the initial session with T4 which seems valid, and waiting for us to give it something to do... We gave it Chris' GPU72 script to deal with it.

After some more tickling and scratching, we found out that you can open maximum 2 "standard" sessions, which are independent of the "premium" sessions. In fact, is not like independent, it looks more like every notebook can run with one standard and one premium gpu in the same time, independently, so you can give to each of them something separate to do, and they don't eat the time of each-other (that is why I said this may be unwanted, and Gugu may want to "fix" it in the future).

I mean, you make two notebooks and run them in four tabs, in two you select "standard" gpu for each notebook, and in two you select premium. And you have 4 sessions running, which can do independent things. Of course, they will share the same storage space, so you need to make separate folders in drive, etc. (usual stuff, to make sure they don't step on each-other's tails and write the same files, etc).

So, we currently have two accounts, each one with 4 sessions, i.e. 2x P100 doing LL/PRP and 2x T4 doing TF, for a total of 8 GPUs. We also have 2x V100 in the third account, which we are afraid to touch as we don't want to lose the V100 - we don't know what gugu does when you bother him too much (i.e. changing from premium to standard, refreshing tabs, etc, may relocate resources, we don't know). But we will try "the trick" as soon as the two V100 will expire (assuming we don't get others, or better some A100 )

We also don't know how long this "heaven" will last...

Be my guests to try and comment how it goes for you all. Note that you may need to hard-refresh the browser tab(s) to see the new "gpu class" option in the "change runtime type" dialog form.

Edit: forgot screenshot
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Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2022-09-30 at 09:35
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Old 2022-10-02, 05:16   #6
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It is the opposite for me, I don't have the Premium option, so I did not try to start a 3rd or 4th session, and now since yesterday I'm limited so I cannot run even 2 sessions all the time on Pro+.

They warned a few weeks ago about a new system of usage limits that would start soon. I cannot see anywhere it says how much you have and have left, that would be useful. I guess we have to figure out the limits, so we can decide if it is even worth the Pro+ subscription price.

Edit: I am getting A100's a lot more often lately instead of V100's, so I guess that have to be taken into account when calculating if it is worth it.

Last fiddled with by ATH on 2022-10-02 at 05:39
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Old 2022-10-03, 15:54   #7
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Well... it seems I jinxed it, or they "fixed" it. I still have the "Premium" class, but for about 36 hours I couldn't get any GPU, till today when I got 2x P100. I will take a break overnight and let it cool. I remember last year about this time it was the same, and I really hope it is connected to the students returning to classes/campuses, etc. The accounts will expire on 12 to 15 of October (all 4, including the one given away) and renewing or not, highly depends on the current status quo being changed, or kept. Maybe they reduce the energy consumption? Were they taking gas from Russians? Haha... Maybe a break for a while (few weeks?) would be in order, then starting "slowly", with a single Pro first, then scaling up, etc. Don't know yet.
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Old 2022-10-03, 16:34   #8
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Details....
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