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Novell Businesses Microsoft SuSE

Attachmate To Acquire Novell For $2.2B Cash 221

Posted by kdawson
from the old-order-passeth dept.
wiredmikey and a few others wrote in to let us know that Novell has agreed to be acquired by Attachmate Corporation for $6.10 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion. The Boston Globe reports that the deal also includes the sale of some intellectual assets to a consortium organized by Microsoft. Attachmate plans to operate Novell and SUSE as separate business units. Here is the press release.
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Attachmate To Acquire Novell For $2.2B Cash

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  • Attachmate (Score:2, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717)

    Attachmate To Acquire Novell

    Whoooooooooooooooooo?!

    • Re:Attachmate (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:22AM (#34306160)

      Attachmate is a venture capital firm, which means:

      - They're loaded but you never heard of them,
      - VCs usually buy or invest in a company to make a lot of money quickly,
      - If Novell's market cap doesn't increase a lot soon, or they don't turn a huge profit soon (fat chance), they're hosed, like most companies taken over by VC money.

      In short, expect Novell to be up for sale within 3 years.

    • Re:Attachmate (Score:5, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:50AM (#34306532) Homepage Journal

      Attachmate [wikipedia.org]

      Attachmate is a software company owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital, and Thoma Cressey Bravo. Attachmate focuses on terminal emulation, legacy modernization, managed file transfer, and enterprise fraud management software. It is the largest privately owned software company in Washington, USA.[citation needed]

      Products

      The Attachmate logo on older software products.As a result of the mergers and acquisitions detailed below, Attachmate has broadened its solution set to include several brands:

      [edit] Terminal Emulation
      Attachmate develops a variety of Terminal emulators:

      Reflection (IBM, HP, UNIX, OpenVMS, X)
      EXTRA! (IBM, UNIX, OpenVMS)
      INFOConnect (Unisys)
      [edit] Systems and Security Management
      The NetIQ business unit delivers systems and security management software.

      Among the NetIQ product offerings is AppManager, a suite that provides network, applications and systems monitoring. The product includes monitoring support Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft SQL Server databases, a variety of messaging environments, UNIX and Linux operating systems, Oracle systems, and Voice-over-IP for Cisco, Nortel, and Avaya.

      [edit] Secure Communications
      Reflection for Secure IT, formerly F-Secure SSH, is an SSH (secure shell) client and server for Windows and UNIX.

      [edit] Application Integration
      Attachmate Verastream provides application integration tools that quickly and noninvasively service-enable mainframe and enterprise host data and logic.

      Attachmate DATABridge is an extract, transform, load (ETL) solution for securely integrating Unisys DMSII and non-DMSII data to a secondary database such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.

      [edit] PC X Server
      Reflection X allows Windows users to use graphical and command-line based applications on remote UNIX, Linux, and OpenVMS hosts.

  • Mono? (Score:4, Informative)

    by popoutman (189497) * on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:17AM (#34306094) Journal
    I wonder what the IP that'll be acquired by MS will consist of?
    My guess will be the items that were relevant to the MSNovell patent deal, to remove that need for MS to provide protection for those that have used SuSE..

    Time will tell I suppose.

    • Re:Mono? (Score:5, Informative)

      by capnchicken (664317) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:27AM (#34306222)

      "Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights" [wikipedia.org]

      Not this shit again ...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anshulajain (1359933)

      I hope that Icaza and his Mono-ilk will be finally transferred to Microsoft (as they've always secretly wanted to)...

    • Re:Mono? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:36AM (#34306354)

      As long as we're making guesses, I'm guessing it will include:
      Mono... maybe.
      eDirectory (formerly NDS) - To end the lawsuit threat Novell has had over MS since Active Directory, MS's NDS clone, debuted in 2000. Oh, and MS will kill eDirectory and encourage users to move to Active Directory... along with Windows Server if they currently use Linux.
      ZenWorks Desktop Management - To my knowledge, this is like nothing MS currently has. Used for centrally managing the software installed on networked computers.

  • I'm not hopeful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash@omnif ... s.org minus city> on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:19AM (#34306124) Homepage Journal

    Attachmate's strategy for the economic downturn was to lay off most of their development staff while still collecting maintenance from all their customers. And they only had to follow that strategy because the private equity group that owns them had sucked a ton of money out of the company by saddling it with a gigantic debt.

    I don't feel very good about the prospects for sane, customer focused management from this particular company.

    • Doesn't sound like a bad idea during an economic downturn. Cut expenses while maintaining as much revenue as possible until things get better.
      • Re:I'm not hopeful (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash@omnif ... s.org minus city> on Monday November 22, 2010 @12:53PM (#34308044) Homepage Journal

        Yes, and no. I consider it to be dishonest to customers. And if it weren't for the debt they had been saddled with, they would've been plenty profitable enough to avoid doing it at all.

        Additionally, programmers are not easily replaceable. Every single project I've ever worked on inside a corporation had an amazing amount of 'tribal knowledge' locked in the heads of various developers. So not only are you battening down the hatches for the present when you lay them off, you're mortgaging your future by destroying the core intellectual base for the stuff you have.

        Seniority was a big criteria when they did this, but the morale destruction caused a lot of their most senior and competent people to leave.

        The whole fiasco painted a picture (to me) of management that didn't see a quality product as the key to improving their bottom line, but rather was more interested in the appearance of a quality product and making short-term decisions in the interests of the bottom line. They traded on their reputation with their customers to the detriment of those same customers.

        You could argue that having the company go under would be even worse for those customers. But the only reason why that was a danger at all was because of previous decisions that teated profits as an end to themselves rather than as a reward for a job well done.

        • So not only are you battening down the hatches for the present when you lay them off, you're mortgaging your future by destroying the core intellectual base for the stuff you have.

          The buyers in this case and most others are not planning for a future. They are extracting as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible with no regard for a future that will never be. If it blows up in 2, 3, or five years is only a matter of finding more suckers to take money from while Novell's business prospects end.

          Peopl

    • by mounthood (993037)

      Relax. They're splitting up Novell and SUSE, so at least part of the company will be quickly sold off again and survive. (Wonder which part?)

  • I guess there goes the whole ecosystem. Not the Novell being sold part, but the "intellectual properties" (patents, copyrights, patents) going to the M$-led group. It looks like there could be potential litigation out of that group who would want to maximize their "gain". I think the time is NOW to ban all software patents! Any more delay or foot dragging will kill the IT industry.

  • by FrankNFurter (89904) <[fpbecker] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:22AM (#34306154) Homepage

    Think about it: Novell hold the copyrights and trademarks to UNIX. They would make for a nice addition to Microsoft's portfolio, don't you think?

    • by Jim Hall (2985) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:29AM (#34306254) Homepage

      > Think about it: Novell hold the copyrights and trademarks to UNIX. They would make for a nice addition to Microsoft's portfolio, don't you think?

      Maybe not. According to this old press release, [groklaw.net] Novell sold the UnixWare IP to Santa Cruz in 1996.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TheLinuxSRC (683475) *
        I believe you may have misread the article you linked to.

        From your link:

        I just found a Novell press release dated November 26, 1996, which makes it *after* the October 16th, 1996 Amendment 2 was signed. Guess what it says Novell sold off to Santa Cruz? "The UnixWare product lines". I'm pretty excited about digging this up.

        SCO is arguing in its Reply Brief in its appeal that Amendment 2 changed the excluded assets language of the APA so that it gave SCO the copyrights and everything:

        The exclusion of all

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      GNU is Not UNIX
    • by Java Pimp (98454)

      During the entire SCO trial while Novell was asserting it owned the Unix copyrights they continued to distribute SUSE. If Linux does in fact contain Unix code, it has been affirmed by the courts that Novell owns the Unix copyrights and Novell has been distributing it for years under the GPL.

      Of course... IANAL but it would be hard to look past this fact.

      • As I understand it.

        Novell bought some UNIX copyrights from AT&T. But, AT&T could not transfer all UNIX copyrights, because AT&T did not own all UNIX copyrights - see: AT&T vs BSD.

        The deal was: AT&T gave Novell whatever copyrights AT&T owned. Where those copyrights begin and end, is a matter for speculation, since the AT&T vs BSD decision is closed.

        It make also be worth noting that popular UNIX versions such as AIX, and Solaris, do not have much of that ancient UNIX code anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Waffle Iron (339739)

      Think about it: Novell hold the copyrights and trademarks to UNIX. They would make for a nice addition to Microsoft's portfolio, don't you think?

      It's hard to see how that wouldn't stir up a hornet's nest of antitrust issues.

  • Attachmate (Score:3, Funny)

    by capnchicken (664317) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:22AM (#34306158)

    In other news Attachmate's website appears to be unable to handle the extra load caused by this announcement. Things are not looking well.

    • Re:Attachmate (Score:5, Informative)

      by datapharmer (1099455) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:33AM (#34306314) Homepage
      There is a reason for that according to netcraft:

      Walker, Richer Quinn Incorporated IT Operations 1500 Dexter Avenue North Seattle WA US 98109 150.215.214.130 Windows Server 2003 Microsoft-IIS/6.0 31-Jul-2010

      Attachmate Corp. 1233 West Loop South Suite 1800 Houston TX US 77027 149.82.9.36 Windows Server 2003 Microsoft-IIS/6.0 25-Feb-2010
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        No, that's not the reason. Consider that PlentyOfFish was able to do a 30 million hit a day all dynamic website using "2 load balanced web servers with 2 Quad Core Intel Xeon X5355 @ 2.66Ghz), 8 Gigs of RAM (using about 800 MBs), 2 hard drives, runs Windows x64 Server 2003" for the web servers. There's a detailed writeup of PlentyOfFish's architecture and hardware here [highscalability.com].

        • by Yfrwlf (998822)
          From my own experience in IT, IIS sucks. I've seen a lot of problems with its stability. Regardless, it's Windows-only, and this is Slashdot where no one much cares about closed source software unless it is to outperform or outdo it in some way. So, while it is certainly possible the issue isn't due to crappy software, I would definitely not rule it out.
        • Re:Attachmate (Score:5, Informative)

          by cHiphead (17854) on Monday November 22, 2010 @01:47PM (#34308772)

          2 Load balanced web servers, 3 database servers, and, drum roll, AKAMAI CDN.

  • I wouldn't be surprised if this sparked other bids. Not a super hot company by any means but at a 9% premium (low for tech acquisitions) I wouldn't be surprised...
  • Cue The Queen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marcello_dl (667940) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:25AM (#34306188) Homepage Journal

    Another one (that made a deal with MS) bites the dust.

    • Re:Cue The Queen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:02AM (#34306698) Homepage Journal

      Why is that truthful comment marked flamebait? What's the matter, mod, the truth hurts?

      Stacker, FoxPro, many others. MS's buying of Foxpro especially annoyed me; Foxpro was a good DBMS before MS bought and killed it. It was head and shoulders above Access. MS couldn't compete, so they bought them out and pretty much ruined it.

      Do a little Googling before you mark someone flamebait.

      • by Cwix (1671282) on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:08AM (#34306792)

        Well assuming that the mod would find something googlable in "Another one (that made a deal with MS) bites the dust."

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Good point, whoever modded that "flamebait" probably isn't smart enough to google well enough to find it.

          I'm glad the other moderators are smarter. If it wasn't for the "flamebait" he'd be sittingt at a +5 now.

      • FoxPro, many others. MS's buying of Foxpro especially annoyed me; Foxpro was a good DBMS before MS bought and killed it. It was head and shoulders above Access. MS couldn't compete, so they bought them out and pretty much ruined it.

        I remember the atmosphere on the CI$ FoxPro forums back when the MS-Fox deal was announced - real "end of the world" stuff. People were talking about jumping off buildings. I was one who feared the worst, but as it turns out, MS only killed the Mac and Unix versions. They did continue to support and develop the DOS (for a little while) and Windows versions until recently.

        Err, hmm, not so recently. Apparently VFP 9 was released at the end of 2004, with a couple of service packs released since then. Time

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Yes, the last version that was anything at all like the old FoxPro was 6. It was still actually a good program. My work upgraded to 8, and it was an unusable mess. I've been using Access since. I hate it, but I heted the mess they made of FoxPro even more.

          Makes me want to go back to mainframes, I loved NOMAD.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:25AM (#34306192) Homepage

    I for one would be wondering whether this move was intended to acquire the Unix copyrights that Novell owns (as determined by the SCO case). The idea here is that SCO was stopped largely because they didn't actually have copyright on what they claimed infringement for.

    Not that there weren't lots of other reasons why the case didn't hold water, but this does look like potentially a way to get the whole thing started up again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gbor (1224066)
      I wonder... if the UNIX copyrights are of any good to damage Linux or Open Source, why would have other big companies involved in and benefiting from Linux and Open Source taken any risks by allowing for these assets to end up in unfriendly hands? On the other hand, if the UNIX copyrights can potentially be harmful when misused, what would a.o. IBM and Google have for an apology for letting it happen? This is of course under the assumption that the "certain intellectual property assets" did contain Novell'
      • by Java Pimp (98454)

        While Novell never confirmed whether or not Unix code was in Linux, it was affirmed that they owned the Unix copyrights. If Linux does contain Unix code, SUSE has been distributing it for years under GPL anyway...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KarmaMB84 (743001)
          Shipping a Linux distribution didn't stop SCO and to my knowledge nobody ever pushed hard on the "they were shipping Linux angle" because SCO stopped distribution, and if their allegations were correct someone else put it in there anyway so they could still sue.
          • by ais523 (1172701)
            No, nobody pushed hard on the "they were shipping Linux" angle because the relevant court case would be SCO vs. IBM, which has been stayed pending the outcome of SCO vs. Novell (which still hasn't happened; SCO are appealing yet again). I'm sure IBM's lawyers would use it if that case ever went forwards.
          • by Java Pimp (98454)

            It wasn't pushed hard because that angle would only have been relevant had SCO actually owned the UNIX copyright. The case never got that far. It had to be determined first, who owned the UNIX copyright. Then, it had to be determined if Linux in fact contained UNIX code. Then, if so, whether or not it was legally contributed to Linux and distributable under the GPL.

            The only one of those three things that was determined in the courts was the owner of the copyrights. There hasn't been any ruling on whether or

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkleinsc (563838)

        They don't have to be actually capable of being useful in attacking Linux or open source. They just have to perceived as being useful to a friendly judge who allows the case to go forward.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rogerborg (306625)
      Oops, yes. At the very least, I can see Novell's new owners settling with SCO. As soon as it's out of court, the remains of SCO can start the shakedown racket again.
  • Attachmate sell terminal services like xservers and an ssh server/client... they can only really sell these things because windows lacks them by default.

    By encouraging their users to go to linux would that not kill a fair majority of their market just because people can get linux to do that from anywhere?

  • What a Waste! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:28AM (#34306240) Homepage
    I am amazed at how - once again - Novell blundered and lost the opportunity to capitalize on something. Back in '05 I thought Novell and SUSE (SLED, SLES...) would have a viable future competing against Wintendo and Unix. However, I noticed way back in '08 that they were slipping and I eventually jumped ship myself (over to Ubuntu) and gave up trying to persuade my server room staff to switch to Novell.

    Too bad.

    Kind of reminds me of 1995...
    • Re:What a Waste! (Score:5, Informative)

      by rickb928 (945187) on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:50AM (#34307300) Homepage Journal

      Back in '95, we were lamenting this problem of defending NetWare in the face of an overwhelming Windows assault. The consensus then was that when the suits read a back cover ad declaring this the 'year of Windows', and the t-shirts get free development tools and the promise of write-once-run-everywhere, even though running your server tools on the client was never a requirement, then NetWare was doomed. This actually started with NTAS and picked up unstoppable momentum with Windows Server 2000. Nevermind that Exchange took a little while longer to come of age, for many shops NetWare was what they clung to GroupWise for. Once GW was hammered, it was over. The interesting GW exploits didn't help.

      ZenWorks was, back then and up to at least 2004, really clever and actually made Windows administration tolerable if not cool. Schools used that a lot for various clever reasons. But Even Microsoft saw that ADS administration needed to improve, and it pretty much did. Add in some licensing spiffs, a continuing campaign to destroy NetWare compatibility, and Novell ran out of time and market. Last I checked, they had solid revenue form licensing, but the end was in sight. SUSE is a whole other story. Novell should have acquired OpenOffice. SCO didn't help.

      I'm not hopeful for Novell. This looks like the carving of the turkey. All this time, and they will die the death of a thousand divestments. Arghh...

      I truly miss my NAMP server. But not enough to build it again.

    • competing against Wintendo and Unix.

      Please don't say "Wintendo". It insults Nintendo fans. :p

  • you know this was probably thrown in there somewhere. Now what could Novell have in "assets" which Microsoft would want so bad as to put a consortium together? Is Gnome getting handed over to Microsoft along with any remaining GroupWise customers maybe.

    LoB
  • Well, well, well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:30AM (#34306276)

    Microsoft is involved, so that is not good news. SuSE is dead, or soon will be.
    What's going to happen to the UNIX copyrights, and will this IP sale be the stick that they will continue to try to beat Linux with?
    Software patents? OMG, in the hands of Microsoft?

    One can theorize that this is Microsoft's way of trying to get Google. Windows Phone 7 needs a way to beat Android, and I'm sure the whole Linux copyright, patent BS will be focused on the mobile phone market.

  • CEO (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:35AM (#34306340) Journal

    Maybe the Attachmate CEO just ran out of shit to kill and has moved on to companies.

    From Wikipedia:

    Jeff Hawn—the president and CEO of Seattle-based Attachmate who lives in Austin, Texas—has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for authorizing the slaughter of 32 of his neighbor's bison that wandered onto his Colorado ranch. Hawn pleaded guilty in November to criminal mischief and animal cruelty. Hawn and hired hands shot and killed 32 bison, which had wandered onto and near his property from a neighboring ranch in Park County, Colorado — including cows carrying calfs. In Colorado, bison are allowed to wander under open-range laws.

    The arrest warrant said most were left to rot.

    Hawn, plead guilty to criminal mischief and cruelty to animals and was released free on a $15,000 bail. The Denver Post reports that the judge sentenced Hawn to 10 days in jail.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't you love the american "justice" system?

      10 days in jail for killing 32 animals.
      Millions in damages for sharing 32 songs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thijsh (910751)
        Amount of Justice = Amount of Guilt / Amount of Money

        I'm fairly sure regular folk would do more time for killing someone's dog... But on the other hand, it surprises me that a rich son of a bitch like this would get any time at all.
        They seem to think they are above the law, but can you blame them... time and time this is proven in the court of law.

        Solve equation for all variables results in: Law != Justice
        • by Teun (17872)
          May I amend your equation:

          Justice !=Law

          A(n interesting) conflict in logic?

      • The main factor here is probably that unfortunately for buffalo, they are ugly stinky animals. If instead he had killed cute cuddly puppies or pandas, or sleek mustangs, I bet they would have thrown the book at him.

    • Re:CEO (Score:5, Funny)

      by hoggoth (414195) on Monday November 22, 2010 @12:01PM (#34307468) Journal

      In court testimony Mr. Hawn is reported to have said 'I was told we had to kill GNU as part of this deal. I didn't really understand the reference, but I looked up a picture of a Gnu. When I saw them wandering onto my ranch I knew what had to be done."

  • It's a shame..... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyberkahn (398201) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:41AM (#34306404) Homepage

    I started my career in I.T. with Novell, but I left it behind when I saw the writing on the wall. I had been wishing for a miracle for the company like Google acquiring it, since IMHO a easy intuitive GUI driven directory service is lacking in the Non-Microsoft world. Especially one that plays well with other operating systems. Yes you can use other operating systems in an AD environment, but not as "out of the box" as Novell IMHO. Oh well... I guess we will see.

    • by Reziac (43301) *

      So... why isn't there a FOSS replacement for Netware yet?? Seriously. Has the concept even been considered??

      And I mean the Netware NOS, not Netware-built-atop-linux, as in the latter days.

  • There is nothing good that can come out of this. I repeat NOTHING good.

    I see Ballmer gleefully giddy in his chair.

    • by gtall (79522)

      And Hovsepian, that bozo has been looking to sell out to MS ever since Novell stupidly gave him a job.

  • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Monday November 22, 2010 @10:49AM (#34306522)
    ...is "What IP did Microsoft acquire in this deal?" If they've acquired the UNIX copyrights, we could very well see the zombie corpse of SCO rise from the grave to terrorize the world again.
  • attachmate (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:03AM (#34306710)
    They will attach themselves to you and then mate
  • by toogreen (632329) on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:16AM (#34306874)
    Just sent two tweets to Miguel de Icaza about this:

    @migueldeicaza So does it mean you will be somehow now working for Microsoft

    @migueldeicaza Sorry meant to add a question mark... And how about IP rights for Mono? What does it mean copyrights-wise? Not worried?

    And here's his answer:

    @2green Dont know the answer to that.

    Wow.

    This sucks...
  • They wanted to improve 3270 terminal handling.

    I read the headline and my first thought was "wait...the company that wrote Extra? They're still around?" Then all those nightmares of HLLAPI programing came back and I sat under my desk and cried.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:29AM (#34307040) Homepage

    From the first paragraph of the press release:

    Novell also announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation

    With Novell owning Mono, the free software community will have to watch this.

    What patents did Novell have in that area?

    It's unlikely that MS will have acquired the copyrights for Mono. It serves them better to have a "third-party" implementation which they can show to the competition authorities and standards groups.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Monday November 22, 2010 @11:52AM (#34307338)

    I read this on another site. I have not yet checked for myself.

    NOVL has now filed its 8K. The IP deal is for 882 patents.

    A quick search of the Patent-Pair Assignment database indicates that this likely every "friggin" patent Novell owns. That is Patent-Pair has 1711 entries with Novell as an assignee, but since these include duplicate application and granted patents, as well as other stuff, the total patents sold down the river to Redmond likely represents everything touched by Novell.

  • what does this mean for my version 3 CNE?
  • I'm done. I'm going back to Weapons Systems.
    The work's grim, often tedious, frequently frustrating.
    But at least you get to kill idiots instead of coddle them.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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