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rpdom
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:09 am

Heater wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:53 am
That is somewhat shocking news. When did that happen?
Probably quite a few years ago.

For example, the Foundation manage Code Club. How many Code Clubs use PCs as well as/instead of a Pi? I know that the Code Club I was running primarily used PCs, although they did have quite a few Pis.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:38 am

I'd noticed that more and more. It makes educational sense, it's more inclusive. School have what school have and little else.
It's all about learning I guess, if a Pi makes sense to make and control something then it could be used, it's the correct tool. If it's Python or scratch, then use what is in front of you.

The difficulties in setting up a class set of Pi computers.
Back when we setup a room of them with KVM switches in a school and its own Wi-Fi network so it could be routed through the net nanny and firewalls easier etc. and that was with a willing IT setup, had the capabilities (independent school I worked in) and an enthusiastic 6th former.
All abandoned when the IT/CompSci teacher left and the a new one came. Wasn't his sort of thing (didn't know them and the course didn't need them), pulled them all out and left just the PC that was next to it.

and with many school and little Pi knowledge in the IT team of one supporting a 1500 pupil school (school I've just been in) and some with restrictive old networks...
just using the PC is easier, let along the £1.5k budget they would need to find from somewhere to set up 15 Pi stations to share.


as a side, the "foundation", to keep it on topic, should bring out a nice white/red or black monitor on a stand that folds up?, mounts the Pi, (on the front of the stand?) for easy access, is easily stored and carried without having much packing away. Would only need an A+ format Pi as the keyboard is the hub. Would be great for Pi Jams and similar. #even better if it came with a subscription or on the front of a magazine#. It would beat lugging 15 heavy old monitor around, unpacking all the pi and cables and .... More sophisticated, simple addon to the kit, larger screen and a better colour than the Pi-Top setups.

CodeClubs, the one's I've seen used PC's (libraries). CoderDoJo, not seen them, I don't think they've got up here yet.
PiJam's are mostly Pi's I think. At least ours is and I think the others along the M62 are as well.


How many counties are the Foundation based in now? UK/US/?
I see they have a lot of translators, which is greater to widen the appeal.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:46 am

rpdom wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:09 am
Heater wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:53 am
That is somewhat shocking news. When did that happen?
Probably quite a few years ago.
And it's not surprising given the status of the RPF as a registered charity. Favouring products manufactured by a wholly owned commercial subsidiary over other alternatives can create all sorts of problems.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:53 am
That is somewhat shocking news. When did that happen?
Blimey, 5 years or so I should think, just after Philip Colligan became CEO of the Foundation IIRC.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:53 am
That is somewhat shocking news. When did that happen?
Take a look at the the RPF 2019 review to get a better idea of the things they do that you've not noticed happening.
https://static.raspberrypi.org/files/ab ... ew2019.pdf
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:12 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:57 pm
Work with the major suppliers of video conferencing (Zoom, Google, MS and any others) commonly be used by schools to get such software working well on at least the Pi4B. Even if only with an RPT-produced camera as the only choice, and allowing for a USB to headphone/mic adapter. I say this in light of the school closures and "distance learning" of the last 3 months and the likelihood of more of the same later this year.
Already happening. I've been working with the Foundation over the last couple of months to test various webcams and headsets for the three conferencing solutions you mention above. Meet and Zoom work out of the box with our current Chromium version; Teams requires a custom user agent setting to work, but does so when you make the relevant setting.

Which, for reference, is '--user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 12871.34.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.42 Safari/537.36"' - add that to the Chromium command line to get Teams to work.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:14 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:24 pm
On the RPT side... Adding audio input in the future could, I think, be a useful addition. I can think of four ways right off to make it available. How feasible each would be is another matter altogether.

(Funny, isn't it, how many wished for features are so exotic. I mean, bitcoin miner? Where something with--potentially--quite broad application and actually useful in education gets missed by commenters here.)
We already support audio input; have done for around a year - if you connect a USB or Bluetooth audio device with input capabilities, it will appear under "Audio Inputs" in the audio selector you see when you right-click the volume icon on the taskbar.

Audio input works with applications like Scratch, and I have recently tested it with the likes of Google Meet - works fine.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:04 pm

Following the babeld mailing list I know Juliusz Chroboczek was actively hacking and testing a video server during lock-down. There are links in the linked page.
I was uninterested so I don't know anything about it. But perhaps it is worth investigating.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:48 pm

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:14 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:24 pm
On the RPT side... Adding audio input in the future could, I think, be a useful addition. I can think of four ways right off to make it available. How feasible each would be is another matter altogether.

(Funny, isn't it, how many wished for features are so exotic. I mean, bitcoin miner? Where something with--potentially--quite broad application and actually useful in education gets missed by commenters here.)
We already support audio input; have done for around a year - if you connect a USB or Bluetooth audio device with input capabilities, it will appear under "Audio Inputs" in the audio selector you see when you right-click the volume icon on the taskbar.

Audio input works with applications like Scratch, and I have recently tested it with the likes of Google Meet - works fine.
I'm aware of the option to add an audio USB device. I was thinking of something a bit more integrated. Granted that all, or most, of these would require new silicon, so not short term changes. Possibility 1: Drop composite video and put audio in on the 4-pole 3.5mm connector. Putting the composite on a 2-pin header (like the Pi0s have it) would be an option. Possibility 2: The reverse of #1, keep the composite video where it is and add a 2-pin header for audio in. Possibility 3: find a way to overlay a pair of GPIO pins (well...one, since the other would be ground) with an analog input dedicated to audio. Hmmm...my sieve of a mind has lost track of the fourth possibility I thought of yesterday...sic transit gloria mundi.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:52 pm

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:12 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:57 pm
Work with the major suppliers of video conferencing (Zoom, Google, MS and any others) commonly be used by schools to get such software working well on at least the Pi4B. Even if only with an RPT-produced camera as the only choice, and allowing for a USB to headphone/mic adapter. I say this in light of the school closures and "distance learning" of the last 3 months and the likelihood of more of the same later this year.
Already happening. I've been working with the Foundation over the last couple of months to test various webcams and headsets for the three conferencing solutions you mention above. Meet and Zoom work out of the box with our current Chromium version; Teams requires a custom user agent setting to work, but does so when you make the relevant setting.

Which, for reference, is '--user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 12871.34.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.42 Safari/537.36"' - add that to the Chromium command line to get Teams to work.
That is excellent news.

Edit to add... Newegg carries a USB-A to 3.5mm TRRS adapter for headphones and mic, for case where the headphone connector is a single 4-pole instead of a 3-pole (headphone) and 2-pole (for the mic). Adapters for the later are much easier to find.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:25 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:48 pm
I'm aware of the option to add an audio USB device. I was thinking of something a bit more integrated. Granted that all, or most, of these would require new silicon, so not short term changes. Possibility 1: Drop composite video and put audio in on the 4-pole 3.5mm connector. Putting the composite on a 2-pin header (like the Pi0s have it) would be an option. Possibility 2: The reverse of #1, keep the composite video where it is and add a 2-pin header for audio in. Possibility 3: find a way to overlay a pair of GPIO pins (well...one, since the other would be ground) with an analog input dedicated to audio. Hmmm...my sieve of a mind has lost track of the fourth possibility I thought of yesterday...sic transit gloria mundi.
It's not quite that simple.
  1. What do you mean by audio input? Line level? Microphone? Raw signal from a turntable?
  2. With only one signal pin you can only get mono - someone is bound to complain about thet lack of stereo.
  3. Do you aim for/want compatibility with existing hardware?
    If so, which?
    • PC microphones? You'll need 3 pins on the connector: signal, +5v, and ground.
    • Mobile/cell phone style headsets? Might work with your option #2 but you'll introduce a different set of limitations.
All of that is solvable assuming there's room in the budget and on the PCB.

I guess what I really wanted to do in responding is point out that it may not be as simple as you think.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:19 pm

thagrol wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:25 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:48 pm
I'm aware of the option to add an audio USB device. I was thinking of something a bit more integrated. Granted that all, or most, of these would require new silicon, so not short term changes. Possibility 1: Drop composite video and put audio in on the 4-pole 3.5mm connector. Putting the composite on a 2-pin header (like the Pi0s have it) would be an option. Possibility 2: The reverse of #1, keep the composite video where it is and add a 2-pin header for audio in. Possibility 3: find a way to overlay a pair of GPIO pins (well...one, since the other would be ground) with an analog input dedicated to audio. Hmmm...my sieve of a mind has lost track of the fourth possibility I thought of yesterday...sic transit gloria mundi.
It's not quite that simple.
  1. What do you mean by audio input? Line level? Microphone? Raw signal from a turntable?
  2. With only one signal pin you can only get mono - someone is bound to complain about thet lack of stereo.
  3. Do you aim for/want compatibility with existing hardware?
    If so, which?
    • PC microphones? You'll need 3 pins on the connector: signal, +5v, and ground.
    • Mobile/cell phone style headsets? Might work with your option #2 but you'll introduce a different set of limitations.
All of that is solvable assuming there's room in the budget and on the PCB.

I guess what I really wanted to do in responding is point out that it may not be as simple as you think.
I made no claim that it would be simple. Also note my expectation that new silicon would be required, which is--almost by definition--not simple.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:35 pm

We are continually reviewing the feature list of the Pi platform, and audio input is a feature which has been considered in the past, but we are always working within cost and space constraints.

Given how cheap USB audio cards are - you can pick one up for under £10 - and that it isn't functionality which is that widely used (not compared to audio out, which most people want) - it is likely to remain an external option for the time being.

First off, it would require adding an ADC to the silicon; this is non-trivial, which is why we've not done it so far on any revision of the Pi SoC.

Given the footprint of the board, the only way to include the connector in an easily-usable fashion would be to repurpose the composite video connection on the AV jack; non-standard pin headers really aren't useful, as you'd need to buy additional Pi-specific hardware which would probably end up costing a significant fraction of the cost of a mass-produced USB audio card.

For the time being, the composite video is probably more useful to more people. That might change in future, but for the foreseeable future, if you want audio in, use USB.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:21 pm

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:35 pm
We are continually reviewing the feature list of the Pi platform, and audio input is a feature which has been considered in the past, but we are always working within cost and space constraints.

Given how cheap USB audio cards are - you can pick one up for under £10 - and that it isn't functionality which is that widely used (not compared to audio out, which most people want) - it is likely to remain an external option for the time being.

First off, it would require adding an ADC to the silicon; this is non-trivial, which is why we've not done it so far on any revision of the Pi SoC.

Given the footprint of the board, the only way to include the connector in an easily-usable fashion would be to repurpose the composite video connection on the AV jack; non-standard pin headers really aren't useful, as you'd need to buy additional Pi-specific hardware which would probably end up costing a significant fraction of the cost of a mass-produced USB audio card.

For the time being, the composite video is probably more useful to more people. That might change in future, but for the foreseeable future, if you want audio in, use USB.
No argument here. As I've noted in other contexts, audio in is a "nice to have" but nothing I'd get in a bother about having to use external devices to achieve. My current plans are to add the USB to TRRS device to my next Newegg order. It's a bit more than the audio solutions you've indicated, at $14, but since the person that would be using it already has a head set with a TRRS plug, I consider it a reasonable way to go. Just working on being prepared make the Pi ready for as much--hopefully *all*--of the remote instruction that my grandson may be doing in the coming school year.

Am I safe in assuming that a PiCamera 2 will give decent performance with the already discussed videoconferencing?

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:36 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:21 pm
Am I safe in assuming that a PiCamera 2 will give decent performance with the already discussed videoconferencing?
I've not tested it in that role, but I can't see any reason why it shouldn't do; we've tested a number of cheap webcams from Chinese OEMs, and all gave performance which was at worst acceptable and at best pretty good. The biggest problems we saw were A/V latency and interference between camera and microphone, neither of which ought to be an issue with the Pi Camera.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:00 pm

The few webcams I have, have the mic on the cam itself, all via one USB connection.

Headsets can come with a mic, via USB or BT.

Wired microphones are so last century.

I'm surprised the composite video is higher than a mic. input connection though. that most only be for the few people that want to emulate games on a CRT? or am I missing a large market of people. HDMI/DVI has been around for so long now, even in old TVs

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:49 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:19 pm
thagrol wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:25 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:48 pm
I'm aware of the option to add an audio USB device. I was thinking of something a bit more integrated. Granted that all, or most, of these would require new silicon, so not short term changes. Possibility 1: Drop composite video and put audio in on the 4-pole 3.5mm connector. Putting the composite on a 2-pin header (like the Pi0s have it) would be an option. Possibility 2: The reverse of #1, keep the composite video where it is and add a 2-pin header for audio in. Possibility 3: find a way to overlay a pair of GPIO pins (well...one, since the other would be ground) with an analog input dedicated to audio. Hmmm...my sieve of a mind has lost track of the fourth possibility I thought of yesterday...sic transit gloria mundi.
It's not quite that simple.
  1. What do you mean by audio input? Line level? Microphone? Raw signal from a turntable?
  2. With only one signal pin you can only get mono - someone is bound to complain about thet lack of stereo.
  3. Do you aim for/want compatibility with existing hardware?
    If so, which?
    • PC microphones? You'll need 3 pins on the connector: signal, +5v, and ground.
    • Mobile/cell phone style headsets? Might work with your option #2 but you'll introduce a different set of limitations.
All of that is solvable assuming there's room in the budget and on the PCB.

I guess what I really wanted to do in responding is point out that it may not be as simple as you think.
I made no claim that it would be simple. Also note my expectation that new silicon would be required, which is--almost by definition--not simple.
Not directly, no. I appologise if I misinterpreted your post.

Anyway,

If it were down to me, I'd replace the current TRRS jack with a two pin header for composite video and a ten pin header in either HD audio layout or AC97 layout. You don't have to support att the features of either standard but you'd get compatibility with all those PC add ons, cables, and cases that connect to one of those.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:16 am

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:12 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:57 pm
Work with the major suppliers of video conferencing (Zoom, Google, MS and any others) commonly be used by schools to get such software working well on at least the Pi4B. Even if only with an RPT-produced camera as the only choice, and allowing for a USB to headphone/mic adapter. I say this in light of the school closures and "distance learning" of the last 3 months and the likelihood of more of the same later this year.
Already happening. I've been working with the Foundation over the last couple of months to test various webcams and headsets for the three conferencing solutions you mention above. Meet and Zoom work out of the box with our current Chromium version; Teams requires a custom user agent setting to work, but does so when you make the relevant setting.

Which, for reference, is '--user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 12871.34.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.42 Safari/537.36"' - add that to the Chromium command line to get Teams to work.

There is an extensive prior thread about Zoom on RPi here, in which the premise is that Zoom does NOT work [well enough] on RPi hardware and RasPiOS. viewtopic.php?f=63&t=254367

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:40 am

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:35 pm
Given how cheap USB audio cards are - you can pick one up for under £10 - and that it isn't functionality which is that widely used (not compared to audio out, which most people want) - it is likely to remain an external option for the time being.

£2 on ebay

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EXTERNAL-VIR ... 2807460055
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:13 pm

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:35 pm
Given how cheap USB audio cards are - you can pick one up for under £10 - and that it isn't functionality which is that widely used (not compared to audio out, which most people want) - it is likely to remain an external option for the time being.

First off, it would require adding an ADC to the silicon; this is non-trivial, which is why we've not done it so far on any revision of the Pi SoC.
Would argue it would still be nice if you at least added an ADC to your camera board, and hooked it up to the Pi using I2S, saving a USB port...
Audio-in may not be widely used by the average Pi user, but that may not hold true for the average webcam user...

As far as the noise of cheap Chinese webcams goes. Nothing software cannot fix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNVxCvgcnig

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:41 pm

spl23 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:36 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:21 pm
Am I safe in assuming that a PiCamera 2 will give decent performance with the already discussed videoconferencing?
I've not tested it in that role, but I can't see any reason why it shouldn't do; we've tested a number of cheap webcams from Chinese OEMs, and all gave performance which was at worst acceptable and at best pretty good. The biggest problems we saw were A/V latency and interference between camera and microphone, neither of which ought to be an issue with the Pi Camera.
I will look forward to seeing a list of tested cameras and an assessment of their performance.

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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:21 am

When I think of RaspberryPi, I often get caught up wishing for things that other development boards offer. Similar to the STM-Discovery kit. Admittedly, when first ordered my RaspPi (and waited). I was imagining a cheap platform for hardware level-programming. It offers a lot of features but not everything fits the cost/form/fit they were striving to achieve.

As I see it, the goals of RPF have been to build a cheap low-cost board for sale to educational institutions. It offers a stable OS and good connectivity for personal use by novices and advanced users.

While programming (I think) is a great skill to gain, it requires a bit of dry, hard work to finish a decent project. Not everyone is able to muster the grit to complete a complicated project. In today's world, there are simply too many competitors for a young person's attention. ( I learned BEFORE we had video games or even MTV )

RPF has to maintain a media presence and encourage teachers and students with short projects with challenges AND closure. Their focus will always be to lead the educators and students with curriculum and project suggestions. Very boring stuff to those of us who tend to frequent this forum with hopes of a finding stimulating reading.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for a more tech-savvy presence. It just takes a lot of work to keep the momentum rolling. After 12 years of bare-metal coding at work which I loved at the time. I now find it difficult to look at a cool project without knowing how much sweat it requires to build a stable project. The research, construction and testing are a HUGE labor of love. It's an acquired taste that few novices with become familiar with.

TLDR: I wish the foundation would offer a mission statement so this community knows where the effort needs to be spent.
(edit) :red-faced:
PeterO wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 pm
Take a look at the RPF 2019 review to get a better idea of the things they do that you've not noticed happening.
https://static.raspberrypi.org/files/ab ... ew2019.pdf
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:24 pm

mwrich4 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:21 am
While programming (I think) is a great skill to gain, it requires a bit of dry, hard work to finish a decent project. Not everyone is able to muster the grit to complete a complicated project.
Apparently true.
mwrich4 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:21 am
In today's world, there are simply too many competitors for a young person's attention. ( I learned BEFORE we had video games or even MTV )
When I was about 10 years old, which seems like a couple of lifetimes ago now, I was into building mechanical contraptions with my Meccano and starting to get into tinkering with electronics with a "Philips Electronic Engineer" kit, plus a bunch of military microphones, headsets and such we had around the house. I dreamed of computers, not that I knew what one was really, having only seen them in SciFi movies and the like.

One weekend the house was full of my young friends from the neighborhood and they were all glued to the TV watching football. I though "hey can we do something interesting?". I don't recall if I actually said it, but I realized at that moment I was on a different track to the majority.

So, yes, kids have games as distraction now a days. I'm not sure the situation has changed much though.
Last edited by Heater on Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:15 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:24 pm
When I was about 10 year sold ...
Did anyone buy you? :o :lol:
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Re: Wish list for the foundation

Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:40 am

davidcoton wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:15 pm
Heater wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:24 pm
When I was about 10 year sold ...
Did anyone buy you? :o :lol:
Ha!

They did. Sadly they didn't pay very much for me.
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