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Electronic Components focused on robotics that were organized by Robo-Pi

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(@baybeari)
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Hi,

I am Robo-pi's sister, Marilyn.  I don't know much about this topic, but when he died, Jim left a lot of electronic components that look quite organized.  I would like to know if anyone thinks they might be worth something, because I do not believe the auctioneer knows much about this specialty market.  Jim would be horrified if they were just thrown out, and I'm sure he paid a lot for them, originally.  

So, my question is - is there somewhere to sell these parts that would be easily identified by someone who might want them?  The money is probably going towards paying his medical bills, but there are a lot of unsettled bills, so I am not sure how it is all going to turn out.  I don't even know where I will store these parts if I still have them after the clean-up (which is 500 miles away from me).  You don't have to know those details, but I am a bit overwhelmed by this task.  Jim had many interests and stuff to go along with each of them. 

I have pictures of some components, but he also had several raspberry-pi's.  I would not know what to do with these, myself.

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This topic was modified 3 years ago by Baybeari

   
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codecage
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@baybeari

Hi Marilyn, good luck with all of this as I'm sure it is overwhelming.  I wished I lived close enough where I could lend a hand trying to move all of his "stuff" into the hands of a like minded individual that loves to tinker with electronics and robots.  I'm sure there is a treasure trove of things in his collection.

From the photos you included it's really hard to give you a good idea of the worth of any of the items, but with the mention of the Raspberry Pi's, depending on the models the average price for a new Pi of the latest model starts at $35 for a 2GB model, $55 for a 4GB model, and $75 for an 8GB model.  And just looking at the three models laying on a desktop side by side it might be VERY difficult to tell which one is which.

If there are any Maker's groups that you can identify anywhere close to his place, that might be a place to start.

I have put together one of the projects Jim came up with that turned a Raspberry Pi in to a video recorder and was driven by a Python program that he wrote.  I use it quite often and have dubbed it my "RoboPi Camcorder"

I wish I could be more help for you.

And this question to other forum members, are there any of us in PA that could possibly give Marilyn a hand?

SteveG


   
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(@baybeari)
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@codecage Thank you, Steve!  I know Jim would be so happy to know that his work was enjoyed by someone who could put it to use!!  I do also have two of his laptops, and my cousin might be retrieving one more of them.  The two I found, basically only have robotics information on them, and it's really "Greek" to me.  Robotics was his biggest interest during the last couple of years of his life, but he had to spend time on cutting wood for heat and doing other things to survive.  But there are so many things, and the rest of them are mostly not very well organized.

I appreciate any suggestions.


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Posted by: @baybeari

I know Jim would be so happy to know that his work was enjoyed by someone who could put it to use!!

Marilyn, Jim still holds the record, by a large margin, for the most posts of anyone on this forum. His posts have helped so many forum members, and his poetry was classic. He brought wisdom and enjoyment to so many people here, and he is greatly missed.

I can certainly appreciate how difficult it is for you to get his affairs in order, my family is also currently dealing with a sudden death last month that has created a myriad of legal complications, not to mention grief, and it has consumed most of my time recently (which explains why I haven't released a lot of content lately).

I have been giving some thought to your dilemma with the electronic components and equipment that he left. In terms of dollar value, a lot of the things I see in your photos are "under five dollars" items, so they probably wouldn't fetch a great deal of money.  Of course, there may well be a few gems in there that I didn't spot.

Naturally, you know your brother far better than myself, or anyone else here who has enjoyed dialoguing with him, but I suspect that he might have appreciated it if the components were donated to someone with a keen interest in electronics and microcontrollers.  While that wouldn't resolve the money issue, it may be a way of having someone come and sort out and clear out this stuff for you.

I'm not sure exactly where in Pennsylvania Jim resided, although I recall that he spoke to me in a few Private Messages about spending a lot of time in the library in Philadelphia when he was younger (I used to be a "library addict" myself in my youth, so we were comparing notes).  I did a Google search and found the "Philly Makers" Meetup group, which may be of some assistance. I'm not sure how active they are, however, as they haven't had a meeting since last July, but of course, that may just be because of the COVID crisis.

One thing that I can offer is this - I will be sending out a much-overdue newsletter this week and would be happy to point out this forum post in it. I have around 20,000 subscribers, so I suspect that there will be at least a few of them in the Pennsylvania area. Perhaps someone will read it and offer assistance. 

And if you consider setting up (or would like help with setting up) a crowdfunding campaign to help fund Jim's medical bills please let us know, I would be happy to contribute and I'm sure many other people here would be as well.

Best Wishes

Bill

 

 

 

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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(@baybeari)
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@dronebot-workshop

I am very sorry to hear about your family's loss, Bill.  Yes, it can be overwhelming to deal with the legal, along with the grief. 

In Jim's case, the things he left are the most difficult, practically speaking and emotionally.  I must let things go, I know that, and anything that is worth any money is legally bound to pay his bills.  I will not be "stuck" with any medical bills, since I do not legally share his debt, and he was not married, nor did he have children.  I know he would be very sad to know that there will be nothing left to "hand down" to me and to his niece and nephews (my children), but it will not directly cause a hardship, so I would not want to do a "fund me" request.  Since I am the administrator of his estate, I am obligated to pay as many of his bills as possible, so I have to sell anything that is worth money.  If it looks as though the computer components are not worth much, I think it would be okay to donate it (maybe to a high school electronics club, as a cousin suggested).

Jim actually lived in Northwestern Pennsylvania ("The Wilds of Pennsylvania," according to the sign on Route 80), near Clarion.  It is definitely in the "sticks."  We grew up in Pittsburgh.  I will find out if the auctioneer does any online bidding or if he wants to deal with the components at all.  This is assuming he wants to do the auction.  I am hoping he is not overwhelmed as much as I am and does not want to do it!

I hope this is not too much information or questions.  I just don't know what to do with the stuff or even how to describe it.  I have another photo that I will post of a sort of "robot," I guess, or the beginnings of one??  I brought it back with me.

One more question:  Do the Raspberry Pi's probably have programming on them??  I would not know how to do anything with them, but I feel so bad that he spent so much time doing that, I hate to think that someone else might throw them out.  But, again, I just have to let that go, I guess.

a robot maybe

 The number looks like a server address or something?

I really thank you so much for your offer of help, and for the advice you offer here!  I don't know if any of you, even with your knowledge of this special interest, would really be able to do anything without spending way too much time and effort.  So, just understanding where I might donate any of it, would be helpful (assuming the auction business doesn't want to deal with it).  Sorry I don't know much right now.

Hopefully, thinking about this is something that might help some of you plan for the future and have some sort of list of what to do with your things.  


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Posted by: @baybeari

 The number looks like a server address or something?

You're essentially correct, the number is what is called an "IP Address", a unique number that is assigned to every computer or device on a network. In this case, the "computer" is the Arduino Mega board that is mounted on the top of the robot.

Posted by: @baybeari

Do the Raspberry Pi's probably have programming on them?

On each Raspberry Pi board, you should see a slot for a MicroSD memory card. This is where any programming Jim did would reside. If you wanted to donate or sell the Raspberry Pi boards but keep his programming private you just need to remove the MicroSD card (press on it lightly and it will pop out).

Posted by: @baybeari

If it looks as though the computer components are not worth much, I think it would be okay to donate it (maybe to a high school electronics club, as a cousin suggested).

Jim was one of our most valuable and helpful members Marilyn, and I'm sure he would be happy to learn that his work would go to someone who appreciated it. While it may not be of any large monetary value it would be greatly valued by someone who is learning electronics. The High School club sounds like an excellent idea.

And I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but Jim had his own YouTube channel. He was working with some pretty advanced technology, so the topics will definitely sound "greek" to you (and to many of us as well), but he does narrate all of the videos. Perhaps you can take some comfort hearing the sound of his voice.

Here is a link to the Robo Pi Youtube Channel.

As always please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you, if you would prefer to speak privately you're welcome to contact me using the email address you used to join the forum (forum@dronebotworkshop.com) .

 

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Spyder
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@baybeari

Posted by: @baybeari

Do the Raspberry Pi's probably have programming on them??

Yes. They do.

On the bottom side of the Pi is a little memory card, called an SD-Card. Probably the same kind that's in your cell phone. While the hardware might be replaceable, there are projects he was working on that were totally unique, and some of it would be stored on those cards. He also had backups someplace. Having those backups or SD-Cards given to somebody who would simply erase them to use as blanks would be a horrible shame. He also made videos, so those videos are also going to be stored someplace

There are other mini computers, called Jetson Nano's, that also have SD-Cards in them, although, those aren't as easy to get to because they're kind of sandwiched between 2 circuit boards


   
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(@baybeari)
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@dronebot-workshop

Thanks for the youtube link and the other information, Bill!  I know Jim made other videos (music and repair "how-to," to name a couple of probabilities).  I haven't found the links to them yet, though.  They are possibly in some old, old emails from him to me.

My cousin who lives nearby will probably be able to help me find a high school to donate these things to.  

I am not sure I am going to be able to get the SD cards off of the Raspberry Pi's.  I should have brought them here, but I had too much stuff.


   
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(@baybeari)
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@spyder, Thank you!  I am not sure if I will be able to get the SD cards or not.  If I do, I might send them to anyone who might be interested and know about the programming.  Finding backup files is probably not likely to happen.  If they are somewhere on the computers, they are not labeled as to something I would understand.  Lesson to those of you who might want someone else to know how to find things - leave an explanation as if to a child who knows nothing, and in several places where they would know where to look!  This is not likely an easy task, though.

But, so far, it looks like it's possible that a lot of what Jim did will be lost.  I know he did a lot more than what I have access to at this point.

If you remember anything in any of his posts that might link to another youtube channel or whatever, let me know.  I do have some old emails from Jim with non-working links to videos he made.  Apparently, YouTube videos don't stay up forever.  They actually say they are "private," now, but I know I could view them before.

I appreciate your explanations, because they do give me some idea what to look for.


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Posted by: @baybeari

I do have some old emails from Jim with non-working links to videos he made.  Apparently, YouTube videos don't stay up forever.  They actually say they are "private," now, but I know I could view them before.

Actually, the only reason that YouTube ever removes a video is because it violates their terms of service, and I'm sure that Jim never uploaded anything like that.

A "Private" video is one that has been set so that only people on a specific access list can see it. Those people have to be logged into YouTube to view the video using the email address on that access list.

Is it possible that you have logged into YouTube using a different account than the one you had when he originally sent the links,? If so then all you would need to do is use the original account, assuming that you still have it.  Your YouTube "account" is the email address, usually a Gmail address, that you use when you log into YouTube.

Otherwise, he may have set the videos to "Private" for some unknown reason. If you could get into his YouTube account you'd have access to all of them, of course, that would require knowing his email address and password. He signed up to the forum with a Yahoo email account, so he probably has another Gmail account somewhere that he used for YouTube.

Posted by: @baybeari

Lesson to those of you who might want someone else to know how to find things - leave an explanation as if to a child who knows nothing, and in several places where they would know where to look! 

Very true. My Mom (I'm the caregiver for my mother, who will be 90 in October) is petrified that I'll go before her and leave her with my workshop and computer collection! I've already made the "envelope" with the vital logion information, and as for all the equipment, I told her to contact my son so he could fly out here and take care of it!

Posted by: @baybeari

I am not sure I am going to be able to get the SD cards off of the Raspberry Pi's.  I should have brought them here, but I had too much stuff.

I wouldn't stress too much about the MicroSD cards Marilyn, they are inexpensive and mostly contain the operating system for the Raspberry Pi, which can easily be downloaded again at any time.  And I'm sure you have many more important things to concern yourself with.

 

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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codecage
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@baybeari

Marilyn, that link that Bill provided is the same as the one I have and leads to 12 videos Jim made mostly about teaching Alysha to speak.

SteveG


   
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(@baybeari)
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@dronebot-workshop

Thanks, Bill.  I won't worry too much about it, then.  


   
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(@baybeari)
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@codecage

Thanks, Steve.  Yes, I can view those videos about Alysha's voice.  The ones I can't view anymore are from about 6 or more years ago and are of music that Jim was working on, and a couple of other "how-to" videos.  I thought that he might have some others connected to those same links.  I actually found one email where he talked about losing a password and trying to establish it again, but then he probably got distracted by another interest.  He was like that.  We both had a bit of ADHD or whatever.

Marilyn


   
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codecage
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@baybeari

Been there, done that, with the ADHD or whatever!  I think many of us 'mad' scientists are that way!

🤣

Wishing you the best of luck, and take Bill up on his offer to stay in touch via email.

SteveG


   
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Spyder
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Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

mostly contain the operating system for the Raspberry Pi

Don't forget Bill, James was doing live testing for Alysha on both the Jetsons and the Pis, meaning that the actual code would indeed reside on those disks, and that was the work that seemed most important to him

Alysha "lives" on at least one of those disks if the backups can't be found


   
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