Who is tracking you? Collusion plugin for FireFox

If you want to see something that is simultaneously disturbing and ego-inflating, check out the Collusion plugin for FireFox. 1 A friend of mine e-mailed me the link to the LifeHacker post discussing it.  If you want to cut to the chase, the link to the Collusion plugin is right here.  After web surfing and blogging for about an hour, the little web it’s drawn so far is a little scary.


  1. In a perverse way, it is slightly ego-inflating because I’m clearly so very important to ALL these companies! []

Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing

Over the last two days or so I’ve drawn the largest picture yet with my DrawBot.  I started it on Friday night and, with numerous pauses and other misadventures, finished it this morning.  The drawing is roughly 12″ x 18″ or so. 1  With no apparent rhyme or reason the drawing would pause numerous times.  I would estimate about 25 or so.  Also, the pen had a difficult time towards the end.  I believe this was in part due to the angle of the pen on the drawing surface and the quantity of the ink left.  As of this morning I was still using version 1.1.2, but I’m installing version 1.1.4 right now. 2

Here are some additional thoughts:

  • In an earlier post I had mentioned I was having stalling problems while drawing.  Sandy asked whether I was able to change serial ports to a different one and back again.  The answer is “sort of.”
  • When there’s a stall, here’s what I do:
    1. Click “SETUP->SERIAL PORT…
    2. Click on some other serial port other than the one I’ve been using
    3. Disconnect and then immediately reconnect the USB cable from the computer
    4. Click on the original serial port I had been using
    5. As soon as the Drawbot reestablishes a connection with the Polargraph controller software, it starts drawing right where it left off
  • I used to export a copy of the existing queue before doing all of this, and while it is still a very good idea, it doesn’t seem necessary.
  • This exact process has worked several times in a row without a problem.  Interestingly, step number 3 above3 is critical.  If I exclude this step the program crashes.
  • For this drawing I used a Pilot Precise Rolling Ball V5, extra fine tip, black.  I had used a red pen of the same make for a prior drawing and it worked reasonably well.
  • I’m in the process of designing a new pen gondola.  I think something that can angle the pen downwards would help the pen apply ink to the page.
  • Interestingly, I noticed after about 80% of the drawing was done the pen had a little bit of paper fuzz on it.  Once I removed this, the pen seemed to work a lot better.
  • The pen stopped drawing completely after about 85% of the drawing over all.  This was a bit disappointing.  However, since I was drawing from the top right to the bottom left and the version of the Polargraph controller I was using allows you to specify which area to start from, I just restarted the same drawing from the bottom right corner and ended up with a very satisfactory result.

In other words, it’s a nice day to start again.

Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. DrawBots for the slow learner
  2. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  3. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  4. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  5. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  6. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  7. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  8. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  9. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  10. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  11. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  12. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  15. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  16. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  17. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  18. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  19. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  20. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  21. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  22. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  23. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  24. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  25. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  26. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  27. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  28. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  29. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  30. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  31. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  32. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  33. The Eagle Has Landed
  34. Every Body Needs a Skull
  35. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  36. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  37. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  38. DrawBot - A Tour!
  39. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  40. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  41. Unidentified Foam Object
  42. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  43. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  44. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  45. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  46. To Maker Faire!!!
  47. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  48. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  49. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  50. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  1. I rolled it up and gave it to a friend before I thought to take a photogram []
  2. One of Sandy’s latest posts suggests there’s a 1.1.5 available, but I couldn’t find it. []
  3. The disconnect and reconnection of the USB cable from the computer []