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. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  2. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  3. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  4. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  5. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  6. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  7. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  8. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  9. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  10. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  11. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  12. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  13. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  14. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  15. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  16. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  17. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  18. TSP FTW!
  19. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  20. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  21. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  22. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  23. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  24. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  25. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  26. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  27. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  28. DrawBot - A Tour!
  29. DrawBot - A Preview
  30. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  31. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  32. Unidentified Foam Object
  33. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  34. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  35. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  36. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  37. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  38. To Maker Faire!!!
  39. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  40. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  41. 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 []