TSP FTW!

Doctor Who Season 6 TSP Single Line Drawing

Doctor Who Season 6 TSP Single Line Drawing

I have been having SO MUCH FUN with traveling salesman problem / single line art!  I can’t wait to draw some of these with my DrawBot!

And, really, how much more perfect could this project get?  It’s a TSP nerdy math single line art drawing of my favorite sci-fi show for drawing with a robot I built using printed parts from my 3D printing robot. 1 2 3

  1. Oh, nirvana! []
  2. I suppose the only way to make it better is to draw the image on a pizza using spray cheese. []
  3. Actually, I take that back.  Ew. []

There, now it’s fixed!

I’ve enjoyed this program on Fox called “Breaking In.”  It has this affable young guy who has been in a lot of cancelled shows, Christian Slater acting like what I can only imagine is what Christian Slater is really like, and it was always quite entertaining.  Since it was a pretty good and funny show, of course Fox cancelled it. 1

I’m glad they uncanceled it, but less glad that they “improved” it.  While I generally like Megan Mullally, she’s not adding anything to a show I already liked and her presence distorts those aspects I used to like.

  1. Seriously, Fox, what the hell?! I mean, at least NBC has the good sense to keep a show on the air for a season after it’s past its prime. []
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Doctor Who Season 6 on Netflix Streaming!!!

Yay!!!

Now, I’ve already seen Doctor Who Season 6.  I liked it, but, on the whole, not as much as Season 5.  Why am I so excited then?

Because now I can delete these episodes off our DVR and watch them, unedited, without commercials just as god intended.

March 12, 2012 | Comments Closed

Maker Faire 2012 – Torn

So, here’s the thing.  I really really really like the Maker Faire.  I’m just torn as to the most optimal way to experience it.

First of all, I love taking my wife and daughter to Maker Faire.  Getting to see so many amazing things all in one place – and getting to see them all through my daughter’s eyes is absolutely incredible.  I could spend the entire weekend just walking from exhibit to exhibit with them.

Second of all, I love talking to Makers and finding out what they do, what they love to make, and how they learned all the things they did to get there.  I honestly feel smarter just for having gone each year.1

Third, helping man the MakerBot table last year was AWESOME!  There was basically a constant crush of people coming by all super interested in what a MakerBot was and what it could be used to make.  Everyone was friendly, polite, interested, and had such excellent and insightful questions.  Imagine a place where you got to just hang out with people you like2 and people would stop by and ask you to tell them all about your favorite hobby.  Chances are you could talk endlessly and cheerfully about it.

Fourth, I’ve build and made some things over the last year of which I’m kind of proud.  While all the actual innovation credit must go to Sandy Noble and others, I like to think that my little drawing robot is uniquely mine.  It would be a lot of fun to put it up and have it draw a huge picture all weekend.  It would be even better with a time lapse video playing nearby.

So, what’s a maker to do?  Experience Maker Faire with the family, spend my time talking to makers, man the MakerBot table, or put something on display myself?  In all likelihood I’ll probably hit the Maker Faire before the family is up, help MakerBot, catch up with the family. 3

Oh, Natalie Imbruglia, only you know how I feel!

  1. Admittedly, it wouldn’t take much for that to happen []
  2. Such as the MakerBot crew! []
  3. But, it would also be cool to set up my drawbot in the background. []

How would you bring users back?

I’ve got this other website with several thousand registered users.  This morning I wondered – how many of these users are really active users and how many registered and then abandoned their account.  I was kind of shocked to discover that for one of my target demographics, only about 20% of those registered users visited the site in the last 180 days.

What I need to do is bring those users back.  Do you have any suggestions?

Proud Parenting Moment

This isn’t my absolute proudest parenting moment, but it is way up there.  Thursday we bought a bunch of small rolls, suitable for small sandwiches, from the grocery store.  Friday night I was talking about how delicious they are and how suitable they are for small sandwiches.  At which point my daughter tells me she’s going to eat them all leaving none for me.  I say some fatherly thing about sharing or somesuch.

Her response was… “These aren’t the rolls you’re looking for.”

As she waved two fingers at me.1

  1. Because of our reaction – which was a fit of hysterical laughter, she proceeded to repeat this continuously for several more minutes. []

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! []
March 4, 2012 | Comments Closed

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. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot Resources and Links
  3. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  4. DrawBots for the slow learner
  5. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  6. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  7. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  8. DrawBot - The Plan!
  9. DrawBot - The Hacks
  10. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  11. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  15. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  19. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  20. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  21. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  22. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  23. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  24. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  27. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  28. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  29. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  30. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  31. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Printing!
  33. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  34. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  35. DrawBot – Calibration
  36. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  37. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  38. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  39. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  40. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  41. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  42. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  43. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  44. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  45. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  46. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  47. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  48. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  49. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  50. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  51. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  52. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  53. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  54. The Eagle Has Landed
  55. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  56. Overengineered Spools
  57. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  58. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  59. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  60. DrawBot - A Tour!
  61. DrawBot - A Preview
  62. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  63. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  64. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  65. Unidentified Foam Object
  66. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  67. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  68. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  69. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  70. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  71. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  72. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  73. To Maker Faire!!!
  74. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  75. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  76. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  77. 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 []