Use the Dell XPS LEDs to Monitor Your Build Status

Use the Dell XPS LEDs to Monitor Your Build Status

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Nearly two years ago, while I was still working for Microsoft Consulting Services in the field, I posted my article on Automated Continuous Integration and the Ambient Orb™. It's one of my most popular posts, and I still receive comments and questions about it almost once a week. Since then, I've read about many other creative ways to monitor build status.

Well, two of the guys I worked with years ago, Rob Cecil and Scott Quibell, have taken the build status concept to the next level. They've managed to come up with a way to monitor their builds by manipulating the color LEDs that are included in the Dell XPS laptops. Scott outlines the method and includes some handy source code in Continuous Integration with CC.Net and Dell XPS LED "Ambient" Lights. Their method uses a customized build of CCTray and some LED APIs that were sniffed from Dell's Quickset utility. Scott has included a short video that illustrates how everything works.

If you're not using a system like this, I urge you to give it a try. At least try continuous integration...even if you don't use a clever way to broadcast the build status. For those who are interested in using CI with Team Foundation Server, check out Jeff Atwood's A Kinder, Gentler Continuous Integration service for Team Foundation Server (thanks for the link, Rob). I'd love to hear if someone implements the XPS LED solution with TFS.

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  • Check this out - Scott Quibell and Rob Cecil figured out how to make the LED lights on...
  • Our engineering team (lead by CTO Robert Anderson (http://et.cairene.net) uses CC.net.  I'm going to start bothering him to start blinking some lights!
  • Knew I'd get your attention with that title.
    This post is an exercise in personal transparency...transparency...
  • If your project is a bit long and has a complex deployment, you may have some way of notifying your team

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