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Putting the SnowMan to work : Cruise Control .Net Build Status Monitor.

So X-Mas has long gone (well at least at the time of writing) and I’m left with two issues, first I want to monitor the status of my builds easily, secondly I have some left over USB SnowMen.

Their can be only one thing for it. Time to get the screw driver and glue out and turn the snow man into a build status indicator.

Now idea’s like this are far from new, I’ve read of teams using Lava Lamps to indicate the status of their builds and the latest sources of CCTray show signs of X10 control, Jeff Atwood covered the subject using a BetaBrite LED sign, Mike Swanson used an Ambient Orb and Scott Quibell has used the Dell XPS Leds as a build monitor.

So now for my addition to the world of varied build monitors, what else but a color changing snow man!

A Good build and the snow man is green:

Building the Application the snowman goes yellowish (Green+Red):

Failing the build the snowman goes red (Don’t mess with an angry snowman!):

This gives a nice feedback on the build status, doesn’t require the addition of mains electric (it’s USB powered), and doesn’t rely on X10 which I’ve found to be problematic in a work environment due to mains born noise and it’s a bit of a weird thing so always good as a conversation point.

The parts required:

A USB SnowMan about £6.

A USB Mini-Bee IO device or something similar that can source 2x 25mA outputs. (£25)

A small box,

A Red+Green 5mm TriColor LED (£0.25)

Some cable and some glue.

In the next blog posting I will describe construction (well modification really) of the hardware and the one after that the simple mods to CCTray to kick the snowman into life.