08-25-10 - Computing Dream

I'd like to get a box like an old Cray with all the LED's all over the outside. Then, have it run unit tests on my code modules over and over in a loop, constantly syncing from p4 and re-running them.

Each LED corresponds to one unit test; if it passes it shows green, if it fails to run it shows red, if it fails to compile it flashes red.

It also runs speed and memory use tests and shows them in equalizer-type graph info. It bleeps and bloops.

So you can just sit there and jam away and write code and keep checking it in, and you get instant visual feedback if you break a unit test, or slow something down.

Ooh, it would be cool if there were various display widgets and various outputs, and you could actually run physical wires to hook them up. Like oldschool telephone switchboards. So maybe I only have like 4 speed display graph panels, but I have 20 tests that can output speed information. I can reach over and plug the wire from the test I want to the panel I want to see it on.


rogojin said...

I've sometimes longed for the same thing! And big physical buttons to press for like "Upload Release", or "Show top crash dump".

cbloom said...

Yeah, and a big red flashing light and siren that goes off when somebody breaks the build!

Sam said...

Near the end of the last game we did, I wired up some honest to goodness traffic lights to our ccnet server to show the build status. I took it down because I didn't have a proper box for the circuit (it was in a shoe box) and never got around to hooking it up again, although I'm tempted to bust it out again.

Autodidactic Asphyxiation said...

I think the charismatic megacomputer you are thinking of is the Connection Machine CM-5; it's the one with the red LEDs that they call a Cray in Jurassic Park. I was an undergrad researcher at a lab that was decomissioning their CM-5. They had a little ceremony where someone reprogrammed it so the LEDs would print lines from 2001. Its last words were "Daisy, Daisy..."

At work we have a cluster of machines dedicated to build/test. People prefer various kinds of notification mechanisms, including ambient orbs or more home-brew solutions.

I wish branch + deploy were as easy as hitting a button for us. There are lots of things that make it complicated, though.

old rants