Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How To Unbrick a Siren of Shame

Several of the sirens we've sent out recently have become bricked upon upgrading the firmware. Future sirens we ship should not have this issue, but if you find yourself in the following situation after an upgrade:

"It lights up, starts the spinning and then just stays lit after a few rotations (3 of 5 columns are lit). The “Show Off” button is no longer available"

Then the following procedure should unbrick you:

  1. Disconnect the siren
  2. Click “Upgrade Firmware” from the obscure button in the toolbar next to “Siren”
  3. Select the upgrade file
  4. Click “Upgrade”
  5. Wait until the text below the progress bar says “Upgrading…”
  6. Plug in the device before it times out (you’ll have about 10 seconds)

Siren of Shame Review

Patrice Lamarche just wrote up a wonderful
Siren of Shame review, both of the application and the device. His review covers how he combined it with continuous integration to increase software quality.

Following is a part of the review I translated as best as possible from the original French with the aid of Google Translate (I do not speak French ^LR).

The developers used to perform check-ins without necessarily getting latest. This occasionally resulted in code under source control that wouldn't compile, which would produce an unpleasant surprise for the next developer getting latest.

To solve this problem and be able to more quickly respond to similar issues we established a build server with [TFS] Team Build.


This resulted in some progress toward our goal of being more responsive to these issues, but I still had to educate the team to pay attention to the status of the build in TFS.

We achieved this goal thanks to the siren. Team members now want to avoid the siren and lights and so they think twice about what they are about to commit *before* they check-in. The siren represents a highly visible reminder of the state of the build server. Its lights and siren are almost no longer necessary: its mere presence is sufficient.

This represents another (small step) toward increased software quality and decreased stress for the team!

Check out the entire review as translated by Google here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Released 1.4

Here's what's new:

Play audio through windows PC speakers for build events (149)

You wouldn't strictly need this feature if you bought the USB siren -- but hey, we aim to please. So now if you right-click to customize rules there is a new option "Play the following audio in Windows".

You can play different audio per build or per person (see How To Configure Rules).

The mute button now mutes both your Windows speakers as well as any devices you have attached.

Never ever display "Moved to the tray" notifications (147)

Apparently this was seriously bothering some users.

Firmware upgrade now uses file picker (144)

We just saved you 0.5 seconds for an activity you perform at most several times a year. You're welcome.

Bug Fixes
  • If you change the name of a build in Team City it is now reflected in the app (Issue #12)
  • Some versions of Jenkins returned results that were parsed incorrectly (Issue #10)
  • TFS Workspaces with a cloaked directory now work (Issue #9)
Get It Now

Your existing version of Siren of Shame should automatically upgrade on your next restart. If not download 1.4 here.