One of the first things you learn about as a Mozilla developer is Tinderbox, Mozilla's automated build and test system. Mozilla's Tinderbox hosts a number of "trees", specific software projects that are built and tested independently. Tinderbox has a page that displays the current status of whatever tree you might be interested in. For example, the display for the Firefox 3.1 tree is here. If everything is wonderful, the top of each column on the web page is green, indicating that the most recent build and test run on that machine was successful. This is called a "green tree". In reality, the tree is rarely one hundred percent green. Developers with patches ready for checkin (ready to "land" in Mozilla parlance) are constantly checking to see if the tree is green. This can get old. Justin Dolske, in a fit of Wallian laziness, developed isthetreegreen.com to simplify the process. It's an unfortunate fact that lately the tree has rarely been green and it's become more a matter of "Is the tree green enough?". I discovered that if I had the tree status page open in Firefox, I could essentially see the entire width of page if I stretched the window to the full width of my screen and made the text as small as possible. This way I could get a feel for how green the tree was at a glance.The problem with this approach is that most of the time the browser window was obscured by other windows. The other problem was that I kept accidentally clicking on it, or accidentally opening other pages in the really wide window, or hiding it and forgetting about it. It would have worked better if I had a second monitor configured, but frankly, if I had a second monitor I'd want to use all the screen real estate for active work anyway. What I'm really looking for is some kind of ambient information display. I want to be able to catch a high level view of the tree status with just a glance, but without it being in my way as I try to work. This is similar to Alistair Cockburn's concept of an Information Radiator. That's it, I want my own personal information radiator. Then the other day, I noticed digital photo frames at Fred Meyer. These have been around for awhile, but it's the first time I noticed them on the shelves at the local discount market (most likely because I haven't been paying attention). I thought, hey wouldn't that be cool if you could set one up to display the tree? But are there any that can run a web browser? It turns out there is. Sony has a digital photo frame that runs Opera. However, it looks like it's only available in Japan. On the other hand, Samsung now has photo frames that support UbiSync, which is their USB video technology. So technically, you'd just be using photo frames as a more less standard multiple monitor setup. The upside is that UbiSync doesn't require video card support, and you can daisy chain multiple UbiSync photo frames -- apparently as many as five or six. An UbiSync monitor doesn't have the raw performance of a regular monitor running off of a video card, but for displaying slow-changing information like the Tinderbox tree, it would be plenty fast enough. Of course if you were going to go this route, it would probably make sense to get your hands on a Samsung 22 inch UbiSync monitor, rather than one of the 10 inch photo frames.