Post Facebook Camp Hackathon, Pre Yahoo Open Hack All Stars 2011

Facebook held it’s Camp Hackathon at UIUC yesterday, and it was another great experience. Sam and I built a system to remotely control your iTunes music library via text messaging, a web interface and voice. Technologies used were Python, PHP, Twilio and NodeJS (NowJS and Express). I’m a huge fan of NowJS, it’s an excellent product that makes realtime communication in NodeJS so much simpler, and it opens up a world of possibilities in terms of applications that can be built. It’s the fourth time I’ve used this library, and each time it’s elegance blows me away. The same holds true for Express.  Robust and easy to use (though we didn’t use it heavily for this project). All the text messaging stuff was handled via Twilio, another service that I am a huge fan of. 

Heading out to New York tomorrow for the Yahoo Open Hack All Stars 2011. I’m super excited for this event and can’t wait for the competition to begin!

Linkedin Intern Hackday


That is pretty much all I have to say after getting back from the Intern hackday. The sheer level of technical wizardry on display was ridiculous. There was a VNC client implemented in Javascript, a multiplayer capture the flag game that used nodejs + WebGL, a webapplication that allows you to share files by ‘streaming’ it to another user (no storage on an intermediate server) written in Django … all in all, absolutely amazing. Sam and I built a web based AI, called ‘Sherlock’. We used a homegrown audio recorder + chunker written in Python, Google + Bing + Qwiki APIs and NowJS for server-client distribution. I was really happy with how our application turned out in the end, it looked great and functioned pretty well. We made the final 15 (out of 45 teams) and I am really proud of what we accomplished over the course of 16 hours. 

For the curious, the winners were: 1st prize was the capture the flag game, 2nd prize was taken by Linked Out (an application that used data available on Likedin to predict who will change jobs) and the 3rd prize was grabbed by the Django-streaming-file-sharing application (they called themselves Beamit). 

#inday, I shall miss you.