Hacking with MLH at HackNC

HackNC is a hackathon for university students to create big things in a small amount of time - 24 hours between October 25th and 26th

Hermes is tangled up with tape while helping a Goddess fix a sign in the street



Last Monday, I got back from North Carolina where I was at HackNC, Major League Hacking’s UNC event.  It was a weekend filled with late nights, a bunch of video games, some delicious, snacks, and lot of programming. HackNC was different from previous hackathons that I've attended, in that all of the hackers were college students. Most of these developers were self-taught or picked up coding in class, but they proved to be rockstar hackers at this event! We saw great, creative usage of the Mailjet APIs that I'd like to recap and give a shoutout to each of the teams. There were so many and all of them were executed extremely well.  So, here goes…


Boxwich ended up taking home Mailjet’s prize -- some Chromebooks -- for best use of our API and also an overall 3rd place title for the hackathon.

At first glance, this team created a very ordinary looking box, but there are a few bells and whistles to it.  There’s a large failsafe switch to arm and a button to activate.  (To the left is a picture of Boxwich. Let me give you a play by play as to what this thing does: you’re hungry and don’t feel like calling up and ordering your favorite sandwich from Jimmy Johns; enter Boxwich.  You flip the lid for the arming switch; flick the switch up to arm it; then, push the button.  In about 20 minutes, a delivery man will be ringing your doorbell, holding a delicious sandwich from Jimmy Johns.  No talking, no debating what to get, just flip, flick, and push -- that’s all it takes. So how did they use Mailjet?  After pressing the button, an email is sent to the orderer confirming the order, saying how much it costs, and how long it will take.  This is important, because you bet your teeth that I would want to make sure my flicking and pushing wasn't all for nothing.

In the spirit of the hackathon, the team reverse engineered Jimmy Johns’ private API, coupled this with a Raspberry PI, and presto!  A box that orders sandwiches with the push of a button.

Google Hangou

This team created a chrome extension that listens to full sentences said during a Google hangout and translates them.  After the hangout is over, the entire translated script of the conversation is sent to the participants.  This is useful for non-native speakers in business scenarios -- it allows them to review moments they missed or misunderstood.

Don’t Unplug Me

Ever leave your computer charging somewhere to come back to find out that some nincompoop stole your outlet?  They were even quick enough to leave before you got back!  Well, their day of reckoning has come.  With ‘Don’t Unplug Me’, you can catch the jerk in the act.  Here’s how you do it:

Find a sweet spot to plug your computer in; go to ‘Don’t Unplug Me’s site, press “Go”, and then leave your computer to charge while you do whatever it is you must.  When someone tries to jack your outlet and unplugs your computer, the camera will automatically take a picture and email this mug shot to your inbox (via Mailjet) and your phone (via Twilio).  Then, you bring this photo to the police and bring the culprit to justice (kidding).

Objective Fashion

Armed with Mailjet and some weather APIs, this app takes the hassle of having to chose your outfit out each day.  ‘Objective Fashion’ checks the weather, checks the items of clothes you have uploaded to the app, and then gives you an outfit recommendation based on the ambient weather so that not only will you look cool and dope, but you’ll also be properly fitted  for the appropriate weather.


Have you ever wanted to just get in your car and road trip to wherever?  This application allows you to input how much money you have, the kind of car you drive, where you live, the number of people you are traveling with, and it will calculate a Google map route of how far you can go -- taking into account your car’s average MPG and in turn how much gas will cost.  Best part is that if you’re not digging your current route, you can keep choosing until you find one you one until you like.  An email of the itinerary is then sent to you using Mailjet, and off you go to runway!

Raptor Visualization

This team created a virtual dashboard for EMC’s Raptor machinery, accessible through the browser.  If anything were to go wrong, an email is sent via Mailjet to the observer (via Mailjet) notifying them of error.  This is very useful on the off chance you’re not on the dashboard -- you’ll still receive real-time notifications when and if something goes wrong.

Open Course U

Gone are days of having to search for particular subjects across each of the major free learning platforms individually -- MIT, Stanford, Coursera, Khan Academy.  Open Course U’s site acts as a consolidated search engine; simply select the course you want to study and you’ll be shown links to all of the sources the course is hosted on across the Internet.

By Tyler Nappy

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