At Hackathons, I love building something completely insane. It so happened that the night before the event, while mindlessly browsing the fantastic website, I discovered a post. This post was special. It contained equal measures of cats and trolling. The idea was that upon receiving a text from an unknown number, to pretend to be an automated cat-fact messaging service.

Why not bring this to a Hackathon?


Struan McDonough -- Lead and Pitch Ignas Bolsakovas -- Database and Backend Arjun Mistry -- Frontend Hugh Williams -- Research

What it does

You go to a website and type in the phone number of your arch-nemesis. The website happily takes the number and saves it for future nefarious deeds. Upon clicking the button on the website, your arch-nemesis is sent a cat-fact text from an anonymous number. They then can either enjoy/curse your choice of fact.

How I built it

We created a simple front-end, which allowed the ne'er-do-wellers to input a number. This would take the number and store it in a database. There was a second database manually constructed with 200+ cat facts. This was the job for the first year in the team who didn't know how to code (best 5 hours of his life!). The application would then send the numbers a random cat fact.

Challenges I ran into

  • Entered a friend's number into the system as a test at the beginning of the Hackathon. He totally wasn't involved in the Hackathon. He had 300+ texts at the end of the day.
  • We didn't discriminate between phone numbers. If someone sends a text to one number, it sends them to them all.
  • We left the address bar of the app on screen during the pitch. People started adding their numbers and using it. At the beginning of the pitch, everyone's phone in the room went off at the same time, akin to some hacker movie.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Awarded GitHub's "Most Quirky Invention"

What's next for Cat Facts

Nah... We'll just leave this one as a memory

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