What I was down to do
I was actually just an attendee, the only technologies the event had was Dropbox and Heroku, but that would be because the event was to launch the new London off for Dropbox. I even went in with a simple idea that kind of exploded.
Who was in attendance
They had 100~ attendee's at this event, which lead to some varying hacks being produced (I always think 100 is the sweet spot for hacks). The level of attendees was student through to lead developer, and the age bracket of attendees was the 18 - 30 bracket I'd guess.
Dropbox had taken a very different approach to managing the event, it was just under a 24 hour event but they shut the venue down at midnight and re-opened at 9am next day (not optimal for rapid development as it ruins peoples groove). Also, with presentations, they pre-selected 10 project to talk for 5 minutes (they also didn't stop people over talking), rather than allowing every project up for 2 minutes (the standard approach). This lead to a lot of teams being disgruntled about not being able to show of what they had built.
However, the project's they had picked we're quite interesting.
- ebook sharing library: a book was added to your dropbox, you read it then delete it from your dropbox. The system detects the delete and gives you a new book you haven't read. This was my personal favourite project
- 3D dropbox: This project was a homemade 3D scanner (inside a large blue box) that put a 3D printer file into your dropbox for any item you scanned.
- 3 geo-cache adventure games: all the same premise but using the technology in different ways. One used dropbox as a flat file datastore.
- Auto sharing photos: a raspberry pi connected to a digital camera that synced photos to dropbox and then would tweet them out on your behalf.
All in all, a good hackathon, with some rough edges that are understandable as it was the first hackathon they had run.
I also produced a hack at the event, I made a basic replication system to link CouchDB to Dropbox Datastore that auto-scaled on Heroku. System would allow you to either do an "export" from A-B or a continous 1-way replication from A-B. I'll give a better write up in a separate file as I'm refactoring as something we can use.