This past spring I had the good fortune of attending BoilerMake on the dime of my wonderful university.

I was on a four-person team, consisting of Erik Thiem, Max Buck, and Abby Benedict.

BoilerMake logo

Our service is set up to receive texts containing the titles of Wikipedia articles. It then calls you back and reads you the article (it will read the whole thing if you let it). It’s at 614-763-6678, and it’s still running (as of 9/9/2014).

We added quite a bit of functionality after the fact as well. We’ve set it up to take other people’s phone numbers and send Wikipedia articles - useful for settling bar bets - geeky pickup lines, UrbanDictionary definitions, or just custom messages. Feel free to test it out - it’s at www.ewakz.com.

It’s powered by Twilio and a basic Heroku instance. It’s written in Ruby, and the frontend is Bootstrap (but you probably figured that out already).

Unfortunately, we didn’t win anything this time (we lost both prizes we were in the running for to a textable microwave), but we did have a hell of a lot of fun making it and sharing it around. If you like it, feel free to tell everyone you know. We’re always happy to see that it’s being used.

Edit 2015-01-09: I had forgotten we had been written about in The Lantern (the student newspaper here at OSU).

Edit 2015-03-12: Site is currently down; the text feature still runs.