Code for Osaka’s Ferry Hackathon (Day 2)

(This is a continuation of my previous blog post)

Second day is here! Barely slept the previous day so it very much felt like just an extension of Day 1. To be honest, I was feeling a bit sleepy and groggy but at the same time, I was excited to finally arrive in Beppu. It was my first time here and the view that greeted us from the port was beautiful.

Look at the pretty blue sky! Also in hindsight, should have chosen a better angle(the lamp post is blocking the view..)

It was a 20-minutes walk from the port to APU(Asia-Pacific University) Oita Plaza where the 2nd part of the hackathon was to be held. The walk was a perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of Beppu city as we would not have time to do some proper sight-seeing later on.

IMG_5020 2
Just your normal average hall..

In the end, our team spent the whole day here programming. A few other teams did go out and try the famous Beppu hot spring but as we were on a tight schedule, we decided to just focus on programming and developing our web application.  Perhaps we over-estimated the time loss that we’d incur from going to the hot spring but looking back at it now, we probably did have an hour or two to spare. But oh well. No use crying over spilt milk.

As the lab that I’m currently in right now has a group that deal with solar cells, couldn’t help but to take a picture of this

I wondered whether they’re using any of the high-conversion solar cells like the up-conversion solar cells that my lab specializes in. Theoretically, using the photon up-conversion solar cell, we could reach a conversion efficiency above 50%.

As someone coming from a semiconductor/solar cell laboratory, I couldn’t help but be curious about the conversion efficiency of the solar panel that APU Plaza was using. So, i went back home and did some Google-ing. It turns out that the solar panel that they’re using(Sanyo Electric’s HIP-G748B1) has a conversion efficiency of 14.14%![1]

Yeah, pretty random information and I’m running way out of topic. I might be in a semiconductor lab right now, but next year, I’ll be moving to a research lab that deals with artificial intelligence in image processing(something that I’m more interested in).Anyway, I digress.

Beppu sight-seeing only consisted of this

Of course, we didn’t spent the whole time programming. We did manage to take a short lunch break(probably around 40 minutes?) to try some vegetable ramen! This wasn’t because we wanted to have ramen but because this was the closest restaurant to APU Plaza….

After lunch, it was back to programming! Wanted to program until 7pm(when we were supposed to go back on the ferry) but there were to be a short party at 5pm to mix and mingle with the people from the Beppu City Hall(who are apparently part of the organizing team).

By the time the party rolled in, I was pretty much half done with my task. As I said before, I did not have much experience when it comes to HTML+CSS but it wasn’t a very difficult language to pick up. I’ve only ever done Swift and Java(and of course C language from school), so the first thing I asked my team mate was “So um.. what IDE should I use?”. A very beginner question, I know. For HTML, there really was no need for some fancy IDE with C-compilers like Xcode. All that was needed was a simple editor.

I’m also lucky to have someone in my team who was doing the front-end stuff together with me so at least I had someone to review my code. Our team also had a designer and she designed an amazing UI which I think played a big part in making the application usable.


Our time at Beppu passed by really fast. Before I knew it, it was already time to say goodbye.
Apparently, there’s a tradition of throwing colored tapes from the ferry desk before departure. Don’t know whether it’s a Japanese thing or just something ferries all over the world do.

Once we were in the ferry, we were free to decide what to do with our time. Some went straight away back to programming whilst others had dinner first. Around 10:30 pm, we again gathered in the restaurant where all the teams had to report on the progress that they have done so far. Most teams seemed to be getting on quite well but there was a sense of anxiety as essentially we only had 12 hours left.


After that, it was back to work! Look at the amount of energy drinks and snacks that we snagged for ourselves.

I usually tend to avoid snacks(except chocolate, cannot resist it) and I think I ate a whole year’s worth of snacks in the past 2 days. Yeap, really should go back to running regularly. Haven’t been running much since Kobe Marathon and I can already feel the effects of it.

Well, anyway, that’s the end of the second day of the hackathon! Please look forward to the third(and last) ferry hackathon post lol.






[1]Watanabe C, Nagamatsu A, & Griffy-Brown C (2003). Behavior of technology in reducing prices ofinnovative goods – An analysis of the governing factors of variance of PV module prices. Technovation 23 (5): 423-436. DOI:10.1016/S0166-4972(01)00121-3.


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