Posts Tagged ‘dollar’

Bingo Game for a Dollar?

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Today, I stumbled upon a Bingo Game for $1 at a dollar store. Wow. You can’t buy much for a dollar… so I bought one, hoping for a few laughs.

And I get some.

Here’s a picture of the front of the box.  This box is packaged with a little ~5 inch tall plastic bingo cage roller under clear plastic packaging.


Here’s a picture of the assembled game. Dear Daniel kitten not included – he is borrowed from my sister!


A few minutes after opening the package I realized that this wasn’t standard American style bingo. Here are a few of the deviations:

  • There are only 72 balls, not the normal 75 –  LOL, the box says there are 62 balls, I had to count to discover that there are 72.
  • The 8 reusable bingo cards with fold down flaps have 24 randomly selected numbers; however, on the card, the numbers are sorted from lowest to highest.
  • Numbers do not have a specified column. On one card, 19 is in the first column, on another card, 19 is in the second column.  In theory, 19 could end up even further down the card, but that would be unlikely.

Since these are non-standard numbers, you won’t be able to use standard bingo cards. So, you’re normally limited to the 8 cards that you’ve been provided.  However, using our custom bingo card generator, I have made a workaround.

Click here for numeric bingo cards that use the numbers 1-72 with 14 numbers in each column – with the exception of “O” which has 14 numbers –

You can print enough for a small party.  Do NOT mix the original cards with cards generated on  The ones from our website generally follow the American format bingo card scheme.  I.e. numbers within a column are randomly sorted and are assigned to a column.

All things considered, it’s a pretty good value for $1, but it’s unfortunate that it’s not quite standard bingo.

PS, the roller doesn’t stay on the mount very well on the arm side. A well placed twist tie holds things together a lot better. Also, a sticker on the back of the  bingo game box says that this game  is either manufactured or  imported by Mountains China Co. Ltd.


Update: I glanced inside the cage after initially publishing this post and I realized that there were numbers past 62 in there! So, I had to count, and the box is wrong. There were 72 balls in my kit. It’s still non-standard! The custom design above has been revised.

PHP PEAR HTML_Template_IT Eats Dollar Signs

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Sigh.  We discovered a bug in our recently reworked (“PWT”) site.

We have a simple, custom, partial MVC system that runs a few of our smaller websites.  That system uses the PEAR HTML_Template_IT package to do the final template rendering. We ported PWT to our MVC to make future site changes much easier.

A week after going live with the changes, we found a baffling bug.  The tools were eating the dollar sign and dollar amounts (but not the decimals) from the input text. E.g. “$103.00” would get returned as “.00”.  Not good.

Apparently, HTML_Template_IT defaults to processing all text with regex.  Not cool.

There might be a historical reason for this, but for new users, this has got to be confusing. Plus, this is NOT mentioned in the intro documentation:

We’re not the only ones caught by this:

The fix is to initialize and set the use_preg option, like this:

$tpl = new HTML_Template_IT(‘./’,array(‘use_preg’=>true));

I have glanced at the package pages, and while this behavior is  documented it is buried quite deeply in the documentation.

This also explains a typo we had years ago on a static page that had the text like $5 in it.  That time, we just changed the copy to read 5 dollars and got on with life.