Temporary exile

Introducing Rbingo

Awhile back, my mother (in her never-ending search for creative educational angles) came up with the idea of playing “Plague Bingo” during the maggid portion of our Passover Seder. Needless to say, it became an instant hit with family and friends. She wrote the first set of boards by hand. While that was fine for a few years, the wear and tear of guests made clumsy by wine on an empty stomach rendered the boards too dirty for general use. When my mother went to write out a new set, I stopped her saying that a program would be able to make the creation process orders of magnitude easier than doing it by hand. So, I wrote a little Python script to generate the board from a list of words. It was a major hack but my mother was thrilled and the new boards worked just fine. A little later on, my mother, teaching at the Davidson Graduate School, decided that she wanted to make a set of bingo boards for her students to play “Buzzword Bingo” during her talks. I jumped at the chance to extend my little script and hacked some configuration onto the original script. It wasn’t pretty but I guess it worked. Since then, I’ve gotten a few requests for the script from folks who have sat through talks given by my mother and liked the idea. In response, I wrote a howto document and sent out a few copies of a zip file containing the source. In any case, the script was completely unmaintainable and not exactly efficient. To solve this problem, I’ve rewritten the script and given myself some much needed practice by porting it to Ruby. I even threw in RDoc generated documentation! In the future, I hope to figure out some reasonable way of generating calling cards based on the possible combinations of header letters and words used in the boards. You can obtain “rbingo” as well as keep up with future version by checking out a build from the Subversion repository: http://svn.yonkeltron.com/rbingo

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