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In fact, RepeatAdvisor is the only mode I use. I dare to say that it is the method that more closely resembles how memory works. And you can fine-tune to your needs by going to File Options > Color modes > Advanced.

When I first started using Stackz!, I kept comparing it to more automatic systems based on a geometrically increasing space between repetitions, and I thought that 5 levels was not enough. At that time, I focused more on memorization than learning. And I made no progress for years, because I was so focused on reviewing my lists that I didn't have time to actually learn the language. And when my expired cards accumulated, I felt discouraged and often abandoned my Japanese studies for several months.

Now I have come to understand that you should concentrate on learning and practicing, rather than memorizing. So now I have come to appreciate the semi-automatic nature of Stackz!, and have calibrated it with less stringent options.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Advanced languages and fonts management
« on: January 07, 2008, 03:54:58 AM »
Hi. I use Stackz! for learning Japanese, and I use different Japanese fonts for different purposes. For example: Kyouka or Mikachan for Kanji writing practice, Mincho or Gothic for reading, etc. And within each file, I often use different fonts for the entry and the reading (For instance, Kyouka for the main entry and Gothic for the reading.)

Hoever, I have noticed that Stackz! has no way to specify different fonts for a given language. If you want to use another Japanese font in another file, you need to create a new Stackz! "language" within Stackz! Options, and this creates a number of complications:

1) Anytime you open a Stackz! file, Stackz! changes its system language to the one in the main entry of the file. Every time I open my "Remembering The Kanji" list, which uses a Kyouka font (which I had to configure as a separate language called "Written Japanese") for the main entry and Gothic for the readings (that is, the default Stackz! "Japanese" language), the Stackz! system language switches to "Written Japanese". Since my dictionary is always in "Japanese", this creates an awkward situation while I'm in Test or Edit mode: I cannot use F6 to make a quick lookup of an entry... I can't even type it in the dictionary window because the Stackz! system language does not match the Dictionary language... although both are Japanese, only with different fonts!

To solve this, everytime I load this list I have to remember to manually switch the system language back to "Japanese" before doing anything else, which is slightly inconvenient.

2) While in Edit mode, readability is everything. In the same file, my Kyouka font becomes very difficult to read. Brush style fonts are even worse. It would be nice if I could configure Stackz! to render all Japanese text with the Gothic font while in Edit mode, overriding locally selected fonts.

To solve this, everytime I need to edit this file, I have to switch the "language" of my main entry to "Japanese" before editing and then change it back to "Written Japanese" after editing.

Most of the time, I have to deal with both problems at the same time.

So I wish Stackz! could actually made a distinction between a Language and a Font, freeing you from having to create lots of fictional "languages". And if it could allow Font overriding for certain windows... that would be really 便利な。

Stackz - Bug Reports / Inaccurate statistics?
« on: January 07, 2008, 03:29:01 AM »
Hello, I don't know if this is a bug or not, perhaps I'm just confused:

When I select a stack and go to Right click > Admin > Statistics, I get the correct number of entries in the stack I selected, but all the other data (Newest and oldest) is referenced from the whole file, not to the selected stack.

The Stackz Wordlists / Re: What wordlist is missing most?
« on: December 31, 2007, 06:21:06 PM »
NHK is now broadcasting a show for learners of Japanese called エリンが挑戦 (Called "Erin's Challenge" in Japanese bookstores and "Getting into Nihongo" in NHK's weekly schedule). Although it has been heavily criticized (It teaches very basic grammar but some skits use advanced language), it seems to be quite popular among learners.

If someone has a transcript of this show, perhaps he could create a file for each episode containing the most difficult words a mid-beginner (Let's say, someone who has passed Level 4 of the official test) is likely to encounter. The file could be divided in Lessons that correspond with the core parts of each episode: 基本スキット (Basic skit), 応用スキット (Applied skit), これはなに? (What is this?), やってみょう, etc.

General Discussion / Re: What do you learn with Stackz?
« on: December 15, 2007, 10:40:52 PM »
Besides Japanese vocabulary, I've used it for memorizing my friends' phone numbers and Bible quotes (Just the book, chapter number and verse number)

General Discussion / Re: This is the Best!
« on: December 15, 2007, 10:38:01 PM »
I agree, I've been using Stackz 07 RC6 for a while and have no problems to report.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Sound
« on: July 04, 2007, 04:18:51 PM »
Well, I guess I'm out of place here:

There have been cases when a once cool, simple application gradually became way too complex, slow and crammed with options and features. It passed from being as refreshingly simple as an Ultralight trike plane to becoming as button-filled as a Boeing 777. Among these are:

- MS Word (Come on... so much buttons just to write a letter?)
- MS Outlook (I stopped using it a few years ago because of that)
- Winamp 3 (I had to go back to Winamp 2)
- MusicMatch (I still have a now ancient version, and I prefer it)
- DivX Player (idem)

And I don't want that to happen to Stackz!

Stackz! goal has -so far- been to emulate a stack of physical flashcards, giving us the cool feeling of being in complete control of the process.

Improvements brought with each version sought just to streamline the process.

IMHO, Stackz! is almost perfect just as it is.

I really think adding links to audio files would be nice, but it would have to be implemented in a discreet way that does not destroy the Wabi-Sabi, the Zen beauty of the program, and these features should be concealed from view to those not interested in using them. Just like stowing away a futon when you're not using it. The room you're using should have only the furniture you need right now.

I liked Gigapops approach, and here I'll try to flesh it out. The following is just a proposal of how these features could be discretely concealed, and at the same time easy to activate:

If someone wishes to have a sound file linked to some of his cards in a file:

In the file options dialog, the column name "File Language" is already a misnomer, since most users have different languages mixed in a single file. A more appropriate name would be "Attribute language", or, making room for sound and images, "Type of content". Then, when clicking in the "..." button, one could choose if the content type for the selected attribute is either text or sound. If one chooses text, the "Select language" dialog would appear, but if one chooses "sound", there is nothing else to be set. Then, when one is in edit mode, one could just write the relative or absolute path to the sound file in the cell reserved for that Attribute within the current flashcard.

A concrete scenario: Let’s say that someone decided to make room for sound file links in the column where the “Entry” attribute normally resides. Of course, he would have renamed this column to “Sound” or something like that, and selected “Sound” from the “Type of content” column in the File Options dialog. Then, in the Edit dialog, in the cell reserved for the link to the sound file for Japanese word “Sumimasen”, he would just have to write, let’s say, “C:\stackz_sounds\sumimasen.mp3” (absolute path), or, if he is more organized and has all the sound files in a sub-folder names “sounds” within the same folder containing the Stackz! Files, he could just write “sounds\sumimasen.mp3” (relative path). Then, during test, instead of displaying the actual link (which would give away the answer), Stackz! Could display a text message, something like “Press P to play sound”.

To keep Stackz! simple, perhaps it could invoke a background sound player to do the sound-playing stuff instead of trying to integrate a sound player within Stackz!. I think there’s a sound player integrated in Windows… but Winamp is a lot more open to sound formats…

Well, just dreaming… As I said before, Stackz! is almost perfect just as it is, and this is just a suggestion about how to implement new features without making it way too gaudy or flashy.

As a final note, from the two file linking approaches (Absolute or relative), I really favor the relative approach, because it would make it a lot easier to share the new stackz! lists with sound links… The creator would just have to pack both the stackz! file and the folder with the linked sounds into a RAR file, and upload them, knowing that there isn’t going to be any broken link issues when someone downloads and unRARs his bundle.

I'll make mock-up images of how this will work when I get some free time.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Cards left should show expired
« on: June 15, 2007, 12:36:08 AM »
Well, I guess your request has been answered in Beta 4... Just go to the retention manager, and activate "examine expired cards". This way only the expired cards will be included in the count.

I guess you already knew that... This thread seems to be rather old.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Success Test Counter
« on: June 13, 2007, 11:45:19 PM »
I was too lazy to come here at once when I received your e-mail about the beta testing... It's a pity that now the new features section is cast in stone.

I just had one wish: A simple counter. While I am in test mode, I'd like to know how many cards I have declared as "known". That's because I've established a routine for each stackz! file, and within this routine, I have to test positive on X cards every day... that way, I review the entire file twice a year, or once a year, according to each file.

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