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Topics - querido

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General Discussion / Stackz is the greatest. My reasons.
« on: May 30, 2007, 06:05:05 PM »
I began my Chinese studies in my usual way: I spent some time looking into Chinese-learning related websites, books, and software tools. These would include a flashcard program.
I tried almost every free and demo flashcard program I could find, and three commercial ones. I did this as I was gradually learning what kind of flashcard functionality I would need for Chinese. I had never used any flashcard program.
Many of the programs I tried were nice in some ways. One, the most expensive one, which you've probably heard about, was a nightmare in my opinion: a total mess. Every one had some problem or another, and I got sick of it. So, I was looking at many factors. Stackz has many features, but I want to tell you the three items that made up my mind.
First, is the way the Chinese character expands automatically as I size the test dialog. THIS is THE desired behavior, and contrasts with various font problems I had with those other programs, including in some cases simply not getting big enough.
Second is something I didn't understand some months ago, when I first tried Stackz demo, and did not choose it at that time (so, I'm going to explain it to you): the progressive (configurable) uncovering of multiple fields on the card, in effect, a multi-sided card. The configurability of their number, and order, and placement, etc., is obviously very desirable for the study of Chinese characters!  In case you don't know, a character's pinyin spelling is usually ambiguous when viewed alone. So you can't run simple, symmetrical cards having, for example, English on one side and pinyin spelling on the other. The pinyin spelling and its disambiguating character would have to appear together. That means that in order to test on the character itself (usually unambiguous), you'd need another card, with the pinyin spelling elsewhere, or covered with your hand, etc.  [I edited to try to say that right.] With the previous flashcard program I had chosen, I had decided to keep three cards for every character. But Stackz's solution is obviously right, and configurable too. This is decisive.
Lastly, everything about the way Stackz handles information is flexible and easy. And I'm USING it!

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