FAQ: Specialist Questions about SuperMemo

Do you have a question about SuperMemo? Write to SuperMemoMail
Last modified:

You can get SuperMemo free by contributing your learning material to SuperMemo Library
(Jacek Wojaczynski, Poland, Sat, Sep 22, 2001 15:48)
Question:
Do you offer student discounts for SuperMemo?
Answer:
No. The verification is too complex. However, you can receive SuperMemo free by writing to SuperMemo Library and declaring to contribute your learning material. You can use older versions to write your material and then receive the newest SuperMemo


You can beam Palm SuperMemo to a friend
(DON FRANKEL, Wednesday, December 18, 2002 1:27 PM)
Question:
I already have the desktop and Palm versions of SuperMemo. Can I buy a copy of the Palm version as a present for someone? That would mean I pay you, beam the program to my friend and give them their code. Would that work and would that be in accordance with your license agreement?
Answer:
Yes, you can beam Palm SuperMemo as a gift. You will need relevant hardware details to generate the registration code though.


SuperMemo for iPaq
(Miloslav Skácel, Czech Republic, Saturday, August 03, 2002 4:35 PM)
Question:
Is it possible to run SuperMemo on iPaq?
Answer:
Yes. You need SuperMemo for Pocket PC. You can download a demo version before making the purchase. Be sure you choose the version that matches your processor


(Joe, Nov 17, 1999)
Question:
Can SuperMemo run on iMac? If not, can you recommend an alternative product?
Answer:
SuperMemo for Macintosh was terminated. You can run SuperMemo on iMac in Windows emulation mode


(Peter Cool, the Netherlands, Aug 26, 1998)
Question:
I am using SuperMemo 6 for DOS (HP 200 LX)? Where can I find tools such as to_text.exe and to_sm.exe described in toolkit.txt
Answer:
Use http://search.shareware.com, search for: supermem by platform: all categories


(Winfried Schoierer, US, Jun 20, 1998)
Question:
I am using SuperMemo and I have recently bought a PalmPilot from 3Com. Is there software that enables you, to put your daily vocabulary workload on the palmpilot?
Answer:
We have SuperMemo for both Palm Pilot and Windows CE


(Tomasz Frankiewicz, Poland, 1996)
Question:
How can I use SuperMemo without a computer?
Answer:
Read: Using SuperMemo without a computer


(Piotr Adamik, Poland, Aug 26, 1998)
Question:
How can I obtain the list of customers who agreed to make their addresses available to other users?
Answer:
We no longer keep such a list. It was useful in early years of SuperMemo when it was really hard to get in touch with other users. This field on the registration card is presently not used


Question:
Is there a version of SuperMemo for Unix?
Answer:
No, however, SuperMemo 7 works under SUN's Windows 3.1 emulator Wabi 2.2 both for Solaris 2.5 (tested on SPARC station 4) and HP-UX 10.20 (tested on HP 712/100). SuperMemo 8 works as well but is rather slow


(Dan Laskowski, US, Aug 20, 1997)
Question:
I am using SuperMemo 6 for DOS on HP DOS palmtop. My problem is that once the machine gets into the sleep mode, my data gets corrupted. How can I remedy the problem?
Answer:
SuperMemo 6 was released in 1991 when we could not possibly conceive it being used on an air flight in a computer that easily fits a small pocket. Consequently, SuperMemo 6 has no way to detect the moment when it should save its data. You might try to use RECOV6.EXE or RESCUE.EXE distributed along the program to repair the data. Better yet, develop a good backup system or just do not let your handheld go to sleep during repetitions. Although SuperMemo 6 is not being developed any more, we will post the corrected version on the website if the problem is remedied


(Dan Laskowski, US, Nov 24, 1997)
Question:
Is a version of SuperMemo for Windows CE under development?
Answer:
Yes. SuperMemo CE has been released in September 1999


(John Crouch, USA, Dec 30, 1998)
Question:
I have recently ordered SuperMemo but was interested in how I might use the program when I am away from home. Any suggestions as to how I can either print out the days outstanding items or even use of the PalmPilot for this purpose?
Answer:
Currently there is no simple solution. However, we plan to add an option for working on paper or in a notebook text file in future versions. SuperMemo for Windows CE and SuperMemo for Palm Pilot have already been released


(Almut Luiken, Germany, Feb 2, 1999)
Question:
I am having problems with Greek keyboard in SuperMemo 7. Why isn't there an FAQ for SuperMemo 7 on this site?
Answer:
SuperMemo 7 has not been in development since 1995, it is not in use internally at SuperMemo World, and we often find it very difficult to answer user problems otherwise than by suggesting an upgrade. Additionally, support questions in reference to SuperMemo 7 are very rare nowadays. FAQ archive on this site now includes FAQ for SuperMemo 7


(Vit Usela, Czech Republic, Mar 23, 1999)
Question:
I have used SuperMemo 7 for a couple of years and would like to import my collections to Advanced English 97. However, I am afraid I will lose the easy control of the spelling exercises. Can you help?
Answer:
In new versions of SuperMemo, you cannot globally switch from standard repetitions to spelling exercises. At the moment of creating the material you must decide if it is best drilled as questions and answers or if the answer should be typed in from the keyboard. If you choose the latter, it is enough to define an appropriate template before you import from SuperMemo 7. In your template, instead of the answer component, you must simply create a SpellPad component


Question:
What is the size of SuperMemo collections in KB?
Answer:
For early versions of SuperMemo it used to be (5+0.1*Total) KB, where Total is the number of text elements in the collection (additionally sounds used to contribute 10-20 KB per word and pictures 20 KB per picture).
SuperMemo 8 introduced extensive object indexing in the form of registries and made it possible to add a great deal of multimedia files. Although indexing reduces the size of multimedia collections, the basic size of collections increased substantially to 0.5*Total KB for standard question-and-answer collections (a five-fold increase). For example:

  1. A 1000-element question-and-answer vocabulary collection takes 0.5 MB on average
  2. An incremental reading collection with 200 average articles from the Internet might already take 10 MB
  3. Advanced English 97 with 40,000 items occupies 30 MB in primary storage (texts) and 600 MB in secondary storage (sounds on CD-ROM)

(Andrzej Winiarski, USA, Oct 15, 1999)
Question:
I use SuperMemo 6 for DOS and would like to remove the learning process. Where can I find such an option?
Answer:
You need a separate application RESET.EXE from SuperMemo 6 Toolkit. This toolkit is freeware and you can download from www.shareware.com


Question:
With 1,000,000 SuperMemo CDs out there, how much e-mail do you get daily with support questions?
Answer:
We receive a total of around 100-150 e-mails in a single day (summer 1999 average). They are sorted by language and subject matter, forwarded, and usually responded to within 3-4 business days. Most require simple help on where to find a given piece of information in the documentation. Interestingly, it is not the best-selling titles that require most support (e.g. Easy English) but stand-alone SuperMemo downloaded from the Internet. In other words, numbers do not directly translate to the e-mail volume


(Przemyslaw Bak, Poland, Nov 2, 1999)
Question:
I use SuperMemo 6 as this is the only version that would run under Linux. I heard of Y2K bug in SuperMemo 6. Will I have to give up SuperMemo in 2000?
Answer:
You will be able to continue after Dec 31, 1999:

  1. There is only a problem with displaying dates in Monthly Burden in SuperMemo 6. This should not affect your learning process
  2. We consider digging out the old SuperMemo 6 code and fixing the problem in question if we get more user complaints
  3. Borland released Kylix for Linux on January 31, 2001, and if it only becomes feasible, we will attempt to port SuperMemo 2000 to Linux
  4. Open source SuperMemo for Linux is also a hope. For details write to lnx(@)supermemo.com

(Peter Martin, UK, March 22, 2000)
Question:

I have SuperMemo on my Palm V. I've bought the Romance mix file. How do I get to use this with the Palm pilot? All your help files talk about installations that have available SuperMemo 2000 or later on a PC. I only have the installation on the Palm V. Do I have to buy the PC programme as well? 
Answer:
You can use Romance mix on your Palm. Users of SuperMemo for Palm Pilot, SuperMemo for Windows CE, SuperMemo 6 for DOS, or SuperMemo 7/8 for Windows can import the content of individual collections from the text file stored in the TXT subfolder (e.g. c:\sm\systems\<collection name>\txt). Refer to your Palm manual on how to import text files in question-answer format


(Adam Makowski, Poland, Feb 7, 2001)
Question: 
What is the expected release date of SuperMemo xxx?
Answer: 
We never announce the release date in advance! Usually the release takes place at the moment when all documented and reproducible data-related bugs are cleared. In other words, we try to make the program available to the public at the earliest possible date; however, never at the cost of the safety of user data. The list of existing harmless bugs usually never drops below 150-200 positions


(G.E., Hungary, Feb 5, 2001)
Question:
Two years ago I wrote to SuperMemo with request for information about "Money in the link". Until today I have not received any response ...
Answer:
We do respond to all e-mail relevant to SuperMemo! Occasionally some pieces are lost in the flood of spam (spammers scan websites to collect working addresses and ultimately all support addresses we publish get heavily spammed). At other times, message gets forwarded a few times and someone mistakenly classifies it as handled. Rarely, messages get lost due to forward errors and other mishaps. If you do not receive a response within 3-4 days, please resend your message! All messages tagged "I have written previously" receive highest priority. Important! Make sure your return address is correct. When we cannot deliver registration data upon an order, we resort to web searches and even to calling the customer whose address is wrong. However, we never go to that length on lower-priority support traffic


(Tom Plumb, Feb 4, 2001)
Question: 
I bought both SuperMemo for Palm and SuperMemo CE. I started with Palm and it seemed much easier to learn. Why don't different versions stick to the same standard of interface?
Answer: 
Versions for different platforms are developed by different developers. Only versions for DOS and Windows have been developed by SuperMemo World. We believe that developer's initiative and inventiveness can inspire the development of other versions. For example, SuperMemo for Windows picked up lots of features from the now-defunct versions for Mac and Amiga. This inspiration would not be possible had developers been granted a license based on a standard template. Secondly, it has always been a rule that users moving between different versions complain of the change; even when similar development standards were used. For example, in the line developed at SuperMemo World, the transition from SuperMemo 6 for DOS to SuperMemo 7 for Windows met with quite an outcry from die-hard DOS users. Similarly, many users truly hated the early hypermedia releases of SuperMemo 8 for Windows (What for the table of contents?!). On one hand we want to maximize innovation; on the other, we get some comfort from the fact that each new version of SuperMemo sells many more copies than the preceding release. This way, version upgrades are in constant minority as compared with the demand for the most recent version for new users


SuperMemo 7 uses proprietary EOL characters (#6206)
(Piotr Stankiewicz, Thursday, August 09, 2001 10:35 PM)
Question:
I would like to convert my SuperMemo 7 collection to SuperMemo for Palm Pilot; however, SuperMemo 7 exports some additional characters (e.g. smilies) that pollute the import
Answer:
SuperMemo 7 uses EOL characters that are not understood by SuperMemo for Palm Pilot. Once you export your collection to a text file, you could try to remove these characters in a word processor. If you have some newer version of SuperMemo for Windows, you could also import your collections to SuperMemo for Windows first. Newer versions do not have text size limitations and do not use EOL delimiters


You can size web pages by sizing the browser
(GMASS, Wed, Jun 13, 2001 18:58)
Question:
Your Web site is very informative and interesting, but it is known that if a line of text extends beyond 15 words across, it becomes very difficult to read. The eyes become tired very quickly
Answer:
Yes, there is an optimum width. At supermemo.com we do not fix that width. Instead, the user can size his own browser to choose his or her own optimum


Old DOS tools do not work in newer versions in Windows (#6274)
(A. Spalek, Poland, Wed, Aug 22, 2001 16:12)
Question:
I would like to use the old DOS tool sm_to_text.exe to convert SuperMemo 7 material to text. I get a runtime error each time I try to run it.
Answer:
This error shows up in all old DOS tools in VDM in Windows NT, Windows 2000, etc. You could work around this problem by using SuperMemo 7.5 integrated toolkit (Tools menu) and export in Windows to the same text format. You could also upgrade your old material to newer versions to use various export formats (with File : Export)


SuperMemo for Psion
(Horan Tim, Mon, Jul 23, 2001 6:39 PM)
Question:
Do you have SuperMemo for the Psion 5mx?
Answer:
No. There are no plans for a Psion version


SuperMemo website leaves the font definition to user's browser (#75)
(Michal Ryszard Wojcik, Poland, Fri, Jul 27, 2001 0:22)
Question:
The font that is used on your website makes it hard for me to enjoy reading it. In fact, it makes my eyes tired. I ask you to use Verdana
Answer:
There is no font defined at supermemo.com. It uses your browser's default font. Please change the setting in your browser, and your overall web experience will be enhanced. It is a good practice for websites to use the default font (as supermemo.com does). This makes it possible to use the user's own default setting


Synchronizing the learning process between Palm and Windows versions is in development (#6068)
(Sergei A. Gavrilov, Russian Federation, Thursday, August 23, 2001 3:55 PM)
Question:
I've got both PC and PDA versions of SuperMemo, and from time to time I use both programs. Consequently, it is very inconvenient for me that I have no option to synchronize both databases. I have to do this manually. Do you have any plans to develop such an interface?
Answer:
Yes. Such a tool is in development. Once it is available in will be announced at www.mapletop.com and www.supermemo.com sites


SuperMemo can still be found in shrink-wrapped software stores in Poland
(
Agnieszka Mucha, Poland, Sep 4, 1998)

Question:
I visited three shops in Gdansk and apart from empty boxes (for show) the only SuperMemo I was offered was ... an illegal copy of Advanced English! Why is it so difficult to buy your program in Tri-City?
Answer:
Owing to the new network of sales representatives spanning the whole country, SuperMemo is now more available in Poland than ever! As for Gdansk, there are at least several points where it is constantly available including Vobis and EMPiK. If you find shops that do not resell, please name them and our representative for Gdansk will definitely contact the owners. The case with the illegal reproduction should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement department dealing with offences against intellectual property rights


You can use SuperMemo DLL to write your own SuperMemo (#6052)
(Charles Beauchamp MD PhD, Mon, Aug 13, 2001 20:04)
Question:
Is there a programmer's version of SuperMemo that can be embedded by a programmer in another program. If so, what is the licensing fee for this version?
Answer:
You can use sm8opt.dll to write your own SuperMemo for Windows. The license fee will range from zero for research projects via a fixed charge to a royalty on sales of your product in case it was to compete with other versions of SuperMemo. Please write to SuperMemoMail to receive the form to fill out


SuperMemo 7 is fully functional (#7290)
(DON FRANKEL, Sunday, October 07, 2001 8:05 PM)
Question:
Is SuperMemo 7 freeware unstable? Should I upgrade?
Answer:
No. SuperMemo 7 has been used by thousands of users and is fully functional. If stability or data safety is your concern, you do not need to upgrade to newer versions. Your decision should rather be based on additional functionality made available such as incremental reading in SuperMemo 2000 or later. See: Which SuperMemo?


Jornada 720
(RAYMONDTHIEME, Thu, May 23, 2002 21:15)
Question:
Will your programs run on my HP Jornada 720 (Handheld PC)?
Answer:
Yes. You can see SuperMemo in action by downloading from: http://www.supermemo.com/smce/download.htm (StrongARM processor)


You can transfer your material from SuperMemo for Amiga to SuperMemo for Windows (#8017)
(Janusz Golicz, Poland, Friday, November 09, 2001 12:28 PM)
Question:
Can I transfer my learning material from SuperMemo 3.0 for Amiga to SuperMemo for Windows?
Answer:
Yes. You can transfer your learning material, but you will not be able to transfer the learning process. In other words, you will need to learn your collection anew. Export your collection on Amiga as questions and answers (Q&A format). Then import it to SuperMemo for Windows with File : (Tools :) Import : Q&A text. You can then use rescheduling tools to roughly approximate the state of your learning process. The recovery of your original retention levels will depend on the size of the collection and will roughly be complete once you review each element at least once. Naturally, due to shorter intervals, your workload will increase for some time afterwards


New line character in Palm SuperMemo and SuperMemo for Windows (#278)
(harold hill, Saturday, September 28, 2002 6:36 AM)
Question:
In SuperMemo for Palm Pilot, if I enter // into an item it will generate a new line in the item upon import into my database. However, the string does not generate a new line in SuperMemo for Windows. I would like to interchange my database between the Windows and Palm Pilot version, however, it makes it difficult.
Answer:

  1. In SuperMemo for Palm Pilot, export your database to a Q&A file
  2. In SuperMemo for Windows, in a newly created collection, add a multiple line item; later export it into a Q&A form by using File : (Tools :) Export : Q&A text
  3. In your favorite text editor (e.g. MS Word), open both Q&A files created by SuperMemo for Palm Pilot and SuperMemo for Windows
  4. In the Q&A file generated by SuperMemo for Windows, copy special character indicating a new line
  5. In the Q&A file generated by SuperMemo for Palm Pilot, replace // with the special character copied to the clipboard
  6. Save a modified Q&A file and import it to SuperMemo for Windows with File : (Tools :) Import : Q&A text

Converting from SuperMemo 7 to SuperMemo for Palm Pilot (#12001)
(DON FRANKEL, Sunday, July 21, 2002 3:24 PM)
Question:
I have an extensive material that I have been using with SuperMemo 7. I have just purchased the Palm SuperMemo and would like to use my material on the palm as well
Answer:
Currently, you can only transfer your questions and answers. You cannot transfer the learning process. The exchange format between all SuperMemos is the question-answer plain text format. You can find the description here at File menu. Once you export questions and answers from SuperMemo 7, see www.mapletop.com for instructions relevant to Palm SuperMemo


Problems with terminology in SuperMemo (#17457)
(Tomasz P. Szynalski , Saturday, May 10, 2003 12:24 AM)
Question:
I think the use of "repeat knowledge" at supermemo.com is incorrect. I consulted native speakers and they seem to agree
Answer:
When selecting terminology for describing learning with SuperMemo we can opt for newly constructed terms or terms that closely approximate the described concept. In this case, using a neologism might substantially obscure "SuperMemo prose". The term "repetition" has been elected to describe the process in which the user reads the question, responds and provides the grade. The term "review" has been reserved for passive review (e.g. topics in incremental reading). This choice comes from the active-passive connotations of repetition vis-a-vis review. The term "revise" has been avoided as it implies change in the reviewed material, which, ideally, does not occur in repetitions. The process of learning will now consist of repeating items, reviewing topics, executing the final drill, adding new material, incremental reading, etc. Last but not least, we believe that English now belongs to the people of the world, and opinions of native speakers are valuable but not binding. For teachers who intend to train replicas of native speakers, asking if things sound "weird" is justified; however, if you address global audience your best reference is dictionaries, "live library of the net" and common sense


SuperMemo Library collections for Palm Pilot or Pocket PC are not divided into categories (#11825)
(OLarryR, Sunday, July 14, 2002 9:08 PM)
Question:
I converted the Basic German Text file to hotsynch it to my Palm with your smconv.exe conversion tool. However, I noticed that the downloaded database has about 2216 words which are not filed into categories. That is unlike the freeware version which had them categorized into nouns, etc.
Answer:
Material listed at SuperMemo Library as compatible with Palm Pilot or Pocket PC is a plain question-and-answer export from SuperMemo for Windows. This means that there is no category information in these files


Fonts are part of the operating system and are not included with SuperMemo
(klausdribusch, Germany, Thursday, July 18, 2002 2:20 PM)
Question:
I use SuperMemo for Palm Pilot. You should include fonts for foreign languages with SuperMemo
Answer:
It is a responsibility of the operating system to provide fonts. PalmOS already includes fonts for Western European languages. For other languages (incl. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Russian, etc.) you can use a variety of existing fonts and tools that will provide support not only for SuperMemo but for each and every application you have installed on your handheld. You can easily find these on the Internet using standard search engines like www.google.com or PalmOS software repositories like www.palmgear.com


Windows, Pocket PC and Palm Pilot versions are independent products
Question:
Does the Palm pilot version come free with SuperMemo for Windows?
Answer:
No. Products for different platforms are independent. They present only limited options for data exchange. However, upgrade prices apply to those who purchase multiple products. Even if you purchase your Palm Pilot version after SuperMemo 15, you can make use of SuperMemo 15 Upgrade. The price difference will be deducted from your Palm Pilot order


Converting SuperMemo 6 material to SuperMemo 2004
(er er, Poland, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 2:50 PM)
Question:
Is it possible to translate SuperMemo 6 for DOS databases to SuperMemo 2004?
Answer:
Yes. The upgrade procedure is analogous to upgrading SuperMemo 7 material (see: File menu)


Problems with installing older SuperMemos in newer Windows
(NeTRaY, Poland, Monday, October 07, 2002 11:19 PM)
Question:
I have a Polish version of SuperMemo 7. Now I have Windows XP and SuperMemo doesn't want to install
Answer:
SuperMemo 7 line was terminated in 1995. Whether older SuperMemos will install in newer Windows will depend on Microsoft's determination to retain compatibility with earlier platforms. You could download the newest English version as it has not been reported to show any problems in newer versions of Windows. If your problem is with a CD-ROM installer, you could simply unzip compressed files from CD-ROM using Expand at MS Dos prompt


You can import SuperMemo 7 collections to new SuperMemo
(Shr Lrc, Australia, Tuesday, January 29, 2002 2:45 AM)
Question:
How can we transfer files (text, picture and graphics) from SuperMemo 7 to SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
You need to use File : Tools : Import : SuperMemo 6 or 7 You will need to download sm7imprt.exe filter to your \bin subfolder in your SuperMemo folder. The filter is available from the download section


SuperMemo 7 support
(bay bay, Australia, Monday, May 20, 2002 11:47 AM)
Question:
I am writing to ask for help concerning SuperMemo 7. I have got it but I am unsure about how to use it
Answer:
You can get the basics here: ABC of SuperMemo 7 and SuperMemo 7 FAQ


E-mail message sent to an invalid e-mail address is deleted and will not be retrieved
(JP, Germany, Sunday, January 05, 2003 8:19 AM)
Question:
I had sent an e-mail to you but instead of the reply I received this autoresponder message: "Some of addresses at supermemo.com have been canceled due to heavy inflow of spam..."
Answer:
You must have sent your e-mail to an invalid e-mail address. Please refer to Contact Page for the current list of valid e-mail addresses


You can convert a Q&A text file into a SuperMemo for Palm Pilot database
(Hal Stoddard, Wednesday, January 08, 2003 12:22 AM)
Question:
I am trying to convert a collection is the Q&A format into the SuperMemo for Palm Pilot format. However, I am not familiar with the SMCONV.EXE utility, which is recommended for this purpose.
Answer:
(1) Open Windows Explorer (e.g. click Start : All Programs : Accessories : Windows Explorer),
(2) Copy a Q&A text file to the folder where you have the SMOCONV.EXE utility,
(3) Drag&drop a Q&A text file onto the SMCONV.EXE utility,
(4) Double-click the resulting PDB file to install it on your handheld,
(5) HotSync your handheld device


SuperMemo will only run in MS Windows
Question:
Does SuperMemo 15 come with Palm pilot features? Is it possible to run this on a Mac?
Answer:
SuperMemo 15 runs only in Windows (e.g. XP, Vista, etc.). To run SuperMemo on Palm Pilot you need a separate version of the program. Currently, there is no dedicated version for Mac. Some users succeeded with older versions of SuperMemo for Windows on iMac in Windows emulation mode. To test the limitations yourself, go to the download section


SuperMemo 15 and Multimedia SuperMemo have been designed for different purposes
Question:
Having upgraded Parlez Avec Nous to SuperMemo 15, the items look generally uglier (e.g. the tape recorder item lost its transparent background)
Answer:
SuperMemo 15 and Multimedia SuperMemo have branched apart to serve different purposes. Although there is a degree of compatibility between the two (Multimedia SuperMemo has been derived from SuperMemo 98 code), you should use these two programs separately. By upgrading Multimedia SuperMemo titles to SuperMemo 15 you will often lose vital functionality that will make your multimedia collections unusable. Use SuperMemo 15 to author your own collections with incremental reading. Use Multimedia SuperMemo with its dedicated multimedia material available on CD-ROM


Open Source SuperMemo has not succeeded yet
(Andreas Esser, Germany, Jun 13, 2004, 13:18:19)
Question:
You should make SuperMemo open source and include it in Learning Books. The only way to make Non-MS-Software a real top-seller is open source (e.g. www.superwaba.org). I suppose you earn much more selling books about learning than selling closed software. The algorithm is great, the software could and should IMO be rewritten. There're enough geeks around who would like to do so (under GPL)
Answer:
Unfortunately, until now, all attempts at open source have not produced a viable alternative to SuperMemo. The geeks do not seem to stick to this sort of projects (perhaps not cool enough). We have seen a number of other flashcard open source project fail as well. The port of SuperMemo 2000 to Linux with Kylix has not been successful either. Open source is a consideration; however, we need a viable commercial survival model for this to be undertaken. Opening portions of strategic code brought no tangible benefit to SuperMemo in areas where we would need geek help most. We do not plan to sell books about learning, as we believe that we do less harm by closing software than "closing" (commercializing) knowledge about learning that can benefit any visitor to supermemo.com


Why may I not download trial version of SuperMemo 15?
(Miguel Angel Sánchez, Mexico, Tuesday, April 09, 2002 7:13 AM)
Question:
Your reasons for not providing SuperMemo 15 download are the dumbest reason I ever found
Answer:
You can always download SuperMemo 2008 to test the power of SuperMemo. The number of hack reports we are getting has dropped dramatically since we limited access to trial downloads. Before that, it was difficult to keep track of all reported hack cases. Clearly, limiting trial downloads works, and users can still test earlier versions of SuperMemo


supermemo.com is repetitive by design
(David Weisblat, Nov 18, 2004, 07:28:15)
Question:
Your support files are disorganized, confusing and repetitive
Answer:
supermemo.com is repetitive by design. There are multiple pathways to the same core information. There are semantically equivalent pieces of information formulated in different ways in different context. This all comes from the analysis of paths traversed by users with different profiles and different needs. Within available means, we try to organize information in optimum way so that to minimize support costs. This is a never-ending process, and it will never satisfy everyone. 

SuperMemo accrued a number of features and new techniques that taken together form a complex picture. This is why we place an emphasis on learning the core skills first, and delving into complexity in proportion of needs and available time. We believe SuperMemo is inherently complex and as such, will always leave many visitors to supermemo.com confused with one of its aspect or another. 

To tackle the complexity, we choose several diametrically different approaches that may suit diametrically different user profiles. These are: 

As you see the chaos of the Internet cleaned up by the power of Google, you should also see supermemo.com as a data mine that can yield all necessary information given an appropriate search technique


Upgrading to the newest SuperMemo is easy
(Thomas Kiefer, Germany, Jul 27, 2004, 02:42:28)
Question:
I am testing SuperMemo 98 (non-registered). If I am ordering the newest SuperMemo is there any problem to transfer the data I put in SuperMemo 98?
Answer:
No. Once you open your material in the newest SuperMemo, your collection will be upgraded automatically


Could SuperMemo carry a virus or a Trojan horse?
(Sarah G., Thursday, February 10, 2005 7:30 PM)
Question:
I was able to locate the lost SuperMemo install program and upon executing it, I was confronted with my virus scan alert. I was therefore informed that your program had attempted to install a Trojan on my machine. I purchased your software in good faith under the recommendation of someone I trusted so that I and possibly my team could study for the CISSP exam. Rest assured that with the Trojan discovered in your software, I will NOT be recommending this software to the ISSA. I'm insulted that you would peddle infected software, esp. as I cannot imagine that you were unaware of the Trojan
Answer:
Selling infected applications carrying easily detectable malicious loads would be a fast trajectory to an instant demise for any software company, let alone one that capitalizes on hard-earned reputation that took years to build. Apart from ensuring security of your computer and LAN, you only need to make sure you download from a legitimate server (for English language that is primarily supermemo.com, super-memo.com or supermemo.org ). Files uploaded to these servers are compiled at secure locations, are not shared even via local LANs and are scanned periodically with anti-virus software. The mentioned servers are outsourced at reputable companies such as Yahoo, Verio, etc. and are provided with state-of-art security. Please note also that virus scanners can produce false alerts; e.g. with simple pattern matching algorithms (for example, see: Trojan in Incremental Reading collection)


Terminology used in SuperMemo is too complex
(Elliott Mayo, Thursday, October 24, 2002 12:42 PM)
Question:
You should reduce jargon and number of terms that have definitions unique to SuperMemo (e.g. "forget", "dismiss", etc.)
Answer:
Current terminology is a result of 15 year long evolution that was subject to extensive customer feedback and discussion! The problem comes from the fact that SuperMemo does things that are unique to this application. "Forget" is the shortest term we could come up with for "remove an element from the learning process and place it on the pending queue". Earlier the same procedure was called "Reset" and it caused lots of confusion. It is probably impossible to come up with a short term that would accurately hint at the above function. Referring to the documentation or, at least, button hints seems inevitable. We will gladly consider new, more descriptive names in the future as long as specific propositions are submitted. As for "Dismiss", it was previously called "Ignore" but the old name was "voted out". All users can effect change, but propositions must be specific to make the discussion possible


Using a PC to create collections for Pocket PC
(Joshua McMurray, Tuesday, April 19, 2005 5:44 PM)
Question:
How can I create files on my desktop for use on my Pocket PC?
Answer:
You can use any text editor and create Q&A files as described here. If you have a desktop SuperMemo, you can export your collections using File : (Tools :) Export : Q&A text. If you have SuperMemo 15, you can best use incremental reading to create your material and then export it with File : Export : XML. See also: Revolution in the pocket


Which SuperMemo for Dell Axim 30?
(KAREN WILLIAMS, United Kingdom, Feb 14, 2005, 14:25:29)
Question:
I'm shopping for a Pocket PC to run SuperMemo on. I'm interested in the Dell Axim 30, which has an Intel® X-Scale™ Processor with WMMX 624MHz. I've phoned Dell but their salesman couldn't tell me whether it has an SH3, MIPS or ARM processor, as specified on your website
Answer:
Dell Axim 30 should be compatible with Pocket PC 2003 device. This means that the XSCALE version of SuperMemo for Pocket PC is the one to choose. You can find it here: http://www.supermemo.com/smce/download.htm


You can merge your collections written in SuperMemo for Pocket PC
(Malgorzata Mazurek, Poland, Jan 24, 2006, 22:39:52)
Question:
How can I join two databases in SuperMemo CE?
Answer:
The simplest way is to export the collections as Q&A and merge the exported text files. If you want to include the learning process in the target collection, you may need to use XML export for the same purpose


Company bankruptcy will not waste your investment in SuperMemo (#2165)
(rbudz888, Oct 14, 2004, 23:27:42)
Question:
If your Pocket PC dies, you need a new unlock code. That's ok as long as they don't give up on it. Does everyone think the company will be around for years to come?
Answer:
There are two emergency exists for users of SuperMemo in case of a major mishap such as bankruptcy, terminating a given software line, etc. 

  1. Export to the basic common Q&A XML format shall make it easy to move from a dying platform to an existing platform (or competing applications if they care to support the format) 
  2. If possible, phased out SuperMemos will likely be released as freeware (unless the platform is phased out too, e.g. as with Atari ST)

Exchanging learning material between SuperMemo 2004 or later and SuperMemo for Pocket PC (#28995)
(Bui Duy Bach, Oct 12, 2004, 06:56:08)
Question:
How can I synchronize between a desktop collection and a Pocket PC collection?
Answer:
Read: Revolution in the pocket


Writing my own SuperMemo
(Greg Szczotka, Jun 15, 2010, 14:11:02)
Question:
I am trying to write an online learning system in PHP based on your algorithm. Does the article contain everything what's needed to write it in PHP? Or are some parts of algorithm not published? Which version of algorithm do you recommend? I know a lot of software use version 2 but I'd like to use the best one.
Answer:
The description of the algorithm may be helpful in writing your own spaced repetition system. You can follow those guidelines closely or use similar optimization methods, or just use it as an inspiration for an entirely different approach (e.g. hill climbing, neural networks, memory models, fuzzy logic, and more etc.). Rather than reading the most recent description, you could benefit more from reading the history of SuperMemo algorithms detailed at supermemo.com, which provide a better illustration of general assumptions behind SuperMemo. That includes the earliest algorithm for use with computers used in SuperMemo 1 and SuperMemo 2. The newest algorithm is pretty complex and you might go that far once your system is operational and successful. However, to employ the newest version, you would need to get in touch with SuperMemo World to obtain a license. In the meantime, you could use simpler versions to give your system a try run.


How to recover from mail import that hangs up?
(mormon, Oct 14, 2011, 22:49:11)
Question:
I was importing mail to SuperMemo and it just stopped and hung up. It is not the first time. When it happens I need to abort, delete the imported branch, repair the collection and import again.
Answer:
Some versions of MS Outlook require giving SuperMemo a permission to access Outlook folders. This permission expires after some time. When giving the permission, choose a period of time that is sufficient to complete the operation. If you run out of this time, Outlook will ask you to renew the permissioin, however, that Outlook dialog may hide behind the mail import dialog in SuperMemo. With Outlook question invisible, you may have an impression SuperMemo is hanging. One of the ways to recover is to use Alt+Space and Move to move the outlook dialog to a place on the screen where it can be seen


Unlike incremental reading, incremental video calls for linear viewing
(Tom Hunt, Sep 24, 2011, 04:15:57)
Question:
In incremental video, when an extract A1 is made from a sub-element A, its stop time changes from the original stop time to the original video(parent element)'s end time, so to fix this i have to go to the next child sub-element B after sub-element A to take its start time to use as sub-element A's stop time. This causes about a 30 second to 1 minute interruption to the repetitions.
Answer:
Incremental video was designed on the assumption that, unlike in incremental reading, you go through the main body of the video linearly. This is because of multiple context problems when splitting videos into smaller portions and watching them in your own order. This way, once you make an extract, the assumption is, you do not come back to the once viewed portion of the video as it is already part of the extract. When you return to process the video, you start from the last position extracted or marked with Start (without extracting). In other words, as you do not extract without viewing, there should be little needed for sub-extracts.