ABC Hints&Tips Overviews Reference Glossary Support
Contents : Support : FAQ
FAQ: Archive 2000

(Konrad, Sep 23, 2000)
Question:
What is the meaning of the parameter I need to input at Postpone?
Answer:
If you use 1.1, all intervals of outstanding elements in the selected subset will be increased by 10% (i.e. multiplied by 1.1)


(Manfred Kremer, Germany, Sep 7, 1998)
Question:
I noticed that frequently I get Optimum Interval in Element Data window shorter than the last interval displayed as Interval. Is it a bug in SuperMemo?
Answer:
No. If your forgetting index is very low, e.g. 3%, SuperMemo will often conclude that you will stand 97% chance of remembering a given element only if your next interval is shorter than the presently used one. In such cases, it will not accept the new value and the new interval will be at least 5% longer than the previous interval. Please note that the forgetting index equal 3% should only be used for selected high-priority items. Keeping the forgetting index at this level throughout the collection will make repetitions annoying frequent and ineffective


(Helmut Fritz, Germany, Oct 19, 1998)
Question:
Why do templates store texts used by text components? Each time I use Apply Template I have to delete those texts
Answer:
Occasionally you may need to store texts or pictures in your templates. This is why there is such an option in SuperMemo. You need to make sure that when you save your template there are no texts in text components. You can accomplish that by choosing Save as template rather than Save with objects on the element pop-up menu


Question:
What should I use Duplicate for? What for do I need the same item in the same collection?
Answer:
You can duplicate an item, if you want to add to the another item which is only slightly different. This way you can spare some time by reediting the old item instead of typing in the new one


(Tomas Klinkovsky, Czech Republic, Aug 7, 1998)
Question:
Why aren't there tool tips over grayed buttons?
Answer:
This is a default behavior of components in Delphi (SuperMemo 2000 was written in Delphi 5.0). Some disabled buttons just do not show hints


(Vaclav Losik, Czech Republic, Apr 10, 1997)
Question:

How to complete missing translations reported by File : Repair collection?
Answer:
If at recovery you get messages like Missing translation for Member #186: "virtually every" you can fill out the translation using the following procedure:

  1. choose Search : Text registry
  2. paste in the editing field the text whose translation is missing (e.g. virtually every)
  3. type in the translation in the translation pane of the registry window (bottom-right)

(Tomasz Szynalski, Poland)
Question:
Why should I upgrade from SuperMemo 8 to SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
New SuperMemo is much faster, it can store 500K texts in topics, can import HTML files, etc. Additionally, you will greatly benefit from incremental reading that can be very valuable if you do lots of reading on the web. See: What's new?


(Jan Gromadzki, Poland, Jul 11, 1998)
Question:
I bought Advanced English 97 and I cannot pass through the introduction. There are arrows pointing to icons that ... do not exist. What is wrong?
Answer:
You need a sound board installed in your computer (this is listed among minimum requirements!). Some script commands do not work without a sound board and the introduction part is largely run by scripts. If you want to use Advanced English without sound do the following:


(Michael Doren, USA, Sep 7, 1998)
Question:
I am writing a collection for learning Windows NT 4.0 for my certification test. I am toying with the idea of using Dragon Naturally Speaking (a speech recognition program) to create my questions and answers in MS Word. Any suggestions on that?
Answer:
Probably the simplest approach is as follows:

1. Use the following text file format:

Q: <text of the first question>
A: <text of the first answer>

Q: <text of the second question>
A: <text of the second answer>, etc.

2. Replace Q: and A: with some easily spelled phrase that you would later replace globally. For example:

elephant Which tool can be used to manage security for domains?
giraffe User Manager for Domains

3. Convert the above text to:

Q: Which tool can be used to manage security for domains?
A: User Manager for Domains

4. Save the file in plain text format

5. Use File : Tools : Import : Q&A text in SuperMemo to import the text file to your collection


(Clarito Dimayuga, MD, USA, Sep 14, 1998)
Question:
Question:
SuperMemo comes with very impressive statistical graphs and charts but how do I use them to my advantage, how are these charts going to help me learn faster?
Answer:
The graphs available from Tools : Statistics : Analysis are not exactly supposed to speed up learning. Their main function is to assist you in understanding the algorithm used in SuperMemo and in monitoring the learning process. Obviously, once you understand the graphs, your enhanced knowledge of your memory and the learning process may appear helpful in better organizing your work. Read more: Analysis of the learning process


(Robert Van Weyenberg, Belgium, Sep 30, 1998)
Question:
I use SuperMemo on a portable machine that is not linked to the Internet. This is why two megabytes of the help file are quite difficult to handle. Any chance for having it sized down?
Answer:
There is a second smaller help file to download. This file only includes the help section of this website (www.supermemo.com/help/) and does not include pictures. NB: Help compiler compression is very efficient and there is little room for improvement


(Clive Hayden, Poland, Oct 19, 1998)
Question:
How can I best upgrade my SuperMemo 7 files to SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
Use File : Tools : Import : From SuperMemo 7. Note, that you need to have the file sm7imprt.exe in your bin subfolder. This file can be downloaded free from the download page


(Neville Bailey, Australia, Dec 5, 1998)
Question:
I have previously used SuperMemo 6 and SuperMemo 7. There was always a printable manual file with the software. I cannot find anything like that on your website. Is there a manual to download or order?
Answer:
No. As of 1997, all our documentation is provided as hypertext that does not have a structure that can be printed and processed linearly (i.e. page by page). We are proud to adopt the environmentally-friendly electronic publishing

If you insist on having the help in a printed form, the best thing you might do is to go to www.supermemo.com/help/guide.htm, print that page, follow hyperlinks to material that you do not understand and print it as you go. Alternatively you might Teleport the whole www.supermemo.com/help folder and print all pages one by one; however, you may find it hard to select the appropriate reading sequence


Question:
How can I empty a ClipBox? In SuperMemo 8, it would empty by a click
Answer:
In new SuperMemo, you have to Ctrl+click. This is a protection from losing the contents of the ClipBox too easily


(Peter Cool, The Netherlands, Nov 6, 1998)
Question:
I started with SuperMemo 70 days ago (your French plus some words added by me; total 1000 words). In the first weeks I made a lot of mistakes so my measured forgetting index was 20%. Although I make very few mistakes now during repetitions the forgetting index decreases very slowly. Is this normal?
Answer:
The measured forgetting index includes the record of all repetitions made since you started learning. That is why it changes at an ever decreasing rate. If your performance is good and you would like to more accurately check your current forgetting index, you might reset the forgetting index measurements with File : Tools : Reset parameters : Forgetting index record. It will not affect the learning process per se


(Przemyslaw Glowacki, Poland, Nov 11, 1998)
Question:
I am still using SuperMemo ver. 7.53 and I am quite happy with it. Why should I upgrade? I am generally not interested in hypermedia "bells and whistles" so I will do it only for important reasons like considerably better algorithm or something similar.
Answer:
Even die-hard question-and-answer text-only users will benefit from upgrading to SuperMemo 2000. The only downside: the program is bigger, slower and requires significantly more hard disk space. Here are some basic benefits:

  1. you can use reading lists and incremental reading to dramatically increase the speed of reading and learning articles in electronic form (e.g. downloaded from the web)
  2. you can combine all knowledge in one collection without worrying about managing all branches separately (Mercy, forgetting index, dismiss, reset, etc.). You manage it in a healthy way with full control over each branch
  3. you can classify branches of knowledge: computers, English, business, etc. Use separate templates, ordinals, forgetting index, etc.
  4. multicriterial Mercy and Postpone are unparalleled if you are plagued by delays in making repetitions
  5. breaks in learning used to destroy the learning process in SuperMemo 7. The new algorithm takes all breaks into account
  6. other points: instead of being limited to 250 chars, you can use articles of up to 500K of text, dismissing reference material, lexicon compiled on-the-fly, element history list, final drill scrambling, simulation of the learning process, browser sorting, and many more

(Natalie Burgess, USA, Nov 10, 1998)
Question:
I am using the Japanese mix but I'm not getting Japanese characters, but English characters. I copied the fonts called hiragana.ttf and katakana.ttf from the sm98\systems\... folders to my d:\Windows\Fonts folder. Is there something else I have to do to have the fonts available in Windows 95?
Answer:
Yes. Instead of copying fonts you should install them. In Windows 95, use Control Panel : Fonts : Install New Font. In the Folders panel, choose the location where your TTF font can be found (sm99\systems\font\hiragana.tff).
Please note that SuperMemo 99 automatically installs true type fonts located in the FONT folder so that the installation is actually not needed (the only exception is Classical Greek from SuperMemo Library which uses non-true-type font)


(Manfred Kremer, Germany, Nov 11, 1998)
Question:
Recently, I have been using SuperMemo to learn economics. This would actually require the inclusion of a lot of mathematical expressions, including integrals, fractions, etc. So far I did not find a good way to do this. It would be nice to have an interface to display either TeX, or postscript, or to have a formula editor included in SuperMemo. But maybe I have overlooked something, and there is a possibility already provided?
Answer:
In SuperMemo 2000, you can either (1) use the HTML component and use all HTML extensions that might be useful in displaying expressions or (2) use the OLE component to display expressions edited in your favorite equation editor as long as it supports OLE


(Michael Baerlin, USA, Nov 20, 1998)
Question:
Is there a flashcard mode in which I could randomly display questions and answers for a short period of time (user defined)? I like the idea of sitting there and reviewing the answer without having to touch the keyboard or mouse
Answer:
No. We believe that random reviews are not recommended in the learning process. They interfere with computations made by SuperMemo in reference to optimum repetition spacing. Interference is unavoidable but should be minimized. SuperMemo 2000 still includes Tools : Random review (shortcut F11) and a number of other random review options; however, these are intended only for (1) collection authors (to review the material in preparation) and/or (2) for learning new material at random


(Roman Jedrkowiak, Poland, Nov 26, 1998)
Question:
Once I download SuperMemo, can I later install it on another computer? I want to download from work and install it at home
Answer:
Yes. You can move the downloaded file to another computer and repeat the installation. Please note that SuperMemo 2000 requires some libraries associated with the Internet


(Tomasz Szynalski, Poland, Oct 18, 1998)
Question:
What value of the forgetting index ensures the optimum ratio of (retention)/(time spent per day)?
Answer:

Paradoxically, the highest speed of learning can be accomplished ... without SuperMemo! In our daily life we pick up lots of facts that stay in our memory for long with few repetitions in lifetime! The problem is that these are usually not exactly the facts or rules that are critical to our goals. In other words, not the speed of acquiring new items counts but the speed of acquiring new items bearing a given content.

It is difficult to determine exactly what forgetting index brings the highest acquisition rate. Simulation experiments have consistently pointed to the value of 25-30%. You can even plot speed-vs.-forgetting graph using your own actual learning material in SuperMemo 98 using Tools : Statistics : Simulation. You will probably also arrive to similar results

As you perhaps know, SuperMemo disallows of the forgetting index above 20%. This comes from the fact that you should aim at achieving high speed of learning combined with high retention of the learned material. Setting the forgetting index above 20% would be like giving up SuperMemo altogether and coming back to remembering only that what is easy to remember. In highly interlinked material where new knowledge depends on the previously acquired knowledge, high forgetting rate can even be more harmful

Nevertheless, if you want to maximize the speed of learning with little control over what actually stays in your memory, set the forgetting index to 20%


(Manfred Kremer, Germany, Nov 27, 1998)
Question:
What is the simplest way to backup a collection in SuperMemo?
Answer:
If your collection's name is, for example, "All my knowledge.kno" then:

  1. use any archiving application (e.g. WinZip)
  2. select (1) "All my knowledge.kno" file and (2) "[All my knowledge]" folder/directory
  3. compress these two into a single archive (remember to use Preserve path option to retain the folder structure)

While restoring a collection from such an archive, remember to use Extract with path to make sure the folder structure is restored as originally archived (otherwise all files will be restored to the same folder and the collection will be unusable).
Note that you can save some space by choosing File : Tools : Garbage before archiving your collection

For more see: Safety of your knowledge stored in SuperMemo


(Eric Thompson, USA, Dec 15, 1998)
Question:
One important function I cannot find is regarding the contents window. I cannot seem to move elements around for flexible organization. Ideally, I would like to move elements around like I do in Windows Explorer
Answer:
You can drag and drop individual elements with the mouse. However, for more flexibility you will need to enter the professional level by choosing File : Level : Professional. At the top of the contents window you will be able to choose from several dragging modes as well as to open another contents window to drag between windows.
For example, to create a new folder at the place of the current selection, simply press Ins. To drag some elements into this folder choose Add as last child dragging mode (combo box at the top of the contents window), grab individual elements with the mouse, drag them and drop them onto the newly created folder


(Petr Bajer, Czech Republic, Dec 30, 1998)
Question:
I have a couple of separate collections. Does SuperMemo keep a global learning optimization data or data stored in individual collections are independent?
Answer:
All collections keep independent optimization data (\info\sm8opt.dat file). That is why we recommend you keep all your knowledge in one collection. You can freely swap sm8opt.dat files (for example, to speed up the convergence of the learning algorithm in a new collection)


(Robert Szumilo, Poland, Jan 3, 1999)
Question:
What is the optimum approach to making repetitions with SuperMemo: one long session or a few smaller sessions (e.g. main repetitions in the morning and the final drill in the evening)?
Answer:
For psychological reasons, the quality of learning should increase substantially when working in separate sessions, esp. if the number of repetitions surpasses 100 per day. Additionally, a break before final drill is useful due to the spacing effect. The danger of this approach is ... you can easily drive yourself into a situation in which you will spend excessive proportion of your day on repetitions (in the future when your schedule changes you might have problems with keeping up with your present pace)


(Marcin Piekarniak, Poland, Jan 6, 1999)
Question:
I cannot add a JPG file to display as an element background. How can I do it?
Answer:
The background option currently supports only BMP format. The only solution is to use an image component as the background


(Vladimir Slachta, Czech Republic, Jan 26, 1999)
Question:
I downloaded SuperMemo and the help file from the Internet. Unfortunately Help does not work. It is still giving me information, that I have old version of HHCTRL.OCX. I have system W95 OSR 2 with IE 4.0 on my computer. Please, can you inform me, where is the problem?
Answer:
Seemingly some IE 4.0 installations include an older version of HHCTRL.OCX. You might use the file that ships with Windows 98 or try to download the Microsoft's free update


(Michael Duggan, Canada, Jan 27, 1999)
Question:
I am having difficulty doing my final drill in one of my files. I am down to the last few elements and every time I hit the Next repetition button the same element remains on the screen and the counter doesn't show any movement. Any suggestions?
Answer:
It is hard to diagnose what has actually happened but if you use Learn : Cut drills the problem will definitely go away


(Lili Belsak, Slovenia, Feb 10, 1999)
Question:
I would like to use Advanced English on two computers. What is the easiest way to keep my learning process updated?
Answer:
This method will probably work best (you need SuperMemo 98 or later to use Export/Import: Learning process):

  1. Install Advanced English on both computers
  2. Make repetitions on Computer A
  3. When you want to move to Computer B, use File : Tools : Export : Learning process on Computer A and copy the generated files to Computer B
  4. On Computer B use File : Tools : Import : Learning process and import the file exported in Step 3
  5. Make repetitions on Computer B
  6. When you want to move back to Computer A, use Steps 3 to 5 analogously

Note that this method only transfers the learning process. If you want to edit the material, you would better introduce the corrections only on one of the computers. This way you will be able to avoid the need to copy all collection files between computers


(Tom Scott, Feb 12, 1999)
Question:
I just came across your website. Is it difficult to prepare material for learning with SuperMemo?
Answer:
No. The most popular approach is to create pairs of questions and answers. You just press Ctrl+A (to add a new element) and type in the question and the answer. That's all. Then you just click Learn to start learning.
You can build huge collections and learn effectively for years using only text, questions and answers. Adding images, sounds, video, etc. requires some more hard disk space and 2-3 more steps (such as: add an image component and import an image file, etc.)

See: Learn SuperMemo in 30 days


(A.M.V.C.Raju, Malaysia, Feb 15, 1999)
Question:
For some time now, when I start SuperMemo I get a message DZIP32.DLL file is not found. Program seems to work fine. Is it dangerous? I worry about losing my 700 items
Answer:
This message is not generated by SuperMemo. Neither does SuperMemo use such a DLL. Perhaps you should ask an expert to have a look at your computer.
(NB: the user has later confirmed that the same message was also cropping up when MS Word started)


(Said Hussein Yasin, Switzerland, Feb 18, 1999)
Question:
What should I do for different subjects; should I use different categories within one and the same collection or should I create a new collection for each subject?
Answer:
It is highly recommended you keep all your knowledge in just one collection. Categories have been created in order to help you manage different subjects globally. They help you to quickly switch between different branches of the contents tree and keep the same look for all items in a given category


(Marek Futrega, Poland, Feb 25, 1999)
Question:
I upgraded from SuperMemo 8 to SuperMemo 2000 and noticed that Ctrl+H does not work any more. When I select a word on the list and choose Browse, I always get No elements found
Answer:
This is a limitation of the upgrade procedure. Due to a change in the format of the lexicon registry, the registry is deleted during the upgrade. It is enough to choose File : Repair collection and check Rebuild lexicon to create new lexicon registry and restore the previous functionality


(Kazimierz Bigus, Poland, Mar 1, 1999)
Question:
How can I quickly change the color of newly added items?
Answer:
Add a new item (Ctrl+A), choose Color on the element menu, select the color and choose Save as default (Ctrl+Alt+S). This will save the item with the changed color as the default template that will be used in adding new items


(Kazimierz Bigus, Poland, Mar 1, 1999)
Question:
How can I transfer only a subset of elements from one collection to another?
Answer:
You have to start from placing your subset of elements in the browser (read about subsets to select from a number of options). You could also start from a browser selection and choose Child : Selected in the browser to open a child browser with selected items. Once you have your elements in the browser, choose Tools : Transfer on the browser menu


(Steven Trezise, USA, Apr 20, 1999)
Question:
In my collection, I have items for which I have done between 1 and 8 repetitions. However, when I look at the Cases matrix, there are no entries beyond repetition 3
Answer:
The algorithm used by SuperMemo updates all optimization matrices using repetition categories, not the actual repetition number (you can view the optimization matrices with Tools : Statistics : Analysis : Matrices). A repetition category is an expected number of repetitions needed to reach the currently used interval. Once the matrices change, the estimation of repetition category may change too. If, for example, you score well in repetitions and your intervals become longer, it will take fewer repetitions to get to a given interval. In such a case, you might be at 8-th repetition while your repetition category will be 3. All matrices such as OF matrix, RF matrix, etc. will be updated in the third row (not in the 8-th row)


(Frantisek Kvapil, Czech Republic, Apr 23, 1999)
Question:
I wanted to download the whole website in the CHM format by the link points to SuperMemo Help.
Answer:
Both SuperMemo Help and the rest of the website are integrated in the same file


(Dag Berggren, Sweden, Apr 25, 1999)
Question:
I know how to change the size or style of fonts but I do not know how to make sure I do not have to repeat that with each new item I create.
Answer:
The simplest remedy is to press Ctrl+Alt+s which is a shortcut for Template : Save as default. This will save your current item as the default template in the current category. As this template will be reused each time you add a new item with Ctrl+A, you should create your item the way you want it to look before you fill out the text fields


(Josep Ortega, Andorra, Apr 28, 1999)
Question:
How to change sibling items into child items?
Answer:
Select Add as last child at the top of the contents window and drag sibling items to drop them on those that are to become their parents


(Siow Yew Nam, Singapore, May 12, 1999)
Question:
When I delete a collection in Windows Explorer, it is automatically restored when I return to SuperMemo! How can I go around it?
Answer:
Use File : Delete collection. When you start SuperMemo, it tries to open the last collection used. Even it it has been deleted, SuperMemo creates an empty new collection of the same name. This is why it is more convenient to delete collections from within SuperMemo


Question:
Recently I had to format my hard disk. After restoring my collection back-up from CDR, I get the following error: 'Access denied! System locked by another user'. What is happening?
Answer:
You need to remove the read-only attribute from the collection files


(Luis Gustavo Neves da Silva, Brazil, Sep 17, 1999)
Question:
What is the difference between a reading list and a tasklist?
Answer:
Reading list is a special case of a tasklist. All tasklists are sorted sets of tasks. Each task is composed of: title/description, priority and task body. In reading list, the body of the task has a form of a single article (e.g. imported from the Internet). You can use tasklist in the management of to-do lists. A reading list is your prioritized to-do sequence of most important articles you want to read


(Tomasz Szkopek, Poland, Sep 13, 1999)
Question:
I cannot use Polish diacritical characters, e.g. with Alt+c or Alt+s?
Answer:
Please use Tools : Options : SuperMemo : Trim shortcuts. This will turn off couple of offending shortcuts


(Robert Whitinger, USA, Mar 4, 1999)
Question:
I installed smhelp.chm file in the bin folder but SuperMemo still attempts to connect me with the Internet help!
Answer:
Please make sure that you choose Tools : Options : SuperMemo : Help system : Microsoft Help (CHM). If you choose Optimize instead of Microsoft Help, SuperMemo will always check the date of your chm file, and if it becomes outdated, it will attempt to connect you with the newer version of the same help page on the Internet


(Jiri P, Czech Republic, Sep 7, 1999)
Question:
I upgraded my collection from SuperMemo 98 and encountered the following error: Collection file access error. Wrong A-Factor distribution
Answer:
Please run File : Repair collection with Basic recovery checked. There is a slight difference in interpretation of AFactors in SuperMemo 99. Basic recovery will reassign AFactors to new distribution categories which will solve the problem.


(Zoran Maximovic, Yugoslavia, Sep 24, 1999)
Question:
What is the recommended way to change the element to which new elements will be added as children in a category?
Answer:

  1. Use Search : Categories to open the category registry
  2. Select the category in question
  3. Click Hook (hook is the father of newly added elements in the category)
  4. Select a new hook in the contents window
  5. Click Accept in the contents window

(Steven MacAulay, Austria, Nov 22, 1999)
Question:
All my pages in SuperMemo are grey, is there any way I can change the colour?
Answer:

Yes, please choose Color on the element pop-up menu. If you want to make this change permanent for all newly added items, press Ctrl+Alt+s (for Template : Save as default)


(John Meritt, UK, Nov 26, 1999)
Question:
How can I best learn spelling with SuperMemo?
Answer:

You should create a template in which the answer will be a Spell-Pad (i.e. text input component). In the question part you should ask about the word that is to be spelled. Because many spelling problems come from the use of double letters (e.g. traveling vs. travelling), you do not need to define the word. It is enough you ask to choose a correct variant. For example, your question might look like this: traveling/travelling or better yet trave(l/ll)ing.
It is very important to focus on one problem at a time. This is why instead of o(c/cc)a(s/ss)ion, you should create two items:

  1. o(c/cc)asion
  2. occa(s/ss)ion

Occasionally, you can make an exception to this rule. For example, you might ask Mi(s/ss)i(s/ss)i(p/pp)i as a request to spell Mississippi. In this case, it is easy to remember that all questionable consonants in this word must appear in double. Once you realize that, you may never experience problems with recalling how to spell Mississippi


(Stefan Schenderlein, Germany, Dec 21, 1999)
Question:

SuperMemo tasklists order articles according to priority. The most practical approach I know is to distinguish between urgency and importance. Sometimes this is called the Eisenhower Principle. Stephen R. Covey has improved this method in his books "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "First Things First". To understand it, you can take a pencil and draw a vertical axis called importance. Then another called urgency. Now draw another two lines to distinguish between high and low in both directions. You will get four quadrants. Each has a specific meaning. (compare: www.franklincovey.com). The so-called quadrant B (highly important, less urgent) is of strategic importance. A (highly important, highly urgent) is vital. C are mostly routine tasks and are seen as less important but urgent. D can be forgotten. This is implemented in the Franklin Planner Software. Would it not be more practicable to apply similar principles in handling SuperMemo tasklists?
Answer:
Indeed the quadrant approach is very simple and convincing. However, we would like to promote the approach used in SuperMemo for two reasons:

  1. we believe that learning should always be based on importance. Indeed, SuperMemo by definition defies urgency as it emphasizes long-term learning. The truth is that pen and pencil will often work better than SuperMemo as a cramming tool for an urgent exam
  2. SuperMemo encapsulates the urgency as the function of importance in time! This should help understand the true meaning of urgency and eliminate it from the learning process (and not only)

SuperMemo introduces deadline functions to make tasklists adapt the sorting order to the changes of importance in time. For example, if you need to read an article before a meeting or exam that takes place on January 30, the priority assigned to reading this article will reach its maximum on January 29. If you pick the day on which the priority reaches 50% of its maximum value, you will be able to see how this article gradually climbs up the tasklist from day to day as the deadline approaches (there is no guarantee it would reach the top though). This deadline function illustrates how urgency influences importance.
There are also other changes in importance possible, for example, if a task makes sense only after a given date, you can use the Post-Date function. On the other hand, if the value of a task gradually decreases in time, you can use Decline function, etc.
Deadline functions can help you keep your tasks sorted without paying much attention to deadlines, value decline, urgency, etc. and without compromising their impact at the same time


(John Daniel, USA, Dec 22, 1999)
Question:
Is it necessary to install Internet Explorer to use your help files off-line?
Answer:
No. You can also use plain HTML help files. For this purpose you would need to do two things:

  1. copy the contents of www.supermemo.com/help/ folder to <SuperMemo folder>/help/help folder on your hard disk (for example, if your SuperMemo is located at d:\sm2000\sm2000.exe, you would copy www.supermemo.com/help/index.htm to d:\sm2000\help\help\index.htm, etc.)
  2. select Tools : Options : SuperMemo : Help system : HTML Help

You could also copy other folders from www.supermemo.com and place them in <SuperMemo folder>/help/ to retain access to some auxiliary articles such as Six steps to excellent memory, Reading the Internet, etc.


(Prof. Chris Houser, Japan, March 16, 2000)
Question:

In reference to Hot to break free from work overload: It seems to me that the greatest difficulty in the presented approach is in assigning values. For example, in case of SuperMemo features, you could value each feature as the number of email messages requesting the feature. This is comfortingly exact. But it's wildly inaccurate! I believe that Time Management authors have recognized this difficulty of pinning down exact numbers, and so recommend the A B C prioritization scheme
Answer:
The process of assigning values becomes quick and intuitive with a dose of training. If it is not accurate, it is still more accurate than the A B C scheme. For example, in choosing the value of a given feature in SuperMemo, many criteria will be taken into account with the overall intent to maximize the benefit to the user. Very often, new features are introduced without customer requests (e.g. tasklists!). Others, despite significant customer pressure, will not be included (e.g. many repetition rescheduling options have been proposed and rejected due to their potentially harmful effects on the results in learning). An average man in the street often takes similar multicriterial decisions without much effort. For example, if you would like to take a week vacation on Hawaii, you will quickly make an overall valuation of benefits and reject offers that seem too pricey. Valuating tasks, with some training, is equally automatic and straightforward


(Alex Lee, Canada, March 20, 2000)
Question:

How do I import gif or jpg files to SuperMemo?
Answer:
This is the simplest procedure:

  1. Choose File : Level : Middle (or Professional)
  2. Choose Edit : Add components : Image (alternatively use the compose toolbar)
  3. Right click the newly added image components, select Import file, and select the file you want to import

Press Ctrl+Alt+s if you would like to import more images using the same template


(L.G., Brazil, Oct 6, 2000)
Question:

Why can I not transfer my SuperMemo 2000 collections back to SuperMemo 8? Do you try to follow Microsoft practices of forcing people into upgrades?
Answer:
Not at all! The reasons are purely technical. New features are often not supported by old versions and cannot be transferred. For similar reasons you cannot transfer Windows applications back to DOS. Partial transfer can be made by exporting collections as text. However, even this format has undergone change and many features will be lost on the way. For example, SuperMemo 8 does not support long texts, rich texts, HTML, OLE, 32-bit options and many more. Most of all, one-way upgrades are optional! The only time in the history of SuperMemo where users were indeed forced to take action was in January 2000 when the y2k bug kicked in (not actually affecting the learning process). Naturally, those y2k-compliant upgrades were provided free


(Siow Yew Nam, Singapore, Oct 10, 1999)
Question:
I have created an element that I want to use as a template. How can I make it the default template?
Answer:
To use the current element as the default template in the current category, use Template : Save as default on the element pop-up menu or simply press Ctrl+Alt+s


Question:
Can I learn Arabic with SuperMemo?
Answer:
Yes (see: Arabic Verbs collection, and picture)


(George W., USA, Dec 17, 2000)
Question:
Is it accurate to say that the Replace with template command is the same thing as Apply template, Impose template and "do not detach template" run in succession?
Answer:
Yes


(Karl Hillis, Canada, Feb 25, 1999)
Question:
I want to use SuperMemo to learn Spanish. I am having problems however when it comes to the acute accents over the vowels. Could you please give me a solution? I have the standard 101 key North American Keyboard
Answer:
You might try installing Spanish keyboard in Windows. Otherwise, you should remember to turn NumLock on when typing Alt+0 sequences (e.g. Alt+0241 for ñ)


(Cosmo, Germany, Feb 14, 1999)
Question:
Is it possible to learn vocabulary in both directions with one element? When I specify the questionbox as How are you? and the answerbox as C�mo est�s? can SuperMemo also change the directions of questioning so that I can train my vocabulary in both directions? Or do I have to define two elements?
Answer:
Each question-answer pair is handled independently in the learning process. For this reason, you must define two elements. Usually the active element is repeated more often than the passive element but there are no fixed rules here (leave it up to SuperMemo). Having it all in one element with a single pattern of repetitions would not serve the purpose of learning. You can quickly produce a reverse duplicate by using Duplicate (Ctrl+Alt+D) and Swap components (Ctrl+Shift+S). The former will duplicate the element and the latter will swap the question with the answer (if you have many elements in the pending queue, you will probably want to follow it with Remember or Ctrl+M)


(Christian Roessel, Germany, Jan 10, 2001)
Question:
I found items that have fewer repetitions than lapses. What is the interpretation of Repetitions?

Answer:
Repetitions
in the element data window do not show the actual number of repetitions of the displayed element. Repetitions display the number of repetitions since the last time the element was forgotten (it includes the use of the button Forget). To get the actual number of repetitions you can inspect the repetition history with Ctrl+Shift+H (or with double-click on the element data window). To see repetition history you need to be sure Full repetition history is checked in Tools : Options : Learning


(Daniel, Poland, Mar 3, 2001)
Question:
When I try to export multiple-choice items with File : Tools : Export : Q&A Text, I get an empty file. What do I do wrong?
Answer:
Currently, you can only import multiple-choice text files. You cannot export MCT items back to a text file. Only question-answer items are exported


(Daniel, Poland, Mar 3, 2001)
Question:
Is it possible to have SuperMemo randomly shuffle multiple-choice items at repetitions?
Answer:
No. The only shuffling takes place when you import multiple-choice items with File : Tools : Import : Q&A Text. The sequence of components remains the same later on


(Michal, Poland, Oct 7, 2000)
Question:
Why do I lose rich text formatting on importing e-mail to tasklist?
Answer:
Conversion to plain text saves disk space, makes SuperMemo text marks more prominent and prevents read-only problems upon import from your e-mail software. See also: Using e-mail in SuperMemo


(Mark, Poland, Mar 16, 2001)
Quetion
:
How can I use Polish fonts and keyboard in SuperMemo?
Answer:
To use Polish fonts in SuperMemo:

  1. Install multi-language support in Windows
  2. Install support for Central and Eastern Europe
  3. Install appropriate keyboard (Polish in your case)
  4. For convenience, in your default template use plain-text components and link the appropriate font, for example, Times New Roman with Script set to Central European

Do not forget to set Script to Central European. If you cannot do that, you have to install support for Central and Eastern Europe. If you can already use Polish fonts, for example, in MS Word, you don't need to execute steps 1-3.
Important! If you experience problems with Polish keyboard, turn on Trim Shortcuts in Options


Question:
I added a note with Ctrl+N, deleted the rich text component and ... now I get an empty element each time I use Ctrl+N
Answer:
You must have modified the Reading template globally (i.e. deleted the component from the element as well as from the template). To restore the original Reading template you can: (1) delete Reading in template registry and (2) use Tools : Add predefined templates on the template registry menu


Question:
When I right-click over HTML component, I cannot access reading options. Read toolbar options do not work either
Answer:
All reading options are built around RTF component (rich text component). There are no equivalents for HTML component which is a read-only component (you can only edit HTML files directly in HTML code in the editing mode or using your default external HTML editor with F9)


Complex terminology is not required to use SuperMemo (#5516)
(Krzysztof K., USA, Tue, Jun 05, 2001 5:36)
Question:
On one hand you claim that learning terminology of SuperMemo is optional, and on the other you state that the lack of knowledge of terminology generates 60-70% of your support e-mail
Answer:
Both are true. You can successfully use SuperMemo by only understanding buttons Learn and Add new. However, many customers impatiently delve into functionality that is of secondary importance in learning (e.g. structure of the knowledge tree). Because tree terminology such as child, parent, sibling is not obvious to non-technical users, these users quickly get lost in the documentation and prefer to write to support


You can recover from a temporary disconnection from the secondary storage (#7059)
(Jiri, Saturday, February 02, 2002 10:18 AM)
Question:
I am planning to travel a bit, but am unable to keep my whole collection with me as the ELEMENTS directory is over 1.5 GB in size. Is it safe to put the whole collection without the ELEMENTS directory on a JAZZ drive then play with it and, when I return, replace my old collection files with the files from the JAZZ?
Answer:
If you sever the connection with the secondary storage (i.e. your 1.5 GB ELEMENTS folder), you will run into the weakness of secondary storage handling in SuperMemo 2000 (and earlier). SuperMemo does not keep a record of storage files otherwise than by checking for their physical presence. If you import a storage object (e.g. picture, HTML file or a sound file) it will be allocated into the first encountered free storage slot. Consequently, upon return, you will find primary storage files in conflict slots with secondary storage files. Luckily, File : Repair collection is able to move the conflicting files to new storage slots. Your best bet would be to minimize import of new pictures, sounds, and HTML files until your return. Upon return, you will need to run File : Repair collection with Verify Filespace checked. This weakness will be resolved in future releases


Use Incremental reading processing options to best import an item to SuperMemo (#211)
(Asia Symonowicz, Poland, Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:41 PM)
Question:
How can I most efficiently import a SuperMemo item sent to me via e-mail to my collection?
Answer:
(1) In your e-mail agent, select an item and copy it to the clipboard with Ctrl+C
(2) Switch to SuperMemo, and paste the content of the clipboard into an HTML note with Alt+N,
(3) Select the answer part of the item, right-click your mouse and select Reading : Remember cloze (press Alt+Z alternatively) from the component's pop-up menu,
(4) Dismiss the source element with Ctrl+D (so it is removed from the learning process)
Make sure to remove Q: and A: from individual components.


SuperMemo on CD-ROM (#12876)
(clacour, Wednesday, September 04, 2002 12:50 AM)
Question:
I really don't like downloads. What I would like to do is buy a disk (hopefully a CD-Rom), and I would be willing to get an older edition if SuperMemo 2002 was not available
Answer:
Ordering SuperMemo on CD-ROM makes sense only if you order it for the learning material content. CD-ROMs are expensive and include older versions of the program that will rob you of new features such as incremental reading. It is highly recommended that you opt for SuperMemo 2000 or SuperMemo 2002. Unless you have problems with the access to the Internet, there should not be a conceivable reason for choosing CD-ROM versions. You can easily back up SuperMemo on a floppy disk


SuperMemo is not shareware (#12902)
(John Lopez, Sunday, September 15, 2002 6:44 PM)
Question:
How many times do I have to register this stupid program? Every time I boot it up, it starts over again!
Answer:
You need to use a valid return e-mail address at registering to receive registration information via autoresponder. This information should indicate that you must input the unlock password received while ordering the product. This information should also help you order the product, if you have not yet done so


You can learn a block of text in incremental reading (#76)
(Jonathan Moran, Tuesday, December 10, 2002, 8:11:24 AM)
Question:
I need to learn a passage of text. How could I do that with your program?
Answer:
Incremental reading is optimal for this purpose. In a nutshell, you import a text, extract it into digestible portions, and then create cloze deletions from them. For a thorough explanation of this new learning technology, read: Incremental reading.


The polishing required for items generated in incremental reading usually satisfies generally accepted copyright principles (#260)
(M Huang, Tuesday, December 31, 2002 12:08 PM)
Question:
Would incremental reading collections (with cloze deletions) violate copyright laws if they were available to the public (e.g. from SuperMemo Library)? Are they restricted for personal use only?
Answer:
It basically depends by how much the generated elements differ from the original articles/extracts they have been created from. Rarely can you extract a given sentence from an article, create cloze deletions on it, and have ready well-structured items which perfectly adhere to the rules of effective knowledge formulation outlined in the 20 rules of formulating knowledge article. In the review process of incremental reading, you extract paragraphs/sentences, and then polish them by manual editing to a more compact and understandable form. This alone guarantees the contribution sufficient to satisfy generally accepted copyright principles.


Use Edit : Add a new article for articles you would like to read in incremental reading, and Edit : Add a new task for to-do activities (#101)
(Anatoliy Lipatov, Ukraine, Friday, January 10, 2003 8:59 AM)
Question:
It is not fully clear when it is preferable to add a new article and when a new task.
Answer:
Use Edit : Add a new article (Ctrl+Alt+N) when you would like to import an interesting article and later process it in incremental reading (i.e. convert it into manageable parts, streamline it, and create cloze deletions).
Use Edit : Add a new task (Ctrl+Alt+A) to add a to-do activity (e.g. buying a new piece of software), which you are going to execute once it comes top on your tasklist (depending on its priority)


See Overview section in Help to read about particular functions of SuperMemo (#6942)
(J.M., USA, Sep 27, 2001)
Question:
I think you should write tutorials on using specific features. For example: 'creating and using a template', 'creating a new branch', 'adding elements within branch', 'creating a new category', 'importing an article for incremental reading'
Answer:
You can find similar articles in the Overviews section. If you believe a particular overview is missing, write to SuperMemoMail 


You can keep text and pictures in separate components (#8538)
(Gabor Schmera, Saturday, December 01, 2001 7:57 AM)
Question:
Is the rich-text component capable of displaying embedded pictures?
Answer:
No. However, for most applications, it should be enough if you paste your pictures into separate image components (e.g. Ctrl+V on an element in display mode). The advantage of this approach is that on each cloze and extract in incremental reading, the pictures propagate as context


Template flag indicator in SuperMemo 2000 (#15317)
(Abdul Ghani, Singapore, Saturday, January 04, 2003 12:57 AM)
Question:
I have this message DelTmpExtr at the bottom of the element Window. Can you tell me what's wrong and how to rectify it?
Answer:
Nothing is wrong and you need to take no action. This is an indicator of template flags used in the current element (here "Delete template extras"). This indicator should appear only if you select the debugging version of SuperMemo in Options. In SuperMemo 2002, this indicator is not shown as all template flags are displayed in Component Order dialog


(Dag Berggren, Sweden, Apr 25, 1999)
Question:
I know how to change the size or style of fonts but I do not know how to make sure I do not have to repeat that with each new item I create.
Answer:
The simplest remedy is to press Ctrl+Alt+s which is a shortcut for Template : Save as default. This will save your current item as the default template in the current category. As this template will be reused each time you add a new item with Ctrl+A, you should create your item the way you want it to look before you fill out the text fields


(Jiri P, Czech Republic, Sep 7, 1999)
Question:
I upgraded my collection from SuperMemo 98 and encountered the following error: 
Collection file access error. 
Wrong A-Factor distribution

Answer:
Please run File : Repair collection with Basic recovery checked. There is a slight difference in interpretation of AFactors in SuperMemo 99. Basic recovery will reassign AFactors to new distribution categories which will solve the problem.


(Zoran Maximovic, Yugoslavia, Sep 24, 1999)
Question:
What is the recommended way to change the element to which new elements will be added as children in a category?
Answer:

  1. Use Search : Categories to open the category registry
  2. Select the category in question
  3. Click Hook (hook is the father of newly added elements in the category)
  4. Select a new hook in the contents window
  5. Click Accept in the contents window

Categories do not impose a limit on the number of elements to include (#7104)
(mark, Denmark, Fri, Oct 05, 2001 9:46)
Question:
Is there an easy way to create and place many elements in a category?
Answer:
Yes. Add a new branch in Contents. Use Ctrl+K to create a new category and choose Add New (or other category operation) as many times as necessary. Use Ctrl+A for items or Ctrl+N for topic notes, etc.


You can easily copy SuperMemo to a diskette (#5520)
(Jack B., Sun, Jun 24, 2001 2:20)
Question:
After getting the program downloaded, may I simply pay for a backup diskette sent to me?
Answer:
You can create your own backup diskette in a minute by simply copying the downloaded file onto a blank disk. For example, SuperMemo 2000 download file (sm2000zip.exe) is only 1.3MB in size and should fit on a diskette


(Manfred Kremer, Germany, Nov 27, 1998)
Question:
What is the simplest way to backup a collection in SuperMemo?
Answer:
If your collection's name is, for example, "All my knowledge.kno" then:

  1. use any archiving application (e.g. WinZip)
  2. select (1) "All my knowledge.kno" file and (2) "[All my knowledge]" folder/directory
  3. compress these two into a single archive (remember to use Preserve path option to retain the folder structure)

While restoring a collection from such an archive, remember to use Extract with path to make sure the folder structure is restored as originally archived (otherwise all files will be restored to the same folder and the collection will be unusable).
Note that you can save some space by choosing File : Tools : Garbage before archiving your collection

For more see: Safety of your knowledge stored in SuperMemo


Question:
One of my items does not work with Extract and with Cloze?
Answer:
Check if the text is not marked as read-only. If you paste texts from MS Outlook (e.g. into your e-mail tasklist), they will be marked as read-only. You can quickly remove all formatting (including read-only status) with Ctrl+Shift+F12 (Text : Plain text on the rich text component pop-up menu). If you do not want to remove formatting, you can also use F9 to edit the text in your default word processor (e.g. MS Word). If you edit the text in MS Word and save it, it will automatically remove the read-only attribute


(Zoran Maximovic, Serbia, Sep 25, 2000)
Question:
In approximation graphs in Tools : Statistics : Analysis, some of the curves "jump out" of the graph area. What is wrong?
Answer:
This was a harmless bug in the algorithm in SuperMemo 98/99. The assumption is that intervals cannot grow beyond the value of A-Factor. For that reason, the maximum R-Factor should equal the relevant A-Factor. However, in plotting the forgetting curves, higher values of U-Factors are used as repetitions may be delayed (e.g. with Mercy, user procrastination, etc.). The algorithm puts a cap on the maximum R-Factor value (along the theoretical assumption that R-Factors cannot be greater than corresponding A-Factors). However, the implementation used the maximum U-Factor value as the cap (the one used in plotting the forgetting curve). Consequently, R-Factors could grow larger than A-Factors and the curve would "jump out" of the graph, which displays the correct cap.
This bug should have little effect on the learning process. The higher cap does not invalidate the correctness of R-Factors. It just does not prevent very long intervals in case of very good repetition results.

This bug has been fixed in SuperMemo 2000 (and later)


Installing SuperMemo CE (#7933)
(hamweej, Wednesday, March 06, 2002 8:44 AM)
Question:
I do not have a connection between my Pocket PC and my desktop, and usually install programs by copying the .cab file to a compact flash card and running it directly from the pocket PC. I cannot seem to do this with SuperMemo
Answer:
SuperMemo CE installer runs in Windows. You need to have some form of connection between your Windows machine and your Pocket PC in order to be able to complete the installation process. Alternatively you can request the bare SuperMemo file without the installer (60-80K depending on the version). This should also resolve the problem as long as you configure the program on your own


You can change the way dates are displayed in SuperMemo (#11789)
(Constantin, Bulgaria, Jul 12, 2002)
Question:
I hate that statistics windows show dates like 3/7/2002. Is it March or July? Couldn't you use meaningful names like Mar or Jul?
Answer:
The way dates are displayed depends on the settings in Windows, not in SuperMemo. In Windows 2000, you can go to Control Panel : Regional Options : Date : Short date format to change that. If you choose dd-MMM-yy as the short date format, the dates will display as, for example, 12-Jul-02


You can search on-line help (#6448)
(hhammerl, Sep 04, 2001)
Question:
How can I search for a word in the online help?
Answer:
Use the relevant search box at Search Page 


You can see the function of menu items by enabling hints and the status bar (#5762)
(Gl�ucia, Brazil, Monday, July 16, 2001 9:04 PM)
Question:
How can you see the function of a given menu item in SuperMemo? I want to see its description on the status bar
Answer:
You must select Window : Hints to enable displaying hints and select Window : Status bar to make sure the status bar is shown


Incremental reading resolves the valuation problem in choosing best articles (#6850)
(Adam, Australia, Monday, September 10, 2001 7:28 AM)
Question:
How can you know if an article is very important without first reading it?
Answer:
One of the greatest advantages of incremental reading is that your priority valuations change as you read. If the article provides rich and valuable material in the beginning, you can read it in one go. Otherwise, its priority reflected by the current interval (and/or A-Factor) will drop, and you may opt to read it in smaller portions. Each portion read may affect the current priority


See Overview section in Help to read about particular functions of SuperMemo (#6942)
(J.M., USA, Sep 27, 2001)
Question:
I think you should write tutorials on using specific features. For example: 'creating and using a template', 'creating a new branch', 'adding elements within branch', 'creating a new category', 'importing an article for incremental reading'
Answer:
You can find similar articles in the Overviews section. If you believe a particular overview is missing, write to SuperMemoMail 


You can copy pictures via the clipboard (#6888)
(Ronn, Wednesday, September 12, 2001 9:08 AM)
Question:
How can I transfer a picture from MS Publisher or MS Paint to the answer field?
Answer:
Copy your picture to the clipboard and use Ctrl+V or Shift+Ins. This will add a new image component. Then select Answer on the image component pop-up menu (right-click). 

Important: if this fails, press Esc a few times to make sure you are not trying to paste into the text field. Pasting images into text components will be ignored


You need to input your unlock password to get rid of the registration dialog box (#6827)
(Alexia L McKnight, Fri, Sep 15, 2001 5:20)
Question:
The registration pop up dialog is a problem! It keeps popping up, asking me to register
Answer:
Please click the password button and input your unlock password. You should have received the password with the confirmation of your order along with other installation instructions. If you lost or forgot the password, write to SuperMemoMail to have it resent. You can alternatively input the password with File : Installation : Input password or with Ctrl+Shift+I. For more information see: Registering SuperMemo


Multitasking is not recommended in learning (#6918)
(dansujp, Sun, Sep 16, 2001 3:07 PM)
Question:
Here is another improvement for SuperMemo. When I reviewed the flashcards, I would lay them out on a large table so that I could see 30 at a time, and would pick up the cards for which I knew the answer. Sometimes the answer takes a few seconds to surface. In the mean time I can be looking at other cards and thinking about them in a multitasking fashion. In SuperMemo there is only one question at a time, so it is frustrating to sit there and wait and not have anything else to do until the answer appears
Answer:
Research shows that multitasking considerably reduces cognitive powers. Optimally you should be able to focus on a single recall at a time. In addition, recall should, ideally, be instantaneous. Long and frustrating retrieval times would typically indicate ill-formulated items of high complexity. Your solution might increase the fun of learning for overly complex material, but if you apply the minimum information principle along with other pivotal rules of knowledge representation, multitasking would reduce your processing speed . In the past, we have added a number of options to SuperMemo by sheer user pressure; however, it can be demonstrated that in many cases this have actually done harm to user learning process. We consequently remove options that are frequently misused (e.g. Batch Repetitions, Background Repetitions, some rescheduling tools, and more)


We believe SuperMemo is a must for anyone with serious plans to enter science (#6130)
(Garry Gross, Saturday, August 25, 2001 12:24 AM)
Question:
I am presently studying to be a behaviorist. I am working from text books that I find difficult. Please let me know how SuperMemo would be useful in this adventure. How do I get the material from the text into the program?
Answer:
This article is probably the best summary of the role SuperMemo could play in your work: Devouring knowledge.  Please pay a special attention to the part devoted to incremental reading, which is also explained from the technical point of view in this short text: http://www.supermemo.com/help/read.htm. We believe that incremental reading is a must for anyone with serious plans of working in science. The most painful limitation in your context is that incremental reading requires your texts to be available in electronic form (e.g. if you rely on paper books, you would need an OCR scanner or you would need to type in the most essential study points into the computer)


SuperMemo CE upgrades are free (#6899)
(David Kelly, Sat, Sep 15, 2001 0:25)
Question:
This past summer I registered SuperMemo for my Pocket PC. (Casio EM500). Do I qualify for your new upgrade?
Answer:
Yes. Until now, all SuperMemo CE upgrades have been free. To receive the program via e-mail, write to SuperMemoMail and provide the address to which the program should be sent to


If you paste an image, image component size will be adjusted (#5767)
(Patrik Nilsson, Monday, July 16, 2001 3:36 PM)
Question:
How can I simplify the following sequence: 1) Create an image component 2) Paste a picture (from the clipboard) 3) Make the picture the answer 4) Stretch the image or move the sides of the rectangle to adjust the size
Answer:
Instead of creating the image component, paste the picture. This way you will save on creating the component and adjusting its size. All you will need to do is to select Answer and moving the component to the desired location


Library collections do not include SuperMemo (#6931)
(Fernando Inigo (through Yahoo! Store Order System), Tue, Sep 18, 2001 23:17)
Question:
Does English Grammar Mix come with SuperMemo or do I have to order the program separately?
Answer:
All material from SuperMemo Library comes without SuperMemo. This means that you need to obtain the program before you order from the library. Some collections are available as text and can be used with SuperMemo freeware; however, many will require SuperMemo 98 for Windows or later. For more details, see the compatibility table which is displayed on each collection's page. It tells you which versions of SuperMemo a given collection can be used with


There are many random tests (#6474)
(Piotr, Sun, Sep 02, 2001 21:26)
Question:
How does Random test work? Does it display random items from the whole collection or only random items scheduled for today?
Answer:
There are many random tests. You can run a random test on any subset of element


To avoid the rigid repetition schedule ignore the statistical indicators (#6918)
(dansujp, Sun, Sep 16, 2001 3:07 PM)
Question:
I dislike the fact that SuperMemo forces a repetition schedule on the user.
Answer:
The schedule is a result of the algorithm that takes retention criteria as guidance. As a result, it is not SuperMemo that determines the schedule but the state of the student's memory. The simplest way of living with this rigid plan for repetition is to stop looking at the Outstanding field. If you ignore the statistics, SuperMemo will let you make your repetitions at irregular intervals. If you come too late, it will simply not schedule new material, and reduced retention will generate more workload


The best material for learning English with SuperMemo is Advanced English (#6846)
(Eszlari Gabor, Hungary, Mon, Sep 10, 2001 20:17)
Question:
Could you recommend the best ready-made English learning material for use with SuperMemo?
Answer:
Advanced English 97 CD-ROMs would be the best choice. However, you can also order smaller derivatives of this material from SuperMemo Library. This material is vocabulary oriented but also includes grammar, proverbs, idioms, etc. See: Advanced English 97 


How to bring SuperMemo to people? (#6897)
(DavidAlm.com, Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:43 PM)
Question:
Cooper's central point is that most users do not care about the implementation model and they come to your product with a number of related conceptual models. Because of this, your software must present a manifest model that fits well with their conceptual model -- regardless of the implementation model
Answer:
All software is dependent on the implementation model. The smaller the company the less it can afford veering from this constraint as all deviations are extremely costly. Secondly, all novel solutions and all solutions deprived of instant gratification are bound to produce a concept-manifest mismatch. This is a perennial problem for SuperMemo. Work on downsizing the gap is critical


Installing phonetic transcription (#6502)
(Jens, Denmark, Saturday, August 04, 2001 5:42 PM)
Question:
How do I install phonetic transcription on an existing collection?
Answer:
You need to choose its name in Tools : Options : Language : Phonetic transcription. If that field is empty, you need to copy the transcription registry files first to \phonetic subfolder. English transcription files are available from MegaMix CD-ROM, Advanced English CD-ROM or from downloadable English Pronunciation collection


SuperMemo 2000 requires the Pentium (#7251)
(Patrik Nilsson, Monday, October 08, 2001 11:38 AM)
Question:
Does SuperMemo 2000 run on a 486 processor?
Answer:
Officially, SuperMemo 2000 requires the Pentium, but there are no technical limitations that would truly put it out of use on a 486 computer. Your main limitation will be speed. In addition, large collections may consume a few MB of RAM that could make your PC crawl. Finally, be sure to run newer Windows releases to avail of multiple features added by the Internet Explorer. Important! Please try a demo before ordering the product


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. See: Which SuperMemo?


Incremental reading is a step towards semantic SuperMemo (#5598)
(Mark Patterson, USA, Jul 03, 2001)
Question:
SuperMemo introduces new topics and items in the order in which they appear in a collection. I suggest that the future semantic version of SuperMemo could introduce new topics in semantic sequence--starting at the edges of what the student knows and chipping away at unlearned nodes guided by module prerequisites until all target nodes had been mastered
Answer:
Semantic SuperMemo is indeed an important future objective. Please note, however, that the exactly same mechanisms are already implemented as incremental reading. New material is entered into the learning process in proportion, and with the guidance of the current level of understanding. Naturally, it is highly desirable this process be extended to ready-made materials, which is not a trivial undertaking requiring quite a bit of advanced knowledge engineering


Use separate image components in incremental reading (#6889)
(Ellis, Richard M, United Kingdom, Wednesday, September 12, 2001 10:03 AM)
Question:
When adding an article is it possible to add embedded images as well as plain text?
Answer:
No. Optimally, you should use incremental reading tools which are based on rich text components that cannot embed images. Alternatively you could use HTML components but that will deprive you of extract and cloze tools. To add images to incremental reading, paste them to the element in question (i.e. not to the text component). Pasting will automatically create an image component for you


OCR support is not our area of expertise (#5474)
(luisgustavo, Brazil, Fri, Jun 08, 2001 20:25)
Question:
Incremental reading doesn't work on paper. Isn't it time to consider adding OCR capabilities to SuperMemo?
Answer:
SuperMemo cannot become a do-all software. Development and support costs are significant enough to enforce a strict focus on learning technology. For advanced authoring, word processing, mail management, time-management, mind mapping, formula editing, OCR, etc., you need to rely on tools provided by other companies. In addition, OCR isn't even listed on the implementation tasklist as it would go against current trends in which all information slowly becomes available in electronic form. Our consistent policy is to adhere to our area of expertise and look far into the future to be sure that time works to SuperMemo's benefit


Retention statistic assumes regular repetitions and well-structured learning material (#6918)
(dansujp, Sun, Sep 16, 2001 3:07 PM)
Question:
When I returned from vacation, I expected the retention to be something like 80% because I have not done any repetitions for two weeks. But it was exactly the same as before I left
Answer:
The Retention statistic is derived directly from the measured forgetting index on the assumption of a negatively exponential forgetting curve. This curve is only representative of well-structured learning material. In addition, the forgetting index measurements are averaged over all recorded cases. A break in repetitions will invalidate the statistic. Resuming repetitions is not a guarantee of accuracy as the large number of earlier repetitions will result in overestimating the retention on a small-sample measurement. The only valid estimation of retention after a break in learning is the one that follows resetting the past forgetting index record (File : Tools : Reset parameters : Forgetting index record). This will result in gathering new data that will approach true retention for the sample tested with accuracy proportional to the number of repetitions done


Future SuperMemo will base incremental reading on HTML or XML (#6954)
(Jiri Pik, Monday, September 17, 2001 8:58 AM)
Question:
Would it be possible to integrate the web browser component into SuperMemo so that to make HTML-based incremental reading possible?
Answer:
We are investigating functionality and reliability of DHTMLEdit and MSHTML Active X components with the view to integrating these with incremental reading. Once technical difficulties are resolved, those components will be used in the future to extend incremental reading to HTML components in SuperMemo for Windows. We also plan gradually phase in XML functionality to SuperMemo


You can define your cloze template or apply it after generating the cloze (#5732)
(Patrick St�ckmann, Germany, Wednesday, July 11, 2001 8:03 PM)
Question:
How can I influence the template for cloze deletions?
Answer:
The element from which you generate the cloze deletion will be used as a template for your cloze. If you miss the answer field, it will be added for you. If you define your own answer field it will be reused. Once you generate the cloze deletion, you can quickly apply any template with Ctrl+Shift+M


You can sort repetitions (#6083)
(P.M., Aug 28, 2001)
Question:
How can I sort items from low to high intervals in incremental e-mail processing?
Answer:
You can sort your repetitions by the length of the interval using the following method: 

  1. choose View : Outstanding
  2. click Interval twice at the top of the browser window (to sort from the lowest to the highest intervals) 
  3. choose Tools : Save repetitions (on the browser menu

You can use this method in e-mail processing in the same was as in the learning process


SuperMemo 2000 Build 10.09 is recommended on all Windows platforms (#7283)
(Eli Liang, Sun, Oct 07, 2001 14:38)
Question:
The previous build of SuperMemo was 10.081 (W2K) which I assume meant it was for use on Windows 2000. The new release is simply 10.09. I wonder if that means it doesn't work as well on Windows 2000
Answer:
Build 10.09 works equally well in Windows 2000. The suffix W2K in 10.08 was only intended to indicate that version 10.08 differed from 10.07 mostly with Windows 2000 workaround features


Editing an item associated with a template will affect the template (#6979)
(Reinhard K. Koehler (private), Friday, September 21, 2001 10:15 PM)
Question:
I changed the width of a component and all my items changed. I only wanted that one item changed
Answer:
If you edit an element that is associated with a template, the appearance of all items using that template will change. If you want to edit only one element choose Template : Impose template on the element pop-up menu (answer Yes to "Detach template"). This will disconnect your item from the template


Wrong recall may indicate memory interference (#6986)
(Mike Condron, Tuesday, September 18, 2001 2:39 AM)
Question:
Why no recall is scored less than a wrong recall? Suppose I'm trying to remember "What's the capital of Canada?" and I answer "Warsaw." This seemed to me to be a much worse state of affairs than "I don't know"
Answer:
Wrong answer may put you in more trouble or shame in life, but we are interested in the state of memory here. Wrong recall is usually caused by interference from other memories and is less indicative of lost memory traces. Zero recall, on the other hand, is a clear indication of lost or severely disrupted memories. Your grades should penalize you solely for poor memory performance. However, you can use the forgetting index, Jump Interval (element menu) or other tools to ensure that mission-critical pieces of knowledge stay permanently etched in your memory. In other words, you should never grade yourself more harshly on important material as this will fool SuperMemo as to your performance 


SuperMemo collections can include damaging content (#6988)
(Jiri Pik, Wednesday, September 19, 2001 6:02 AM)
Question:
Could you confirm that the data files of SuperMemo, i.e. every file except for sm2000.exe, cannot contain a virus?
Answer:
SuperMemo collection can include executable files or HTML files that are all subject to infection. For example, the recent w32.Nimda virus easily infects collections that include HTML files by simply scanning the elements folder and inserting malicious JavaScript code. You will be best protected if you use a recently updated anti-virus software (e.g. Norton Antivirus with a recent Live Update)


SuperMemo cannot change the date of the last repetition (#6982)
(Patrik Nilsson, Thursday, September 20, 2001 1:18 PM)
Question:
Is there anyway of keeping repetition interval when doing Mercy?
Answer:
No. Intervals are defined as the period between the last repetition and the time when the next repetition should be scheduled. You cannot change the former (otherwise you would fool SuperMemo as to how strong your memories are). If you change the scheduled day of repetition, the interval will change accordingly


Waking up short of breath may indicate sleep apnea (#7050)
(Jose Miguel Molina, Sunday, September 23, 2001 10:49 PM)
Question:
My Mom is 50 and looks healthy. However, every night when she goes to sleep she would wake up short of breath as if always coming from a nightmare. She would say she feels like she's falling to a deep valley
Answer:
The symptoms described are typical for sleep apnea. This means that your mother may have problems breathing during sleep. This wakes her up and ruins her sleep. Exercise, sleeping on the side, and weight loss may help in mild cases, but please do not fail to advice your mother to see a sleep specialist. Sleep apnea may result in an increase in blood pressure and a heart condition. A patient may look healthy and normal, but in the long run his health may suffer substantially


SuperMemo determines the dates of repetitions, but you determine the speed of learning new material (#7040)
(Eli Liang, Oct 02, 2001)
Question:
In a new collection I created, there are 4000 pending items. Do I decide myself how many of the 4000 pending items to memorize?
Answer:
Yes. It is your memory that determines the optimum dates of repetitions. SuperMemo tries to schedule repetitions at those dates. As for the new material, it is up to you how much you decide to memorize daily


Internationalization support for SuperMemo is limited (#6950)
(Eli Liang, Russian Federation, Fri, Sep 21, 2001 9:20)
Question:
How can I use Cyrillic letters in SuperMemo 2000 in File name input dialog?
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 is best adapted for English Windows and for European languages. Support for translation of the interface and the learning material is limited. In particular, only the Beginner and Basic level interfaces are translatable. The file dialog interface cannot be customized. It is therefore recommended that you use Latin alphabet for naming your collections


Change [mailto:] field to change the default e-mail address (#6968)
(P.M., Saturday, September 22, 2001 1:22 PM)
Question:
I imported an e-mail to incremental reading. In the meantime the return address has changed. How can I make sure SuperMemo does not keep using the old address by default?
Answer:
Paste the new address in place of the old one in the [mailto: ] field. You can use short names (e.g. [mailto:john]) if you have the name in your Address Book. Unfortunately, you will have to manually paste the address to all splinter fragments generated in incremental reading. Currently, there is no option that would do that automatically


Downloaded files are easily transferable between computers (#7037)
(Lauri, Thursday, September 27, 2001 7:24 AM )
Question:
I recently ordered a Geography Mix from your library. I do not want it downloaded on my computer as I have ordered a new computer and would like it for the new one. Maybe I should cancel my order for now and reorder later?
Answer:
You can easily copy the downloaded file on a diskette. You can use it on your old computer first and later transfer it to your new computer. You do not need to download or order twice


Changing templates in SuperMemo is analogous to changing colors in Windows (#6979)
(Reinhard K. Koehler (private), Friday, September 21, 2001 10:15 PM)
Question:
Why templates change the appearance of elements behind my back. Those things should not change unless there is a specific clear conscious command by the user
Answer:
Changing templates is like changing colors in Windows. Once you change the color scheme, all windows will be affected. To prevent changing the look of other elements, detach the template (e.g. with Impose Template)


Use category combo box to change the current category (#6983)
(Maarten Mols, Netherlands, Wednesday, September 19, 2001 12:40 PM)
Question:
When I change the category root in Contents, the branch template is not used correctly
Answer:
Templates are not associated with branches but with categories (see: Glossary). By changing the root, you change the parameters of the current category. Its template will remain unchanged. To change the root and the template you need to change the category (with category combo box on the main toolbar)


Use plain-text templates to change the font after question-answer text file import (#6949)
(Eli Liang, Russian Federation, Fri, Sep 21, 2001 21:10)
Question:
When I try to use File : Tools : Import : Q&A text to import Cyrillic questions and answers. After import the Cyrillic displays as other characters (i.e. not Cyrillic)
Answer:
Question and answer files are plain text files and do not include the font. You need to import your file into the correct template based on plain-text components. For example: apply Classic template, change the font to Cyrillic and import your file using that template


Trust SuperMemo to save time (#6989)
(Mike Condron, Thursday, September 20, 2001 2:46 AM)
Question:
I have a problem with Mercy. On 9/10 I answered an item, which was then scheduled again on 9/13. Then on 9/17 I ran Mercy. That item ended up getting re-scheduled to 9/19, today. What I'm seeing is that SuperMemo has assigned it an interval of 9 days rather than 3 days. The problem is that if I answer this item Good or Bright it is going to get scheduled out to something like 13 or 15 days, when it really should be only 4 or 5 days
Answer:
Once you get a good grade after a longer interval, SuperMemo will naturally use longer intervals as it will upgrade your recall chances. Your anxiety is understandable. However, by shortening intervals you would actually increase time needed for learning. What is worse, artificial shortening of intervals increases the chances of forgetting due to spacing effect


We fall asleep to optimize memory storage (#7050)
(Jose Miguel Molina, Sunday, September 23, 2001 10:49 PM)
Question:
Why do people fall asleep?
Answer:
If you ask about the purpose: we fall asleep for the brain to get a chance to rebuild memories stored during the day and associate these with previously learned things. If you ask about the mechanism: it is not entirely understood. Some parts of your brain work by regularly stimulating and inhibiting each other. This produces a daily cycle of activity. Some structures are responsible for inhibiting those responsible for arousal. You get drowsy and the brain goes into a different mode of action: optimizing memory storage. After the work is done, your arousal center gets stimulated again and "get up and go" hormones enter the bloodstream. You are ready for a new day. For more details see: Good sleep for good learning


You need to activate the OLE object to view it all (#7275)
(Alexia, USA Educational, Wednesday, October 10, 2001 5:07 AM)
Question:
When I inserted my Word document in an OLE component, only the top of the document displayed. How can I get the rest of it to show up?
Answer:
Inactive OLE components cannot display whole documents as they depend on the server for the whole-document display and editing (MS Word is the server in this case). You need to switch the OLE component to the editing mode (e.g. with Ctrl+E) and you need to have MS Word (i.e. the server) installed


Prohibited access (#7054)
(John Marchand, Belgium, Sun, Sep 30, 2001 16:20)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Text registry access error! Prohibited access Position=-2066493355 LastPosition=3468"
Answer:
Please run File : Repair collection with Rebuild Registries checked. For unknown reasons, SuperMemo tried to access a text listed on a negative position. All position in the registry are positive (in this case, there are 3468 members). If you recall how you arrived to this situation, please write back. This may help tracking a bug (if any)


Scheduling tools do not affect pending items (#7024)
(Patrik Nilsson, Tuesday, September 25, 2001 12:49 PM)
Question:
It is possible to set all pending elements in a collection to be rescheduled with one repetition per day for a month, if there is 30 items in the list
Answer:
All scheduling tools in SuperMemo affect only memorized items. As for pending items, it is up to you when you decide to learn new material. There are no tools to apportion pending material. A typical approach is to allocate a specific time to learning and learn as much material as time allows


Total-vs.-Memorized mismatch is indicative of serious data problems (#7019)
(John Meacock, Wed, Sep 26, 2001 15:49)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Fatal error! Total is less than Memorized Total=13 Memorized=21"
Answer:
This is a highly unlikely error that may indicate physical damage to your collection. Data in the .kno file has been corrupted. File : Repair collection is likely to repair the damage if it is limited to the KNO file, but similar errors occur only in cases of hardware failure, virus, computer crash or serious errors on the part of the user (e.g. copying one collection over another, etc.). Consequently, the damage may be wider that indicated by this message


You can sort items by intervals (#835)
(E.G., Poland, Monday, October 09, 2000 12:33 AM)
Question:
How can I sort items from long to short intervals?
Answer:

  1. Choose View : Memorized (to see all memorized elements) 
  2. Choose Child : Items on the browser menu (to see all memorized items) 
  3. Click Intrv (i.e. the top of the interval column) (to sort items from longest to shortest intervals)

Memorizing collections such as 20x20 Multiplication Table increases mnemonic computational skills (#5931)
(Mark, Sun, Jul 29, 2001 2:48)
Question:
Once a user memorizes 20x20 Multiplication Table, will he or she be able to count properly without a calculator or pencil and paper?
Answer:
Yes. It is hardly possible to memorize 20x20 multiplication table without doing some simple calculations in memory. Cramming the results is neither recommended nor is it easy. The calculations made at recall stage actually enhance one's ability to run computations in memory, and decrease the need for a calculator!


SuperMemo cannot read write-protected files (#7072)
(Josef Chmelar, Czech Republic, Saturday, September 29, 2001 1:32 PM)
Question:
I created a backup on a CD-R. Unfortunately, SuperMemo displays: "Cannot reload HugeArray from C:\DOKUMENTY\SOUKROM�\DEPO\GRAMATIKA A VeTY\info\history.dat File access denied"
Answer:
This error indicates that SuperMemo cannot read the files in your collection. Those files are probably marked as read-only (after copying from the CDR). You need to remove read-only attribute from all files used by SuperMemo


You can use Mercy in the future to review material before an exam (#7004)
(Dimi Linde, Thursday, September 20, 2001 6:46 PM)
Question:
I have a test next week and I want to maximize the retention. All my outstanding items have been repeated. What can I do more?
Answer:
Use Tools : Mercy and check Consider future repetitions. Then collect all material from as far into the future as you wish. You will be able to schedule all these repetitions for today. Unfortunately, due to the spacing effect and the nature of the spaced repetition algorithm, SuperMemo will not return the length of your interval to previous values after the repetitions are done successfully. Consequently, you will increase your retention for the exam but will also have more work with the same material in the future


You can search a given branch (#7079)
(T.Moore, Oct 03, 2001)
Question:
How can I search for some text in a single branch?
Answer:
Select this branch in the contents window and choose Ctrl+F


Poor memory is usually a self-imposed limitation (#5921)
(darran a., Australia, Mon, Aug 27, 2001 10:47 PM)
Question:
I was tested some years back for my memory, I always had problems learning at school, they told me I had a genetic short term memory loss, possibly inherited from my father, my children show some of the same signs that I have
Answer:
Please consult another specialist! Genetic factors affecting short-term memory are unlikely. In addition, it is long-term memory that makes you succeed in life, while short-term memory can be honed easily with mnemonic training. Hopefully, SuperMemo should help you figure out that your abilities are not much different from others, and your future rests in your hands (and your brain)


Yahoo Stores use credit card as the sole payment method (#7103)
(Inga Bloksgaard Jacobsen, Denmark, Fri, Oct 05, 2001 7:09)
Question:
I would like to order SuperMemo for one of our PhD students, but your order-form doesn't allow me to skip the credit card field
Answer:
SuperMemo Store makes it only possible to order with a credit card. If you would like to pay by bank transfer or by check, use this form: http://www.supermemo.com/english/orderform.htm 


Use Template : Save with objects to include text labels in the template (#5753)
(Walter G. Mayfield, Jr., Friday, July 13, 2001 6:37 AM)
Question:
I would like to use the template as a header stamp, to identify where the information came from
Answer:
You can accomplish this by defining an empty template with a plain-text component filled out with the label (e.g. "biology"). Instead of standardly saving this template, use Template : Save with objects to make sure the label text is included as part of the template. If this template becomes the default template of your "Biology" category, the label "biology" will be included in items each time Add New is chosen


Memorizing instances of abstract cases is not a waste of time (#112)
(SuperMemo R&D, Wed, Aug 01, 2001 21:47)
Question:
In SuperMemo you propose to introduce several examples of the same rule. For example, 13*10=130, 24*10=240 and 69*10=690. One could get dozens of different possible appearances of one principle. Does this make sense?
Answer:
Yes. This is instance training. Problems you solve are instances of a certain abstraction. A single rule-based item requires a very smart mind to produce a strongly applicable abstraction. Several instance items help you make use of the natural properties of neural networks to enforce the abstraction. In many cases, you will achieve better results by memorizing a rule and several instances of its application than by just the rule alone. In SuperMemo, the cost of such a redundancy is negligible. Remember that in SuperMemo you spend most of your time on repetitions of difficult material. Redundancy improves retention by optimizing representation. Paradoxically, by adding redundant instance items, you can often reduce overall workload. And even if the workload were to increase, the applicability of thus-strengthen abstraction is a highly welcome side effect


SuperMemo leaves the memorizing rate in your hands (#7238)
(Patrik Nilsson, Tuesday, October 02, 2001 5:56 PM)
Question:
Is it possible set the first repetition to start in 14 days and a new element appear every second day?
Answer:
No. SuperMemo does not provide tools for scheduling pending items. You have to choose Learn : New material manually on the 14th day and repeat that procedure every second day. Alternatively, you could introduce all these elements into the learning process, change the date to the 14th day and reschedule the branch in question with an average of one element every second day. In this case, all elements that score well in the first repetition will be sent to remote intervals in accordance with the spaced repetition algorithm


Disconnect secondary storage to avoid playing sounds (#7263)
(Mark G. Patterson, Friday, October 05, 2001 4:35 PM)
Question:
When I run my CD on a machine that doesn't support audio playback, SuperMemo displays a warning message each time an attempt is made to play an audio track. What I would prefer is for SuperMemo to just ignore the audio component and not display a warning
Answer:
You could point secondary storage (Tools : Options : Data access) to a non-existent folder which will prevent loading sound files from CD-ROM


Categories do not impose a limit on the number of elements to include (#7104)
(mark@zebitz.dk, Denmark, Fri, Oct 05, 2001 9:46)
Question:
Is there an easy way to create and place many elements in a category?
Answer:
Yes. Add a new branch in Contents. Use Ctrl+K to create a new category and choose Add New (or other category operation) as many times as necessary. Use Ctrl+A for items or Ctrl+N for topic notes, etc.


Drag&Match allows of no more than ten rectangles (#7073)
(Piotr, Mon, Oct 01, 2001 21:42)
Question:
Why can I not add more than ten rectangles to a Drag&Match test?
Answer:
There is a hard-wired limit of 10 rectangles in Drag&Match tests. If you add more rectangles, the performance will suffer and your item may become excessively complex. This may quarrel with the minimum information principle


You cannot "more or less" free run you sleep (#7270)
(Bart, Netherlands, Sunday, October 07, 2001 10:35 PM)
Question:
I have been struggling with getting a good quality sleep for years (my symptoms resemble DSPS). I more or less followed a 'free running sleep' during my student years: every night I went to bed later and every morning I woke up later until I would go to bed at around 5 am. But I just could not continue this shifting scheme. So I always tried to go back, with getting up early and slowly changing my rhythm
Answer:
Your actions are understandable and typical for DSPS. However, you cannot "more or less" free-run your sleep. Once you try to "go back" to the old rhythm, you violate free-running sleep principles and you cannot call it free running sleep any more. Your experiences will not translate directly to the free running condition. In other words, to draw your conclusions on free running sleep, you have to truly give up the alarm clock and all other forms of regulating sleep (e.g. going to sleep later than natural, etc.). If this is not possible in standard circumstances, you could try during the nearest vacation. If you collect data on your sleep cycle, please forward for analysis and further comments


Use Ctrl+S for AND-Search (#7268)
(Alexia L McKnight, USA Educational, Wednesday, October 10, 2001 5:07 AM)
Question:
How can I search for "pneumonia" AND "horses"?
Answer:
Use Ctrl+S and search for the less frequent term (e.g. "pneumonia"), and then repeat the procedure with Ctrl+S again (e.g. "horse"). You can enter the found members into the element browser by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B


You can copy your learning material or your learning process from one computer to another (#7293)
(Jarowiecki, Pawel, Poland, Thu, Oct 11, 2001 15:20)
Question:
How can I transfer my learning status from one machine to another?
Answer:
The simplest method is to transfer the entire collection with File : Copy collection. If you do not edit your learning material on one of the computers (i.e. use it for learning only), you could also use File : Tools : Export : Learning process (to export your learning progress from one computer) and then File : Tools : Import : Learning process (to import it back on the other computer)


You can use a link to an external site in HTML component (#7353)
(Kentaroh Takagaki, Japan, Thursday, October 18, 2001 7:39 PM)
Question:
I would like to make an active link in HTML component to an external website, so that each time this element comes up in the learning process, the newest version of the website is displayed in the element window. How can I do this?
Answer:
The recommended way is Edit : Add to category : URL (with Ctrl+Alt+U). This requires a click on the link but you will not have to wait for loading the whole page each time you enter this element in contexts other than learning


You should always keep your date correct in your computer (#7369)
(anonymous, Sat, Oct 20, 2001 1:49 AM)
Question:
Is it ok to play with the system clock behind SuperMemo's back?
Answer:
No! SuperMemo optimizes repetition dates using the record of retention in time. If you change the date in your computer, you will not only make your repetitions be scheduled sub-optimally, but you will also damage the data model that will affect all future repetitions. You should pay utmost attention to making sure your system date is correct. If you want to reschedule outstanding material, use rescheduling tools such as Postpone, Mercy or Dilute


File : Repair collection is not available at the beginner level (#7389)
(JACK COLLINS, Tue, Jul 24, 2001 23:18)
Question:
I don't know how to run the File : Repair collection
Answer:

  1. choose File : Level : Professional 
  2. choose File : Repair collection 
  3. if you suspect serious data damage, check all entries among recovery options

Chess grandmasters use different areas of their brain to plan chess moves (#7571)
Question:
Except for theorizing, introspection and anecdote, is there really a scientific evidence that great chess players "memorize" chess positions instead of just using their best intuition to make good guesses?
Answer:
Yes. Grandmasters do use heuristics ("intuition") to pick the best rules to apply to the current configuration of pieces. However, brain imaging shows that they use their frontal and parietal cortex more extensively than amateur players who rather use medial temporal cortex involved with new associations and working memory. In other words, brain scans indeed show that grandmasters' planning is more of a retrieval process than it is the case with amateurs who sweat through working analysis of possible move combinations


To upgrade SuperMemo, you only need to replace the exe file (#7423)
(Joe Cotellese, Thu, Oct 25, 2001 11:55 PM)
Question:
If I want to upgrade to Build 10.09, is the new version complete or do I need to install it over an existing version?
Answer:
All newer version can simply be upgraded by replacing your sm2000.exe file. This way you will retain all settings and the learning material. Minor upgrades are instantaneous. Upgrades between major versions (e.g. sm98, sm99, etc.) usually involve some changes to the structure of the learning material and as such are irreversible. It is always wise to backup your data before the change


You can add pictures by using the clipboard (#7395)
(Wieslaw Sawicki, Poland, Thursday, September 27, 2001 10:13 AM)
Question:
I would like to learn chess and display large pictures in proprietary format not supported by SuperMemo. How can I do it?
Answer:
You can copy your pictures to SuperMemo via the clipboard to convert them to JPG or GIF formats. For example:

  1. select the picture
  2. press Ctrl+C (copy to the clipboard)
  3. switch to SuperMemo
  4. go to the element that is to display the picture (e.g. with Ctrl+G
  5. press Ctrl+V (paste from the clipboard)

The picture will be pasted to the current image component or will create a new image component. If the picture is very large, try using Stretch on the image component menu


Spacing effect results from reduced potential for increasing synaptic strength (#7028)
(Mark G. Patterson, Tuesday, September 25, 2001 3:25 AM)
Question:
Why is the term Spacing Effect used with negative connotations at supermemo.com? Spacing Effect refers to the beneficial effects of spaced repetition (which I prefer to call spaced recall since active recall, not mere repetition or review, is key)
Answer:
Forgetting and the spacing effect are beneficial from the evolutionary point of view as these both evolved to prevent memory overload. However, in the context of learning, both phenomena need to be struggled against by the student. Spacing effect may be interpreted as "shorter intervals - harder learning" or as "longer intervals - easier learning". In other words this might be a glass half-empty case. However, once we understand the molecular origins of the spacing effect, we quickly come to see it as a mechanism directed against remembering. In the same way, once we try to fill a glass with water, we will call it half-full in the middle of the way. Spaced repetition is effective exactly because it goes around the spacing effect, i.e. around the reduced ability to reinforce memories at high levels of retrievability


SuperMemo still supports plug-in learning algorithms (#7003)
(Eli Liang, Russian Federation, Friday, September 21, 2001 7:42 PM)
Question:
Is the plug-in interface specification discussed at http://www.supermemo.com/english/algplug.htm for SuperMemo 8 is still supported in SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
Yes


Import options in SuperMemo are limited (#7310)
(Jake Vargo, Fri, Oct 12, 2001 9:50 PM)
Question:
Is it possible to import a Palm database or Excel file into SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:

  1. you can import question and answer material from Palm SuperMemo to SuperMemo 2000 (for details see Palm FAQ
  2. you can import question and answer material from Excel as long as you are able to export it in the standard SuperMemo format (i.e. with "Q: " and "A: " prefixes). For details see: File menu 
  3. you can open whole Excel files in SuperMemo in the OLE component or in the HTML component

You do not need to input password again (#7488)
(niallwilson, Saturday, October 27, 2001 5:30 PM )
Question:
I downloaded and installed SuperMemo 2000 update and now my registered version is back to being shareware again
Answer:
It should be enough if you open one of your old collections, and the program will unlock on its own. However, if you only plan to start learning anew (i.e. have no earlier collection backups), you will need to reenter the password with File : Installation : Input password (Ctrl+Shift+I). See also: Unlocking SuperMemo. If you still have problems, write to SuperMemoMail 


In reporting problems, please list the error messages you receive (#7496)
(maura trevino, Mexico, Sunday, October 28, 2001 1:03 AM )
Question:
SuperMemo 2000 does not work. I try to install on a new laptop and it does not work
Answer:
It is very important you include the error messages or other symptoms that could help diagnose the problem. It is also important to indicate which stages have been successful (order, download, unzipping, running the exe file, etc.). Please send as detailed a description as possible. You do not need to use technical terminology but details are vital for diagnosis


No response to SuperMemo inquiry (#7509)
(Desmond Sin, Tuesday, October 30, 2001 8:45 PM )
Question:
Some time ago I sent an e-mail to xxx(AT)supermemo(.)com enquiring when a version fully adapted to Windows 2000 will be available. This is the sort of routine enquiry that I usually get a prompt reply. Yet, I have yet to hear anything from you. If I can't get a prompt reply to such a simple question, how can you expect me or anyone else for that matter to have any confidence in your products/services?
Answer:

  1. The most likely explanation for the lack of response is that e-mail has not reached us. This happens quite often. We estimate that one in 200-400 messages does not arrive at all (estimation based on forked forward arrival statistics, i.e. cases where the same message arrives at one forward but does not arrive at another). Other messages may occasionally get lost in the cracks or be forwarded to a wrong person. If you do not receive a reply to a basic inquiry within a business day, please always resend your message 
  2. SuperMemo 2000 can be used in Windows 2000. All pros and cons are described here: Using SuperMemo 2000 in Windows 2000

Dutch SuperMemo (#8155)
(Wil Hoefnagels, Netherlands, Thu, Nov 22, 2001 7:31 AM)
Question:
I ordered SuperMemo on line. I have discovered that I could also have a version in Dutch. Is it possible to change to the Dutch version?
Answer:
Unfortunately, SuperMemo for Windows is only available with an English interface. However, you can change the interface on the beginner and basic levels with the help of interface files (incl. Dutch interface)


Simplicity vs. Power (#7510)
(Jeromy Wong, USA Educational, Friday, October 26, 2001 6:17 AM )
Question:
SuperMemo is too complicated to transfer an element from one tree branch to another. In my opinion, customer prefers a user-friendly not powerful software!
Answer:
The intent of File : Level : Beginner option was to keep SuperMemo as simple as possible. As branch operations in the content tree are optional (i.e. they are not needed to effectively apply spaced repetition), these were excluded from this level. In other words the compromise between power and user-friendliness is a never-ending battle. Some users view certain options as unnecessary complexity, while other will demand their existence at the lowest entry levels. The present shape of this difficult compromise can be judged by restricting one's use of the program to the beginner level. Again, tree operations are optional and go beyond that level


Unlocking SuperMemo (#7476)
(Jeremy T. H., Sun, Oct 28, 2001 17:22)
Question:
I am very interested in SuperMemo. Please send me a password, etc.
Answer:
Passwords are used to unlock commercial versions of SuperMemo. As such they are only sent to customers who order one of these products. However, there are non-commercial options to explore: (1) You can use SuperMemo freeware, (2) You can download a trial version, (3) You can write to library@super-memory.com to obtain SuperMemo in return for a declaration to contribute your own material to SuperMemo Library (e.g. questions and answers related to your hobby, etc.)


You can automate generating simple question-answer elements (#7497)
(Danielle Kugler, Wednesday, October 24, 2001 11:56 AM )
Question:
My primary use of SuperMemo has been for learning Chinese, which means I add 100-150 words at a time (vocabulary lists). Is there any way to do this in a list format rather than individually generating every card?
Answer:
If you combine the use of Ctrl+A (add a new item) with Esc (moving between question answer fields), you may discover that SuperMemo is actually the fastest way of adding new material (only one extra keystroke per field plus one keystroke per item - no mouse operations). 

If you already have your lists available as text, the fastest method might be to use incremental reading tools: 

  1. Use Ctrl+Alt+N to paste the text into a new element 
  2. Select individual pairs and choose Remember extract on the Read toolbar
  3. During the review, choose Remember cloze on each pair depending on the priority and availability of time. This method has an added advantages of picking up lots of phrases already at the review stage. See also: Incremental reading

Finally, you can prepare a text file containing question-and-answer pairs like the ones presented below. You can import such a file to SuperMemo with File : Tools : Import : Q&A text option (Ctrl+Shift+E): 

Q: Who was the Italian pre-Renaissance painter that painted "Christ Entering Jerusalem"? 
A: Duccio Di Buoninsegna 

Q: When did Duccio Di Buoninsegna live? 
A: 1255-1318 

Q: Of which nationality was Duccio Di Buoninsegna? 
A: Italian 

Q: Where does "Christ Entering Jerusalem" by Duccio Di Buoninsegna hang? 
A: Cathedral Museum in Siena 

Q: Which school was Duccio Di Buoninsegna from? 
A: Sienese, Pre-Renaissance 

Q: What was one of the famous paintings by Duccio Di Buoninsegna? 
A: Christ Entering Jerusalem


SuperMemo does not suport UNC pathnames (#7559)
(Joe Cotellese, Fri, Nov 02, 2001 3:24)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Access denied! System locked: \\gypsy\my documents\sm2000\systems\Knowledge Tree.Kno"
Answer:
Unfortunately UNC pathnames are not supported in SuperMemo 2000. Mapping this network path to a drive letter is the only workaround


Compiling lexicon is a time-consuming operation (#7481)
(Robert W., Friday, October 26, 2001 11:01 AM )
Question:
When I use search, I do not see recently introduced words. Why?
Answer:
Probably you have Tools : Options : Data access : Compile lexicon on the fly turned off. You need to run File : Repair collection with Rebuild lexicon turned on. You an also return to compiling the lexicon on the fly; however, this slows down SuperMemo


Use Remember or Ctrl+M to make sure SuperMemo refreshes your memory regularly (#8746)
(Leitnick, David, Monday, December 17, 2001 10:56 PM)
Question:
At the bottom of the screen, what does the Remember button (Ctrl+M) do?
Answer:
Remember is used to introduce an element to the learning process. It is the same as introducing it with Learn. However, Remember is immediate and you do not need to wait for the element's turn in the pending queue. Once you choose Remember, SuperMemo will regularly refresh your knowledge of the selected element


Installation problems (#7546)
(Craig Tran, Fri, Nov 02, 2001 3:20 )
Question:
I just ordered Grammar Mix and I can not make it run on my computer which is running Window 2000
Answer:
Please report in detail what error messages you are receiving, what steps are difficult, etc. Detailed installation instructions are available from: Installing SuperMemo (section 4: Installing collections from SuperMemo Library). In addition, you can get best support in reference to the learning material from library@super-memory.com 


Failure at posting order form may result in an order not being placed (#7564)
(Veronika Feder, Belgium, Thu, Nov 01, 2001 10:16 AM )
Question:
I have ordered SuperMemo 2000 but I haven't received any confirmation
Answer:
There are two most likely scenarios: 1. Your computer or the network failed to correctly post data from the order form. In such a case the order will not be registered and you will receive no response, or 2. You have typed a wrong e-mail address on the form. In such a case, all responses will be sent to the wrong address You should receive an immediate confirmation of your order via e-mail (unless you unchecked the confirmation checkbox). If this was not the case, please write to SuperMemoMail 


With Ctrl+A you may never know there is a knowledge hierarchy behind (#318)
(Janusz Murakowski, USA Educational, Thursday, November 01, 2001 8:14 PM)
Question:
It is not true that you don't need branch operation for simple learning. SuperMemo will barf if you exceed some 1000 elements in a single branch, so you do have to organize your knowledge
Answer:
If you use the beginner level's Add new (Ctrl+A), SuperMemo will organize the knowledge tree folders to meet the maximum children limit per branch. Once the branch overflows, it will automatically be reorganized. At the beginner level, you never need to worry about the existence of the knowledge tree


SuperMemo 2000 is poorly extensible (#7504)
(Chris Moses, Wednesday, October 24, 2001 1:25 AM )
Question:
I was wondering if there is any sort of API for SuperMemo. The largest single problem I have is the amount of time I spend inserting information. I would like to create some tools to facilitate this process. In particular, I would like to create some tools to automatically insert information based on pre-existing templates/categories
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 isn't well suited for such an extension. You could try to generate data in its internal text format (see: File : Tools : Export : As text). This format is human readable but you won't find a formal specification at supermemo.com. For comfort, we plan to develop a universal XML-based data-exchange format for all SuperMemo platforms. In the future, you will be able to manipulate XML data and develop your own authoring tools for learning with SuperMemo


The use of spell-pad should be restricted to spelling exercises (#7510)
(Jeromy Wong, USA Educational, Friday, October 26, 2001 6:17 AM )
Question:
I prefer the function of interactive learning, i.e. to be able to type my answer in comparison with the original input answer
Answer:
Except for spelling exercises, the use of Spell-Pad component in SuperMemo should be limited. Research shows that using the Spell-Pad component slows down the learning process without improving retention or reducing the number of repetitions per item. On spelling exercises, where the use of the Spell-Pad is necessary, you can convert your standard question-answer element to a question-spelling element with the Spelling template in the template registry. For example, choose Ctrl+Shift+M (Apply Template), type "Spell" and press Enter. To permanently use the spelling template, set it as the default template in your current category (e.g. with Ctrl+Alt+S). This will make sure that the Spelling template is used on all newly added elements


Modify templates in elements that use them (#7816)
(tomkin242, Nov 05, 2001)
Question:
How do I add an image to a template?
Answer:
In the element that uses the template, add an image (e.g. paste it). Then choose Template : Save with objects and save the template under the old name. This way, all elements using the old template will display the image. For performance reasons, when saving with objects, you should should clear all components from content that is not to be used by the template (be sure you are using Build 10.09 due to an object registration bug in Save with objects)


SuperMemo 7 Freeware might be your best choice if you want to use floppy disks (#7552)
(Sonya Buckman, Wednesday, October 31, 2001 4:21 AM)
Question:
Can I use SuperMemo on many computers that change all the time? Is there a way to run the programme from a disk?
Answer:
You can use SuperMemo on many computers. You will need at least two diskettes. One to store the program (1.3MB as ZIP), and another one to store your learning material. In those circumstances, you might opt for SuperMemo 98 which generates slightly smaller collections than SuperMemo 2000. Perhaps you could even swing back to SuperMemo 7 freeware which is able to store the entire Advanced English on a single disk (Advanced English 97 takes 40 MB excluding 650 MB of sound). If your computers have access to e-mail or the web, you could also transfer files by sending them over the Internet 


SuperMemo releases are not announced in advance (#7836)
(SCHIPHORST,ROGER (A-SantaClara), Saturday, November 03, 2001 1:35 PM)
Question:
Could you please inform me when the next release of SuperMemo will be available?
Answer:
To prevent the "vaporware syndrome" and resulting degradation in quality, we consistently avoid setting up release deadlines and pre-release announcements


Your backup strategy will depend on the value of your material (#7864)
(Don Frankel, Sunday, October 07, 2001 8:05 PM)
Question:
Do you recommend several collection backups on the C:\ drive in different directories?
Answer:
It depends on the value of your material. If you have invested a lot of time in your collection, you should spare no effort to provide multiple and versatile backups. For example, for your main body of knowledge, you could do a daily backup on your hard disk. You could also change your backup drive if you have more than one physical disk to reduce the likelihood of disaster in case your hard drive fails. Then you should do some less frequent backups on other computers via the network, on a CDR drive, or at some Internet location. If neither is an option, you should seriously consider investing in a backup device (e.g. a ZIP drive). Once you lose your learning material, your learning investment will be eaten away quickly by the power of forgetting. Backups in different directories are not much safer than backups to the same directory unless the directory in question is in danger of being accidentally deleted (e.g. on a family computer)


Dismiss should eliminate an element from the learning process (#7998)
(Art Tsay, Thursday, November 08, 2001 3:11 PM)
Question:
I got an article by Ctrl+Alt+R. Read it, extract some items, and then dismiss it. But when I learn by pressing Ctrl+L, this original article still shows up
Answer:
Dismiss
(Ctrl+D) should make sure you never see the article again in your learning process. If this repeats you might check if you do not accidentally return the article to the learning process with Remember, Drill, or some shortcut combination


Wrong A-Factor distribution error is harmless (#7561)
(Joanna Sierpowska, Finland, Fri, Nov 02, 2001 8:31)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Wrong A-Factor distribution"
Answer:
This error is usually harmless. It indicates that SuperMemo keeps a wrong A-Factor statistic. This statistic is only for your information, and does not affect the learning process. However, this error should not normally occur and may indicate a more serious underlying cause (e.g. file error, erroneous backup, etc.). Running basic File : Repair collection will correct this statistic


There is no remedy to interference (#7982)
(Justin, Wed, Nov 07, 2001 23:58)
Question:
What should I do when I get two successive elements that are identical but flipped (i.e. the question goes in the place of the answer)? The first card obviously "refreshes" my memory -- so the "testing" of the second item is inaccurate. I usually just click Fail ('D'), which I is bad for the learning process
Answer:
Your only remedy is introspection and an honest attempt to estimate how you would have scored had the refreshing item not been presented. Otherwise, scoring Bad or Fail should not do much damage to the learning process. In the long run (i.e. when intervals increase) and with a high volume of the learning material, this is usually not a problem to worry about. Successive occurrence of similar items is rare in such circumstances


You can transfer your material from SuperMemo for Amiga to SuperMemo 2000 (#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 2000 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 in SuperMemo 2000 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 elements at least once. Naturally, due to shorter intervals, your workload will increase for some time afterwards


Default background image is the name of the image registry member (not a file) (#6271)
(Safecity Training Academy, Australia, Sat, Dec 29, 2001 5:59 PM)
Question:
When you try to change the background image by pointing to a certain image file (e.g. d:\supermemo\bak.bmp), SuperMemo ignores the command and installs a completely different image!
Answer:
If you want a BMP file used as a background image, you need to import it to the image registry or choose Background : Import file on the element menu. If you want to use Default background image in Options, you need to provide an image name from the image registry. If you type a filename instead, the nearest match from the image registry will be used (e.g. "Cockroach" or "Cook" instead of "c:\ocr\picture.bmp")


Build Lexicon can be safely skipped in Verification and Recovery (#6241)
(Patrik Nilsson, Wednesday, January 02, 2002 2:42 PM)
Question:
How long is the normal time for repairing a collection? When I had a few hundred elements fewer the same repair took about ten minutes. The last hundred made this process take much longer. Thirty-five minutes for registering components
Answer:
A large 100,000 element collection may take an hour to verify (or longer on slower computers). The most likely reason for the slow down is adding long articles when Build Lexicon is checked. As Build Lexicon is the least vital and the longest taking verification step, you can safely skip it. If you do not build lexicon on the fly (see: Options), the lexicon will only miss words used in newly added material. This will not affect the binary search


You can easily copy SuperMemo to another computer (#8059)
(paul Greig (through Yahoo! Store Order System), Japan, Sat, Nov 17, 2001 8:20)
Question:
I have a desktop which I was able to download SuperMemo ok but I couldn't download to my laptop. The laptop has Windows 98. How can I use it for the laptop?
Answer:
Copy the downloaded file to your laptop. All other installation instructions are the same. The file fits on a single diskette


You can convert your topics to tasks (#7221)
(Mike Condron, Saturday, September 29, 2001 2:43 AM)
Question:
It would be very nice if there were some way of adding a note to an element, or flagging it for a follow-up action. For example, sometimes I have contradictory information between elements and need to research them further
Answer:
You can open Element Parameters (Ctrl+Shift+P) and change the element type to task. Choose the relevant tasklist and describe the follow up action in the task description. This method can also be used on items; however, once they become tasks they will be passively reviewed using the same algorithm as in topic review


Registration codes propagate between collections (#8063)
(Dominik Flejter, Poland, Sun, Nov 18, 2001 1:51 AM)
Question:
I purchased MegaMix and upgraded my Advanced English 97 to SuperMemo 98. Why does SuperMemo ask me to register?
Answer:
It should be enough to open any collection from MegaMix to propagate the registration code to your Advanced English collection. Open the registered collection first and then open the unregistered collection. For more see: Unlocking SuperMemo 


You need RealAudio player to make use of *.RA files (#7890)
(Jerome, Nov 20, 2001)
Question:
I imported an *.ra file and get the following error: Cannot open player device. Cannot determine the device type from the given filename extension
Answer:
You need to have RealAudio player installed and registered on your system


Error message in SuperMemo (#3875)
(jam, USA, USA Educational, Sat, Apr 28, 2001 18:08)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: Cannot get the current Contents selection. Access violation at address 00521020
Answer:
SuperMemo has just tripped over on a basic item selection in the Contents window. This indicates that the program or your Windows have become unstable. SuperMemo's address space has been corrupted by another application, hardware glitch, software bug, etc. If you restart SuperMemo and Windows, the problem should not reoccur


Flatter forgetting curve does not increase optimum interval (#6338)
(Tomasz P. Szynalski, Saturday, August 04, 2001 5:53 AM)
Question:
If the forgetting curve is flatter for difficult items, I will remember them for a longer time, right? Does that suggest that ill-formulated items are remembered better?
Answer:
No. Flattened forgetting curve will increase retention measurements in intervals that are a multiple of the optimum interval as compared with the typical negatively exponential curve for well-structured material. However, the optimum intervals for ill-formulated items will expectedly be shorter as can be observed on the first interval graph in Tools : Statistics : Analysis : Graphs : First Interval. The smoothness of this graph depends on the number of repetitions recorded. In the picture below, over 90,000 repetitions have been recorded


Use Simulation to estimate workload (#4919)
(Piotr Wasik, Poland, Tue, Apr 24, 2001 14:26)
Question:
I would like to know how to estimate my workload on a large collection if I commit 40 items per day and keep the forgetting index at the default ten percent
Answer:
If you use Tools : Statistics : Simulation and set: (1) the forgetting index to 10%, and (2) daily repetitions to 230 items, you will get 40 new items memorized per day. In other words, your workload might roughly be 230 items/day (this will vary greatly depending on the quality of your learning material)


Error message in SuperMemo (#8188)
(Pascal Heimlicher, Switzerland, Sat, Nov 24, 2001 17:30)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Multiple filespace entries at: C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Pascal Heimlicher\Eigene Dateien\Archiv\Wissen\SuperMemo Lerndateien\Wissen\elements\8"
Answer:
The most likely reason for this error is adding filespace entries (e.g. images) with no access to secondary storage (e.g. CDR with other images, HTML files, etc.). This error can also occur if your computer crashes during filespace operations (e.g. deleting pictures, sounds, etc.). The problem can be remedied by running File : Repair collection with Verify filespace checked. Overlapping files will be separated. Stray filespace objects will be moved to a separate folder named: Recover. You can inspect that folder to see if removed files do not belong to important learning data


Cloze deletions are meant to be born via incremental reading (#7969)
(bennnyz15, Tuesday, November 06, 2001 2:14 PM)
Question:
I wish SuperMemo would automatically remove the parent of Cloze Deletions from the testing cycle. It doesn't make sense for the parent to be thrown in into the testing cycle by default
Answer:
Removing the parent of cloze deletions would disable a vital component of incremental reading. Imagine you paste a valuable piece of information into SuperMemo. For example: 

endocr: Angiotensin II causes the adrenal cortex to release aldosterone, and more water reabsorption means an increase in blood pressure

This piece will enter the review process. Once you decide the piece is important enough and you believe you are having a hazy recollection on its contents, you begin generating cloze deletions one by one. Perhaps you will generate only one cloze per review cycle! Ultimately, the above example may generate 9 individual cloze deletions (keywords marked brown). You will then dismiss the parent topic only after you are sure that the generated clozes convey all vital information you decided to remember. Cases were a single cloze is generated from a topic stand in minority. In addition, the cost of Dismiss is just a single key press (Ctrl+D). This is why dismissing parent topics by default is not provided even as an option


Use Child menu to open sub-browsers (#8216)
(Patrik Nilsson, Monday, November 26, 2001 6:31 PM)
Question:
Once I select elements in the Sel column in the browser, how can I process them in a separate new browser?
Answer:
Use Child : Selected on the browser's menu


All forms of sleep "regulation" should be avoided (#8225)
(ZM, Thu, Nov 29, 2001 12:00)
Question:
Even without an alarm clock, I noticed that late falling asleep gives me a bad night. I usually get up at 6-8 no matter when I fall asleep. After one New Year's Eve, I fell a sleep at 7, and got up at 8
Answer:
Yes. This is exactly what you should expect in a healthy individual. Your arising hour is strongly dependent on your circadian cycle and it is only slightly shifted by going to sleep late. As much as an alarm clock, delaying sleep is also a form of sleep regulation and should be avoided. The only exception is when delay is executed in order to fit the circadian cycle. Delaying retirement may be less drastic than using the alarm clock (the sleep cycle is not interrupted artificially), but is also highly detrimental to sleep quality. As for your New Year's Eve, you would better wait until the next sleep cycle and go to sleep, for example, only at 15-19, so that your strong homeostatic sleepiness would let you sleep until your evening circadian low kicks in giving you many hours of sound sleep. Better yet, you could cut your party short at an earlier hour


Scrollbars appear if the content of the element window goes beyond its client area (#8203)
(tomkin243, Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:48 pm)
Question:
I have a scrolling problem. Two scrollbars appear: one on the rtf-text, and one on the element window. Often these two overlap, and one is inaccessible
Answer:
The obstructing element window scrollbar will appear if your RTF text component is larger than element's client area. There are two solutions: 

  1. Increase the size of the element window, and preserve it by saving the windows layout (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+F5
  2. Reduce the size of the RTF window. For example, click the window and grab one of its edges (you may need to use the element window scrollbar here to reach the bottom-left corner of the RTF window)

One of 1985 experiments was inconclusive (#6342)
(Tomasz P. Szynalski, Saturday, August 04, 2001 1:33 PM)
Question:
I see that one of early experiments showed that constant 18-day intervals were better than increasing intervals. So how does this prove the validity of SuperMemo?
Answer:
This 1985 experiment does not prove validity of SuperMemo. Nor does it disprove it. In that respect, it is simply inconclusive. The experiment was an attempt to "guess" optimum increase in intervals and the guess appeared wrong. If the underlying hypothesis was that increasing intervals are always better than equally distributed intervals, then this experiment proved that hypothesis wrong. Obviously, if equal intervals are short enough or the increase in the length of intervals is too fast, equal-interval schedule may appear superior. This is why, in the long run, we need to use a computer to optimally adjust the repetition schedule to the defined level of knowledge retention


You can memorize en masse with negligible detriment to the learning process (#8563)
(lawyer7, Wed, Oct 11, 2000 19:57)
Question:
If I promise myself to learn 30-50 items per day, I usually keep on learning for 7-10 days and then I say "I don't have time" or "I will learn more later", etc. I can find hundreds of excuses to not learn new material. To urge lazybones like me you should add an option which adds to every single day a number of "promised" items. Now I can do this by selecting memorize branch and then the reschedule option, but those items have intervals that are not equal to intervals of newly memorized items
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 is insensitive to delays resulting from automatic memorization of a large number of items. You cannot harm the learning process using your method. You can always shorten the intervals with Ctrl+J (Jump Interval). With Postpone (Ctrl+Alt+P) you will also manage to resolve material overflow (at the cost of retention naturally). With these tools, all you need to focus on is learning and motivation. You do not have to worry about numbers or limits. If you thus reduce the stress load and manage to make learning more fun, your acquisition rate will benefit mainly by the fact that you will be willing to add extra minutes to your daily learning. It is also important to remember, that reduced retention may actually increase your acquisition rate. With sufficient concentration and good quality of the learning material, it is difficult to overload the learning process to the degree when the acquisition rate drops (i.e. when the forgetting index reaches beyond 30%)


Most installation problems can be resolved easily (#8498)
(valushka, Tue, Dec 04, 2001 5:33 AM)
Question:
I have difficulties with downloading English in the Streets. I have tried to download on my desktop and I have created a new folder in my documents. Unfortunately I cannot open either
Answer:
Check the following: 


Virtual knowledge market can help you with tasklists (#6534)
(Reinhard K. Koehler (neusob), Germany, Saturday, August 11, 2001 1:06 PM)
Question:
You suggest that tasklist valuations can be used to prioritize material for learning. But for categorizing the material in a exam there is no market! So how do I evaluate the prices?
Answer:
You can create a virtual market in your mind. Imagine that you use your spending power for shopping for knowledge. You go to individual shops offering "Biology at $X" or "Mathematics at $Y". You must answer the question: "How much money would I be ready to pay for instantly memorizing this piece of learning material?" Would you pay $100,000 for a 5-page article on cancer? Or would it rather only be $0.1? In most cases the answer will fall in-between. With time you will hone your valuation skills and assign values effortlessly. Clearly, one buyer is enough to make a market. Virtual knowledge sellers will adapt prices to your demand. The demand is up to you. It is determined by your spending power and your need for new knowledge


Splitting final drill into smaller portions may provide short-lasting benefit (#8515)
(Will Bunker, Monday, December 03, 2001 11:22 PM)
Question:
I was wondering if there is a reason that you drill all unremembered items concurrently. When you have a large list of new items that you are attempting to learn this makes it hard to learn new items. In the past I always chunked 7 to 9 items at a time as I drilled with flash cards. Then as I learned some of the items I would add new unknown items to my drill list
Answer:
Ideally, you should work on your mnemonic and concentration skills to make final drill redundant. Naturally, chunking the drill in smaller portions makes it possible to pass the drill much faster, but the retention over the following days will be lower. Some record breaking attempts were made where 2000 items were memorized with SuperMemo in a single day in small chunks. However, on the next day, the retention was less than 50%. Small chunks may reduce inter-item interference and as such may also result in less univocal memory engrams that will prove more volatile


You will receive assistance if you fail to download (#8497)
(David, USA, Tue, Dec 04, 2001 9:17)
Question:
I ordered SuperMemo on Friday, Nov. 30th. Problem is, my ISP was AT&T@Home cable, and they used Excite for their ISP service. Excite went bankrupt and ceased operations the same night I order SuperMemo. What shall I do now?
Answer:
You will immediately receive alternative download instructions. As long as you have access to the Internet, you will soon certainly enjoy faster learning with SuperMemo


Increased self-confidence is a frequent side effect of using SuperMemo (#8236)
(Francoise, Wed Nov 21, 2001 10:46 pm)
Question:
I am keen to improve my vocabulary and have been battling illness. Trying to learn Share Trading without much success. My concentration or memory are NOT working at all it seems. But with SuperMemo I'm sure I will be able to remember all those abbreviations and their meanings
Answer:
Indeed, SuperMemo is ideally suited for learning vocabulary. However, your problem may be the high similarity of individual items that results in interference. In other words, you confuse items among each other. If not applied patiently and methodically, SuperMemo may even add to frustration as it will extract those hardest pieces and torture you with these ad nauseam. You will need to improve your mnemonic techniques and exercise patience. As for memory and concentration complaints, a large portion of population believe they are in the same trouble. This rarely has a true underlying cause beyond lack of basic mnemonic and concentration skills. If your vocabulary scores improve, your confidence will increase and perhaps help your remove those self-imposed limitations. This is a frequent and a highly welcome side effect of learning with SuperMemo


You can paste Chinese pictures with Shift+Ins (#8535)
(Leitnick, David, Fri, Dec 07, 2001 1:51 AM)
Question:
I've found a good Chinese/English dictionary at http://www.ok88.com/go/svc/ecdict.html. It displays the Chinese characters as .gif pictures. How do I paste these pictures to SuperMemo
Answer:
First copy the picture to the clipboard. Then you paste it with Shift+Ins or with Ctrl+V. Be sure that no text component is in the editing mode. That would attempt to paste text. If you are not sure what editing mode is, simply press Esc 2-3 times (this will take you to the display mode)


You can keep text and pictures in separate components (#8538)
(Gabor Schmera, Saturday, December 01, 2001 7:57 AM)
Question:
Is the rich-text component capable of displaying embedded pictures?
Answer:
No. However, for most applications, it should be enough if you paste your pictures into separate image components (e.g. Ctrl+V on an element in display mode). The advantage of this approach is that on each cloze and extract in incremental reading, the pictures propagate as context


SuperMemo has not been adapted to run in Windows XP (#8581)
(saulo, Brazil, Sat, Dec 08, 2001 3:22)
Question:
Is there any compatibility problem with SuperMemo in Windows XP?
Answer:
SuperMemo has not been specifically adapted to run in Windows XP. You can download a trial version and see if the program behaves correctly in your particular setup


Registries can hold only one member with a given name (#8284)
(Patrik Nilsson, Friday, November 30, 2001 7:35 PM)
Question:
When using search and replace in the text registry browser, errors occur when replacing a text with a text that already exists in the registry. The error is not displayed immediately but when repairing the collection. The duplicated items are replaced and the first character is always "#"
Answer:
This is a design problem. All registries, except the translation registry, consider two entries with the same name as error. However, duplicates are not made unique when discovered. Instead, they are marked with # on registry rebuild. This makes it easy to locate elements containing the offending members and take appropriate action. On one hand you can rename these member in the registry (e.g. ;'#Clinton' to '#Bill Clinton'). On the other, you can go to elements using member texts and change those texts in the element. If the name is changed back to the offending duplicate (e.g. '#Clinton' to 'Clinton'), the offending member will be deleted and replaced with the original 'Clinton' member. Note that this change must be made inside any text component (i.e. not within the text registry)


Advanced English does not auto-run (#6702)
(Dr Ephrem Habyarimana, Italy, Wed, Jan 16, 2002 7:59 AM)
Question:
None of the CDs of Advanced English auto-run on my computer. I am using Windows XP Home Edition
Answer:
The installation program is located on CD #1 of Advanced English. It is named INSTALL.EXE. If you run this program, the rest of the installation process should be easy. You can run the installer by typing <CD Drive Letter>:\Install in Start : Run (in Windows). <CD Drive Letter> stands for your CD-ROM drive letter. For example, if your CD-ROM is denoted E:, type E:\INSTALL


Registry files errors are very dangerous (#6327)
(Willem Brugmans, 12-1-2002 18:12:01)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: Fatal error! Cannot open registry files Registry=D:\supermemo2000\systems\WillemEigenSpaans\registry\tasklist. File not found
Answer:
Registry file errors are very dangerous. You should immediately back up your learning material and run File : Repair collection. In your case, "File not found" error might indicate there were some errors in copying your collection or it was wrongly restored from a backup. Manual changes in files could also cause similar problems. The registry in question here is the tasklist registry which does not hold learning material data. Nevertheless, you should carefully watch for similar errors in the future. At worst, please send your learning material to bugs(AT)supermemo(.)com for inspection


Incremental reading is superior to traditional reading in the long run (#8571)
(SuperMemo R&D (Tech), Fri, Dec 07, 2001 7:42)
Question:
When I read, I usually read very fast through the article and one pass is usually enough. My impression is that I do not need incremental reading
Answer:

  1. In incremental reading you can read even faster. This is because you never have to worry that you skip an important part. If you are not sure you extract all important details from a piece, you just extract it and introduce it into a future review process. In the future, you will come back to that piece, by which time it may appear already irrelevant and will be deleted 
  2. Memories are always subject to forgetting. Whatever valuable information you gather in incremental reading can be forgotten as much as anything else you learn. Pieces that would be retained without SuperMemo (e.g. through use), produce minimum workload. Other pieces will allow you to never need to come back to the article in question again. In conclusion, all knowledge that you need in the long-run, should be best acquired via incremental reading. Traditional reading can still be used for entertainment, temporary knowledge (e.g. how to install a sound board), curiosity (e.g. news), etc.

SuperMemo does not use "Save As" because it does not keep files in memory (#8633)
(mark, Denmark, Sunday, September 23, 2001 1:42 PM)
Question:
I suggest you rename Copy collection to Save as as in most applications (e.g. MS Office). The difference between Copy and Save as, is that Copy leaves the user in the collection and not in the new copy. Save as leaves the user in the new file. You could also give the user a choice: Do you want to continue working in the file or switch to the new file?
Answer:
The main difference between SuperMemo and most Office applications is that SuperMemo collections are not kept in computer's memory but its files are kept on the user's disk. Some collections grow to hundreds of megabytes and reading them all into memory would: (1) clog less resourceful computers, (2) take time, (3) make user data vulnerable to power outages and other disasters. Using Save as would be misleading in this sense that Save as leaves the old copy unchanged, while Copy creates an identical duplicate. In old SuperMemos, indeed the new collection would be open after copy. However, users frequently complained that this left them confused. In addition, the user optimally works with one collections that keeps all his or her vital knowledge and uses Copy collection only to back up his data. In other words, unlike with office application, the user will sculpt his only work of art instead of developing many independent pieces of work in progress. Last but not least, Office applications that keep files on the hard disk do not use Save as either. For example, Front Page uses Close Web while Save as is reserved only for individual files. MS Outlook keeps all data in one static file, while Save as is reserved for saving individual items (e.g. pieces of e-mail), etc. Providing an option as to which file should be opened would add to program's complexity. If the user wants to switch to the newly created file, (s)he can choose Alt+F and 1 (for File : 1.[recent copy])


Internationalization of SuperMemo for Windows is highly limited (#8645)
(Berthold Schwarz, Sat, Dec 15, 2001 11:26)
Question:
Is there a possibility to choose menu language using SuperMemo according to the nation a user is living in? Or is it always English?
Answer:
SuperMemo provides rudimentary internationalization only at the beginner level. For more see: Freeware international interfaces


Sleeping in wrong hours may be as bad as not sleeping at all (#8672)
Question:
If deviations in habitual sleep time produce performance losses equivalent to those produced by shortened sleep (Taub & Berger, 1976), does it not imply that sleep deprivation is not as important as the disruption to the circadian cycle itself? Perhaps sleep is not as important as keeping the circadian rhythm?
Answer:
No. It is true that sleep in wrong hours may be worse than no sleep at all but this only indicates that sleep needs to be properly synchronized with the circadian cycle to play its physiological function. A delicate neurohormonal balance triggers individual phases of sleep that interplay in optimizing memory storage. The quoted research should only strengthen the conviction that the societal damage produced by alarm clocks is enormous


It is possible to roughly estimate the amount of time needed for learning a portion of material (#8682)
(Patrik Nilsson, Tuesday, December 18, 2001 11:53 AM)
Question:
Can Tools : Statistics : Simulation help me figure out the date when it is expected that I manage my learning material?
Answer:
Once you introduce an item into the learning process and execute all outstanding repetitions, it is SuperMemo's responsibility to ensure the desired level of retention. For that reason, you can assume that you "managed" your material as soon as it has been introduced into the learning process. Consequently, you do not need to run Simulation. If you want to memorize 1000 items and you decide to introduce 10 items per day into the learning process, you will "manage" the material in 1000/10=100 days. Now you can use Simulation to try to estimate how much work this will require. A rule of thumb is that you need 10x more effort for repetitions than for learning new material. This could indicate that if you memorize 10 items per day, you may expect 100 repetitions per day (at least in the initial period). This number may vary greatly depending on the difficulty of the material and your learning skills and techniques. Use Simulation to get a better estimate. With rescheduling tools (e.g. Postpone), you can also reduce the daily load of repetitions; however, you will then suffer some loss in retention. Another rule of thumb is that to increase your forgetting index from 10% to 20% you would need to either (1) massively overload the learning process (e.g. by increasing the inflow of material 10-fold), or (2) dramatically cut down on the learning effort (e.g. by 90%). For more see: Theoretical aspects of SuperMemo


You can count lapses for a subset (#8682)
(Patrik Nilsson, Tuesday, December 18, 2001 11:53 AM)
Question:
How can I see how many memory lapses occurred in a given subset of elements?
Answer:
You could try two methods: 

  1. Filter your collection for a given level of lapses and intersect the result with your subset (use View : Filter and Subset : Intersect
  2. Open your subset, sort it for lapses (Sort : By forgetting) and count lapses groups

Memorized material always comes back for repetition (#8748)
(Leitnick, David, Monday, December 17, 2001 10:56 PM)
Question:
I created my first list of 100 peg words in a file I call "Mnemonics". I scored Bright or Good on everything until I got to the end of the list. It's been 2 weeks and SuperMemo 2000 never gave me a review for that file when I select it. Shouldn't I still be prompted for a review at some point in time?
Answer:
You should have already been prompted for review. It is not enough to open your Mnemonics collection. You need to choose Learn to execute repetitions. Use Tools : Workload (Ctrl+W) to see on which date the repetitions have been scheduled. Make sure you do not manipulate the date in the computer, do not input "dummy" grades and do not trick SuperMemo in any other way to overestimate your memory


SuperMemo does not interrupt learning new material (#8121)
(Leitnick, David, Monday, December 17, 2001 10:56 PM)
Question:
I downloaded the GRE vocabulary off of the freeware section of your site. It was overloading me with information, like it was going to show me all 1,000+ words before it stopped. I was getting information overload
Answer:
In SuperMemo you need to distinguish two phases: 1. Learning new material 2. Reviewing old material SuperMemo will schedule repetitions of the old material for you. However, it is up to you to decide how much new material you want to learn. It all depends on your time or patience. Once your time is up, you feel tired, or you predict you will not be able to cope with future repetitions, you can stop learning. SuperMemo will not interrupt learning new material


Contents window, Desktop and MindMaps (#8722)
(luisgustavo, Brazil, Tuesday, December 18, 2001 6:12 PM)
Question:
I believe the Contents window can be improved into a whole map system. Maybe a mind map or maybe even a real map with houses and buildings like SimCity. Don't you think items shouldn't be limited to options designed for dealing with files and disks, which are much simpler than our memory?
Answer:
Contents window is not supposed to reflect structures kept in your memory. That function is reserved to the content of individual elements independent of their place in the knowledge tree. Knowledge tree is a purely navigational tool that is designed for classifying pieces of knowledge. It serves the same purpose as folders and files on a computer, namely: putting pieces of information in the right pigeonhole. If MindMap or SimCity models are a superior form for building information hierarchy, the same question should be asked to Bill Gates in reference to his operating systems. Unfortunately, implemented solutions are always a compromise between the simplicity of use, simplicity of learning, simplicity of the underlying implementation model and performance, which in turn depends on currently prevalent processor speed, availability of RAM, quality of software development tools, etc. Last but not least, SuperMemo's life is by far easier if it adopts new standards pioneered in Windows than to enforce its own standards that add to technical complexity. The only exception are solutions that enhance learning itself. Here we are ready for hard pioneering battles


In case of lost data, you can receive help independent of the date of your original order (#8692)
(ismail cuneyt guzey, Turkey, Tue, Dec 18, 2001 8:57)
Question:
I have purchased SuperMemo 98 long ago and been a satisfied customer. Unfortunately due to a PC crash I lost a lot of data, including the files that had my password to unlock the program. I know that it has been a long time but I hope you can help
Answer:
You will always receive help in restoring your data. The date of your original order is not important. It is worth knowing though that if your learning material survived, you do not need any help from us. All you need to do is to download your version of SuperMemo again and open your surviving material. Your SuperMemo will unlock automatically


Feedback from confused users is vital to improving the documentation (#8783)
(Safecity Training Academy, Australia, Sat, Dec 29, 2001 5:59 PM)
Question:
SuperMemo documentation needs to be better organized. Even a simple feature such as changing the default background colour is still a mystery after reading volumes and volumes of explanations which lead to more explanations and no solution at all
Answer:

  1. Such documentation holes can only be fixed if we receive feedback from customers. Changing the background color is not part of the step-by-step guide as this derives from the understanding of context menus which are documented on their own as a separate conceptual step (see: element menu). To remedy this difficulty, you would need to describe where and how you searched for the answer and where you would expect to find help. However, the degree of hyperlinking between individual documents and the number of "side notes" and explanation is so confusing for precisely that reason: trying to patch all individual "search path holes" of individuals customers trying to find individual pieces of information. This is a universal problem typical of all extensive pieces of documentation. It seems to grow endlessly 
  2. You can change the background color by choosing Color on the element pop-up menu (right click over the element area)

Credit card number may occasionally be used for identification purposes (#6213)
(Juarez Barreto, Brazil, Sun, Jan 06, 2002 14:49)
Question:
I have ordered the free update, but I didn't understand. We have to pay $17.00 for the update? I already have SuperMemo 2000
Answer:
The update is free. Your credit card number is only used for identification purposes. There will be no charges on orders from qualified customers


Combining multiple pieces of information in one item is not recommended (#6101)
(Telepolis, Spain, Thursday, December 20, 2001 1:57 PM)
Question:
What would happen if you presented the pronunciation sound at the same time as its correspondent word? If you are not looking at the screen you are improving the comprehension, and if you are looking, you can check the spelling too. The associative learning will increase
Answer:
Ideally, you should adjust the mode of repetition to your goal. For that purpose it is better to separate learning the pronunciation, from learning the spelling, and from learning the semantics or synonyms. This means that you can create several items for the same word. Experience shows that this is the most efficient method. This is how Advanced English was designed. However, it is rather impractical to produce all combinations of items for all words and synonyms. For that reason, Advanced English includes the pronunciation branch that includes only the words that are hardest to pronounce. Similarly, the spelling branch lists only words that cause most problems with spelling. Bombarding the brain with many stimuli at the same time may produce ambiguous stimuli and you will not always learn that what you really want to learn. Some important aspects of information can be lost


You can learn more details of past repetitions from Repetition History (#6117)
(Patrik Nilsson, Monday, December 24, 2001 11:04 AM)
Question:
How can I count the number of lapses on an element during its life (also before Forget, Dismiss, etc.)?
Answer:
You can use Repetition History on the element menu (Ctrl+Shift+H). For this to work, you need to have Repetition History set on in Options


After you create a template, apply it to your elements (#6157)
(Safecity Training Academy, Sat, Dec 29, 2001 7:29)
Question:
We create a template for a collection. But when we choose Learn, the template reverses back to the dull grey format and the very small text
Answer:
It is not enough to create a template. You need to apply it (i.e. use it). If you created a template with Save as template, it is enough to choose Save as default instead. This will make the new template a default template in the currently used category. All newly added items will use that template. As for previously created items, you can use Template : Apply template (Ctrl+Shift+M) on the element menu or apply it en mass in Contents or in a browser


OLE components do not work well in Scaled elements (#6119)
(Leitnick, David, Thu, Dec 27, 2001 18:27)
Question:
I want to put Chinese characters in the question box. I've put the characters in MS Word and tried adding them via OLE. But the OLE objects get hidden behind the question and answer boxes. When I hit Learn button the question and answer boxes get resized so they are huge
Answer:
You can try one of the following: 

  1. Turn off the Scaled attribute on the element menu. Depending on the application, OLE component may wrongly interpret its own coordinates in the Scaled mode. Unchecking Scaled makes sure the component does not try to recalculate its size 
  2. Use image components to represent Chinese texts. This is the best method if you do not need to reedit these texts. With GIF or JPG compression, you do not need to worry much about the size of your collection 
  3. Use HTML components with any HTML editor

There are many ways to use SuperMemo free or get the newest version cheap (#6191)
(michael, Thu, Dec 13, 2001 5:58 PM)
Question:
I hate to write this kind of letter but I could not afford to buy your software
Answer:
You do not need to pay for SuperMemo to use it. Your options range from using freeware to getting the newest version in return for contributing your own learning material to SuperMemo Library. For more details write to SuperMemoMail. You can also communicate directly with SuperMemo Library if you would like to contribute your own learning material: library@super-memory.com 


You need to insert unlock password to make use of SuperMemo (#6194)
(karin meyer, Sun, Dec 30, 2001 3:51 AM)
Question:
I purchased SuperMemo a while ago. I first started to use it a month ago. But, I�ve recently noticed this credit percentage bar that appears on the SuperMemo screen. Yesterday, I got a signal saying I had exceeded some percentage and then I was invited to register the program. I have already paid for it so what am I to do?
Answer:
You need the unlock password to use SuperMemo. If you lost the password, please send your data from the original order to SuperMemoMail. If you forgot or lost the order number, send any data that could help identify your order. All installation instructions will be resent


Stop button is equivalent to Esc (#6121)
(Leitnick, David, Monday, December 17, 2001 10:56 PM)
Question:
What does the Stop button do? And when do I use it?
Answer:
You can use Stop to stop repetitions. You rarely need to use Stop as you can achieve a similar effect by quitting SuperMemo or simply navigating to another element. Stop will complete the repetition cycle of the currently executed element. In addition, it will ask you if you will like to proceed with the final drill if there are any elements in the final drill queue. Stop is equivalent to using Esc


Import from SuperMemo 7 uses text files as an intermediary (#6277)
(Safecity Training Academy, Australia, Sat, Dec 29, 2001 5:59 PM)
Question:
Importing files from SuperMemo 7 does not work. When we tried to import the files the program responded that it could not find a TXT file (this does not mean anything to us because SM7 files are .INF not .TXT)
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 does not import SuperMemo 7 files directly. Instead, it makes use of SM7Imprt.exe application that converts SuperMemo 7 files to text. SuperMemo 2000 then imports contents of these files. To make sure this all works correctly check the following: 

  1. You use the latest SM7.exe (e.g. freeware). Pre-1995 files could show compatibility problems 
  2. You have downloaded up-to-date SM7Import.exe from the download section
  3. You have placed SM7Import.exe (unzipped) in the \Bin subfolder 
  4. You use up-to-date SM2000.exe (one of early releases used asynchronous import that showed timing problems on very fast computers). Updates to Build 10.09 are free for registered users

Slow release cycle of SuperMemo (#6296)
(Andy Lin, MIT, USA Educational, Tuesday, January 08, 2002 4:58 PM)
Question:
It seems that SuperMemo for Windows development is rather slow compared to many shareware products I've used before. Is there any reason for this?
Answer:
We would love to shorten the development cycle and provide a few releases annually; however, SuperMemo is used to process data users often mold for years. Even the smallest bug in database access could result in loss of extremely precious learning data. For that reason, beta-testing usually drags for months and all data loss reports are meticulously studied. To avoid dual lines, development grinds to a near halt during beta and gamma testing where only bugs are in focus. Presently it does not seem realistic to shorten the present 12-24 months release cycle


What if you do not get a password? (#6242)
(AnnS, Poland, Wednesday, January 02, 2002 2:13 PM)
Question:
Why haven't you sent me any password?
Answer:
If you do not receive a password within 2-3 days, the most likely reason is you have not specified a correct e-mail return address or the mail has not been delivered. Please write to SuperMemoMail. Quote your order number, registration number or other data that could help identify you as a registered customer. If you have lost all these, please write again for further advice. If you have experienced mail delivery problems in the past, it is highly recommended you include your phone number too


It is harder to learn foreign languages after forty (#5828)
(Pawel W., Poland, Aug 07, 2001)
Question:
I have been learning English for several decades, but I still speak poorly. My IQ is well above average, I am not lazy, and otherwise I have a fluent command of the language. I learned Esperanto in a few weeks and speak good German. But speaking English is always a problem. Any suggestions?
Answer:
Over the years, you have certainly acquired phonetic, lexical and mnemonic representation patterns that deprive you of rudimentary building blocks that enable fast learning of languages other than your native one! If you play with the Polish word "start" in your memory, you use a very scanty synaptic representation that makes processing fast and retention easy. If you want to use the word "start" in English, suddenly you are faced with a burden of connotations that make learning quite frustrating. The mere pronunciation pattern may require weeks of effort devoted to a single vowel. You need specialized circuitry to process this single vowel, extract it in the flow of speech, pronounce it in different contexts, skip it when possible, and emphasize when necessary. Your language toolkit has already been molded to fit your native language. It is not true that you learn slower than young kids. Your main obstacle is to unlearn hundreds of neural dogmas about the language. Then you need to develop anew specialized circuits for processing building blocks of speech. The shortest path to resolving this problem is to find people to who you will be able to speak English and use the language as often as possible. Fill up the gaps in knowledge with SuperMemo. Each time you pause on a word or phrase while its Polish equivalent is ready to serve in your memory, store the appropriate association in SuperMemo (e.g. Polish word vs. English word, and later, English word definition vs. English word). Only with months of intense training will you be able to overcome mental obstacles that also grow in your mind with each frustrating year of limited progress. All in all, it may appear easier to develop a fluent command of spoken English that to learn to decode various dialects of English from all corners of the world. Again untold hours of training are needed to achieve proficiency. You may greatly simplify your task if you definitely decide not to struggle to get rid of your Polish accent. International communication needs to strive to never discriminate between individuals on the basis of their accent


Template objects are not registered (#6073)
(Tomasz P. Szynalski, Saturday, December 15, 2001 3:06 PM)
Question:
When I delete an item in my collection, all the other items end up with a changed font. Any idea why that would happen?
Answer:
For performance reasons, template objects are not registered with respective registries. This also refers to font registration. If you want to keep a font with the template, this font must be used in at least one element in your collection. Otherwise, the font will have a use count of zero and will be deleted. Default font will be used instead. A simple workaround: impose your template on any of the elements that use it. This will register the font with that element's source (i.e. give it the use count of one). Future versions of SuperMemo will use a limited object registration with templates that will resolve this problem


There are several reasons for which you may not have received order confirmation (#6268)
(Hannan Fleiman, Wed, Jan 09, 2002 8:51)
Question:
I did not receive an immediate confirmation from you when I ordered SuperMemo
Answer:
The confirmation is sent automatically by Yahoo Store software. There are three basic reasons for the lack of immediate order confirmation (in order of decreasing probability): 

  1. You have misspelled your e-mail address on the order form 
  2. You have unchecked Send e-mail confirmation on your order form 
  3. There were delivery problems with your e-mail address 

If you do not receive a confirmation, it is recommended that you send a separate e-mail to SuperMemoMail with a request to verify your return e-mail address. If you do not receive any feedback within 2-3 business day, please write again and list your phone number. Rarely, mail bounces repeatedly from customer-specified addresses and we are unable to get in touch otherwise than by phone


Use the default forgetting index to globally change the forgetting rate (#6321)
(Jiri Pik, Thursday, January 10, 2002 4:28 PM)
Question:
What is the purpose of the default forgetting index available in Options? As far as I know, all newly created elements have the forgetting index set according to their categories and there I cannot choose the default forgetting index
Answer:
Options : Learning : Forgetting Index
(default forgetting index) will be used in items that have their requested forgetting index set to Default (internally represented as zero). All items with the default setting will use the default forgetting index currently selected in Options. In older versions of SuperMemo, by default, all items would be assigned the default forgetting index. In SuperMemo 2000, you can set the default forgetting index with contents and browser operations (Forgetting index : Default forgetting index)


You can use overpayment to order library products (#6359)
(Bodo Kirchner, Germany, Wed, Jan 16, 2002 2:56 AM)
Question:
We have mistakenly paid twice for SuperMemo for Palm Pilot via bank transfer. Can we order a library custom mix without using the credit card?
Answer:
Yes. Please order your Custom Mix from the library (no credit card needed). Please send a notification to library@super-memory.com that your Palm overpayment should be used. You will receive further instructions from SuperMemo Library


You can use Multiple Choice template for multiple choice tests (#6672)
(dieter.gauss, Germany, Friday, January 11, 2002 9:35 AM)
Question:
I want to make a simple multiple choice test. Not one word in your entire guide how to do it
Answer:
You can use ready-made Multiple Choice template with Apply Template for the simplest form of multiple choice test. The reasons for little coverage of multiple choice tests in the documentation are two: 

  1. Multiple choice tests are an inefficient way of representing knowledge in learning. Unless you are learning for a specific multiple choice test exam, it is by far better for your knowledge and skills to produce simple questions and answers where you need to remember correct answer instead of choosing it from among several options 
  2. Once you understand how to create and resize components, you only need to select MCT : Wrong or MCT : Correct on the component menu. Those and similar skills are sufficient to build more advanced multiple choice tests as well as a whole range of specialist testing procedures. In other words, you are only given basic building block skills. The rest is up to your infinite creativity

SuperMemo in Windows XP (#6335)
(Claudio Fernando Pereira, Macau, Sun, Jan 13, 2002 3:11)
Question:
Does SuperMemo 2000 support Windows XP?
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 has been released before the release of Windows XP and cannot officially support it. Presently opinions vary as to the degree of incompatibility. There are relatively few problem reports and some reports that claim SuperMemo works better in Windows XP. If you suspect an XP related problem, write to SuperMemoMail to receive suggestions for workarounds


Use the search box at supermemo.com to find solutions to problems (#6672)
(dieter.gauss, Germany, Friday, January 11, 2002 9:35 AM)
Question:
I just want to make a simple multiple choice Q&A. Not one word in your entire guide how to do it
Answer:
The easiest way to find solutions to problems that are not described in the mainstream guide, is to use the Find searchbox at supermemo.com home page. For example, type in multiple choice and click Find. You will find a pointer to the article that describes building advanced tests with SuperMemo, which shortly describes multiple choice tests


HTML text exceeds editor capacity (#3870)
(Rodolpho Gurgel de Sousa, Brazil, 24/4/2001 19:24:58)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Cannot load HTM text Text exceeds memo capacity"
Answer:
This error appears when you try to edit a very long HTML file in SuperMemo 2000. The problem will not occur in future releases


Maximize on the element window will cover the entire screen (#4413)
(Maarten, the Netherlands, Jan 19, 2002)
Question:
I always want to see Status Bar, when I maximize the element window my Status Bar at the bottom of the screen disappears
Answer:
Maximize on the element window is a Windows-wide function. As such, maximize will always cover the entire client area of the screen. Changing that behavior is counter-advised by Window compatibility logo requirements. Status bar could have been marked with StayOnTop attribute, but this would, in turn, make it cover the element window. The best solution is to select your preferred windows layout (without maximizing the element window), and save it as the default layout (e.g. with Ctrl+Shift+F5). This way, SuperMemo will always start with Windows arranged to your best liking


You can memorize, forget and dismiss elements in the browser (#6723)
(Patrik Nilsson, Wednesday, January 16, 2002 6:05 PM)
Question:
I'd like a shortcut for forgetting dismissed elements in the browser
Answer:
With Ctrl+R, Ctrl+M and Ctrl+D in the browser you should be able to accomplish all forget, memorize and dismiss combinations. Remember to synchronize the element window with the browser selection (synchronized selection is the default setting)


Too many hyperlinks (#6789)
(Derek, Jan 22, 2002)
Question:
You should avoid links in the body of textual & explanatory materials. If you are talking to someone you don't want them getting up and leaving the room while you are explaining something to them
Answer:
Your metaphor does not seem accurate. The whole idea of hypertext is based on unobtrusive underlines that become "visible" when the text is difficult to understand, requires further references, etc. A hyperlink is not an "invitation to leave" but an notification that an optional explanatory material exists


Learning "outside" SuperMemo is still beneficial (#6782)
(T.Sz., Jan 22, 2002)
Question:
When I'm reading books, talking to speakers of English, writing English e-mail, etc. am I not interfering with the learning process by precipitating repetitions of English words and thus reducing my learning efficiency?
Answer:
No. The interference with the SuperMemo algorithm is well compensated by the benefits of contact with live language


The less time you have for learning, the more you will like SuperMemo (#3917)
(LGN, Brazil, Thursday, June 28, 2001)
Question:
How to use SuperMemo to learning Math, Electronics, Biology and Chemistry, spending only 20 min. a day on these tasks? None of that subjects is a priority to me. How many days would I need for noticeable results?
Answer:
Import relevant articles to incremental reading and use Postpone on material that you do not manage to repeat within your 20 minutes. The visibility of your results will increase with time as is always the case with spaced repetition (and much less the case with unscheduled learning). With well-managed incremental reading, you will meet your time allocations, you will immediately notice a quick buildup of knowledge and, most of all, you will likely enjoy the process. However, incremental reading requires a number of knowledge processing skills that cannot be learned in a day


SuperMemo is slow in adopting interface components (#6728)
(mark zebitz.dk, Denmark, Jan 15, 2002)
Question:
Are you planning to add the very nice new intuitive interface of Windows� XP to SuperMemo?
Answer:
Unfortunately, adaptation of new interface components proceeds in three time-dependent stages: 

  1. Components appear in wide-distribution Microsoft products 
  2. Components become wrapped as VCL components in Borland Delphi (SuperMemo development tool)
  3. SuperMemo incorporates some of these depending on customer feedback 

Those stages introduce substantial delays. Delphi releases occur in 12-24 month intervals. SuperMemo releases occur in similar cycles. Assuming the worst timing alignment, it might take 3-4 years before some solutions are adopted. Naturally these components could be hard-coded manually but this is a time-consuming and bug-prone process that would only be used as a last resort in cases where the learning speed might be compromised


You may need an intermediary upgrade stage to upgrade very old collections (#6879)
(Mariusz Pniewski, ComputerLand, Poland, Thu, Jan 24, 2002 10:12)
Question:
Why can I not upgrade Video English from Genius 1.0 to SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
This is a bug in upgrade procedures in SuperMemo. You can resolve this problem by first upgrading from Genius 1.0 to SuperMemo 99, and only then upgrading from SuperMemo 99 to SuperMemo 2000. If you do not have SuperMemo 99, you can use an unregistered version from the download section at supermemo.com. 

Bug details: Both Video English and Genius 1.0 were developed in 1995. New versions of SuperMemo frequently update fixed record structures of its database tables. Separate upgrade units denoted by the year of release are used for the upgrade purpose. Each unit converts old records to new records by assigning NewRecord:=OldRecord and filling out the remaining NewRecord fields with appropriate default values. However, one of registry database table records has changed twice since 1995. As NewRecord uses the type registered with the current version, the older substitution became invalid as it attempted to use the newest record structure instead of the intermediary structure. The correct substitution would be: Record1998:=Record1995 and then Record2000:=Record1998. This way, SuperMemo 2000 lost its ability to upgrade from the oldest 16-bit collections created with Genius 1.0. This problem will be fixed in the future so that you could upgrade all collections back to Genius 1.0 (1995), import collections back to SuperMemo 6 (1991) and convert Q&A material (except the learning process) from all other version of SuperMemo 


Tasklist should hold all your ideas and inspirations (#6803)
(ZM, Sat, Jan 19, 2002 10:00)
Question:
Does it make sense to put on tasklists things that are not feasible in a near future?
Answer:
Yes. You never know how your priorities change, how feasibilities change, etc. You never know if and when the task becomes feasible or inspirational. The only cost of a task on a tasklist is that you may occasionally see it when randomly reviewing valuations. Otherwise, the idea of tasklists is to put all your ideas and inventions there and just estimate the value and time as accurately as possible. The main value of tasklists is that you do not have to come back with your mind to lower priority tasks unless you choose so. At the same time, you never lose a record of your creative effort. The length of the tasklist does not matter. It may be a hundred times longer than your execution capacity. The longer it is, the better it testifies to your creativity


Problems with Component Order Editor (#3441)
(Nick Clarke, United Kingdom, Saturday, November 11, 2000 8:59 PM)
Question:
If I have an image and a shape component with the same Display At setting, and the image is on top, then if I use Ctrl+T repeatedly until the shape is selected and resize it, the shape appears on top during editing. But when I press Esc to leave editing mode and save the change, the shape remains on top, hiding the image
Answer:
When working with Component Order Editor keep two things in mind: 

  1. Component order is not refreshed upon quitting the editor. To remedy this problem, use Back (<) and Forward (>) buttons to leave and return to the element. This problem will be fixed in future releases 
  2. Component Order Editor affects only the source element data. In other words, you will not see the changes through a template (except for the components that are solely contributed by the source). A simple remedy to this problem is to Impose the template on source. In the future, component reshuffling will also affect the template whenever possible, and will impose the template automatically when the template cannot be changed consistently

You can easily move collections between computers (#6883)
(JaM, USA Educational, Monday, January 21, 2002 4:33 AM)
Question:
It appears that SuperMemo uses various absolute links. For example, in the collection.ini file: Image=C:\MY DOCUMENTS\JAM\SM2000\SYSTEMS\WORK\temp\ 
Does it mean that my collection will malfunction if I move it to another computer?
Answer:
No. The path you quote is the default image import path. If you try to import an image on the new computer, SuperMemo will notice that this path does not exist and substitute the default directory path instead. It will act similarly in many other cases. However, you may experience some problems with external links from SuperMemo to other files. For example: 

Using external link is rare, complex, and is generally not recommended. You will not find such problems, for example, in SuperMemo Library collections. With typical use of SuperMemo, all it takes to move your collections between computers is to copy them with File : Copy collection (or manually). The same refers to SuperMemo itself. You can copy SM2000.exe to another computer and it should work fine


Reading lists vs. incremental reading (#6806)
(L.B., USA, Thursday, January 10, 2002 11:39 PM)
Question:
SuperMemo supports two distinct reading schemes: priority based and incremental. What is your view on the optimum balance?
Answer:
This dichotomy comes from the need to bridge two worlds: the world of knowledge acquisition and the world of knowledge retention. From the historical perspective, this translates to bridging traditional textbook learning with classical SuperMemo (i.e. pure spaced repetition based on active recall). 

With classical SuperMemo, you would work with questions and answers and make sure you keep high retention levels. However, there is still enormous benefit from browsing, search and reading beyond that what can efficiently be stored in memory. Traditional reading produces dismal retention levels. Certainly below 5% for an avid high-volume reader. Still, without SuperMemo, people such as Bill Joy can build impressive bodies of knowledge in their brains. 

SuperMemo 99 attempted to employ the concept of a tasklist to lay the first narrow bridge between these two worlds. On one hand, you would keep on reading. On the other, you would keep on making your repetition. In the middle, you would build a prioritized list of most valuable reading material that you would like to introduce to SuperMemo. 

SuperMemo 2000 broadened the bridge with incremental reading. Between your high volume reading list and low volume repetition stream, you can do a middle volume incremental reading where priorities are adjusted as you keep on reading, while a constant stream of active recall material flows into the classical SuperMemo learning process. With SuperMemo 2000, you still need a reading list to make sure you do not pollute the learning process with a high volume of unprocessed material at the cost of retention. Your reading list is a stopcock that protects the retention of most valuable material. 

However, in the future, SuperMemo will be armed with priority and content filtering tools that will make it possible to add huge volumes of reading material into the incremental reading process without a substantial damage to knowledge retention. Ideally, you will be able to fine-tune your daily learning to gradually reduce the flow of new creative reading, reschedule lower priority material and end the day with classical repetitions of the highest priority core knowledge. This will obviate the reading lists. With filtering tools, you shall be able to strike an optimum balance between the volume and retention and adjust this balance for all individual portions of the learning material depending on its priority


It is possible to periodically update someone else's collection with your new material (#6934)
(Erik De Laet, Belgium, Saturday, January 26, 2002 4:51 PM)
Question:
I learn French with my son. Because I know more French than he does (still), I am appending new words to his collection every week. How could I best transfer work from my own collection to his collection without duplicating the effort?
Answer:
With a dose of patience, you could try the following algorithm that will solve your problem:

  1. Create collections Dad.kno and Son.kno 
  2. Add new material and learn with Dad.kno
  3. Use View : Memorized and Tools : Transfer in the browser to transfer your material from Dad.kno to Son.kno 
  4. Use View : Memorized and Subset : Save all. Save memorized elements in Transferred.sub file
  5. Add more material to Dad.kno and keep on learning
  6. After some time, use View : Memorized and Subset : Subtract subset. Subtract Transferred.sub. Your browser will now contain only newly memorized items that have not yet been transferred to Son.kno 
  7. Use Tools : Transfer again to transfer the browser to Son.kno 
  8. In Son.kno, open the newly transferred branch in the browser (e.g. Contents : View : Selected branch) and choose Learning : Forget in the browser (otherwise your son will inherit the learning process in the transferred material)
  9. Go back to Step 4

This algorithm may look complex but after a while, you will perform these steps in seconds


You can recognize the editing and dragging mode by the appearance of components (#6933)
(Dustin Darcy, USA Educational, Friday, January 25, 2002 1:21 AM)
Question:
Sometimes it isn't clear whether or not the GUI is in editing, presentation, or the dragging mode. Some sort of indicator in the title bar would be nice
Answer:
SuperMemo uses presentation, editing and dragging modes mostly in reference to components, not whole elements. Consequently, the user only needs to learn how to recognize the mode of individual components. Whenever possible, these are the indicators of individual modes: 

With Alt+click on the element area (or on individual components), you should quickly learn to recognize individual component modes


You can import SuperMemo 7 collections to SuperMemo 2000 (#6947)
(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


You can prevent your components from entering the editing mode on click (#6933)
(Dustin Darcy, USA Educational, Friday, January 25, 2002 1:21 AM)
Question:
How about a lock mode? Sometimes I WANT to stay in PRESENTATION MODE. On occasion I let my cursor wander and I haphazardly click on an object changing it to EDIT MODE, creating all sorts of unneeded havoc
Answer:
You can turn this off with Tools : Options : Mouse : Edit texts : On click. You can also go further by setting Tools : Options : Data access : Access mode : Read only or Learn only


You can easily see the number of outstanding repetitions (#3566)
(Verona, Brazil, Tue, May 29, 2001 16:33)
Question:
How can I see the number of outstanding repetitions for today?
Answer:
You can see the number of outstanding repetitions on the status bar (second field). If the status bar is not visible, check Window : Status bar. Alternatively, you can press F5 to display the Statistics window. You can also open this window and save it permanently in your layout with Ctrl+Shift+F5. If you would like to see repetitions scheduled for other days, choose Tools : Workload (or press Ctrl+W)


Debugging version may report harmless error (#7010)
(Martin S., Feb 04, 2002)
Question:
With new SuperMemo I often get messages such as: Burden has been corrected from 998.2616275 to 998.2616276
Answer:
You must have turned the debug mode on in Options. This is a harmless floating point operation rounding error. SuperMemo does not report floating point operation errors beyond a selected level of accuracy. However, the debugging version will report an error even if the number difference is less than a billionth of the reported number. Ignore these messages or turn the debug version off


Double orders are always subject to verification (#7064)
(chaotica, Mon, Feb 04, 2002 15:18)
Question:
Sorry to bother you guys again, but I mistakenly double-ordered several days later, thinking that my first order didn't go through. Please cancel it and if you've pulled the extra order money from my credit card already, please refund it
Answer:
Doubled orders are detected automatically and verified for possible customer or network errors. In such circumstances, there should be no extra charges on the credit card. The duplicated order is removed from the record


SuperMemo 2000 does by far a better job with formatting in incremental reading than earlier versions (#7066)
(wintersvip, Monday, February 04, 2002 2:50 PM)
Question:
In SuperMemo 99 I was disappointed it would not keep formatting of extracts and cloze deletions for incremental reading. I see that this is fixed in 2000. But, reading the problems with using it on windows 2000 it looks like the fix is lost or made worse?
Answer:
No. SuperMemo 2000 is by far superior in handling formatting in incremental reading. The problem with Windows 2000 is that its RTF controls keep "too much" formatting which needs to be filtered out. Once you get accustomed to filtering unruly texts with F6 after import, you will certainly prefer SuperMemo 2000 in incremental reading. For comfort, future releases of SuperMemo will favor Windows 2000 as opposed to other platforms thus providing solutions for most compatibility issues


You can apply a template to any subset of elements you choose (#7062)
(I.L., Canada, Monday, January 28, 2002 3:40 AM)
Question:
I have created a template with fonts I like. Can the questions and answers I entered earlier be converted quickly and conveniently to the font that new elements are "enjoying"?
Answer:
You can try the following steps: 

  1. Open the earlier-created elements in a browser 
  2. Choose Process browser : Template : Apply template on the browser menu
  3. Choose the template you have defined for your elements and click Accept

Note that you may hit the following two snags: 

  1. Template type must match for a template to be applied. In your case your template must be an item template to be applied to Q&A items (right-click the template to see its type on Type menu)
  2. For your fonts to overwrite earlier-used fonts in your elements, the template must use plain text components. If your template uses rich text components, the template font will not be used (fonts are hard-wired in rich text)

For more information see: Text components


You can recover from a temporary disconnection from the secondary storage (#7059)
(Jiri Pik, Saturday, February 02, 2002 10:18 AM)
Question:
I am planning to travel a bit, but am unable to keep my whole collection with me as the ELEMENTS directory is over 1.5 GB in size. Is it safe to put the whole collection without the ELEMENTS directory on a JAZZ drive then play with it and, when I return, replace my old collection files with the files from the JAZZ?
Answer:
If you sever the connection with the secondary storage (i.e. your 1.5 GB ELEMENTS folder), you will run into the weakness of secondary storage handling in SuperMemo 2000 (and earlier). SuperMemo does not keep a record of storage files otherwise than by checking for their physical presence. If you import a storage object (e.g. picture, HTML file or a sound file) it will be allocated into the first encountered free storage slot. Consequently, upon return, you will find primary storage files in conflict slots with secondary storage files. Luckily, File : Repair collection is able to move the conflicting files to new storage slots. Your best bet would be to minimize import of new pictures, sounds, and HTML files until your return. Upon return, you will need to run File : Repair collection with Verify Filespace checked. This weakness will be resolved in future releases


Using categories (#7093)
(Fred.Clough, Tuesday, February 05, 2002 7:01 PM)
Question:
If I select an element in the contents window and choose to make a category, it pops up with a dialog that lets me input a name. But what use is this?
Answer:
This will only create a category. This category will now become the default category. This means that if you press Ctrl+A or click Add New, you will be adding new items in that particular place of the knowledge tree. That is not very useful yet. However, if you go to Search : Categories and choose a template for your new category, all your new items will get the desired look (e.g. color, font, size, etc.). To make a good use of categories, you will then need to become fluent with templates first


Free running sleep is a blessing (#6261)
(luisgustavo, Brazil, Thursday, January 03, 2002 4:42 PM)
Question:
Sleep is important, but there is no conclusive study showing temporary sleep deprivation is terrible
Answer:
You are right that there is no evidence of "terrible" damage produced by sleep deprivation (except for horrifying truck accident statistics, airtime disasters, etc.). However, if you ask anyone who tried free running sleep for more than a month about the cost of sleep deprivation, you are likely to hear a very definite private research conclusion: "Never back to the days wasted by lost or irregular sleep". The contrast between good sleep life and bad sleep life is so dramatic that you will find no one who hesitates about the difference once it is exposed in practice. As adrenaline and cortisol are good masks for sleep deprivation, the above is particularly true in creative professions with mild to severe adrenaline deficit


Wrong component data (#7554)
(Bern Sadler, Australia, 20/02/2002 4:23:00 PM)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Component data loaded to wrong element 
Source=799 
Destination=798" 
This message has shown up perhaps 20 times in the last 2-3 days
Answer:
This message indicates that component data, which for safety is marked with the using element number, has been loaded to another element. This should not happen in normal circumstances. Most likely one element's data was loaded into another element or an element lost/redirected its component data pointer. It is very difficult to say how this could have happened otherwise than through a bug or a system instability. Nevertheless, this remedy will most likely cure similar cases: 1. Backup for collection (e.g. with File : Copy collection) 2. Run a system checkup with File : Repair collection


You cannot remedy sleep deprivation by anything but quality sleep (#6261)
(luisgustavo, Brazil, Thursday, January 03, 2002 4:42 PM)
Question:
Perhaps short periods of sleep deprivation are bad because they are a source of stress. But how bad it can be depends on how can you handle stress
Answer:
It is true that the turmoil in the cortisol-epinephrine system will make you more susceptible to stress in sleep deprivation, but it is not true that stress management can be a solution to sleep deprivation. It is true that a good diet might improve the health of a smoker, but diet alone does not solve the problem of smoking. The only ultimate solution to smoking is no smoking. Similarly, the only ultimate solution to sleep deprivation is sleep


Empty texts indicate integrity problem (#7117)
(Liz Churton, United Kingdom, 09/02/02 21:29:22)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Empty RTF text found at registry member 
#Text #18: "Do not assume a deficit model"
Answer:
"Empty RTF text found at registry member <member number>" error indicates that a rich text registry member is associated with rich text that is empty. This should not occur in normal circumstances and may indicate a damage to your text registry. Review your text registry, your collection, make a backup and run File : Repair collection with Rebuild registries checked. File : Repair collection should eliminate integrity problems, but data that might have been lost will not be restored. For similar reasons, it is important to keep monthly or even weekly backups of your most precious data


Store prefix must be used as an Order ID (#7518)
(FCF, Sat, Feb 16, 2002 0:24)
Question:
I cannot download my order. When I push the download button, it takes me to a new page that says Order Status on the top, but with zero information about any order. I don't know what my order number is, unless the 3706 in the subject line of confirmation e-mail is the order number. I've tried to use that number in the tracking window, but to no avail
Answer:
Most likely, you have not allowed Yahoo Store to leave a cookie on your computer and it could not recognize you automatically. Your Order ID must be preceded by the store name. In this case: "supermemo-3706" (without quotation marks). Once you provide this ID, your identity will be verified via the credit card used during the purchase. Independently, you can place another order for the same product and the previous one will be cancelled automatically. In addition, within a business day, your order will be processed and you will receive alternative download instructions from SuperMemo servers via FTP or HTTP


Free running sleep implies little stress (#7136)
(M.Zmuda, Poland, Fri, 8 Feb 2002 10:17:03 +0100)
Question:
If any change is stressful, can free running sleep be stressful too?
Answer:
Saying that any change is stressful is a generalization going too far. Changing your T-shirts daily does not imply stress. In addition, the degree of change is important. The same change can produce overstress or be a welcome factor in life depending on its degree. Watching news on TV can provide a creative adrenaline-based incentive. Watching September 11 news might have left people in overstress for weeks. Letting your sleep free run does not imply any degree of stress, unless free running sleep itself produces changes in your schedule that might be stressful. If you eat your moderate meals frequently when you feel hungry, you are likely to experience less stressful change than when you eat them at pre-set lunch hours. Free running behaviors, by definition, free your organism to adapt to its internal needs. As such, these can be considered anti-stress factors. It refers to sleep, eating habits, exercise, and other physiological needs


Upgrades differ in price, not in software usability (#7486)
(Barbara Hayes, Tue, 12 Feb 2002 01:46:41 +1100)
Question:
I received an e-mail saying I ordered an upgrade of SuperMemo 2000, when I ordered a full program (not an upgrade)
Answer:
Please read it as good news. Upgrades are cheaper and do not differ in functionality from the program ordered the standard way. Not all customers are aware of all upgrade options. If the store detects that the upgrade should be in force, it is automatically applied. In other words, the only difference is that you pay less for the product


Spelling exercises in SuperMemo 2000 (#7436)
(grzilc, Wednesday, January 30, 2002 8:56 AM)
Question:
How do I do spelling exercises in SuperMemo 2000?
Answer:
The simplest method is to use the Spell-Pad component within the Spelling standard template. To add a single Spell-Pad click the Spell-Pad button on the Compose toolbar and then click two points of the element area in the element window. To apply the Spelling template choose Template : Apply Template (Ctrl+Shift+M) on the element menu, select Spelling and click Accept. To make the Spelling template the default template in a given category, select this category in Search : Categories, click the Template button, choose the Spelling template and click Accept. If your collection has been upgraded from earlier versions and the Spelling template is not present, you can add it with Search : Templates and then with Tools : Add predefined templates (on the registry menu)


You should avoid installing SuperMemo in system folders (#7504)
(Liz Churton, United Kingdom, 13/02/02 22:16:06)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Cannot save the layout 
Unable to write to C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP\bin\layout.ini"

Answer:
You have installed your SuperMemo in MS Windows system folders. This is a very dangerous practice. This may result in data loss in your SuperMemo files as well as in making your MS Windows misbehave or even crash. As a rule, you should never install software in overlapping folders (the least so in Windows system folders). Install SuperMemo in a dedicated non-Windows folder (e.g. c:\SuperMemo or c:\SM2000). You can also install it in c:\Program Files. Unless you are an experienced Windows user, you should not attempt to move your SuperMemo files from their present location to another folder. You might move some of system files with disastrous consequences for your system's stability. The best approach would be to leave those files where they are or ask an experienced MS Windows user to clean them up. If you would like to rescue your learning material, you could try File : Copy collection without deleting files populating your Windows folder


Windows, Pocket PC and Palm Pilot versions are independent products (#7488)
(Jim Carlstedt, Tue, Feb 12, 2002 17:54)
Question:
Does the Palm pilot version come free with SuperMemo 2000?
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 2000, you can make use of SuperMemo 2000 Upgrade. The price difference will be deducted from your Palm Pilot order


Registries modify names of duplicated registry members (#7093)
(Fred.Clough, Tuesday, February 05, 2002 7:01 PM)
Question:
I created a few categories. When I go to the category registry, I have there lots of different name variations generated by the system. The names are ending with foreign characters
Answer:
If you create several categories with the same name, SuperMemo will modify each of these names slightly (e.g. by adding random characters to the name's end). This comes from the registry limitation which says that all members have to have different names. In other words, you cannot have two categories with the same name. Only comments and translation registries can keep duplicated items (e.g. two different texts can have the same translation)


You can search CHM help (#7056)
(Fred.Clough, Friday, February 01, 2002 3:52 PM)
Question:
Have you thought about adding in a search bar and/or index? I think it's difficult looking things up with just the .chm file as is
Answer:
SuperMemo 2000 help file in CHM format does include the search box. However, the CHM Viewer, by default, opens this file with the search tab invisible. Misleadingly, there are no indications that the tab is there sized to zero-width on the left. You need to simply grab the sizing bar on the left border and drag it right. This peculiarity is not a feature of CHM file. It is a feature of Microsoft's CHM Viewer


Free running sleep does not imply abnormal sleeping habits (#7136)
(M.Zmuda, Poland, Fri, 8 Feb 2002 10:17:03 +0100)
Question:
Is there a big difference between a normal sleeper and a free running sleeper, if the normal one:

Answer:
What you have just described as a "normal sleeper" is by all standards a lucky free running sleeper. The main criterion of free-running sleep that has not been listed above is if the "normal sleeper" uses an alarm clock. If you do not use an alarm clock or other sleep control tricks, you are a free running sleeper. As you indicate that your "normal" sleeper "sleeps enough", he or she is not likely to use an alarm clock that would cut the natural sleep. As he or she "feels rested", the sleep is most likely healthy and physiologically sound. As he or she "listens to zeitgebers", the sleep again seems to be regulated by natural factors. Your "normal sleeper" can be considered lucky because in addition to using natural sleep, he or she is able to sleep in regular hours, is rested and wakes up with sunshine. As many people suffer from a degree of DSPS or ASPS, your "normal" scenario may be difficult to reach for many. The DSPS/ASPS problem is particularly painful in the student community, in overstressed working population as well as in many elderly


You cannot open the same collection with two instances of SuperMemo (#7510)
(kimiyuki shirai, Japan, 2002/02/15 11:47:59)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Access denied! 
System locked by another SuperMemo: 
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\fXNgbv\supermemo\systems\PERL.KNO"
Answer:
This message should warn you that a collection is already in use (with another instance of SuperMemo in memory). This is no indication of trouble to come. SuperMemo will simply let you open the next collection from the file pick-list


Q&A import can only be used to import plain text (#7500)
(Alexia L McKnight, Monday, February 11, 2002 12:17 AM)
Question:
I imported a big Q&A text file into SuperMemo 2000. How can I get SuperMemo to retain special characters: superscripts, subscripts, etc.?
Answer:
Q&A format is a plain text format intended solely for data exchange between platforms and older versions of SuperMemo. To retain formatting, you need to create your material in SuperMemo. For good effects you can use rich text components and edit your texts in MS Word (shortcut F9). Or you can save your files as HTML and import them to HTML component. As for your Q&A file, it will require some extra effort. Either you paste individual items individually or import them all and correct formatting in SuperMemo. The fastest approach though is to use incremental reading tools. Paste the entire file to a single rich text topic (e.g. with Ctrl+Alt+N), generate individual elements with Extract and create individual items with Cloze. This work should take a fraction of time needed to learn this material


Use File : Repair collection in case of trouble (#7490)
(Abdul Ghani, Singapore, 12/02/2002 15:17:49)
Question:
I was running SuperMemo when my computer restarted on its own. After that my whole collection is gone. Please advise me how I can recover it
Answer:
You need to do two things: 

  1. Backup your files
  2. Recover the learning material

If you are unable to complete the recovery on your own, send your collection to bugs(AT)supermemo(.)com for inspection and further help


Changes to customer address (#7535)
(Michael, Mon, Feb 18, 2002 4:33)
Question:
I made a mistake in ordering SuperMemo. I put a wrong home address. What should I do now?
Answer:
E-mail your correct address to SuperMemoMail. If you ordered a CD-ROM product, please do it at your earliest convenience to avoid shipping to a wrong address. If you ordered the SuperMemo program (download only), your address will manually be corrected in the database. Note that the cardholder address is meaningful only for American Express customers. We never send advertising information to your address. Rarely do we use snail-mail in cases were e-mail address loses validity and we cannot contact the customer with vital information (such as software unlock password, etc.)


Random Tests should not be part of your daily learning (#7555)
(IngLand, Canada, Monday, February 18, 2002 7:35 PM)
Question:
Is my understanding correct that part of the theory supporting SuperMemo is that repetitions that are spaced to occur too frequently will actually interfere with the learning process of those items? In this regard, I am wondering whether it is advisable to avoid running the Random Test feature on a frequent basis
Answer:
You are right. Random Tests will interfere with the learning process. This is not primarily due to forming "weaker" memories, but mostly by fooling SuperMemo as to your true learning performance. If you get an item in a random test shortly before an actual repetition, you are likely to send the next repetition to a distant future. In addition, Random Tests are just a waste of your time. If you ask SuperMemo to keep a given level of knowledge retention and do your repetitions in time, you do not have to worry about the "safety" of your knowledge. Your time will better be invested in learning new material or other creative activities.

In the future, SuperMemo will allow of mid-interval repetitions. This will make it possible to make a major review of material (e.g. before an exam), and have SuperMemo reflect the impact of this review with minimum damage to the learning process and minimum increase in the overall workload


Registration is optional
(
Barry Lewis, UK, Apr 19, 1998)

Question:
I have downloaded SuperMemo and sent an order via e-mail. Do I need to register it as well?
Answer:
No. There are two paths to get SuperMemo 8 running:

  1. Place an electronic order and download the program
  2. Download SuperMemo 8 and run the registration procedure

As a result of both procedures listed above, you will receive a registration password and become an owner of the program. You can use SuperMemo indefinitely and you are entitled to special discounts when purchasing future upgrades (minor upgrades and updates are available for free)


We cannot accept Eurocheque
(
Erwin Anema, Holland, Nov 20, 1997)

Question:
Can I pay by Eurocheque?
Answer:
No. Because of our low prices, cashing a Eurocheque may be more than the price you have to pay


You cannot download material published on CD-ROM 
(
Jorge Adam Cleto Cohn, Brazil, Oct 25, 1998)

Question:
I ordered Advanced English 97 and chose Download in ordering options; however, there was no material to download
Answer:
The only correct option for Advanced English is Air. All files come on CD-ROM shipped via air mail. If you want to download Advanced English, choose Advanced English 2002


You will want to use SuperMemo 8 if you still use Windows 3.1
(
Dallas Oldre, USA, Jan 21, 1999)

Question:
Can you list any reasons for which I might prefer SuperMemo 8 over the newest SuperMemo?
Answer:
New
SuperMemo is by far superior. However, you might prefer SuperMemo 8 in the following circumstances:

SuperMemo 98,  99, 2000, 2002, 2004 are nearly a complete subset of SuperMemo 8 in terms of functionality, and the number of new options and improvements goes into hundreds. Only the least popular options are removed in new releases of SuperMemo


Some upgrades are free, others are not 
(
Victor Hitiel Rodriguez Sardina, Japan, Dec 15, 1998)

Question:
I ordered SuperMemo 8 earlier this year. Can I upgrade to SuperMemo 98 free?
Answer:
Only customers of SuperMemo Store who ordered SuperMemo 8 in August or September 1998 are entitled to a free upgrade. You can also get SuperMemo 98 in return for contributing to SuperMemo Library. For details write to library@super-memo.com


Upgrades from Advanced English are not free
(Anatolyi Lipatov, Ukraine, Nov 26, 1998)
Question:
I have Advanced English 97, am I entitled to a free upgrade of SuperMemo 98?
Answer:
No. However you can get SuperMemo 98 in return for contributing to SuperMemo Library. For details write to library@super-memo.com


Error: This page cannot be displayed
(Marko Zirkovich, Sat, Jun 23, 2001 8:05)

Question:
Last night I placed my order for SuperMemo 2000. Unfortunately I haven't been able to download the software. I only got a "This page cannot be displayed" error message upon clicking on the download button
Answer:
You will receive a remedy within a business day. If you do not want to wait that long, please simply place another order and add "Download problems" in the comment field. Duplicate orders are scanned manually and there shall be no double charge on your card


The help file can be downloaded as CHM
(Frantisek Kvapil, Czech Republic, Apr 23, 1999)
Question:
I wanted to download the whole website in the CHM format but the link points only to SuperMemo Help in CHM format
Answer:
Both SuperMemo Help and the rest of the website are integrated in the same file


You can use overpayment to order library products
(Bodo Kirchner, Germany, Wed, Jan 16, 2002 2:56 AM)
Question:
We have mistakenly paid twice for SuperMemo for Palm Pilot via bank transfer. Can we order a library custom mix without using the credit card?
Answer:
Yes. Please send a notification that your Palm overpayment should be used. You will receive further instructions from SuperMemo Library


(Bodek Kowalewski, Poland, Dec 14, 2000)
Question:

In occlusion tests, once I change the position of the occluding rectangle in one element, it gets changes in all other elements using the occlusion. What am I doing wrong?
Answer:
You are using your global Occlusion template. Each changes to this template in one element will be reflected in all other elements using this template. First, arrange the component in your global template in the most often used way. Then, each time you use the Occlusion template, use Impose template (Ctrl+Shift+F2) and detach the global template from your test (by answering Yes to Detach template? after Impose template). This way, local changes will not be visible in the global template


SuperMemo 2000 cannot generate plain-text cloze deletions as in SuperMemo 1999 (#5972)
(Johann Schwarz, Tuesday, July 31, 2001 12:53 AM)
Question:
Is it possible to generate cloze deletions in SuperMemo 2000 with a simple plain-text question-answer result (as it was in SuperMemo 99)?
Answer:
No. SuperMemo 2000 makes use of the parent element template, and this behavior is not configurable. If the parent uses rich text components, so will the child. However, the recommended solution is to apply your target template after completing the process of formulating cloze items. You can do it by choosing Apply Template (Ctrl+Shift+M) or by moving the item to its target category (with Element Parameters dialog box evoked with Ctrl+Shit+P). In the latter case, category template will be applied