Sunday, March 2, 2008

InkBuddy

After working in the computer industry for more years than I care to count, I have decided to go back to University. To help with my studies, I have been looking for some "Flash Card" software for the Tablet PC. There are a couple of good programs available - but none of them make it really easy to use the Leitner Card system on a Tablet PC.

After searching and searching (and searching some more), I finally decided the best solution was to write one for myself. I really liked the Microsoft Flash Card software, so I decided to model it on that.

Now that the software is finished and that I have been using it for a few days, I thought it could be really helpful to other students using Tablet PC's. So I have decided to release it as FREE software solution for the entire Tablet PC community to enjoy.

If you download the software and like it (or hate it), please post a comment on this blog. Because the software is free, it is the only way that I get to know that other people are using it.

The download link for the installer is
http://www.plugandplay.co.nz/inkbuddy.exe
Note : This software only works on Tablet PC's and requires a pen or mouse

The installer is 4MB in size. Downlaod and run the installer to create an icon on your desktop and to select the directory that you would like the program installed into.

Here are some of the features of the program :

* Tablet (pen) driven software
* Unlimited cards
* Up to 15 categories (or decks) of cards
* Test individual categories
* Test over all categories
* Quick access to 4 pens, 4 markers and 4 highlighters
* Automatic card flipping and adavancement

I wanted to have a way to enable me to do quick studying without messing up the long term memory features of the Leitner Card system. To handle this, I decided to add an "accelerated" learning mode. The accelerated mode does not use dates and does not affect the boxes that the cards are in for long term memory mode. It simply moves your cards between boxes depending on if the answers are correct or not. As you move through the boxes, the cards become immediately available for further testing. I also created a "Reset all" button to move the cards back into the first box.

Leitner card system for long term memory

- User defined aging for correctly answered cards
- Incorrect cards go back into the first box
- Cards disappear from the testing screen until their next due date
- Only see the cards that are due to be tested

Accelerated learning mode

- Can be used at the same time as Long Term Mode
- Does not use dates
- Correctly answered cards go up a box
- Incorrectly answered cards go back to the first box

Card Editing Mode

The pens and highlighters are displayed at the bottom of the screen along with the button that starts testing mode. The buttons at the top of the screen allow you to create a new card, delete and existing card and move between cards. Buttons are also provided to cut, copy and paste ink. The buttons at the top right corner allow you to setup categories and setup the aging for your long term memory boxes.

If you make changes to a card, an undo button appears (next to the cut, copy and paste buttons). The undo button reverts the card back to before any changes were made.

Testing Mode



In testing mode, The question appears in the panel at the top of the screen.

The bottom of the screen is provided for you to write the correct answer into. Most of the time you wont need this, but for complex questions (eg draw the structure of the Heart), you may want to write (or draw) your attempt before viewing the correct answer.

One you have drawn (or thought) of your answer, click the circular arrow to display the back of the card. The button will then turn to a tick or a cross. If the answer if correct, click the tick and your card will advance to the next box. If the answer is wrong, click the cross and your card will be moved back to the first box.

If you are in long term memory mode and you click the tick, your card will disappear from the deck until its next due date. Do not worry as the card has not been deleted - it is simply hidden from view.

When I was using the software, I found that i wanted to study one subject at a time (eg Chemistry or Maths). To allow for this, I added the ability to select a category before going into testing mode. Because of this, the "Reset all cards" button only changes the boxes for the category and/or mode that you have selected.

The rest of the software is fairly self explanitory. So download the software and let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them as comments as well.

8 comments:

s2000UPROAR said...

Raymond- great second version of your software. I'm glad you took much of the advice that was given. I am especially glad you added the function of adding pictures and text. I already have about 750 cards from V1. I know it would be difficult, but if you come out with a V3 it would be great if the cards from the previous releases were compatible with the new one. Just a few more things to consider. 1) I would like to see you bring back the ball point pen function. The felt tips don't allow you to write real small. 2) if you could allow inking and text in the same window (perhaps through insertion of text boxes).
I love the add flipped card feature. I've been doing that manually. great idea. Thanks again for the software, it's great!
Tyler

nilrema said...

Hey Raymond. Thanks for this Tabletpc Leitner flashcard. This is my first try of your software and I think I will use it more than the Microsoft Ink. Couple of recommendations:
1) Can you add text bubbling whenever a user hover over mouse over buttons. This would help people figuring out what each buttons do before even clicking on it. This would help make it more intuitive.
2) Move the new card icon over to the top left so that it is right above the cut button. This helps save wasting tons of extra back-and-forth hand movement when you are in a mode of creating over 200 cards. It helps minimize repetitive carpel syndrome.
3) When I click on new card, I constantly have to click Ink tab on top and bottom pane for each of the 200 cards. Can you make a button that will change the new card default mode to be either in Ink or Text mode (for both top and bottom pane initially).
4) Can you also move the Ink/Text tabs to flush left instead of right side. This way it minimize hand movements so that I can create tons of card fast because the area of mouse movement is very small.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. Thanks.

nilrema said...

Also have you consider putting this on sourceforge (sf.net) so you can get more programmers to assist you on this?

Steve said...

There's a bug.
While in quizzing flagged mode, if you don't answer but click next and later click stop testing. The last entry question data in "text" tab get lost and overwritten with its answer in the "text" tab.

Deador said...

This is a really great program ! The only thing its missing for my purposes (unless I am just doing something wrong here :/) is the ability to set a picture for the 'Answer' as well as the 'Question'.

goerasmus said...

Hello,
great programm - I have a big problem. Suddenly, starting Inkbuddy, I got the message "Programm is already running"...a clean deinstall including by hand delete of files did not help. What can I do??? All the prepared cards...

Thanks

Inkbuddy should be promoted more. It supports typing...and pictures...only records are missing.
Another wish, answers should also have a picture.

John said...

I realize that it states that this supports only tablets, but would it work on a Win 7 system using Wacom's Bamboo input?

Julia said...

Where did the download go? I used this software previously and loved it but need to reinstall it. Thank you for creating it.