FAQ: Archive 2003-2004
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This list was started on Feb 28, 1997. Last modified:

Deleting final drill dilemma (#13734)
(Malcolm Macgregor, United Kingdom, Friday, October 25, 2002 8:43 PM)
Question:
If I leave SuperMemo for a few days I get a message like "Final drill is 4 days old. Do you want to delete it?". SuperMemo should determine whether I should do the final drill or not! This is another example of SuperMemo being hard for the novice! Beginners might forget what a final drill is
Answer:
Final drill should be executed on the day the final drill queue is created. Otherwise it should be deleted. Beginners will not be surprised by this message unless they turn on the Professional level. This message is suppressed at Basic and Beginner levels. It is also suppressed in freshly created collections. In the past, SuperMemo would automatically delete the final drill, but many users insisted they wanted to go through this final stage of learning for one reason or another. Executing a late final drill is not harmful enough not to grant this user request


Forgetting does not seem to bother an average man in the street (#1338)
(Nick Clarke, Monday, November 27, 2000 12:41 AM)
Question:
Most people are apparently quite comfortable with the idea of spending several years studying, despite knowing they will forget almost everything they've learnt in a couple of years. The most surprising thing is that most people are not at all interested in a solution to this problem!
Answer:
The reasons are many. Perhaps the most prominent are these: 

  1. We greatly underestimate the value of knowledge in today's society. While watching an evening TV entertainment, few people seem worried that this same time could have been used to enhance their knowledge 
  2. We greatly underestimate the power of forgetting. We forget and thus fail to remember that we ever knew. We forget that knowledge is vital. We forget that forgetting is powerful. Few people are able to accurately guess the true impact of forgetting on their hard-earned memories 
  3. Only the most persistent few make an effort to find out that there are rational ways of managing memories. A vast majority does not even know there are tools that can remedy forgetting 
  4. Even those who appreciate knowledge and forgetting may be too busy or not persistent enough to rationalize their learning. Before they acquire basic skills, their estimation of costs far exceeds the estimation of benefits. 

This not-so-optimistic situation can only be remedied by gradual popularization of various learning techniques and the spread of simple learning tools that can be employed by anyone. SuperMemo implements and experiments with several new learning technologies. Once those technologies are employed in massively popular simple learning tools, the problem will slowly be alleviated


First name missing while ordering (#13731)
(Carol Eichert, Friday, October 25, 2002 12:55 PM)
Question:
I've tried a number of times to order SuperMemo and I continue to receive an error stating that "Your first name does not appear to be entered"
Answer:
We were unable to replicate the problem. The Name field requires that you put a first name and a last name. Say for example you enter CWE it will not accept that for a name. If you put in "CW Eichert" it will be accepted for a name


Transferring questions and answers from Windows to Palm (#13791)
(P. McDermott, Canada, Tuesday, October 29, 2002 10:04 PM)
Question:
I have SuperMemo 2002. I have recently purchased a Palm m500 and SuperMemo for Palm. I would like to transfer my existing data base from SuperMemo 2002 to the Palm as I travel frequently and would like to take it with me. I have downloaded the SMCONV file but have not been able to transfer the data
Answer:
You can only transfer questions and answers. You cannot transfer images or sounds, nor you can transfer the learning progress to the Palm platform. Export your collection from SuperMemo 2002 as text with File : Tools : Export : Q&A Text. You can now convert the Q&A text file to the PDB file format readable by any PalmOS device. Locate the Q&A text file and the smconv.exe tool. Then drag the Q&A text file and drop it onto the smconv.exe icon. This should produce the converted PDB file in the same folder where your Q&A file is. 

Important!
The folder where you have the Q&A text file must be freely accessible to the converter, i.e. it must NOT be compressed, encrypted, read-only, etc. You can then install the converted PDB file in the same way as you install any other PalmOS application. Simply double click the file, follow on-screen instructions, and HotSync your handheld device


Catastrophic failure isn't catastrophic (#13816)
(Hjp2304, Tuesday, October 29, 2002 12:47 PM)
Question:
What does the error message "Catastrophic failure" mean? It sounds funny
Answer:
This is not a SuperMemo error message. Microsoft seems to use "Catastrophic failure" in various COM objects where a call to an interface cannot be executed due to an unidentifiable/unrecoverable instability. You will most likely experience this problem when working with HTML or OLE (both working through COM interfaces). Although the failure may be catastrophic from the point of view of an object, it is usually harmless for SuperMemo and its data. If you move to the next element, all component-related objects will be destroyed and new objects will be created. Thus moving to the next element will likely resolve the problem. Rarely will you need to resort to restarting SuperMemo or Windows.


No memory limit on collections to use (#13862)
(S.J., Thursday, October 31, 2002 10:06 AM)
Question:
My Inbox has a 1000K limit. How much memory would each collection use?
Answer:
We do not send learning materials via e-mail (unless on a specific request). You will need to download the learning material using your browser (or other tools if you requests so). Only the size of your hard disk could impose any limit. Most collections are very small. Only Advanced English goes up to 40 MB (plus 250 MB if you decide to keep sounds on your hard disk). In other words, nearly all up-to-date computers can use SuperMemo materials. The size of your own (human) memory will most likely limit the growth of your data in size


SuperMemo 2002 is not backward compatible with SuperMemo 2000 (#13854)
(Piotr @ SML, Wednesday, October 30, 2002 1:55 PM)
Question:
I was trying to downgrade SM2002 collection to SM2000 and received many errors like this "Wrong termination sequence for element #1"
Answer:
Text files generated by SuperMemo 2002 include repetition history data. For that reason, when you try to import them back to SuperMemo 2000 you will get the said error. SM2000 expects "End of element ..." in the place where repetition history is included


SuperMemo keeps all your data on your hard disk all the time (#13910)
(Troy Gardner, 11/2/2002 9:42:05 AM)
Question:
I find the File menu options confusing coming from windows standard File, Edit, etc.. I don't know how to save a file that I'm working on, or close one without exiting
Answer:
SuperMemo does not keep data in memory (some CD-ROM collections go into gigabytes in size). Instead, all data remains on the hard disk. Only the small portion of currently edited data is loaded temporarily to memory. In other words, you do not ever need to use Save in SuperMemo. Once you move from one element to another, all element data is saved on the disk automatically. You can look at this as your mail in your Inbox. When it arrives, you do not need to save it. It is already saved. If you are editing a long text, you can just press Esc to have it saved (texts are saved on switching from editing to presentation mode). However, while working with SuperMemo, you rarely need to think of a power failure. Loss of data is rare and limited


Problems with playing sound usually result from incomplete or erroneous driver installation (#13977)
(Roelof.Timmer, Wednesday, November 06, 2002 4:24 PM)
Question:
I installed a collection of sound files for Advanced English. I repeatedly get the following message: "Cannot open player device. No wave device that can play files in the current format is installed. Use the Multimedia option in Control Panel to install the wave device". Other files on my computer play correct. I can also play Advanced English files in Media Player.
Answer:
The problem is likely with your sound board drivers. They are corrupt, incomplete (e.g. missing codec), wrongly configured, or you are using a wrong version (e.g. Windows default instead of up-to-date OEM drivers). There are a number of interfaces for accessing sound files as well as a number of compression schemes. For that reasons the same file may play via one interface and not via the other. You could best start off with searching for "No wave device that can play files" in Google and see which troubleshooting advice applies to your particular context (i.e. sound board, OS, installed software etc.). Do not search for "Cannot open player device" as this prefix is added by SuperMemo. See also:


Downgrades are free (#13948)
(Hctor Vicencio Constantino, Tuesday, November 05, 2002 3:36 AM)
Question:
I purchased SuperMemo 2002. I'd like to use a copy in my computer at work, which uses IE 5.0. SuperMemo 2000 would be the choice in this case. Can I use an earlier version without paying further?
Answer:
Yes. You can use all earlier versions available. Just write to moni(AT)supermemo(.)com to receive all necessary instructions. Please note that it is not recommended to use two versions on the same PC. Moreover, SuperMemo 2002 will attempt to inactivate all older version of SuperMemo


What if you have been charged a wrong amount? (#14001)
(Christa, Canada, Friday, November 01, 2002 6:35 PM)
Question:
My credit card indicates you charged me a wrong amount!
Answer:
Please consider the following: 

  1. if this is an undercharge, you might have automatically receive an upgrade or cross-sell discount; you can safely ignore the difference and enjoy the product 
  2. if the difference is less than a dollar, it may result from changes to the exchange rate of Polish zloty (if the change is substantial between the authorization and the capture on your credit card) 
  3. if you see an overcharge, please see again if you are not confusing Polish zloty (PLN) amount (which is several times more) with the dollar amount; unfortunately, this confusion occurs quite often 
  4. if you are sure there is a dollar overcharge on your returns, write to moni(AT)supermemo(.)com 

In case you report an overcharge, we act as follows: 

  1. check our paper documentation if an error has been made on our part; naturally, an error will result in an immediate full refund
  2. if no error is found, we contact the corresponding credit card company to check the record of charges in their computers; if error is found there, we request a speedy refund on their part
  3. if no error is found at the relevant credit card company, the error must have occurred outside Poland. In such a case, you will need to contact the bank that issued the card to verify their records, locate the source of the error, and refund the difference

Important! Our error rate is probably less than one case per 2-4 years. Error rate claimed by banks and credit card companies is comparable


Learning pronunciation with SuperMemo (#13845)
(antichr, Wednesday, October 30, 2002 12:56 AM)
Question:
How can I learn the pronunciation of the English Language?
Answer:
You can either use ready-made material or create the material for your specific learning needs. For example, the method used in Advanced English is highly recommended: Your question may have a form: "How do I pronounce the word 'mammoth'?". Or simply: "mammoth?". Your answer can include the phonetic transcription of "mammoth" or you can illustrate it with the sound (or both). See: examples.  

A very popular way of learning pronunciation is to import ready-made sounds from on-line dictionaries or record sound from popular English movies played on DVD. For example, to learn dialogs from the movie "Platoon" you can collect the material from this website: http://www.destgulch.com/movies/platoon/

Antimoon website also has a special section on learning pronunciation: http://www.antimoon.com/how/usingsm-makeitems-pron.htm 

See also: FAQ: Formulating knowledge


Your first repetition of a newly added item may come only in several days (#1560)
(anonymous, Saturday, November 09, 2002 3:48 PM)
Question:
I added a few items with Add new (Alt+A). Then I tried Learn and those items were not shown for repetition.
Answer:
When you add new items, they are immediately introduced into the learning process. The first repetition will be scheduled only in a couple of days. You will see newly introduced items on the same day only as part of the final drill. However, if you turn off the final drill (Skip final drill in Options), you will not see these items until the day of their first repetition. Depending on how well you cope with new material, your first repetition may come the next day or it may come in 3 weeks. Usually it comes in 3-6 days.


To import from SuperMemo 7 you need to download SM7IMPRT.EXE (#2947)
(Wong Chee Ming, Malaysia, Nov 21, 2001)
Question:
I wanted to import SuperMemo 7 database to SuperMemo for Windows. It tells me that SM7IMPRT.EXE is missing! What should I do?
Answer:
You can download the program from the download section. Once you download, place in the Bin subfolder and use File : Tools : Import : SuperMemo 6 or 7


SuperMemo 2002 in Windows NT (#14284)
(ELK, Thursday, November 14, 2002 9:11 PM)
Question:
Does SuperMemo 2002 work correctly in Windows NT?
Answer:
NT 4.0 is supported. See: Minimum Requirements. The older the installation the greater the frequency of error messages generated by mshtml.dll on rich multimedia HTML material imported from the net (those messages are all harmless). The best remedy is to install Internet Explorer 6.0 with all up-to-date service packs and patches


Data exchange between Windows and Pocket PC versions (#14282)
(Amanda Chetterbock, Friday, November 22, 2002 3:51 AM)
Question:
Is SuperMemo 2002 compatible with the Pocket PC version?
Answer:
Data exchange is limited to question-and-answer material. The learning process cannot be transferred (this is to change in the future though). In addition, Pocket PC version does not have multimedia capabilities. Consequently, no multimedia content can be transferred to Pocket PC


You cannot transfer reference hyperlinks between collections (#12505)
(Markku Mahonen, Norway, 10.08.02AdrenaliiniLidokaiini)
Question:
I have used the Reference option. However, after transferring the collection, the numbering of the elements has changed. Now the reference hyperlinks go to wrong elements
Answer:
Reference hyperlinks are imbedded in the HTML text. As such they do not change upon transfer. There is no automatic way to transfer reference hyperlinks between two collections


Password change upon an upgrade (#12938)
(Jonathan Moran, 02/12/2002)
Question:
I upgraded from SuperMemo 2000 to SuperMemo 2002 but my password is not being recognised
Answer:
Once you upgrade, you should receive a new password within a business day


Shortcut for View : Oustanding (#14447)
(SuperMemo R&D, Wednesday, December 04, 2002 3:24 PM)
Question:
I would like to see a shortcut key for displaying View : Outstanding
Answer:
You can use Alt+V, O to activate this option


Client-server SuperMemo (#14391)
(Shaun Snapp, Friday, November 29, 2002 5:40 PM)
Question:
Is their a SuperMemo client server version available or planned? I.e. can we have the data centralized on one server and have clients log in to perform read only searches and research on the database? Can SuperMemo have different user levels, such as an admin (write only) and user (read only)?
Answer:
The closest to that model is supermemo.net currently in development. This can be customized for corporate clients. For details write to smnet(AT)supermemo(.)com


Error setting HTML selection (#14497)
(Ahmet Karahan, Turkey, 09.12.2002)
Question:
SuperMemo displayed this error: 
"Error setting HTML selection 
Start=0 
Length=1 
800a025e hatası nedeniyle işlem tamamlanamıyor
"
Answer:
This is a harmless error that often occurs on multimedia-rich or table-rich HTML pages stored in SuperMemo. Most likely, you have executed Remember Extract (Alt+X) and SuperMemo was unable to restore your original text selection. This error is not known to cause loss of data or any other negative side effect. All you may need to do is to reposition the selection or mark the selected fragment as extracted. This error is due to problems with Microsoft's mshtml.dll library and is far less frequent on filtered content (use F6 to apply filters to offending web pages). 
For experts: this error occurs in the procedure TWeb.SetSelection(Start,Length:integer) in SuperMemo's Web unit


Data size limitations (#14391)
(Shaun Snapp, Friday, November 29, 2002 5:40 PM)
Question:
Is there a record limitation in SuperMemo? For instance can it take up to a million entries? Is there a database limitation, say at 200 Gig?
Answer:
Theoretically, SuperMemo 2002 could accommodate a billion items and equally many multimedia files. However, the speed of the program degrades with the size of data. The performance is tolerable for a million elements or 1 GB of data; however, it might not be tolerable beyond a certain limit. In addition, regular backups become troublesome for huge datasets. As SuperMemo is primarily used for self-learning, most users operate with only thousands of elements. Collections beyond 100,000 elements are a rarity. Testing the program on larger datasets and securing tolerable performance is not a priority


Choosing the first review data of newly imported articles (#14522)
(reinhardkoehler, Germany, Tue Dec 10, 2002 7:28 am)
Question:
Is it possible for imported/pasted articles to give them a date when they are to be introduced into the learning cycle.
Answer:
Yes. Use Ctrl+J and choose the date of the first review. In the middle of the review interval, you can also use Ctrl+Shift+R to simulate a forced review. Ctrl+J will increase or decrease the length of the interval, while Ctrl+Shift+R will additionally set the last repetition date to today. Use Ctrl+J to modify the length of the interval without changing the last repetition date. Use Ctrl+Shift+R to set last repetition date to today and then choose the new interval. Ctrl+Shift+R is particularly useful if you want to set a very short interval. Ctrl+J cannot reduce the interval beyond the interval from the last repetition till today.


Free update is used only for the purpose of replacing an outdated executable (#14849)
(PatrickGillilan, Tuesday, December 17, 2002 5:47 PM)
Question:
I have selected "Free update" option in "SuperMemo 2002 Upgrade"; however, I did not get the password to unlock the program
Answer:
"Free update" is available to users who already have SuperMemo 2002. Once you download, you are supposed to replace the old sm2002.exe file with the newly downloaded one. Your old password will be reused automatically


Problems with deleting graphics from HTML (#14906)
(Steven White, Australia, Monday, December 23, 2002 3:21 AM)
Question:
I have problems when editing web pages. Sometimes it is impossible to delete some graphics and sometimes the vertical scroll bar stops work. Often if I toggle between the current and previous articles the problem goes away. Is there a later build you could send that might not have problems?
Answer:
Unfortunately most of this behavior depends on Microsoft's mshtml module. Only improvements to that library are a solid hope for a solution. In the meantime, all you can do is to experiment with HTML filters in SuperMemo (F6) and learn various tricks and workarounds by trial and error (e.g. where Del does not work, Backspace sometimes does)


This session is reported as lasting too long (#14924)
(Ahmet Karahan, Turkey, Sunday, December 22, 2002 10:36 AM)
Question:
What does this message indicate: 
Warning! Check your date setting! 
This session is reported as lasting 13h 42m 49s
Answer:
SuperMemo always tries to make sure your date setting is correct. You have probably left your collection open for over 13 hours or hibernated your computer without closing SuperMemo. SuperMemo displays the warning each time the session seems to have lasted suspiciously long. You can reset the session timer by simply restarting SuperMemo


When ordering from super-memo.com you are registered automatically (#15024)
(B. MARC (HP-Canada), Friday, January 03, 2003 5:38 PM)
Question:
I have just ordered SuperMemo 2002, downloaded it, but can not register (my firewall). Can you please register me?
Answer:
You need to distinguish between unlocking and registering SuperMemo. You need to unlock the program in order to use. Registration is optional. You can choose to register if you are using a trial version of SuperMemo and would like to become a customer. Once you order from www.super-memo.com, you name is automatically registered in the user database. All you need is to input the unlock password that had been sent to you in response to your order. Detailed instructions and explanations are presented here. See also: Shopping FAQ


There are alternative ways of getting SuperMemo in case of download problems (#15328)
(Steven Ahlig, Germany, Monday, January 06, 2003 3:34 PM)
Question:
I just bought SuperMemo for Windows CE, however, it's not possible to download the software. I tried the red download-button several times; each time the download-window popped up but the download never started
Answer:
This problem is probably temporary. You could try again at another time, or from another PC. You can also ask to have this program sent to you via e-mail (around 700K). For details write to moni(AT)supermemo(.)com


Error viewing current file (#14142)
(QUBUS bvba, 12/11/02 17:15:51)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Error viewing current file"
Answer:
This is a harmless error. SuperMemo file browser cannot display the preview of the currently selected file. The only inconvenience is that you will not be able to see the file. This error occurs at times in SuperMemo 2000 and has not been reported in SuperMemo 2002 yet.


MP3 files will play on any computer with a sound board (#15331)
(Tomasz P. Szynalski, Saturday, January 04, 2003 1:50 AM)
Question:
We would like to add sound to our Pronunciation 500 collection. MP3 is optimal, but will it work on any computer with SM2000 or higher?
Answer:
Yes. The only precondition is that the user has a properly installed and configured sound board (incl. relevant codecs)


If you learn English, you can use ready-made collections (#15226)
(Suresh, USA Educational, Tuesday, November 26, 2002 4:47 PM)
Question:
I find that entering large number of pairs of a word and a meaning is tedious. I would have found it easier if there was an inbuilt dictionary and I could create a collection from that dictionary
Answer:
Advanced English meets exactly that purpose


Wrong item count on upgrade (#15419)
(Steven Trezise, United Kingdom, 14/01/2003)
Question:
SuperMemo 2002 displayed the following error on upgrade: 
Wrong item count 
Expected: 0 
Found: 191

Answer:
Although denoted as an error, this message is actually a norm. SuperMemo 2002, unlike its predecessors, keeps a separate item and topic statistics. As a result, the first compulsory collection repair after the upgrade will always report a missing item/topic statistic. No action is necessary


Long lines on the website (#15472)
(NF Lynch (Isr), Israel, Wednesday, January 15, 2003 9:29 AM)
Question:
I'm surprised that an organisation dedicated to learning methods is not aware that solid text blocks with long lines make very hard reading and understanding
Answer:
The length of lines can easily be changed by adjusting the size of the browser. Many readers prefer to choose their own line length and style sheet rather than to have it imposed by the webmaster. Due to this customization, it can be argued that free flowing texts are easier to read than pre-formatted text


Problems with searching for | (#15603)
(Maks, Sunday, January 26, 2003 3:44 PM)
Question:
I wanted to find all British/American items in Advanced English but SuperMemo was unable to find the | character (code 124)
Answer:
This is a bug. Select match case to search for this character. The procedure that converts searched texts to uppercase erroneously includes characters $7B-$BF in the conversion. This problem has been removed and will be absent in future releases (i.e. above SuperMemo 2002)


You can search for a text among items or among topics (#15577)
(Hjp2304, Wednesday, January 22, 2003 5:14 PM)
Question:
I would like to search only in topics or only in items
Answer:
You can execute a standard search and then select Child : Topics or Child : Items on the browser menu. Child : Topics can also be executed by clicking the topics button in the browser


You can easily import HTML pages with pictures (#3207)
(Jan Gorski, Poland, Wednesday, January 22, 2003 4:53 PM)
Question:
I have generated a page with math formula pictures: http://www.mimuw.edu.pl/~jacho/test/HagWord/HagV3se4.html  
After entering it to SuperMemo 2002 there are no pictures
Answer:
If you copy your page to the clipboard and press Ctrl+Alt+N in SuperMemo, your page will display beautifully. The pictures will be kept on the remote server. If you would like to import this page locally, save it on your hard disk (remember to save the complete page with all pictures). Then press Ctrl+Alt+H. With your local page, while creating extracts, you must remember to retain the originally imported root page. Picture objects are not duplicated with each extract. All extracts refer to the originally imported pictures held by the imported page


Extracts do not retain the read-point (#15549)
(Anatoliy Lipatov, Ukraine, Monday, January 20, 2003 2:19 PM)
Question:
When I am pressing text extract button SuperMemo always comes to the beginning of the text
Answer:
Make sure you use the most up-to-date Internet Explorer 6.0. Once you update all libraries and the problem persists, it may be related to the specific type of HTML files you are using. Most often problem with computing read-point position occurs in files rich with tables. If tables are used only for formatting texts, you could just filter them out (F6)


SuperMemo does not scan your ports (#15633)
(tilljac, Germany, Friday, January 24, 2003 6:33 PM)
Question:
When I access the supermemo.com website my firewall picks up, that the computer-ports are apparently systematically scanned by you. I wonder why, doesn't feel nice
Answer:
Please read the instructions of your firewall for the interpretation of activity of TCP/IP services on individual ports.

SuperMemo websites are hosted at reputable Yahoo and Verio servers. No illegal or stealth activity is allowed. No executables except simple JavaScript, PHP, and CGI scripts are hosted at our official websites. These providers use state-of-the-art tools to guard against hackers, Trojans, net worms, and viruses.

Last but not least, we focus solely on helping our customers learn faster. We are not interested in customer private data other than submitted voluntarily or consensually upon request.


Empty list of HTML documents (#15697)
(Stander, Johann , South Africa, Wednesday, January 29, 2003 2:07 PM)
Question:
I have Windows 98 and IE 6.0 Service Pack 1. I tried to use Import web pages and it has empty list of web pages. In Windows XP I do not have this problem
Answer:
It is difficult to diagnose your problem but somehow IE6 fails to communicate its services to shell procedures in Windows API calls. It is recommended you install all updates to both Windows and Internet Explorer. If this does not help. You may need to reinstall IE


Confusing English with German (#15670)
(golusiek, Poland, Monday, January 27, 2003 10:00 PM)
Question:
I am not sure I should merge my German and English collections. Will I not mix the languages? Will I not speak half German, half English?
Answer:
By merging collections you change the physical location of knowledge on the hard disk. You hardly change the location of the same knowledge in your brain. The major thing that will change is that you will be forced to do frequent context switching from German to English. This is actually good for separating the two languages. You will confuse them less! Context switching is a form of training that helps reduce interference. This is exactly what happens in bilingual kids. They have a sort of "mental switch", which disables one language while the other is operational. The only thing you must ensure is that your questions in English are clearly differentiated from those in German. You can do it with prefixes (e.g. Ger: and Eng:) or with templates (e.g. English in red-blue, German in black-yellow).


Cannot use SuperMemo until e-mail dialog is closed (#15622)
(tomas drahokoupil, Czech Republic, Sunday, January 26, 2003 1:18 PM)
Question:
If I send e-mail via SuperMemo, I cannot use the program until I close the e-mail dialog. This is a non-standard behaviour.
Answer:
SuperMemo uses a standard Windows MAPI call, which results in this behavior. The program is locked until this MAPI Windows procedure returns its result: 
MapiSendMail(0, AppHandle, MapiMessage, MAPI_DIALOG or MAPI_LOGON_UI or MAPI_NEW_SESSION, 0)


Real numbers in SuperMemo DLL (#15716)
(Mark G. Patterson, Saturday, January 25, 2003 6:43 PM)
Question:
I got stuck using SuperMemo Algorithm DLL when I tried to use GetInt1000FromReal. The problem is the now obsolete data types in Delphi
Answer:
This function is only needed if you want to interpret optimization data used by the algorithm. It is not needed for using the algorithm itself. The function takes the pointer to data you want to interpret and converts that data to an integer. It makes "obsolete" floating point numbers visible as integers


Cannot close registry (#6278)
(Ahmet Karahan, Turkey, 01.02.2003)
Question:
SuperMemo displayed the following error: 
Cannot close registry 
C:\Program Files\supermemo\systems\Ahmet Karahan\registry\text 
I/O error 1
Answer:
Cannot close registry error occur when SuperMemo has problems with writing to files. There are many reasons that could cause problems with files. However, the recommended action will always be the same: restart SuperMemo or restart Windows and run File : Repair collection to make sure there has been no permanent damage to the integrity of the collection. In this particular case, text registry files could not be closed. The exotic I/O error 1 is not listed in Delphi documentation. This may indicate the problem is highly unusual. This always calls for a scrupulous checkup of hardware and software running on your computer, esp. if the problem reoccurs.


Cannot restore window in layout (#6275)
(QUBUS bvba, 22/01/03 20:42:12)
Question:
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: 
"Cannot restore Element window in Last used layout 
Unable to write to E:\SM2000\bin\layout.ini"
Answer:
SuperMemo stores window size and position in the file bin/layout.ini. In your case this file has become locked. SuperMemo could not store the element window position as used in "Last layout". The most likely reason for a file lock is a major software crash. This error in itself is not critical. Only recent changes to the position of windows will be ignored on restart. However, there must have been an underlying event that caused the file to be locked. For that reason you need to examine the following: (1) integrity of your collection that was in use during the crash (File : Repair collection) as well as (2) overall status of your computer (hardware, viruses, configuration, etc.)


Leaving SuperMemo idle will not hurt your learning statistics (#2663)
(Mike C., Sunday, February 25, 2001 3:20 PM)
Question:
My speed is 168 el/year, and my daily cost is 2.178 min/el. These both went way up after leaving SuperMemo running idle for about 16 hours last night by accident
Answer:
Leaving SuperMemo idle should not affect the statistics. All repetition times above 30 seconds are trimmed down to 30 seconds. In SuperMemo 2002, your statistics could change significantly if you, for example, did lots of incremental reading in a small collection. In future SuperMemos, even incremental reading topics will not interfere with this statistic


Is "Free update" free? (#16171)
(Fong Chi Kit, Hong Kong, Saturday, February 08, 2003 6:28 PM)
Question:
Why the free upgrade listed price is $15? Is it really free?
Answer:
Yes. If you select "Free update" and you qualify for a free update to your SuperMemo, there will be no charges.


SuperMemo should load in about 1 second (#16113)
(Val Pavlichenko, Tuesday, February 04, 2003 1:19 AM)
Question:
SuperMemo seems to be slow loading even on my 2.2 MHz machine. Is it normal or I can try to fine tune it somehow?
Answer:
In a clean directory or with small collections, SuperMemo should open within 1-2 seconds. This time may increase on slower machines, in cluttered Windows, with slow-access secondary storage, background applications, rich multimedia, files stored on remote servers, etc. The actions you can take are similar to those in accelerating other applications. For example, defragmenting your hard disk may increase the speed of search on 1 gigabyte collection from half a minute to just one second. Once your Windows is polluted with a large number of applications and libraries (esp. games), access to some DLLs may slow down. In similar circumstances, as with all other Windows applications, the best remedy is a clean Windows install with only the most important and most reliable applications set up.


SuperMemo is not likely to suppress dreams (#11294)
(Nick Clarke, Sat, Jun 22, 2002 6:00)
Question:
Is it possible that SuperMemo suppresses dreams? With the daily use of SuperMemo I stopped dreaming and can't think of anything other than SuperMemo which is likely to have caused the absence of dreams. Have any other users reported similar effects on dreaming?
Answer:
SuperMemo isn't likely to suppress dreams. If anything, it should rather be expected to result in more brain activity in sleep. Nobody has ever reported an impact of SuperMemo on dreams. However, if a wild guess was to be made on the correlation of the amount of learning and dreaming, it is possible that the correlation would be negative. This comes from the fact that we rarely remember dreams after completing a full cycle of healthy sleep. Dreams are more likely to be remembered if sleep is disrupted (esp. if the disruption is caused by the dream itself). At the same time, people with poor sleep tend to show less patience for SuperMemo. Reciprocally, late evening SuperMemo could induce early sleepiness and improve your night sleep. In other words, lots of learning and good sleep might come together as much as disrupted sleep, dream recall, and lowered self-discipline


Formatting is lost when importing mail (#16310)
(Leonard Budney, Feb 20, 2003)
Question:
If I select the email text and hit Ctrl+Alt+E, then formatting is lost: blank lines are deleted, and paragraphs are sometimes merged
Answer:
This behavior is by design. Formatted mail may take several times more space, slow down text searches, and HTML operations are notoriously tricky on various exotic formats. For large volumes of mail, unformatted mail is quite a benefit. If formatting is meaningful/important, re-paste the content of clipboard under the header of your e-mail in the newly created HTML element. That should be a less-than-a-second operation


You need to provide good grades to complete the learning cycle (#12696)
(jude kendall , Wednesday, September 04, 2002 8:03 PM)
Question:
I run Learn on the abc.kno collection and never get the popup window that says the learning is complete
Answer:
Most likely you are giving grades less than Good (e.g. Pass). This will make final drill go into an infinite cycle


Downside of one body of knowledge (#16397)
(kondzio, Poland, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:26 AM)
Question:
I think there is a downside of one body of knowledge. I have embarked on an ambitious plan to re-memorize Advanced English. As half of the material is well-known to me, my first intervals started to stretch beyond 1 month!
Answer:
You should never discard old knowledge! For various psychological reasons, users often want to start from scratch with a clean slate. This is a major error, esp. if your prior investment in learning had already been substantial. If you give up Advanced English and start later again from scratch, you will fool SuperMemo into believing your recall is far better than it really is. Your prior investment will largely be lost due to the incomparably higher workload. Not only will data collected by SuperMemo about your memory be lost, it will now be distorted by overestimated recall rate. No matter how long the break, you should reschedule your old material and resume work on the old data. You can make individual adjustments to priorities and intervals as you go. The only imaginable reasons why you might want to start from scratch are (1) you lost your learning material or (2) you suffered from an injury or disease that had a dramatic impact on your memory. If you lost your material, you could indeed consider starting from scratch in a separate collection and transfer thus re-memorized knowledge to your main body of knowledge only once you pass all the originally remembered material. In case of a severe brain injury, naturally, keeping one body of knowledge may still make sense and the optimum strategy will depend on the severity of memory loss


You should not worry too much about duplicates (#16390)
(Piotr Wasik , Poland, Monday, February 24, 2003 12:01 PM)
Question:
While learning I can create multiple items that are semantically identical. The problem is not with knowledge, but with what I would call meta-knowledge: "I know that I know, but I don't know how I know it". I simply do not know if I already have similar items in SuperMemo. This problem is different from memory interference and I found no tips about it. My solution is to look up the database for similarities but it is time consuming. I realize that having two identical items is bad for the process because you fool SuperMemo that you memory works better than it actually does
Answer:
It is true that SuperMemo will not behave optimally if you introduce two identical items. However, if you try to locate duplicates you will spend by far more time that you would otherwise lose due to duplications. Your optimum strategy is to delete duplicates only if you discover them (e.g. by chance). Some users combat limitations of the forgetting index by producing multiple differently formulated clozes that address the same issue. With this approach you can indeed reach retention above 99%. In other words, it is far healthier to forget about the problem than to ponder on this little inefficiency. Note that real life will produce far more interference with the learning process. That is, naturally, if you get to use your knowledge in practice.


Lost license code (#16649)
(Dustin Darcy , USA Educational, Saturday, March 22, 2003 7:52 AM)
Question:
I was converting my main workstation from a windows box into a purer Linux OS, and somewhere during the metamorphosis I lost all my emails that I had stored in Outlook. So the only way I'm able to run SuperMemo 2002 is by using an old knowledge-base which automatically registers the software. Which is great, since it allows me to continue using the software. However, I don't like running my software not knowing when the next big disk crash could kill off the rest of my databases leaving me SuperMemo-less
Answer:
All you need to back up is your learning material (or at least the most vital part of it). You can always open and use this material with SuperMemo 2002 and its updates. In addition, you can have your instructions resent by just providing your name, address or e-mail. Those can easily be located in the user database. You do not need to worry about your order number, password, etc. You can focus on keeping a backup of the learning material.


Spell-checking in SuperMemo (#16585)
(Slavko Bobek, Slovenia, Sunday, March 16, 2003 10:03 PM)
Question:
Is there any way to use/include spell-checker when you type your words in SuperMemo. Like in Microsoft Office
Answer:
No. There is no spell-checker. However, you can use Edit file (F9) to edit your file with your favorite word processor. If it uses a spell-checker, you can use this to spell-check your text.


Cannot proceed with Import (#6478)
(Damijan Savernik , Slovenia, 24.03.2003)
Question:
SuperMemo displayed the following error: "Cannot proceed with Import"
Answer:
This error occurs while importing material from SuperMemo 7. Because of its general nature, it is difficult to say what might have caused it. If possible submit your SuperMemo 7 database for analysis of this error. It may have been caused by a bug in the import procedure or by errors in the structure of your SuperMemo 7 material.


Can SuperMemo be used to learn to draw maps? (#16586)
(Gibson , Canada, Sunday, March 16, 2003 5:04 PM)
Question:
Could SuperMemo be used for learning how to draw maps, such as countries, states, etc.?
Answer:
It depends on which component skill you need to develop. SuperMemo can easily be used to learn geography and the location, shape and mutual spatial relationship between countries. This knowledge is naturally vital for drawing maps "from memory". However, if the skill to be trained is conversion of the "mental map" to a "map on paper", SuperMemo may only help you organize the timing/schedule of training. For example, while learning a selected geography collection, the student can attempt to draw a map at each repetition (on paper). If the drawing does not meet the required quality criteria, a failing grade can be provided helping enhance the practice of drawing this particular map/shape


SuperMemo and singing (#16586)
(Gibson , Canada, Sunday, March 16, 2003 5:04 PM)
Question:
Could SuperMemo be used to learn singing a melody?
Answer:
This will be difficult. SuperMemo requires self-grading and this requires an ability to verify one's own progress. For vocal training at the basic level, a teacher is indispensable. A beginner will often be unable to self-evaluate, for example, the accuracy of following a given pitch. However, a skilled vocalist can easily use SuperMemo to schedule his practice as soon as he or she is able to efficiently self-evaluate. SuperMemo can be used in conjunction with all imaginable learning tools and procedures as long as there is a reliable way to evaluate one's performance


"Do you want to learn new material?" suppressed (#6512)
(Oláh Villõ , Hungary, Monday, April 07, 2003 11:24 PM)
Question:
What is the reason for window "Do you want to learn new material?" not to appear? Repetitions of the new material begin automatically
Answer:
This message is suppressed if you have less than 100 elements memorized. Many beginners complain about the number of choices they need to make. This makes SuperMemo seem intimidating. For that reasons, some learning stages occur automatically early in the learning process. The choices are then gradually phased in as the student gradually becomes familiar with SuperMemo's ways


Not all elements with a given last repetition day will show as repetitions in Workload (#16965)
(Tolo, Poland, Apr 30, 2003)
Question:
In my Workload, I have only 10+10 repetitions on Apr 10, but when I double click on that day, the browser shows 80 elements. Why is that?
Answer:
There could be many reasons for that. For example: 


Errors resolved with restarting Windows (#16967)
(Simon Jacques , Thursday, April 17, 2003 2:10 AM)
Question:
I received this message on the screen of Advanced English in SuperMemo 8: "General Protection Fault in module SM8 EXE at 002D162C5". I could not get rid of it and had to reset my computer. After I had reset I could continue and the message did not reappear
Answer:
GPFs that get resolved with a Windows restart are a frequent indication of a memory structure being corrupt. Usually it is very hard to establish if the problem has been caused by SuperMemo or other application in Windows. However, these error rarely result in damage to your learning data. In other words, it is enough you can preventively run the file repair option or increase the frequency of backing up your data


Ordering SuperMemo is equivalent to registering it (#17014)
(Zab Doss , Monday, May 05, 2003 1:33 PM)
Question:
I ordered two items (Super Memo 2002 and Super Memo for Pocket PC), and downloaded on my PC in my office. I bought a new PC in my home. I tried many times to register but I always failed
Answer:
All you need to do is to transfer downloaded files from your office PC to your home PC. Use information received via e-mail to complete the installation. There is no need to register or contact SuperMemo World (unless you lost your files or e-mail information). You are already registered (i.e. your data is stored in the user database). If you need help, simply write to a relevant address listed here


List of components used on a page (#17435)
(W Paul Gephart , Tuesday, April 08, 2003 3:54 AM)
Question:
How can I see what components are used by a particular element?
Answer:
The fastest way is to choose Component Order on the element menu (Ctrl+Shift+O). You can also click the button displaying component tags on the Compose toolbar


Error viewing KNO file after copying a collection (#17456)
(Veerle Hendrickx , Sunday, May 11, 2003 6:47 PM)
Question:
I copied the collections to another computer. I get the message "Error viewing KNO file data , I/O error 103"
Answer:
If you transferred via a CDR, you must have copied with the read-only attribute. Please remove read-only attribute from the collection files


Collection repair choices (#3987)
(joegunn, Friday, July 13, 2001 12:28 AM)
Question:
When I open recovery I am faced with the choices of recovering registries, checking filespace or checking all. How should I proceed?
Answer:
You do not need to understand these options. For safety of your learning process it is recommended that you do Basic Recovery from time to time (e.g. once per week). For safety of your entire collection you can check all options and execute a full checkup (e.g. once per month). You should increase the frequency of checkups if SuperMemo displays errors or if your computer crashes often. The basic difference between these two options is that the first is fast, the other takes longer. For example, a 500MB, 100,000 element collection may take 1 minute in basic recovery and 4 hours for the full checkup. If you do not care about building the full lexicon, you can uncheck Rebuild lexicon in full recovery.


Progress box was designed for processes lasting up to 24 hours (#6062)
(anonymous, May 20, 2003)
Question:
I was doing a big transfer (almost a million elements). Suddenly, the progress box went crazy and started showing some absurd estimations of time!
Answer:
Probably you must have run beyond the 24 hours capacity of the progress box component. This is a design limitation. The time displayed by progress box circles back to 0 once you pass 24 hours. This should not affect the process that was being monitored


Use your knowledge wherever possible (#17476)
(David Edwards, May 24, 2003)
Question:
We are encouraged to use our knowledge as we learn it. But the theory says that if we don't space out repetitions, we will not build stable memories
Answer:
Practice shows that using your knowledge will greatly enhance learning. It is true that frequent repetitions make it difficult to build long-lasting memories; however, there are many factors that counter-balance this problem: 

  1. frequently used knowledge is rarely forgotten unless there is a sudden decrease in the frequency of use (the longer the period of frequent use, the later the detection of the problem by SuperMemo) 
  2. "real life" repetitions are not uniformly equivalent to SuperMemo repetitions due to varying context clues; this mitigates the spacing effect 
  3. using knowledge helps you establish meaningful structure of individual pieces of information; this dramatically improves recall due to the mnemonic value of structured knowledge 

Statistically, the problem of "spacing effect" when using knowledge behind SuperMemo is negligible.


Today's leeches (#17567)
(Terje A. Tonsberg , Saturday, May 24, 2003 11:57 AM)
Question:
I would like to have "today's leeches" browser available
Answer:
After you find the leeches, you can choose Child : Outstanding in the browser


SuperMemo can be applied in nearly all forms of declarative learning (#17554)
(Bert Schouteten, Sunday, May 25, 2003 10:14 PM)
Question:
Why can't I use SuperMemo for learning a play, or song lyrics?
Answer:
You can. It may require some inventiveness and practice. It may also be impracticable. However, there are very few areas of declarative learning (e.g. as opposed to sports) where SuperMemo cannot be used


Merging collections does not affect the learning process (#17551)
(Geraldine, SatMay24,2003 4:29 pm)
Question:
Does File : Merge collection retain the learning history?
Answer:
After you merge two collections, you should be able to continue learning as before. In other words, the learning process is retained. However, not all components of learning history are retained. For example, past repetition data in Workload will only show repetition executed in the core collection (i.e. the one that accepted new data in the merger process).


Medical Biology is a good complement to medical studies (#17625)
(Bertrand Chung , Saturday, May 31, 2003 1:55 PM)
Question:
Is the Medical Biology Mix more suited for High-school or medical University students? Who compiled this specific mix anyway?
Answer:
Medical Biology has been created for students of medicine. However, it begins with material that is universally useful (perhaps the first 1000 elements or so). This mix is a prioritized conglomerate of several collections, mostly prepared by authors with background in medicine or biology. It can best be used as a supplement to medical studies where individual questions can be used for inspiration for further study. Best covered ideas extend from biochemistry, through cell biology to physiology and health science. In other words, the questions mostly describe a healthy body in action.


There aren't many ADD success cases with SuperMemo documented (#17626)
(singer, Saturday, May 31, 2003 2:41 PM)
Question:
I am an opera singer and ADD. I forget a lot of what I read, which frustrates me, and which makes me very excited about SuperMemo
Answer:
Everyone forgets "a lot" of what they read. The problem with ADD may be in perception, not the actual retention of knowledge. Although attention deficit, by definition, may hamper the acquisition of new memories, the long-term forgetting process will proceed along similar lines as in non-ADD individuals. In other words, the frustration of an ADD subject may often be related more to the inability to accept "the loss", which others would consider normal and acceptable. SuperMemo can relieve this problem substantially by leaving the student with the impression that "everything will be taken care of" sooner or later. In SuperMemo, there is no painful leak of information into the blackhole of forgetfulness. This awareness mitigates frustration and thus greatly reduces attentional problems at the root of ADD. However, there are indications that ADD individuals may be less inclined to stick with SuperMemo in the long-term for their characteristic novelty-seeking urge. Consequently, there is little material to predicate on the long-term impact of SuperMemo on learning in ADD individuals. For more see: SuperMemo in special education 


You need to use the mouse in multiple choice tests (#17776)
(TomáH Klinkovský , Czech Republic, Friday, June 20, 2003 9:45 AM)
Question:
Is it possible to use keyboard in multiple choice tests? It would be nice to select answer with keys A, B, C, D or F1, F2, F3, F4
Answer:
No. You need to use the mouse. Only customized shortcuts could overcome shortcut overcrowding. However, this would make the program more complex and support more difficult (many solutions are explained with a few standard keystrokes). In addition, multiple choice tests are not considered an effective way of learning unless you specifically prepare for a multiple choice test exams.


Error restoring window (#6617)
(Geraldine , Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:32 PM)
Question:
SuperMemo displayed the following error: "Error restoring window"
Answer:
This error may occur when SuperMemo reads the coordinates of its windows from supermemo.ini file. This might be caused by problems in reading from the INI file or a systemwide problem with accessing windows displayed on the screen (e.g. after a major crash of any application). Most likely you will resolve this problem by restarting Windows. This error should not pose danger to your learning data (unless it is followed by other errors of different type). This is the only one report of this error ever occurring.


Not all collections in SuperMemo Library meet the 20 rules of well-formulated items (#17931)
(Piotr S, Monday, June 30, 2003 8:18 PM)
Question:
In your "patellar tendonitis" collection I see a question which does not seem to make any sense without context: 
Q: Grade 4: Pain during [...] which may or may not be getting worse 
A: every day activities
Answer:
This item indeed makes sense only in the context of this very specialist collection. As the collection itself provides the context, it cannot be considered plain wrong. However, if you intend to import this collection to the main body of your knowledge, you will need to provide context. The simplest solution is to add a small picture to all elements in the collection that will illustrate the discussed medical condition. Alternatively, you can simply change the color of the background in the collection (assuming you do not abuse colors as these can easily become confused).


"Daily costs" in statistics tells you how much time you are likely to spend on learning (#18316)
(Cvmiller1, Monday, August 04, 2003 10:49 PM)
Question:
What is the meaning of the following items: 
Cost 0.077 min/el. 
Daily cost 0.071 min/el. 
Does this mean I am going to be charged every time I use this program?
Answer:
All "costs" in statistics are measured in time (here in minutes). They tell you how much time you need, for example, to retain a single item in memory, or how much time per day you need to spend on repetitions. Once you buy SuperMemo, you can use the program indefinitely. In practical terms, it means "as long as you use a compatible computer and an operating system for which that given version was dedicated". For a detailed description of the statistics see: Statistics window (in similar cases, search box available on the home page of supermemo.com)


You can merge your orders (#18333)
(XueYang26, Tuesday, August 05, 2003 3:37 PM)
Question:
I was going to buy SuperMemo 2002 + Advanced English 2002, but I didn't click the right button. Now I only have SuperMemo 2002. How can I buy the Advanced English2002 without any extra cost?
Answer:
You can reorder, choose the product you need, and ask for the old order to be cancelled. You can also order Advanced English 2002 and ask for the two orders to be merged. In both cases, use the Comment field in the new order to submit your wish (e.g. "Please cancel order 6442" or "Please merge the present order with order 6442")


Capitals of the world (#18425)
(tps, Tuesday, August 12, 2003 10:21 PM)
Question:
I see a lot of people adding pretty useless knowledge to SuperMemo, which is a monumental mistake and only drags them down and puts them off SuperMemo. Why is there a "Capitals of the world" collection? Who memorizes that kind of thing?
Answer:
You are right that knowledge selection is one of the pillars of success with SuperMemo. The value of knowledge varies dramatically, and students need to make their choices mostly on their own. Bad choices may result in a situation where learning without SuperMemo is actually more beneficial than learning with SuperMemo. However, there are subsets of universal knowledge that are in high demand. Nothing can beat the collections that help you learn English; however, capitals of the world are actually quite popular. What is useless trivia for one person may make valuable knowledge for someone else. In addition, the valuation of trivia changes in time. A first-grader may be proud to know that the capital of Germany is Berlin. A high school student may need to memorize 100 capitals for his exams. A university professor may feel uneasy to meet a student from Riyadh and be unable to put her on the map. Increasingly, knowledge of capitals of the world is simply a basic staple needed to understand the news when you may hear a report titled "Unrest in Monrovia" that will not even name the country in trouble. As we move towards knowledge economy, we will name more concepts and we will expect less explanation of these concepts in mainstream communications media. Consequently the bar for memorizing "trivia" will be raised. Names may often contribute little to our knowledge of the world, but are vital for efficient communication.


When purchasing via bank transfer, do not forget to notify us about your payment via e-mail (#18800)
(Krzysztof Salamon, Poland, Wed, 18 Sep 2002 15:28:55)
Question:
I paid for SuperMemo 2002 via bank transfer. It is now 3 weeks I have been waiting for the download instructions and the password.
Answer:
The data passed by the bank not always makes it possible to correctly identify the payee. For that reason, it is very important that you send a notification e-mail message about the transfer. Otherwise we may not be able to complete your order


Your first repetitions will occur in a few days (#18869)
(Victor Monso , Spain, Friday, October 03, 2003 9:35 PM)
Question:
I am new to SuperMemo. I entered several words by pressing Add New. I believed that if I wanted to check these words later, I could press the button Learn and I could see them. This way, starting the computer in the morning SuperMemo would show me the words that I would have to review on this day. Until now nothing like that has happened.
Answer:
SuperMemo usually does not schedule words for repetition on the next day. Instead, it is more likely to present those words in 3-6 days. 
Try the following: 


If you do not manage to complete the final drill, delete it (#18892)
(Andy Y. Lin , USA Educational, Friday, October 03, 2003 4:21 PM)
Question:
When I leave the final drill to the end of the day, sometimes it's late and I don't get to the final drill
Answer:
In such cases, delete the final drill queue. Returning to the final drill on the next day is not recommended. Adhering to core repetitions is far more important


Rubbish bin for deleted elements is currently not considered (#18899)
(JP, Wednesday, October 08, 2003 8:38 PM)
Question:
Sometimes I delete an element by mistake. Please, could you introduce a special branch called Recycle bin or whatever, where all these elements would be automatically put?
Answer:
Such a solution would require a major redesign of the whole database access model. For example, deleted object registration mode would need to be added to registries. If deleted element objects were not registered, they could have been removed from the registry rendering the element un-restorable. If the object remained registered (e.g. by simply moving "deleted" object to a separate branch), they would interfere with dozens of registry operations (e.g. object replacement, object merging, etc.). Even if that interference was acceptable by an advanced user, substantial confusion and support costs could be added. A third registration mode "to-be-deleted" would solve this one particular problem; however, that would require redesigning the registry model. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. In other words, some software behaviors must be considered at the design stage to make the implementation viable.


Hallucinations are a common problem in sleep deprivation (#18891)
(anonymous, Pakistan, Friday, October 03, 2003 7:31 AM)
Question:
What happens in the mind, if you don't sleep continuously for 5 days? My female friend did not take night sleep for 5 days. She was screaming loudly. She was just out of sense. She was saying like I was a daughter of God (in Islam, God has no children so saying something like that means committing the biggest sin). Doctors gave her an injection and she then took a sound sleep and now acting normally as ever. Can you guess what actually happened to her?
Answer:
No. It is very difficult to answer similar questions over e-mail. Moreover, any attempt at diagnosis or guess might be dangerously misleading. Probably you will get the best answers from the doctors (e.g. those who know what kind of injection the patient received). It is only worth noting that hallucinations are a frequent occurrence in long-term sleep deprivation. Likewise, factors inducing hallucinations will often result in insomnia. Hopefully, the patient behavior will not be taken too seriously, esp. in reference to its religious implications.


We provide product discounts by default if applicable (#18895)
(Vukkum. JanardhanaRao, India, Tuesday, October 07, 2003)
Question:
I just recently purchased SuperMemo 2002 without Advanced English, because I did not know much about SuperMemo. Otherwise I would have purchased Advanced English too with your discount rate. Can you please provide a discount for this purchase as I bought both products in the same order.
Answer:
Yes. We provide such discounts by default whenever applicable. The two orders are merged and the charge is the same as if you bought both products. See the charges on your credit card to make sure they match the conglomerate purchase


You cannot reach 100% retention (#19364)
(Rick Miller, USA, Oct 11, 2003)
Question:
I believe it is possible to write software that will make 100% retention possible
Answer:
No. 100% retention is not possible. 

  1. Mathematically speaking, forgetting is expressed by a negatively exponential survival function with a finite time to failure. As a consequence, there is no non-zero inter-repetition interval that guarantees 100% recall. 
  2. Biologically speaking, forgetting can be compared to radioactive decay. You never know what and when you will forget. Even if the decay is expected to last millions years, a radionuclide may be subject to decay at any time. The same happens to protein complexes that store memories in synapses. Even if you are expected to remember your mother's birthday for decades, you may, theoretically, spontaneously forget it tomorrow. 
  3. Practically, you can play with the forgetting index in spaced repetition. When you reduce it below 1%, the repetitions become so frequent that the spacing effect throws the entire learning process into chaos. For that reason, SuperMemo does not allow of the forgetting index below 3%. 
  4. In simple words, learning is like driving a car. There is always a risk of forgetting and accident. The trick is to balance the level of risk with the safe and speedy arrival at your goals. You cannot drive the risk to zero

You need to unpack and run your Pocket PC installation program on your PC under Windows (#5660)
(Paul Muter , Canada, Saturday, October 11, 2003 2:58 PM)
Question:
I used Active Sync to put the file on my new Dell Axim, but when I try to run SuperMemo for Pocket PC 2.5 (smce250), I get an error message: "There is no application associated with 'smce250'. Run the application first, then open this file from within the application."
Answer:
The installation program setup.exe should be run on your PC under Windows after you unpack the downloaded ZIP file


Q&A import is slow (#9041)
(Mike Condron , Friday, April 26, 2002 6:23 PM)
Question:
I am importing about 7000 questions into a collection, and I am noticing it is taking about 20 minutes to do this. This is a 1 GHz Pentium III. I am seeing that SuperMemo seems to be updating the progress information in the dialog box very frequently. Does it not slow it down?
Answer:
No. Database structure in SuperMemo is quite complex and importing items always takes some time (esp. if you are building the lexicon at the same time). The update of the progress box on the screen takes an imperceptible fraction of time that is otherwise consumed by file operations. Unfortunately, no tangible saving can be made here


Do not use hints in learning (#19850)
(mahabharatta, Sun, Nov23, 2003 1:51 am)
Question:
Could you put up step by step instructions on how to add a hint to an existing item such that when 'show answer' (or some other button) is pressed a hint comes up, not the answer, then press answer again, the actual answer comes up
Answer:
Hints (partial answers) are not recommended. Memory associations have the form of stimulus-response. The outcome of learning with hints will depend on your grading system (i.e. your decisions about the satisfactory level of performance). The two associations that might be formed are: 

1. Stimulus=Question+Hint, Response=Answer 

2. Stimulus=Question, Response=Answer 

You will either learn (1) or (1 and 2) or, less likely (only 2). The recommended approach is to decide if answering the question with the hint is satisfactory or not. If not, do not use the hint (otherwise you may never meet your goal). If yes, use the hint in the question. If your decision is: it is enough if I learn with a hint, but it would be nice to learn without a hint, then introduce two items: with and without a hint. Then keep the item without the hint in the learning process only if it is remembered well. Otherwise, delete the item without the hint if the cost of retaining it in memory is unacceptably high (e.g. more than 5 lapses).


Problem with accessing on-line help (#20359)
(Hongsoo Kim, Feb 1, 2004)
Question:
I cannot use any help function under the Help key in the menu bar. I tried to access on-line help, however, supermemo.com site doesn't pop up and a warning sign appears: "This page cannot be found". What's wrong?
Answer:
Please try again. On Feb 1, 2004, there was a temporary break in service due to traffic overload


SuperMemo can be used to learn music (#20273)
(jona , Netherlands, Wednesday, January 07, 2004 4:46 PM)
Question:
How could I use SuperMemo to learn to recall various tunes?
Answer:
You will need a stimulus component and a response component. Your stimulus component may be as simple as a question: "Can you sing Macarena?", or a part of a score you want to sing or play, or a soundbite (e.g. first bars of a popular tune). Your response component will help you verify your recall or remind you the correct answer. It may have a form of a sound component (e.g. WAV or MIDI file) or an image component (e.g. the score), etc. Using this method you will be able to remember thousands of tunes and adapt review frequency to the progress in learning.


Importing large word lists (#25099)
(Mekael Teshome, Apr 07, 2004, 22:45:39)
Question:
I have a large list of definitions (1,000 - 5,000 words) in word format and excel format. Will I be able to transfer those quickly into SuperMemo (like cut and paste) or would I have to do each word one at a time?
Answer:
The recommended way of import is to paste the entire list once to SuperMemo with Ctrl+Alt+N and process it with incremental reading. For various reasons, users dislike this approach (mostly for not being fluent with the use of incremental reading techniques). If this seems too complex, export your list to Q&A format and import via File : Tools : Import : Q&A Text


Using SuperMemo on two computers (#24587)
(Dr Ram Udupa, Apr 24, 2004, 23:12:57)
Question:
I have a computer at work and one at home. Would I be able to download SuperMemo to both computers for the price of one?
Answer:
Yes. This situation is quite common, and we do not ask for a second license for using the program in several locations.


SuperMemo for a friend (#25244)
(lisa yim, Apr 22, 2004, 15:38:39)
Question:
I want to get SuperMemo for a friend as a gift and don't want to just give her the money. Is there anyway to buy it and give it to someone?
Answer:
Yes. Please order and specify (1) the e-mail address of your friend and (2) the message that you would like to add to the gift.


Difficult Interface (#25249)
(ericthompson, Apr 14, 2004, 00:28:01)
Question:
I tried SuperMemo 2000 and found the GUI to be really, I mean really, difficult to use. Is there another interface that has been developed since then?
Answer:
No. Currently SuperMemo continues with solutions inherited from SuperMemo 98. To use SuperMemo, you do not need to understand its interface, menus nor advanced functions. You can start off with just two keystrokes.
Recently, two new interface solutions have been proposed to tackle complexity but none has been demonstrated to make life easier for beginners. However, both were still optimized with the advanced user in mind