Category Archives: opensource

More Emacs evangelization: flashcard

Aris and I are both struggling with far too much kanji. I used a combination of kdrill to gain familiarity with kanji and ../emacs/flashcard.el to drill the meaning into my brain, as flashcard.el requires me to get a question right 5 times in a row before considering it solved. Aris searched the Internet for flashcard programs on Windows and played around with things like Kanji Gold and King Kanji, but couldn't figure out how to import our wordlist into them. Kanji Gold looked promising as it also used EDICT, but I couldn't figure out the magic number at the end of the dictionary entry. With over 200 words in our word list, there was no way we were going to enter those things one by one!

I told him to download Emacs and grab Jorgen Schaefer's flashcard.el from my ../emacs directory. I then grabbed the dictionary file that Kanji Gold couldn't recognized, replaced [ with : to get flashcard to recognize it without problems, then set up a deck for him. I tweaked the default faces a bit—they're horrible on light-colored displays. I copied the suggested feedback config and explained the pigeonhole method to him. I tweaked the checking function so that it checked for substrings and treated empty input as a definitely incorrect answer. He wanted the answers displayed all the time, so I coded that in as well.

The initial word list was too big, so I copied 9 words and put them into a file, then imported them into a deck. Later, when he finishes this deck, I'll show him how to create another colon file and import it. I'll also ask him if he wants to tweak the number of compartments.

He's asked me if I can get YM working in the text editor as well. I'm currently tunneled through Richi's host, but I think I can open a local tunnel for him as well, if he feels like using ERC. 'course, normal YM just might work, and chances are there's a YM-specific client somewhere in Emacs.

I've made no efforts to hide Emacs' complexity. I lean over and drop into Lisp code in front of him because I want him to have a working environment up and running as soon as possible. Who knows? Maybe he'll use Emacs even after the internship. =)

He looks like he's having fun, and certainly appreciates the fact that I can hack the editor to fit how he wants to do things. He wants to match the readings, too, which means I'll need to figure out how leim works under Windows. I'll do that on Monday.

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Clueful cybercafe in the Philippines

Clair wrote:

Sessinet in Dilimall =) It's on the second floor of Dilimall. It is across Red Fox (the photo shop). It's the net cafe with extra study tables so students can study/do their homework while waiting their turn in the net cafe.

They currently use Firefox as the default browser but they have had customers who want IE. They plan to use Open Office soon. And after a while use Linux for their OS =) One of the computers in the shop is currently dual boot Windows XP and Debian Sarge.

E-Mail from clair ching

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The conference was so much fun!

My laptop wouldn't talk to the projector, so I did my Knoppix talk without slides. I forgot to give people my e-mail address. Whoops. Still, I have a few contacts, and I guess that's a good start. Most people had already tried Linux, so I went for the evangelization-of-others angle instead, although I threw in a few benefits for newbies.

I misplaced Vahid's index card, but I know he's a Ma. IT student at USC. I should write to him about repartitioning.

Chatted with Lawrence and Justin over dinner. Turns out they're both into Stephenson and other SF stuff. (Thanks to Baryon for introducing me to those books!) I think I convinced Justin to try out Emacs.

It was tons of fun geeking out and swapping stories. Lawrence is a treasure-trove of business experience and geek stories. =)

Tired from a long but absolutely fun day. Good night!

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