Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 67 / DECEMBER 1985 / PAGE 78


Karen McCullough

Requirements: Commodore 64; Apple II-series computer with at least 64K RAM; IBM PC with at least 128K RAM and color/graphics adapter; or an Expanded Model IBM PCjr. All versions also require a disk drive. Joystick and printer optional.

Remember! bills itself as a "powerful, yet simple tool designed to help students from junior high through college master difficult subjects and improve memory skills." The claims is not exaggerated. This program presents an effective study system that teaches how to organize and memorize facts. It also helps you practice and test yourself on those techniques.

Two fundamental design principles give Remember! its power: You enter the facts you want to memorize only once, and the program then presents them to you in a variety of ways; and the program helps you build associations with the facts you're learning.

You begin by using the Create or Edit Lesson section to enter the facts you want to memorize into question and answer blocks. Once the lesson is entered, you can add hints to help you memorize the information. These hints can be in any of three formats: pictorial, musical, or written. Only one hint is allowed per question, and all hints for a given lesson must be in the same format. Editing functions allow you to make changes in the questions, answers, or hints at any time.

Entering hints is not quite as simple as entering the questions and answers. Although the program is generally flexible, drawing pictures or entering musical notation is not as intuitive as typing in questions. Both take some practice to master. One irritating aspect of entering pictorial or musical hints is that they are not automatically saved when you choose the Get Next Word option. This is the only time you must tell the program to save something, and it's easy to forget. (Remember! will remind you, however.)

Foreign Language Characters

Once the facts are entered, you have the option of reviewing them or testing yourself in various ways. The Familiarization option displays both questions and answers for review and study. When you feel thoroughly familiar with the material, you can choose the Practice option. In this mode, Remember! displays either the question or answer (your option), and you supply the missing part. If you can't remember the answer, pressing RETURN or Enter displays a hint (if you supplied one), and pressing the key again calls up the correct response. Finally, you can evaluate your progress with the Test option, which is similar to Practice mode.

Remember! has many attractive features that make it flexible and easy to use. You select all choices from menus, and an optional command menu allows quick, direct access to other program functions. Special characters are available so you can enter lessons in German, Spanish, Italian, or French. When using English, you can enter subscripts and superscripts for chemistry formulas. A Help function is always available. You can turn off the sound or change the screen display from dark lettering on a light background to vice versa. With a printer, you can print out copies of your lessons.

The program comes with a 64-page manual divided into four sections. The "User's Guide" section has extensive and reasonably clear directions for all program functions; "Learning How You Learn" covers theories of memory and how they relate to the way the program works; "Tips On Making Databases" gives practical suggestions on how to organize lessons in specific subject areas; and finally, there's a set of appendices and a bibliography. The package also includes a reference card for the special characters and an extra disk for storing lessons.

The few weaknesses of Remember! are minor. Disk error messages are not helpful, stating only that there is a problem with the disk; and as mentioned above, entering hints with pictures and music is awkward. But overall, versatility and attention to detail give Remember! the power to turn a home computer into an effective and powerful study aid.

DesignWare Inc.
185 Berry Street
San Francisco, CA 94107