My thoughts, stories, and geekeries in a .txt

Kanji Renshuu 1.0 – Released !

After 2.5 months of development, today, Kanji Renshuu 1.0 is finally released and available for download on Google Play. Kanji Renshuu (漢字練習) is a flashcard application to help you practice Japanese Kanji characters. A simple Spaced Repetition System (SRS) is adopted to schedule and organize your Kanji practice.

Flashcard System

Flashcard is a widely used tool to aid memorization. The system works by presenting you with a series of Q/A cards with questions facing front and the answers hidden in the back-side. For each questions, you will need  to guess or memorize the answer, flip the card to see the actual answer, and provide a performance feedback to the system.

Kanji Renshuu as a flashcard application will present you with a series of English keywords in the front-side of the cards. Your job will be to memorize the associated Kanji characters and provide a performance feedback to the system: correct, wrong, or not sure. The system will act accordingly depending on your response. For example, a correct response will promote a card to a higher level and its review schedule interval will be extended. Please note that in order to take full advantage of SRS, an honest feedback is essential.

The system allows you to reverse the question and answer: given a series of Kanji characters, your job will be to memorize the associated English meanings. However, as suggested in the book Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig, the recommended way of practice is to map from English keyword to Kanji characters, as the reverse will be taken care automatically.

Kanji Renshuu flashcard: Front and back side,

Kanji Renshuu’s flashcard: front and back side.

Spaced Repetition System

A psychological spacing effect is a phenomenon whereby people can remember facts better if studied a few times spaced over a relatively long time span compared to cramming: repetitive study over a shorter period of time. Kanji Renshuu adopts a simple Spaced Repetition System (SRS)  to exploit this psychological effect and better aid you in memorization.

Kanji cards are labeled with 5 different color gradations, from red to lime green. This color label indicates the difficulty level of a particular card according to your personal practice performance. If you can correctly memorize a Kanji during practice and a certain condition has been met, the card will be promoted to a higher level closer to lime green. Otherwise, it will be demoted all the way down to level red for your own good. The system will adjust card review schedule interval according to this level. Basically, lower level cards will be reviewed more often and vice versa.

In any given day, the system will provide you with the number of cards that are due for review on that day, e.g. “50 cards to review today”. Ideally, you will want to practice these cards and have this daily counter set to zero. Otherwise, all remaining cards will simply be rescheduled for review on the next day.


Kanji Renshuu’s dashboard and progress chart.

Kanji Database

There are 3007 most frequently used Kanji characters registered in Kanji Renshuu database, each are indexed and given an English keyword according to the book Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig. The Kanji order in this book is designed to introduce new characters efficiently by building upon the primitives and characters already learned before. If you choose to study by any other order, the system allows you to sort Kanji cards according to Jōyō grade and JLPT level estimation. A search function is provided to search individual Kanji by English meanings, Kanji character, or on/kun readings.


Kanji Renshuu’s card selection and card detail page.

Why another flashcard app?

Kanji Renshuu was initially developed because I’m not satisfied with existing flashcard applications available on Google Play. AnkiDroid has a great SRS implementation, but it’s not straightforward to make a granular card selection. JFCards has a simple and intuitive interface, but no built-in SRS. At the end, I feel the urge to develop one that suits better with my learning style, and thus the app was born.

Kanji Renshuu is just a yet another alternative for you to consider. Pick one that fits the best with your learning style. Good luck on your Kanji-learning journey. Hopefully Kanji Renshuu can be of any help to you ;-)

P.S. If you like the app, please consider buying the ad-free license.

Written by Andree

February 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Android, Japanese, Software

Tagged with , ,

XClip: Command-Line Access to X11 Clipboard

I worked with Vim a lot and I find it frustrating to copy an entire text file to clipboard. It’s easy to copy a small piece of code, because you just have to highlight and Ctrl+Shift+V. However, in case the code is too large to fit one window, you might have to scroll down and it might be frustrating to highlight.

Today I just discovered a simple nifty tool to copy texts from command-Line terminal to your X 11 Clipboard: xclip. To copy an entire text file to Clipboard, your command will be as simple as follow:

cat <text file> | xclip -selection clipboard

If you only want to copy a certain portion of your text file, it might be a little bit tricky. You might want to pipe your text output to a text processing tool like sed before going to xclip. At some point, it might be easier to just fire up gedit, do manual highlight and Ctrl-C.

Written by Andree

January 8, 2013 at 6:18 am

Posted in Linux

About Engaging Yourself More in Work

I just recently stumbled into an article by Lori Deschene on TinyBuddha.com. Overall, it talks about how to create a work/life balance; how to accomplish your duty while allowing yourself to have some spaces for relaxation and enjoy the simple act of being. There is one quote from the article that I found interesting:

To be engaged at whatever I am doing, whenever I am doing it. What I do wholeheartedly energizes me, no matter what that is. It is only when I get into the pattern of getting through one thing in order to get to the next thing that I feel exhausted and overwhelmed. ~ Your To Be List (James McMahon and Lauren Rosenfeld)

Often in life, we might have to do some tasks that we found uninteresting, work-related or not. We are exhausted because we don’t really engage ourselves in the activity; we would rather be in somewhere else doing something else. In my cases, I have a bad habit of indulging myself in daydream whenever I got bored doing some menial tasks, resulting in a sloppy work.

The quote mentioned before kind of remind me to stop rushing into things and engage myself more in whatever I’m doing. Perhaps by doing so, I can find the subtle joy in such tasks and more appreciate my life as a whole.

Written by Andree

February 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

Posted in Life

The Era of Information, The Era of Distraction

Baru-baru ini saya menemukan artikel menarik mengenai pengaruh Internet terhadap kemampuan kognitif manusia. Berikut beberapa cuplikan dari artikel tersebut:

… “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace.

Yang menjadikan saya tertarik adalah karena banyak hal yang dituliskan dalam artikel ini yang benar saya rasakan sendiri. Saya ingat, semasa semester-semester awal kuliah (2 – 3 tahun silam), ketika belum ada akses Internet di kos, saya bisa betah berjam-jam duduk di depan meja membaca buku materi kuliah, dan saya bisa menikmati kegiatan membaca tersebut. Sekarang, untuk membaca satu dua halaman saja susahnya ampun. Konsentrasi mudah teralihkan, otak saya gatal untuk mencari hal-hal lain yang lebih menarik.

Bukan sepenuhnya salah Internet; mungkin karena beberapa sebab, justru saya yang jadi malas, atau jadi kurang tertarik terhadap bidang yang saya geluti / materi yang saya baca. Tapi curhat Carr bahwa “My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it“, adalah masuk akal. Otak kita ini amat fleksibel. Koneksi-koneksi antar sel-sel neuron kita senantiasa berubah, mengikuti berubahnya nature dari medium bacaan kita. Di era informasi ini, constant flow of information menjadi hal yang lumrah, sehingga otak kita menjadi terlatih untuk skimming – memilah-milah informasi. Dengan semakin banyaknya cara kita berkomunikasi, distraction pun menjadi hal yang biasa (e.g. Messenger, Facebook update, E-mail, SMS, BBM), sehingga era informasi ini identik pula dengan sebutan The Era of Distraction. Dampaknya jeleknya berimbas ke penurunan kemampaun otak kita untuk melakukan deep and focused reading.

Tapi .. Mengingat banyaknya kemudahan yang ditawarkan, sepertinya hampir tidak mungkin ya di jaman seperti ini untuk benar-benar melepaskan diri dari Internet (apalagi bidang yang saya geluti adalah IT). Menurut saya, yang penting kita siap dan punya strategi dalam menghadapi constant flow of information. Saya pribadi sedang membiasakan untuk menyempatkan 1 jam setiap hari tanpa koneksi Internet untuk melatih kemampuan deep reading. Apakah efektif? Hehe2 .. Percaya saja ..

Written by Andree

November 18, 2010 at 8:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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