Fastest backup for SuperMemo
If you’ve being reading my previous posts, you know I’ve been quite concerned about having backups as fast as possible of my collections and also that this backup process would be done with the less steps involved. This is not some unworthy goal of mine, in fact it is despicable that supermemo doesn’t come with a descent backup option, the argue that they are on the business of Spaced Repetition algorithms not backups, shame on them.
Many change of behavior or search for solutions come only after a painful learning experience, and mine was too. I lost a full long weekend of importing and organizing 3000+ scanned questions banks on USMLE for not having an updated backup. Is not that forgot you should always backup your collections, the problem lies that even drag and dropping into Winrar takes more than 15 minutes once your collection builds up to 100,000+ files (Duocore 2.1Ghz 320Gb HDD). So that day, I deferred the backup until the work was finished, but thanks to a mistake while moving items, finishing would come a whole two nights later, after I restarted from scratch.
If they keep providing the best SRS available I can still let go their neglecting on the backups issue, but I still scorn that they don’t include a Topic of improving the GUI (pun intended).
Yesterday, I finalized a week of testing the script for making this almost as I dream of, if you don’t like the finished product, you’ll probably also not enjoy my dreams. Anyhow, who should enjoy the most about his own dreams?. The small program you can download bellow is the same one I’m using.
A SuperMemo 2006 and a SuperMemo 2008 version as well is provided. I’ve never used for a long time any other version and only tested them to see if the newer one’s have been deprived of some useful functionally.
If you don’t need to process images incrementally, automatic labeling of imported documents (only if the imported articles comes trough IE), or optimization of learning by your sleep patterns (only if you register every night sleep start and end time, while never resisting sleep even if you’re really tired, as well as avoiding taking a midnight latte, or two, to combat the highest forces of Morpheus for tomorrow’s exam, presentation or simply not getting enough sleep because you’re in party that night), then probably SuperMemo 2006 is a better option for you, in fact I would even recommenced it over SuperMemo 2008 in that case.
Back to main point of this post: SMBackup, my fastest method for backups of SuperMemo’s collections
This app does only two things
1) Double click on SMbackup.exe loads your current SuperMemo
2) After quitting SuperMemo it starts up a console window with options for a Full or incremental backup.
The installation process was intended to be the easiest one, so there is no installation procedure. Just unzip the downloaded file and then copy its full contents to the same folder where sm2008 or sm2006.exe is (normally SMbackup.exe and 7za folder should be on c:\supermemo)
After the backup process it creates two folders, LastBackup and OldBackup from where you can restore your collection when needed.
To restore you’re collection you’ll need 7zip or Winrar for now, I will probably include the option to restore from the same app later on, currently I use Winrar contextual menu at home and portable 7zip every where else.
First Full backup will probably take a long time albeit far faster then original supermemo option. Also first incremental backup is slowest than subsequent backups on the same windows session (I use SuperMemo on small packs of time). This might give you and idea on the performance of this small app, but is better to test it out.
Synchronization part II is still being incubated, as I’m probably testing out Live Mesh instead of Dropbox, and part II was intended to be about synchronizing on a stick not online, so I guess that should meand a part III will also be needed.
If you’re a bit confuse with all my pro and cons comments about SuperMemo, I must emphasize that its always been a bitter sweet, love and hate, relationship with this program. But can’t deny I’m “still” in love with it. Although Evernote and the like are great apps my external hypocampus has become my commonplace too. Hmm… that would probably means it ain’t only a hypocampus no more, but a full fledged neocortex update for my brain.
SMBackup for sm2006 (2010.03.02: SMBackup for 2006 has been updated thanks to protestantCZ. 2010.03.27 readme.txt fixed)