Wednesday, November 14, 2007

SmartGo and EverNote - Perfect Together

The more I use SmartGo the more I am convinced that it is a "kick ass" go study tool. The review of my previous lessons with Yang in SmartGo has promted me to look more closely at how SmartGo handles the markup of sgf files. I find that I am in love with the way SmartGo reads coordinates from the file and places letters on the board to show these moves. (Until I actually understood what was happening I found it really confusing to have letters appearing on the board that I knew I didn't put there.) In the past I used to spend hours tediously adding triangles to mark moves referenced by coordinates so they would be easy to find. SmartGo saves me the trouble. This feature works especially well for me when I use the markup style of showing next moves with capital letters rather than lower case because it avoids the confusing duplication of letters in lower and upper case. Seeing A, a, B, b drove me absolutely nuts. But the best part is that if my way of viewing things isn't your way of viewing things, you get to have it your way. It's like SmartGo is the "Burger King" of sgf editors. I am now in the process of going through my lessons and removing all of those pesky triangles that I don't need anymore.

As much as I love SmartGo, I still cling to CGoban on occasion because of it's fantastic move tree, but the coordinate markup feature of SmartGo has forced me to take a closer look at the SmartGo tree, and I am getting used to it even though it doesn't offer the fully expanded glorious visual map that CGoban offers.

The title of this post mentions a program called EverNote. (Follow the link to buy it cheap.) I have used this program for years to collect recipes, and web clippings, and emails with registration keys for software... all the things you jot down and don't want to lose. In all that time I never actually thought about the value of this program for studying go until recently. The program is basically an endless tape of notes which you can categorize and search. I created a category called "go study journal" and I have been putting in all of the nitty gritty details of my go study... the stuff that absolutely no one is interested in, even though they might think they are... the stuff from which I choose to spare you. I can use a tool in EverNote called the "universal clipper" which not only allows me to do a screen capture ala SnagIt, but actually deposits that screen shot into an new note in the "go study journal" category, where I can then add text to annotate it.

Evernote happens to be running a special promotion until the end of November which will allow you to purchase it for thirty dollars off the regular price. It is too good a deal to miss, and you can use it to organize every other area of your life as well. I have absolutely no connection with EverNote, other than as an enthusiastic user. And I would love to see other go players benefit from its use in go study so I bring it to your attention here.

5 comments:

Bob Solovay said...

Does the EverNote program work on Linux?

Terri said...

I don't know if it works on Linux or not... I suspect not, but you can take a look at http://www.evernote.com

They have a support forum there and an faq.

Sem_D_D said...

Unfortunately, EverNote is still not available for Linux, but I suspect de olde WINE emulation can get it working under it.
Evernote IS a killer app for the windows users, I am warmly surprised that there are other GO enthusiasts out there that have discovered its usefulness, too ;-)
I really recommend the proggy, too, even the free version is quite feature rich and nag-free. It is very good at clipping and putting together not only text, but multimedia, quick and easy. The only limitation of the system is the database size of 400 MB I think, but there is a possibility to link between different databases and use them continuously. It is based on xml and also open for tweaking different layouts, too.

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