Flash Cards

Wizard Card  -  Volume 24  -  Mr. Wizard Number 1  -  Mon, May 18, 1992 1:23 AM

"Flash Cards" is one of those occasional (and somewhat embarrassing) Mr. Wizard stacks of some apparent redeeming value. I originally wrote it as a favor for Roger while Betsy and I were staying with him this winter. Then I decided I should give a copy to Drury in gratitude for hiring me to write a quiz stack (which I STILL haven't quite finished). And then I figured WHAT THE HELL! - why not let all the Archipelagoans enjoy it.


This stack allows you to create a set of flash cards to study and review any subject you wish. Each card contains a brief question and an answer which doesn't appear until you hold down on the mouse button. A series of buttons on the bottom of each cards makes it easy to add new cards, edit existing cards, find cards containing a certain word, etc.

The stack also keeps score so that you can monitor your mastery of a given subject over time. After viewing each question you indicate whether you knew the answer, didn't know the answer, or were not sure. At the end of the stack is a "score card" which records the date and time you reviewed your flash cards, how many you knew, how many you didn't know, and how many you weren't sure of.

The startup stack provided here contains 14 cards with questions and answers designed to teach you all about flash cards. Just read each question and then hold down the mouse over the show answer rectangle in the bottom center of the card. When you release the mouse button you will bounce to the next card. Before you know it, you will have learned everything there is to know about flash cards. When you are ready to create flash cards of your own, just push the "New Stack" button and start typing!

Roger has already used this program to prepare a series of flash cards for the paralegal courses he and Rose Anne are taking. His plan is to review each stack every few months to see whether or not he is retaining the information. Of course, just typing in the questions and answers is a great way to study.


This stack is about as simple as it can be. None of the half dozen or so buttons are especially fancy.

Budding young HyperCard programmers may wish to study the "show answer" button at the bottom center of each flash card. This button provides a good illustration of the vital difference between a "MouseUp" and "MouseDown" event handler.

When the user holds down the mouse over this button, the answer is temporarily revealed. As soon as she lets up the answer is hidden, one of the three radio buttons beneath the "show answer" button is hilited (and the others unhilited if necessary), and the forward arrow button is automatically clicked to advance to the next card.

Thus, in writing the script for this button I needed to perform one action when the user presses down on the mouse button, and another when the user releases the button. This is in contrast to the vast majority of buttons in which the pressing down and the release are part of a single instantaneous "click." Such buttons can use either a mouseDown OR a mouseUp handler - it really doesn't matter much which one.

If you examine the script of the show answer button you will see that it consists of a one line mouseDown handler (show field "answer"), a VERY short mouseUp handler, and a brief user-defined function. The Flash Cards stack is the kind of thing HyperCard was made to do, so the scripts are all short and were easy to write.

I hope you all enjoy this stack. Let me know what kind of wacky things you use it for. Better yet, send finished sets of flash cards in to command central so that your fellow Archipelagoans can learn about whatever you are learning about.