Messages with the tag: milestone

Messages with this tag announce releases of our software with important feature revisions.

August 15, 2015

Thanks for joining Trivia Park

Categories: Announcements — Tags: ,

For the first time in our history, Trivia Park is now offering park memberships. If you have already joined, thanks for being one of the first to sign up. We look forward to offering an increasing range of services to our members in the weeks and months ahead.

October 12, 2011

Christmas Trivia Screen Saver version 1.7

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , , ,

It seem that there are lots of folks who still like to have our Christmas Trivia Screen Saver running on some screen around the house during the holiday season, and we’re happy to continue to provide it as a free treat for Windows users. For several years, however, the screen saver has been in need of an overhaul to correct a number of small problems that cropped up with the release of successive versions of Windows.

Screen saver: The living-room scene

The living-room scene in the Christmas Trivia Screen Saver

Now those problems have been addressed, and a new version of the screen saver is available for download effective immediately. If you already have the screen saver installed, we recommend that you explicitly uninstall it before installing. Please note that this release applies only to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The main action in the Christmas Trivia Screen Saver is a quietly animated fireside scene with a flickering fire, twinkling Christmas lights, and a working grandfather clock. In the foreground is a table with a snack set out for Santa, though it’s not he who finds it and starts to nibble.

Screen saver: A trivia page

One of 60 trivia pages that appear at intervals in the screen saver

Every now and then, a page of easy-to-read text reveals a Christmas fact you probably didn’t know unless you hang around our trivia site at Christmas time. With sixty different pages to view, there are plenty of fascinating nuggets to keep you entertained throughout the season.

MIDI renderings of fifteen Christmas carol arrangements provide an uninterrupted soundtrack if desired. Settings to control the music, the frequency of the Christmas trivia, and more options are available through Windows’ display customization controls (see this PDF read-me file, also included in the download, for more details).

Button to start screen saver download Download the screen saver. After downloading, open the file to install the software.

We hope you enjoy this screen saver, and we’d be delighted if you make it part of your end-of-year celebrations this year.

September 5, 2011

NoteCard version 3.3.5.0

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , ,

This is the first public release of NoteCard 3.3. The download and buy links on the AheadWithMusic.com home page and elsewhere on our site have been updated to refer to this new version.

Undoubtedly the most striking new feature in NoteCard 3.3 is an ear-training mode for quizzes. In this mode, instead of each note being simultaneously played back and displayed on the staff during quizzes, the display of the written note is withheld until after you have entered your guess by ‘playing’ the note on your chosen input instrument. You must rely wholly on your ear, and in particular on its ability to identify the interval — the distance in pitch — between notes heard in succession.

For ear-training mode, check the option in NoteCard's quiz set-up task

For ear-training mode, check the option in NoteCard's quiz set-up task

The musical ear takes longer to develop than the musical eye. You should soon be fully versed in note-reading, with NoteCard’s help. However, you are likely to find that your ear training progress (indicated as usual by the percentage score in the Progress Gauge) has lagged well behind. There’s a simple reason for this: it’s harder. We recommend starting very gradually, with a single treble or bass staff (not both together), and without the sharps and flats option until your progress rating is near 100. Note that since the ear-training feature relies on MIDI playback, it is available only in Paid Mode. This means that to use it you must have bought your copy of NoteCard or be still in the 10-day evaluation period.

NoteCard 3.2 added an on-screen control for adjusting the speed of response required in quizzes. Now NoteCard 3.3 provides a parallel control for setting the length of each quiz — the number of notes you will be asked to identify. Both controls now support a ‘custom’ option that is governed by a value in the NoteCard settings file. Look up ‘settings file’ in the index of NoteCard’s help file for details on using the new and revised settings.

We hope you enjoy using NoteCard 3.3 and find it of value in your musical studies.

August 4, 2010

The world in a small window

Categories: Close-up — Tags: , ,

The biggest new feature in version 1.9 of World Geography Tutor, which we’re rolling out this week at FamilyGames.com, is the optional larger view that is now supported. Some users have found WGT’s small window size a matter of curiosity since the app first came out back near the turn of the century, and admittedly it might seem like an odd choice. After all, is it not more convenient to work on a large, non-scrolling map if the monitor screen is big enough? Why doesn’t World Geography Tutor provide that option?

I’m not sure I’ve ever answered this question in public, though I’ve explained the reason often enough to individuals. In fact we particularly wanted the window to be small enough that the user would be required to scroll. The issue is not one of convenience, but of learning theory. On a fixed map, you might think you’re memorizing the location of The Gambia, but in fact your memorization is clouded by a detail that should be irrelevant but is irresistibly exploited by your memory as the new information is processed. That detail is the position of The Gambia on the display. On a fixed map, each country stays put with respect to the enclosing rectangle, be that a window boundary or a monitor screen, and that extra positional information is included in the new memory. While you remain at your computer, the added information, arbitrary though it is, will actually make recall easier. But it’s also a crutch. In an environment where the positional cue is absent — a conversation, say, or a test — recall won’t be nearly as good.

What you should really be doing is memorizing each country in the context of the shape of its containing land mass and the countries surrounding it on the map. It means far more to know that The Gambia is on the west side of Africa nested inside Senegal than that it is on the left side of the monitor screen two centimeters below the logo. On a scrolling map, your memory is compelled to depend more on the geographically-relevant cues, and the importance of the physical context is reduced. Since the learning goal is primary, we went with a scrolling map.

August 1, 2010

NoteCard version 3.2.5.0

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , , ,

NoteCard 3.2.5.0 Release Notes

This is the first public release of NoteCard 3.2. The download and buy links on the AheadWithMusic.com home page and elsewhere on our site have been updated to refer to this new version.

NoteCard 3.2 builds on the MIDI input capability added in NoteCard 3.1, with improved reliability and an octave transposition control in the MIDI Setup task. We’ve added some other features requested by users: a wider version of the 4-octave piano keyboard control so that the keys are easier to hit; and a speed control (slow, medium and fast) for quizzes.  In general, low scores in NoteCard shouldn’t be a cause for dismay. With a little practice, they will soon go up. However, some students may find their initial low scores discouraging; they may find it more congenial to use one of the slower quiz settings. However, the goal for all students is as always to achieve perfect scores at the highest speed, so the use of the lower speeds should always be viewed as temporary. The speed rating does not affect the computation of the overall progress rating, which should be 99 or more before the student is ready to “graduate”.

Also new in v3.1 is a more efficient ordering set-up that provides for a quick license code purchase from within the program, together with full RegNow tracking support for sales affiliates.

May 12, 2010

I Live At Santa’s House! v1.8

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , , ,

This new release of our Christmas game for ages 3-7 is an incremental upgrade to address a couple of long-outstanding issues.

1) The installer. Although our old installer worked reasonably well under all current Windows operating systems, including Windows 7, it fell short of full compatibility. An effect of the change is that saved games and other data are no longer stored under the Program Files folder, but under the public application data folder instead.

2) The configuration system. Configurations in I Live at Santa’s House! have two purposes: on the one hand, they allow certain customizations for one or more children individually; and on the other, they create separate identities for saving games. They are created with the Santa’s House configuration utility, SHC. Previously, creating a new configuration was too complex for many users to bother with, involving the manual creation and editing of a desktop shortcut, among other steps. Now it’s as easy as pie. We’ve added a manager for multiple configurations to SHC, and all the hard work is done for you.

For those who don’t know, I Live at Santa’s House! is one of our most popular games. It gives little ones a chance to find out what life is like for an elf living and working in Santa’s House at the North Pole. Testing toys, wrapping gifts and baking cookies are just a few of the activities an elf can enjoy, so it’s no wonder that this game has been a seasonal favorite for many families year after year.  Kids love the idea of helping Santa, especially when it’s so much fun!

 

September 1, 2009

NoteCard version 3.1.5.0

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , , ,

NoteCard 3.1.5.0 Release Notes

This is the first public release of NoteCard 3.1. The download and buy links on the AheadWithMusic.com home page and elsewhere on our site have been updated to refer to this new version.

NoteCard 3.1 adds a feature (in Paid Mode only) that didn’t quite make the cut for 3.0: the capability of using an external MIDI instrument to enter notes into the program. This should be particularly useful in group teaching situations where each student is equipped with a keyboard, as well as for private users who have a MIDI keyboard as part of their computing configuration.

Also new in v3.1 is a more efficient ordering set-up that provides for a quick license code purchase from within the program, together with full RegNow tracking support for sales affiliates.

June 1, 2009

NoteCard version 3.0.5.0

Categories: Announcements — Tags: , ,

NoteCard 3.0.5.0 Release Notes

Starting now, the first public release of NoteCard v3.0 is available for download on our website, and for sale through our payment processor, RegNow. See the download and buy links on the AheadWithMusic.com home page and elsewhere.

Several minor bugs have been fixed in this version relative to the recent internal release candidate. In particular, some user account issues arising from switching between Free and Paid modes were addressed.

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