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Adventures in C# .NET Programming November 4, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Publishing Tools, Toys.
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I promised a while ago to write a review of James Foxall’s Teach Yourself Visual C# 2008 in 24 Hours and I meant it at the time.  Instead I have found that I learned enough from his first book Teach Yourself Visual Basic 2008 in 24 Hours: Complete Starter Kit.  The two languages are much alike and the .NET framework supports them both.  I am probably going to stick with C# since my company uses it in its various scientific applications.  The other reason is that I need to learn a heck of a lot more than how to use the interface, so I started to program a flashcard program for Spanish.

Like all frail, elderly types I have real trouble learning a new language so I looked for a flashcard program with mixed success.  Professional programs for my (also frail, elderly) phone (a WinCE 5.0 job) cost a pile and had really tiny fonts.  I decided to make my own.

I don’t know that I need to tell you how hard this was or how many times I had to ask for help from wiser minds (thanks Ben, Shabnam and Mark!) with the requisite 10000 hours under their belts.  But I muddled through somehow and even figured out what went wrong on the last few things without help from my cow-orkers (hyphenation intentional).

Here’s how it looks on the emulator:

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You can see that it’s set for the second set of flashcards (twenty words a set, fifty sets).  The top button flips to a new Spanish word.  The bottom will show you the English equivalent if you press it.  My phone and the emulator have trouble with accented Spanish characters, but that’s a job for the future.

I learned to parse files from WordsGalore, a free flashcard program for PC which I strongly recommend, with support for Spanish, Chinese and Korean.  I haven’t included much of WordsGalore’s marvelous functionality such as the elimination of words in which the student is already confident, but the phone probably can’t handle it (not just that I can’t program it, yet).  I learned the basics of debugging using Visual Studio 2008.  I learned to plagiarize by examining other’s code (“only please to call it ‘research’”).  I learned how to make .CAB files for easy distribution (look here).  I learned that my cow-orkers are very patient with me, for which I am truly grateful.

Exciting update:  I modified it to include a switch button which allows the English words to display first instead:

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