I had my chemistry Board practicals today. It went amazingly well, given that I’d hardly done anything, and the fact that quizzing helped me too. Can’t talk more about it on a blog.
I’d made a Salt Analysis Cheatsheet earlier, something quite a few people have said that they found useful. I thought it’d be nice to have it in an even more compact form, and thus came up with the idea for a mobile app with the text of the cheatsheet formatted for mobile viewing. I didn’t create the app as such, simply piggy-backed on this wonderfully light mobile Java app called TinyBook – which is just 16 KB small (+2.5 KB for my cheatsheet). That means this app is fast and responsive on absolutely any phone which supports Java apps.
A quick walkthrough on getting up and running with this app.
- Download the app to your computer by clicking the link given above, or directly to your cellphone by entering the following link in your cellphone’s browser – https://cdn.ankurb.net/files/archive/TinyBookChemCheatsheet.jar – note that the link is case-sensitive. Transfer the app to your phone using Bluetooth or a USB cable if you downloaded to your computer.
- If your phone requires installation, navigate to the folder / menu option for applications and choose the option to install. Alternately, if your phone can run apps directly, choose to start the application.
- Application configuration will start now. For the TinyBook application, ‘OK’ for accepting a choice is by pressing the OK / centre button / call button / left soft key – basically, it’ll depend from phone-to-phone. Try out the different buttons I mentioned, one of them WILL work.
- TinyBook will now start and ask you to choose orientation – the side with the blue bar is the top. Press number keys 1 to 4 to choose different orientations. My personal suggestion is to keep it at 1, because although 2 (or 4) gives you a landscape format view, viewing in portrait mode is easier. Once you’ve chosen, choose accept by pressing whichever button is applicable in your case.
- Font setup will be done now. Press keys 1 to 9 for different font sizes – note that it will increase in very small amounts for the first few numbers. My advice is stick to 1, it’s comfortable on most phones and will save you a lot of scrolling.
- Next option will be for charset. You don’t need to know what that is. By default, it’ll be at ASCII. Accept, and continue.
- Then it’ll ask you which file to open. This one has two files – book.txt, which contains the cheatsheet; and book1.txt which contains app instructions. book.txt would be selected by default, continue, and voila, you have your cheatsheet!
- Note that you can only make your choices for configuration once, because you won’t be asked to do the setup again. Any choices you make will persist the next time you start. Uninstall, AND THEN reinstall if you want a different configuration (font size, orientation, etc). Inconvenient, but then the app is small and hardly takes any time to do these operations on such a small app.
- One more thing. To exit, press the ‘#’ key. It’ll save your configuration, including the last page that you were reading, and then exit.
- Use the up-down keys on your phone to navigate the document. Up-down scrolls one whole screen at a time, so press them only after you finish reading one whole screen.
- You can press the ‘*’ to bookmark a particular part of the text / cheatsheet. Then you can press keys 0 to 9 to access them – which means you can have ten bookmarks. That’s quite OK, because three anion groups + six cation groups can safely be bookmarked.
About the cheatsheet itself. It’s been reformatted a bit. All footnotes have been removed, so full forms and chemical formulae of some of the more complex reagents is not included. Each ion is listed under a number, with the confirmatory test(s) for it being listed with a ‘*’ next to them (if more than one, otherwise, given directly). Sub-points with confirmatory tests are listed using ‘**’, and so on.
I hope at least some people find this useful for their salt analysis part of class XII chemistry Board practicals. Feedback / suggestions for future editions are welcome.