mctrexler
Can't find this topic, so will ask.  In V8 I have a directory where all of my Brains reside, making it easy to do frequent backups of all the Brains.   How can I do the same in V9?   I'm not familiar with the Brain Archive Feature, and even if it works for large Brains I don't want to have to back up each Brain individually.  Much cleaner to have them all regularly backed up.  But looking at my Documents/Brain directory it's not at all clear what's going on.  

Thanks,

Mark
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Harlan
Actually, in V8, brains could be located in many different places - there was no way to know where all your brains were as it was not centrally controlled. V9 on the other hand, does keep all brains in a single directory. You can see where this directory is under Preferences > System. Backing up this folder guarantees that all of your brains data is backed up.

The structure of this folder for those that are interested: There are three primary levels inside of the Brains folder. The first is the user level (ex: U01), next is the brains level (ex:B01), then the thought/link folder level (what is opened when you select the "Open Thought/Link Folder" command).

Brain Archives allow you to snapshot a particular brain at a point in time in case you want to be able to go back to it in the future or share it via email/USB stick/etc. They are the equivalent of V8's BrainZip feature, but more reliable and much faster to both import and export.

The third option for backup of course is to enable automatic syncing of your Brains - making them accessible for syncing via the cloud to your other devices, including mobile.
Regards,
-Harlan
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mctrexler
Thanks Harlan.  So how do I even tell which Brain is which in that directory?   A bunch of "B0. . . ." directories is pretty ambiguous.  Can I figure it out and rename the directories, or will that (as I suspect) confuse the program?  

Regards,

Mark
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mcaton
Mark,

You can find the exact location of where a Thought's folder is located by first going to the Thought in theBrain and clicking on the Add Attachment Tab (near the Notes Tab).  You should see a button for Open Folder that will take you directly to the location of where the Thoughts containing folder is stored.  Thus displaying the User Level, Brain Level, etc.  For example, my current Thoughts folder is in:

C:\My Brains\Brain9\Brains\U01\B39\de1acefd-2fb2-4f...

- Yes, I customized that location in the Preferences > System > Storage setting.

And to answer your next question, Yes - you would confuse the program and potentially disable access to a Brain by manually renaming a directory!

Thanks,
Matt


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metta
Thank you, Harlan and Matt, for this helpful detail about the built-in folder structure and our V9 backup options.

I appreciate your feedback, and I have a couple of quick questions of clarification regarding my current backup strategy.

My Current Strategy
> I always use the web brain sync to maintain a current, remote backup of my brains.
> I am also now using the built-in backup function in V9 to maintain almost daily incremental backups of my V9 brains which are currently stored outside of TheBrain's program (system) folders.

My Questions
(1) Am I correct in understanding that NONE of the aforementioned system folders should be included in the remote (cloud) backup system I currently use? (CrashPlan)

(2) Will it be safe for me to create redundant cloud backups of my incremental V9 brain backups as long as my brain backups are NOT stored anywhere among the TheBrain's existing program (system) folders?
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mcaton
Meta,

Your current strategies are correct and valid.  

True that if you just try backing up your Brain folder (the one you see being specified in Options > Preferences > System Tab) - it's not enough. There are other crucial database items in your application directory that need to be kept in sync and cannot be reliably re-created if backed up separately.

I'm not sure I follow your final question.  Redundant cloud backups with separate GUIDs?  This is possible but might be hard to keep track of.

Thank you,
Matt
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mctrexler
Does that mean that it's impossible to use a program like FolderMatch, which I've used successfully for years to keep my Brains backed up quickly and efficiently?   If so, that's really unfortunate.  Is there a set of directories that if backed up would serve the same purpose?  

I have not tried backing up a mega brain in V9, but I can't imagine that backing up a 20GB brain is quick, not to mention the reliability concerns of any compression of 20GB's of stuff.  

Mark
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mcaton
Mark,

An automated folder backup in v9 would be a little more complex that what was required of v8. For TheBrain 9, you would need two specific directories:

Your Brains Folder - this is a folder specified withing in the application under Options > Preferences > System Tab > Storage
TheBrain 9 Data Folder - In Windows, this is located in C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\TheBrain . In macOS go to  ~/.TheBrain/v9  Warning - this directory is not intended to be manually tampered with or edited.

It's important to point out that both of these directories would need to be backed up at the same time.  If some files in your Data folder don't find exactly what they are looking for in your Brains folder - there could be problems.  So this type of backup system/process is not ideal.

As mentioned earlier, the best options are to create a .BRZ and/or sync to TheBrain Cloud.  I'm happy to also write up a new feature request for an automated local backup procedure.

Thanks,
Matt
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metta
Thanks again, Matt, for your helpful feedback.

I LOVE the idea of having an automated local backup. Please do add this as a feature request. :-)

Regarding my second (somewhat confusing) question above, I wasn't proposing new GUIDs. (I agree that would be quite confusing to manage.)

However, you did indirectly answer my question by explaining that it is NOT sufficient simply to copy brains in their default location to create a duplicate backup.

I guess I was hoping to have some way of creating incremental backups somewhere in the cloud since:
-- the webbrain only preserves the most recent/current version
-- incremental backups (brz files) on my hard drive are still vulnerable to a hard drive crash.

In other words, for optimal data security, I had hoped to be able to maintain an incremental series of backups (from several recent dates) in the cloud -- as a backup to the backup files on my hard drive.

  • Does this make sense?
  • If so, can you recommend any relatively simple way to accomplish this?
  • Maybe copying my most recent brz files into Dropbox, perhaps?
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zenrain
When I create a backup using TheBrain 9, it automatically has a date on it (this is a nice touch btw). I then move that to my iCloud folder (I used to use Dropbox and it pretty much works the same way, so there's no reason not to), and it's also automatically copied locally into another folder (using Hazel, a macOS folder automation software). 

I have a reminder to do this weekly (although I was doing it daily earlier in the beta cycle). 
Once a week Hazel deletes prior week's backup from iCloud, but the ones on my hard drive remain. I could (and probably should) also move the backups to a remote drive. 

This has been enough for me for the past few years, although I'm now actively researching cloud backups and cost associated with that.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.230
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metta
Great! Many thanks for your always well-considered feedback, zenrain.

Much appreciated.
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