punkmonksf
It appears that PB doesn't index virtual thoughts or their contents. What then is the usefulness of having them incorporated into a brain? Can someone tell me how they use virtual thoughts without the usefulness of indexing?

Is this a planned feature?

Karekin

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agnor
One immediate use that comes to mind is the ability to interlink them within the Brain while preserving the existing structure.  For example, I have many directories that I have organized a specific way, and it'd be nice to both keep my files where they are but also link them to thoughts in my Brain.

From a performance standpoint, the overhead of processing what could be very large or deeply recursive directories for indexing might be too much.

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vicanto
your request is an old question that many of us had sent to Harlan in the past.
Harlan said that virtual thought index is too expensive for system resource or hardware
??
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punkmonksf
Hmmm... I was relatively sure the question must have come up in the past. And I'm sorry to hear that this is the response.

However, that leads me to another question. It seems to me that a simple index file of the names of the files or even of their contents would be a relatively static files contained in the database. Unless the system is "constantly" monitoring for changes or reindexing those files every few minutes, I fail to see what kind of resources would be taxed by the existence of such an index.

There are plenty of other programs out there (DevonThink) comes to find, that upon import creates an index of the content for the purposes of searching. This makes it easy to find semantic relationships between any files on your hard drive that have been indexed. Spotlight does so at the system level in the Mac OS. No resource hog there.

How can this tax either the software or the hardware resources?

I know at startup, PB updates the index for web pages. But I seriously hope it doesn't try to do so for every document in the database. That's a waste of resources whether you are tracking a folder on your hard drive or not. All that it should have to monitor are files that have a different modification date than the last time the index was re-upped.

So, I understand the "nice" factor of being able to link virtual thoughts to existing thoughts. But if I'm in my brain and I want to do a search on a file/folder I know is contained there... do I now have the added burden of trying to remember what though I linked it to rather than just be able to search for the file/folder itself? This seems completely counter-intuitive.


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jataylor
I drag most everything I use into my Brain.

I use Virtual Thoughts for files I share with others, or that others need access to, either at work or at home.  Since they don't all use PersonalBrain, I maintain a clear hierarchy for these files, and link them virtually throughout my Brain to areas where I might need to quickly access them.

One way that I've worked around the lack of indexing is to create a "Virtual Thoughts" thought that connects all of these thoughts.

Since I use them sparingly, I generally know what my Virtual Thoughts are, and if I don't remember exactly where I initially linked them, this creates a common thought for me to find them.

One of the reasons I use them sparingly, is because this feature has seemed to be a little "buggy" to me.  Generally, whenever I've had a crash, or things have slowed way down, it's been a result of clicking on a Virtual Thought.  However, the benefits of PersonalBrain overall outweigh this minor glitch, and I still have the ability to have Virtual Thoughts when needed.

I definitely would like to see this feature improved in future releases.  For me, it's been one of the least dependable features of PersonalBrain.

John A. Taylor
PB Pro 6
Win XP, Win 7
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vicanto
Karekin, see harlan's answer:
http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=1898777
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agnor
I think the key difference here lies in a phrase that punkmonksf used in his/her post:  "upon import".

Also, there are two semi-separate issues:  indexing of virtual thoughts, and Mac/Linux internal-attachment indexing falling behind that available on Windows.

While I can't say why Mac PB lags behind PC PB on support for internal files indexing, the reason that Devonthink might be able to index files at all is that they're being imported/copied internally (please correct me if I'm wrong) into Devonthink.  This seems just like my coping/moving a file into PB in Windows.

Spotlight can work as it does (as far as I know) because it likely has hooks into the kernel/filesystem itself, whereas The Brain does not.  The Brain would have to crawl every document, and then continue to keep crawling in order to look for changes--or else get integrated into 3 different kernels/filesystems.  Without those hooks, PB wouldn't "know" when a file has changed unless it actually goes out and checks up on the file.
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zenrain
Personal Brain's Mac/Linux internal file indexing does fall considerably behind PC indexing, as PB for the Mac only indexes text and .html files, whereas Windows also includes Excel, .pdf, word and more.
I believe DevonThink can index files that are both imported into the database and just indexed (remain in their current location).

DevonThink is pretty much the 800lb gorilla for content indexing, it far outstrips PersonalBrains indexing capabilities on the PC (Concordance, See Also, and automatic filing). Heck, as far as content searches, it outstrips all other applications in it's price range for both PC and Mac OSs.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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grsilverman
agnor wrote:
I think the key difference here lies in a phrase that punkmonksf used in his/her post:  "upon import".

While I can't say why Mac PB lags behind PC PB on support for internal files indexing, the reason that Devonthink might be able to index files at all is that they're being imported/copied internally (please correct me if I'm wrong) into Devonthink.  This seems just like my coping/moving a file into PB in Windows.




Devonthink can either import or index an external file.
Best,

George Silverman
Author, "The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing"
http://www.mnav.com
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westbroek
Hang on, hang on...

I knew folders *outside* the brain "couldn't" be indexed. But when I open the thought folder of a thought (duh!) and I add a file or folder there.... why can't it be indexed?!

<sigh> man, oh man, oh man....
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zenrain
In windows I just opened the thought folder, dragged a word document in there, and then searched and it did index the contents of the file.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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westbroek
I noticed that too after a delay.

Now put that file within a folder in that folder. It's gone as the subfolder is considered a virtual thought even though it clearly is inside the brain.
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zenrain
Ah, gotcha. I guess it only goes to files directly in that thought folder.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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westbroek
Yup. Once you put in that subfolder it's out of sight. It doesn't even index the filename.

This is what is so strikingly odd about the "virtual thought" definition from Harlan. A "virtual thought" is a thought outside of the brain -- but it's clear these subfolders are inside the brain and so are the files it contains.

I've been toying a bit with a .bat file which will make a dir listing in a txt file... but that becomes rather clunky. For 300 bucks PB *could* index any and all files which are placed inside the brain.
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Darkstar

When you make a brainzip--- does the subfolder and its contents get zipped up? Because if PB doesn't consider them as part of its contents, then it won't add them into the brainzip, will it?

-Darkstar
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