PaulaO
As a writer,  having multiple backups of files is important. That recently saved my bacon when several project files disappeared. I *think* I moved them vs copy to my phone then deleted them because the phone just isn't big enough for editing (and I have the huge Note 8).

Luckily, I do several backups, a sync, and a mirror of my project files so I was able to find replacements. Probably overkill but we're talking years worth of work potentially lost.

And yes, the brain is synced to the cloud but I'd like my control over this. Just in case. You know?

Where are the files that I would want to backup from the Brain? Especially since I may slowly move files into it vs using folders. Right now I have TB save location as \Desktop\WIP\Brains. And it consists of a crapton of folders. Is this what I need to backup?

Is there a way to isolate those documents from the rest of TBs folders? Meaning are they all in one folder somewhere or are they scattered about?
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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zenrain
File > Backup to Brain Archive will put everything you need into a .brz file. This file can be imported via TheBrain 9, or the .brz changed to a .zip and extracted as a zip file and will contain a JSON file detailing the brain structures and folders containing the attachments and notes.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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mctrexler
Zenrain, brought this up with Harlan a long time ago, and can't remember the answer (still in TB8 so not yet an issue).  My Brain is close to 50 GB in size.  In TB8 I'm able to use Foldermatch to synchronize all the relevant files between desktop and various hard drive backups (yes, it's a reliable synchronizer - it works).  But in TB9 there is no obvious file structure.  Is it possible to map out a series of directories to sync and be sure you've gotten all the files?  Doing a 50 GB brz file is going to be an undertaking, and one I'd do far less frequently than I currently backup via Foldermatch. 

Thanks,

Mark
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PaulaO
^^^^^ This. While mine is no where near that size, it can quickly become close to it once I start moving documents in vs copy. And with the weird file structure, it is difficult to find a file with another program, say, LibreOffice. I'd have no other way to back up my projects except either brainzip or rely on TheBrain server.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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metta
FWIW, I'd recommend never relying (only) on TB server for any major backup or data retrieval.

Hopefully, TB9 server will be more reliable than TB8 server. However, I recently tried to download my megabrain from TB8 server (after my megabrain was deleted from my hard drive by a 3rd party software application) -- and it took almost a dozen download attempts before I got it.

Then, when I finally accessed the megabrain download, I discovered it was filled with bugs: lots of missing images in notes, image attachments and thought icons. Couldn't even begin to assess the scope of the damage since my megabrain is so large (almost 33,000 thoughts & over 14GB). Ended up having to restore my mega-brain from my most recent (2-day old) backup.

Now I'm backing up all my brain files (zipping with a brz) almost every single night while I sleep.

I know nightly backups won't be feasible for monster brains like Mark's CW, but frequent manual backups are more important to me now than ever -- and I was pretty fiendish about backing up before this brain loss occurred.

Not having a clear folder structure also does create another set of concerns. Will be interested to see what TB staff recommends now in light of Mark's FolderMatch question.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Re: the web client server & sync
> I only use the web client for remote brain access, brain sharing and occasionally retrieving a bit of deleted content in real time.
> I also always sync manually so I have the option of retrieving accidentally deleted content in real time. (With the automatic sync, you run the risk of losing this valuable recovery option.)
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PaulaO
I recently lost ALL of my active project files (meaning manuscripts in both .odt and .doc formats). Since I keep backups of my backups, I was able to recover them with just minimal loss. I *think* what happened is I moved them to my phone instead of copy. Then, because the screen was too small to really do any editing, I deleted them.

This is why I hesitate to put my project files directly into TB. I'd literally lose everything. And to a writer, it is a heart attack.

Is there a way to auto make the brainzip? Or do you (Metta) set it to do it every night? You must have wet your pants when you realized your TB8 brain was gone.

I use SyncBack Pro and daily the Brain folder is sent to the my webhost's cloud service as well as sent to my laptop. If I knew where the project files would be located, I could parse them out and just do a backup of them daily.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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metta
Thanks for sharing your data loss story, Paula. Definitely a word to the wise about the value of redundant backups!

I also appreciate your warning about moving files into TheBrain. For years now, I've become increasingly relaxed about storing files in my megabrain. Admittedly, it took a while before I felt comfortable actually moving my files into TB (instead of simply linking them), but eventually I got to the point (several years ago) where I had hoped TB could almost completely replace my file manager.

However, I've since learned the attachments (including thought icons) contribute most significantly to the brain size, and since the maximum size we can sync is capped at 30GB, I realize this file management strategy really isn't as feasible as I had initially thought -- at least until we have the option of storing larger brains on TB9 server.

Now that I've actually had a major data loss (yes, it was a stone cold shock!), I am now seriously reconsidering my decision to move files into TB. At least, I am doing it much more selectively now....and I'm waiting to migrate into TB9 until some of the import, backup and storage capacity questions have been addressed.

In the meantime, I manually backup all my updated brains every night. These backups are stored in Dropbox (so I'll always have a web-based copy) -- and I also have all my backups automatically synced with my remote CrashPlan account.

This means I have a 4-tiered backup strategy:
> the WebBrain | Web Client (real time version only)
> 3 tiers of version-controlled backups:
   > Dropbox local
   > Dropbox remote
   > CrashPlan remote

I figure better safe than sorry when it comes to saving valuable data! (This is also why I didn't actually die when I had my disappearing megabrain heart attack! 😲😉🙂)

As for automating the back-up process using TB itself, that is not currently an option with either TB8 or TB9, although automatic version controlled backups have been requested by several users.
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zenrain
mctrexler wrote:
Zenrain, brought this up with Harlan a long time ago, and can't remember the answer (still in TB8 so not yet an issue).  My Brain is close to 50 GB in size.  In TB8 I'm able to use Foldermatch to synchronize all the relevant files between desktop and various hard drive backups (yes, it's a reliable synchronizer - it works).  But in TB9 there is no obvious file structure.  Is it possible to map out a series of directories to sync and be sure you've gotten all the files?  Doing a 50 GB brz file is going to be an undertaking, and one I'd do far less frequently than I currently backup via Foldermatch. 

Thanks,

Mark


Yes, I just checked and the folders that are within the .brz file correspond to the folders within the /Brains/U[0-9]/B[0-9]/[GUID] Folders. You just have to find the correct U and B folders. I do this by opening a thought folder from the Open Folder button on the new attachment tab (or using the shortcut if you have assigned one).
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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PaulaO
metta wrote:


In the meantime, I manually backup all my updated brains every night. These backups are stored in Dropbox (so I'll always have a web-based copy) -- and I also have all my backups automatically synced with my remote CrashPlan account.

This means I have a 4-tiered backup strategy:
> the WebBrain | Web Client (real time version only)
> 3 tiers of version-controlled backups:
   > Dropbox local
   > Dropbox remote
   > CrashPlan remote



I have an USB key within easy reach where my WIP (works in progress) folder is mirrored every morning.
I use SyncBack to sync and/or backup the WIP folder and other documents:
- DreamObjects cloud (via DreamHost, my webhost)
- my laptop
- my current active project file is sent via FTP to a folder on my website
- my partner's desktop across the room

So adding the Brain to the list wasn't too difficult.

Dropbox and Drive make me nervous after Drive borked a file.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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ruudhein
I'm a big fan of the convenience of having files inside an application. I'm not a big fan of making that my Golden Copy.

Unless it's a really random piece of web information I saved, a Golden Copy resides somewhere on my own computer, in the native file system + synced to Dropbox.

E.g.: when I use Scansnap to scan a document into Evernote, I rename the file within the note to something sane (yyyy-mm-dd subject), then right-click and save that scan into my local Dropbox folder structure.

If it's a file in progress, it's unlikely to be inside one of my applications. Were I to have something like that in TB, then I would have the file in my Workplace in Dropbox and link to it in TB.

As you're not that far into your use of TB yet, it's a good time to start giving files good descriptive names, so they make sense outside of the context of the Thought, and maybe adapt a file naming pattern. Using that, a simple search trough the database folder can retrieve all your files so they're easy to copy.

In Preferences you can see where your brains are stored. Those folders contain all the files you store inside the brain.
Using: Evernote | FilterizeDynalist | Liner | TheBrain v9.1.12.0
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PaulaO
I gave up on doing this but got back to it today. Using SyncBack Pro:

- Notes are saved as .html files. I set the filter to exclude any file with that extension.
- I also set the filter to only copy .odt, .doc, and .txt. (redundant, yes but it didn't work otherwise) I'll need to add .jpg to this.
- I set the Copy/Delete options to consider folders with that extension to be "empty".
- I set it so "empty" folders were not copied.

This got me what I was looking for. Only folders with the "only copy" filters were synced. No empties, no jumbles.

Will I use this? I may use it as yet another fail safe. I already have the entire brain being synced to DreamObjects. But knowing I can put my work files into their own sync feels good. Losing files because I can't find them is not a feel good.

I'm still on the fence about moving those files into TheBrain anyway. I can link to them within TB so that's cool.

I am, however, still madly in love with TB. I use it daily. I've put all my contacts, logins, passwords into it and that is most handy. Prior, I had a bunch of txt files and I had to scroll to find it. Now I just open TB and use the search. Done. And linking the contacts to various projects is awesomesauce.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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metta
Glad to hear you're enjoying TB, Paula! I appreciate it for all the same reasons.

However, you might want to keep in mind that if you store all your logins and passwords in TB and then, at some point in the future, you need to share your brain with TB staff for troubleshooting, all that confidential info will be in TB.

I learned this the hard way since I've been doing the same thing, and now my megabrain is so full of so much confidential info (passwords, financial records, etc.) that it is no longer feasible for me to share my brain with TB's tech support need when troubleshooting is needed.

This doesn't mean I would have done anything differently if I had thought about this ahead of time, but it is a consideration you might want to be aware of....
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ruudhein
Good points, metta.

For logins/passwords I prefer to use a password manager like LastPass. Information is encrypted, synced across devices, if you want. It makes logging in a one-click affair, depending on how you set it up. 
Using: Evernote | FilterizeDynalist | Liner | TheBrain v9.1.12.0
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PaulaO
I use 1Password but there's lots of things it doesn't keep. Like serial numbers for software or whatever. At least not that I know of. Plus there's lots of times when I am not on my own computer. I can just use TB to look up the log in. Much easier than making sure each device had the most up-to-date txt files.

I have it all in one brain now. I used to have three of four (writing, personal, away-from-desk thoughts, and one for passwords/logins/contacts. But I couldn't seem to keep them separate. There's weren't many clear lines to determine this or that was here or there. So, one brain shall rule them all! Mwahahahaha. Ha.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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metta
Thanks for the suggestion, Ruud. I'll definitely consider LastPass as an alternative at some point in the future.
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