soto
Hi, sorry for my bad english spoken (i'm french )
Here's my feed-back for the beta test (haven't browse the forum yet) :

- PersonalBrain 4.0.4.4, April 18, 2007
- Pentium 1.6 GHz, 512 Mo RAM, Windows XP sp2

- about 9 years of intensive and daily use of personalBrain (22800 thoughts)
- soto@a-self.org

nb : *** = important for me

--------( Not good / Doesn't work )

- *** pb in re-importing a previous partialy and badly imported Brain (data from the previous importation not cleaned ?). Solved by renaming the old pB 3.
- ** importation/exportation last for about an hour and half for my 22.800's thoughts's brain and captures all the cpu : impossible to do anything else while importing or exporting.
- *** in comparaison with pB 3, pB 4 is much, much, much slowwwwer (sadly, unusable with my 22800's thoughts's brain and with my config), and RAM and CPU gestion is really not efficient. Java is good for portability, but not well integrated with MS Windows.
- *** why no arrangement of thoughts "by type" ( which was done in pB 3 when arranged by name, because, i think of a priority of types over names, which have been inversed in this version) ? It is visually crucial for me (color codes of types are now mixed => unreadable, unusable).
- *** why no text color (only background) in types as in pB 3 ??? As the text color is highly dependant on background color. Ex : if the text is white (for all thoughts), the highlighting when rollover make the text unreadable when the background color is clear (ex : yellow).
- in "property.." of a thought, direct "Display" acess is redundant with "Type" > "Display" (in relation with no way to set text color in each type).
- no marks in main menu "options" > "set theme" to know which theme is active.
- ESP doesn't seems to work (beta ?)
- the "filter" thoughts does work too.
- calendar with EACH thought is not useful at all for me.
- no choice in type between coloring text and/or background => no more coloring options for text, so if there's no background, we have no color clue of types unless mouseOvering.
- ** applying themes kicked my old (and patiently designed) display (colored texts)
- when editing type, no visual clue in the windows to remind the old one.
- no "editing types" or search in the main menu.
- can't manually tweak no more an url attached (sometimes useful).
- *** thoughts overlap with scrollbar on the top right.
- I don't use Outlook, but Mozilla Thunderbird (but i understand : your main target is B2B
- is it possible to have a french dictionary (or to be able to choose) ?
- no more history fonction (really useful) ?
- haven't see the search "by history".
- no more export of copy results ?



--------( Nice / Pleased to use )

- *** exporting HTML or siteBrain is really a very important and nice feature that what was missing in our time of web exchange (could be developped toward blog export with tags, etc)
- *** search with multiple words was a feature i was really waiting for too for a long time, idem with "search under active thought).
- the "super type" in type editing seems nice, but i don't figure out what is its use (as my way of using type hierarchy is emergeant from my linking activity).
- *** deleting without unlinking was necessary.
- nice the html enhancement of the note pad.


For now, that's all, i keep on exploring...
Best regards,
soto.


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spytech128
Soto, I really appreciate your all-in-one feedback of PB4! Your feedback brings alot of the issues that I forgot to mention all together, rather than trying to search or remember to address the issues in separate posts. You seem to address many of my concerns and your experience with PB makes your feedback a very good all-around feedback. Thank you!
I agree with many of your dislikes and "missing" features including:
  1. Text color settings for types, to be able to save the type settings as a selection for other PBs.
  2. to have an active Theme selected indicator, (> "set theme" to know which theme is active.) - "applying themes kicked my old (and patiently designed) display (colored texts) ." - We should be able to import PB3 Brains with all of its customizations (text color, backgrounds) and have PB4 ask if we would like to save the PB3 settings as a Theme for PB4.
  3. HTML export (wished we had a little more control of the export theme, text color, Plex and thought reference window positioning).
  4. With the related thoughts in the right "column" (I preferred the bar with the directional arrow, located at top and bottom of the column of related thoughts instead of the scroll bar at the far right of the column and Plex view. For me, it is easier to see (that you are not seeing all of your related thoughts at right) with the top and bottom bars with their directional arrow than the scroll bar at right; which somehow makes it easy for me to forget that I have additional related thoughts that I cannot see (that are not in view). The scroll bar pretty much is difficult to see with several of the backgrounds in several instances that I have noticed, and the scroll bar is so far to the right yet gets covered by the related thought titles, for the most part.  I like the top & bottom bars with arrows better.
  5. And yes, I do miss the History function, very much. For me, it makes your work much easier to see, and it shows many things you cannot see anymore, at a glance.(-"when editing type, no visual clue in the windows to remind me of the old one.")
  6. The Calendar with EACH thought is not useful at all for me, unless it tied into my Outlook (or Thunderbird) calendar.
  7. "why no arrangement of thoughts 'by type' ( which was done in PB3 when arranged by name, because, i think of a priority of types over names, which have been inversed in this version) ? It is visually crucial for me (color codes of types are now mixed => unreadable, unusable)." - I certainly agree!! - and I thank you (Soto) for pointing out that way to arrange my thoughts; that helps me a lot! (I haven't had the time to really set it up that way, now I will think to do it that way.)
  8. One thing I have realized more than anything is (having one of my monitors removed, for some time, unfortunately) that I work so much more intuitively when I have PB4 setup on my computer with dual-monitors. When set up with 2 or more monitors, I can place PB4 on 1 monitor (in full-screen mode) and have my applications and web pages shown in full-screen mode or how I would normally use them on the 2nd monitor. Then, I could just drag and drop from one screen to the other, right into my Brain. It makes working with PB much more intuitive! I miss my 2nd monitor; I have to get it replaced badly! I feel so disadvantaged using my PB without the ability to see everything important to my thought processes in full view.
Thank you, Soto, for mentioning so many things I forgot to mention!
Spytech128
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jataylor
Hi Everyone,

My main issue with Brain 4 at this point is it's a memory hog.  I really don't think you're ready to roll it out past the beta stage as a fully-functioning product.

Until I see improvement in this area, I'll keep using Brain 3.  Although I've already updated to PB 4 Core, it slows down my system enough that I won't consider updating to Pro anytime soon.

I use my Brain everyday, and it has helped increase my productivity dramatically.  However, Brain 4 has had the opposite effect.  There are some good things that you're working on, but until this memory issue and some of the other "bugs" gets under control, I'll stick to relying on Brain 3.

I think you're in the process of having a really good product, and I look forward to working with Brain 4 soon, but things aren't quite there yet.

John A. Taylor
PB Pro 6
Win XP, Win 7
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Harlan
Hi Soto,

Thanks for all your feeback. Following are responses to some of your points.

You can set PB4 to display thought types colors on the text instead of the background, uncheck Background colors under Preferences > Options.

There are two display menus because a Type's display properties can be modified independently of the thoughts (the thought inherits from and can override the type properties)

Please see the description of the ESP functionality elsewhere in the forum.

The Calendar is not separate for each thought - it is shared across all. The current list of events is only for the active thought. Please experiment further with this. When the documentation is complete, we will explain this in detail.

URLs can be manually edited in the Properties & Attachments tab. Just click on the location to edit it.

If you want to save your current look and feel settings, you can use the "save theme" command.
Regards,
-Harlan
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