Well, if you uses "Cloud" computing, you wouldn't have that problem. You'd only lose your data if your cloud host went out of business. If you use Google as your host (Gmail, Goggle Gears, etc), you probably won't have to worry about that. Some "Cloud" apps to look into, other then Google, would be Evernote and Zolo, off the top of my head.
I've never had any kind of a system failure until the past year. I had two hard disk crashes, and then after getting it fixed, and paying for data recovery services, the repair shop dropped and smashed my computer, so three losses of all data. Then I shifted to LInux, and anything I had in windows became useless.
So I have no faith in electronic storage of my information anymore. My email server just went kaflooey today, and I lost a couple of hundred contacts. They're backed up somewhere, but I haven't worked out the file structure in Linux yet, so I can't find them.
With PB 4 and onward, you can actually keep your important stuff inside the brain, brainzip your brains, and drop those brainzips to free online storage, so you'd always have your last brain backups out there. Then if your hard drive fails, a tornado/hurricane/flood comes through and wipes out your home and work stuff you are still backed up.
Personally, I've been dumping my important data to USB drives for years. Of course, I'm screwed if my drives go out, but I also have USB flash drives that I use for daily backups and shuttling data, so I'm never too far from a recent backup of my data. Knock on wood.
Oh yeah--- there are services out there that offer online backups. If it is that important to you, you should check them out.
Is PB worth it? Depends on which edition you mean. The Free edition is certainly worth it - it comes at an unbeatable price.
Pro and Core editions? after carefully studying the differences (http://www.thebrain.com/#-111
) I don't really think they are worth the asking price right now.
In the Core and Pro editions you can add file attachments to thoughts. Who needs this? If you can attach URLs to thoughts in the Free edition ("Add Web pages to Thoughts"), you can point URLs to any file on your hard drive.
Actually, file attachments ROCK. For instance--- instant backups and instant versioning--- all in my work brains. I make project brains, and keep a copy of all my documents inside the brain. Whenever a new version rolls down, I "forget" the old thought and add in the new one--- or I just rename the old one (with the date as a version), and add in the new one (for "important" documents). Either way, I've got a long line of document versions of stuff that is important to me concerning the project. Sure, I know there's plenty of document management systems out there. We have at least 15 that I know of at my work. And then I have MINE--- which never fails and I can always access, no matter how we migrate document management systems, or reorganize, or even split contracts and companies. All it takes is a brainzip, and I'm covered.
Of course, this does make it take a while on the zipping and the brains get big, but hey, you got a big brain, you might as well be proud.
Other great uses? When I buy software, I create a thought in my Personal Brain, and drop in, as attachments, a copy of the order html page, the confirmation page and emails, any files (like license files) sent to me to use that, as well as the software itself. Bam! Instant backup. Whenever I need anything to do with that software, it's all right there, in my brain. No tracking down which backup it might be, years later. I just need the correct brain. And it's highly portable--- just need to unzip that brain when I move between machines (upgrades, work location transfers, etc), for instance.
"Additional views to see more Thoughts at once". Big deal. There are still too many bugs in the Expanded view that need fixing. If you need the Outline view a lot, you might be better off with a tree-based application, of which there are many (e.g., DevonThink, OneNote, TreePad, etc.).
Well, that's one way of looking at it. But I use expanded a LOT. I used to use "distant thoughts" constantly back in the original version. I find I am usually working with the same set of thoughts, so having all their neighbors stick around saves me time. And Expanded is useful when I'm pondering and considering items in brainstorming brains. It lets me display what I want and prune what isn't useful to what I want to consider.
Actually, I've found them to be very useful in many circumstances. Not particularly when only using PB as a URL manager, but very useful while using it as a flow diagrammer for many issues and problems.
"Tables in notes"? I find the Notes HTML editor barely usable.
I'm not a big notes guy. I stuff ancillarly data in them from time to time, but I don't use them significantly. So Notes functionality improving or growing really doesn't affect my usage.
"Zoomable thought icons"? Unless you really love icons, don't give them any further thought (pun intended) if you want to keep your brain fast, simple and as small as possible.
Actually, this is very useful--- depending on what graphics you have been stuffing into your brain. Using process flow charts, for instance, and having them get big enough that I can easily recognize what the next step in a forgotten bit of documentation is useful without requiring me to load up the source document and digging. And I bet the presentation people love it.
Pro Edition features? Looking down the list, there is nothing on it I can't live without. Save your money till the developers take a rest from trying to cater for everyone's fancies and concentrate instead on making PB's most used
efficient and user-friendly.
If you are doing fine with the Free, good for you. Or if you Core meets your needs, cool! Use the cheapest level that works well for you.
Of course, paying them money does mean that the company is more likely to be here for years to come, but that's just important to people that want future support and future enhancements.