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  • Name Manni
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Duplicating Brains
Yes, this is similar to my use for it, I also grant lifetime access to the participants of my workshops/presentations, but I need a duplicate every time I do a new workshop, not only when I want to make some of the content public.
I'm still waiting for Harlan to confirm what his suggested workaround is.
My understanding is that although not ideal and convoluted, his procedure would keep your original brainID, simply it would be in the restored copy, not in the original file. It's counter-intuitive but Harlan seems to think that it wouldn't cause any issue with existing links, webbrains, syncs etc. So once you've given the duplicate the name of the original brain and have renamed the original with the new name, you have everything as you want (I think), including links in notes etc. The fact that you've swapped the files is kind of irrelevant.

I don't use links to thoughts in notes (I only  links to external websites or attachments), and I copy all my attachments into my brain, so I never had an issue with my procedure over the past few years.

@Harlan, please could you reply to my post, even if only to correct the procedure I listed, to clarify if I got the steps right or if you meant something simpler than what I described? Thanks.

Also I'd like to know if it's now three of us who are calling for a "Save as" feature, or still only two 😉

By the way, there is no need to post if you don't have a need for a "Save as" command.

Metta and I clearly have a use for this (as I suspect many other users), but if you would only need it once in a blue moon, no need to let us know, just don't post and forget about this thread, it will be easier. 😉
Duplicating Brains
Harlan wrote:

Doing what I described will not change the GUID of the original brain. Once you import from the backed up version, it will be exactly as it was when is was backed up. The steps I describe will accomplish exactly what you want.

Thanks for explaining why presentation mode is important to you and what you need it to do. I understand what you are looking for. Yes, we are still planning on adding presentation mode in a future release for both Windows and macOS.

Thanks Harlan, looking forward to having Presentation Mode in V9 [smile]

Regarding duplicating a brain, I must be missing something.

Here is what you wrote: 

The easiest way to duplicate a brain is to create a Brain Archive/BRZ (BrainZip in version 8), then change the GUID of the brain, then import the archive.


 In V8, you just use File > Open Brain > Browse Local Files to open a BrainZip.

2) After you change the GUID, I would rename that version, then re-import the original.
I read this as meaning:

1) Open original brain
2) Create a BrainZIP (V8)/BRZ(V9) with File/Create Brainzip (V8) or File Backup to Brain Archive (V9)
3) Select BrainZIP/BRZ location.
3b) Dismiss the message suggesting to open the containing folder (V8 only)
4) Change the GUID of the original brain
5) Close the original brain
6) Rename the original brain
7) Create a new brain with the same name as the original brain
8) File/Import/Browse to import the BrainZIP (V8)/BRZ(V9)
9) Locate the BrainZIP in the folders/list of files and select the correct file once identified.
10) Start working.

If I got this wrong, please list all the exact steps as above, not just the difference(s) to make sure we're 100% clear about what's missing, unnecessary or in the wrong order.

My understanding is that the original brain (content, GUID) is now in the newly created brain (duplicate). The duplicate is the renamed original with a new GUID. It's great if you can guarantee that this won't cause any sync issue, but I'm not even sure that your solution (if I got it right) is significantly more time-effective and less error-prone than my current method:
1) Open original brain
2) Click on report / refresh / ctrl-A to select all the thoughts
3) The selection window appears, right click on it, Copy selected thoughts
4) File / New brain
6) Right-click on the empty plex, select paste thoughts (confirm)
7) Select Options / Set theme
8) Start working

Still a very convoluted way to achieve such a standard task, but there is no renaming or changing of GUID involved, which I find more logical.

Now compare either of these with what I'm suggesting:

1) Right-click on the original brain in the list of brains and select Save As or Duplicate brain (File /  Save As or File / Duplicate Brain if the brain is already open)
2) Select the name/location for the duplicate brain. As is standard behavior for all apps supporting a "Save As" command, the original brain is closed if it was already open, the duplicated file (same content with a new BrainID) is opened automatically.
3) Start working.

Risk of error: 0. Time to remember the steps involved in the process: 0. Time needed to perform the operation: 5 to 10 seconds vs 1-2 min for either of the existing workarounds.

The amount of code to achieve that is minimal given that you already have the BrainZIP/BRZ coding in place. It would 1) add a very useful command for many users and 2) bring TheBrain in line with 99% of applications offering a "Save As" function, instead of insisting to go through a very convoluted process to achieve a legitimate action.

I guess it won't happen until/unless other users add a +1, as Metta did. I can't believe it's only the two of us who have a use for / see this as simpler, more straightforward and more desirable solution than the convoluted workaround you are suggesting or the alternate method I'm using currently.

So if anyone else is interested in having a "Duplicate Brain" of "Save As" command, please make yourself known! [smile]
Duplicating Brains
Harlan wrote:
1) In V8, you just use File > Open Brain > Browse Local Files to open a BrainZip.

2) After you change the GUID, I would rename that version, then re-import the original.

It's unlikely we will add a "Duplicate Brain" command as it would encourage usage patterns that do not line up with the design philosophy.

Re: Presentation Mode: Sorry, but we never provide ETAs of future features unless they are already mostly completed. (I've written about why this is extensively in the past - it only leads to trouble.) In terms of this being a reason not to switch to version 9, I'm curious why it is so important to you. Why not just maximize TheBrain window (or go fullscreen on macOS), then maximize the plex? The UI and animation in version 9 is so much cleaner than version 8 that I think this easily trumps the ability to hide the menubar and title bar (and if you're on macOS, fullscreen mode will hide the menubar already).

Thanks for the detailed steps to import a brainzip. Still, I don't want to change the GUID of the original brain. It's already published on my website, it's just going to cause sync issues down the line.

I have no idea what you mean by "it would encourage usage patterns that do not line up with the design philosophy".

I'm describing a usage which I think is common for many V8 users who are using TheBrain not only as a mind mapping tool but also as a presentation tool, instead of Powerpoint, especially for very long presentations (mine can be three days or more). Once a presentation is done, I provide an online documentation that includes accessing the whole interactive presentation on our website. A few weeks/months later, I do another presentation which very often is similar to the last one, with a few changes. This is when I need to duplicate a brain, so that I can leave the original brain untouched (same name, same brainID, as it not only syncs with my local copy but I don't want to have to change the brainID for the online webbrain on the website). I simply want an exact copy of my original brain, assigned to a new brainID, with a new name such as "original name (copy)", that I can now edit.

I'm asking this because it is your role to make things simple when users have a legitimate use for the program, which I think mine is. Every software allows a "save as" so we don't have to start from scratch and don't have to change anything in the original. TheBrain simply needs the equivalent of a "Save As" command. Same brain, different brainID, one step for the user.

I have the feeling that V9 isn't thinking (at all) about people using TheBrain as a presentation tool (see below) as well as as a design/mind mapping tool. If that's the case, I'll just find other tools that suit my purpose better. It costs me a lot of money yearly to pay for maintenance and hosting. There are other solutions to do this. Not as elegant as TB8 which does all I need in one product, but if TB9 isn't interested in users like me, I'll simply stop my subscription and move on, it's not the end of the world. [smile]

Re Presentation Mode, I understand about the refusal to give a precise ETA, but I'd like to know if Presentation Mode is coming back or not, as if it's not coming back soon I'll move on.

I have to use The Brain in Windows for various reasons, so OSX isn't an option. Presentation Mode is simply a necessity for me when doing a presentation. I want max screen real estate to display my attachments as large as they can be (I use very complex graphics that need to be as large as possible when zoomed up by the software when I click/hover on them) and minimum distraction for the audience.

Even with TB9 window maximized and the plex maximized too, you still have lots of distractions at the top of the screen (title bar, menu bar, tabs bar, tools/search bar, all 100% unnecessary during a presentation) and at the bottom (taskbar, also 100% unnecessary during a presentation). This looks VERY unprofessional, especially when doing a presentation on a big screen (projector) in front of 100 people or more. It just looks very amateurish to me, even without taking into account the loss of screen real estate, which causes issues when displaying some of the content-rich attachments, as a significant amount of space is lost vertically, so they look smaller, which is an issue for the people at the back of the room.

When I select Presentation Mode in TB8, all the distractions go away, I get full-screen real estate (including the taskbar that automatically goes away). It looks clean and professional. 100% of the screen real estate is allocated to the plex and available to display attachments as big as they can be. There is simply NO WAY I will use TB9 in front of an audience without Presentation Mode. I know I could set the taskbar to minimize itself, but I don't want to when Presentation Mode does that and more. When I use Powerpoint, there is no distraction/loss of real estate during the presentation. That's what I had with TB8, and that's what I want in TB9.

So please let me know your intentions. I understood that Presentation Mode was on its way back, which is why I recently renewed my subscription (in December). If that's not the case, I have no further use for TheBrain and I'll ask for a refund. I fully understand if you've changed your target audience, but I don't want to be alienated because I'm using the wrong product for my needs.

By the way, I used to be a software developer so I'm fully aware of the huge amount of redesign involved in V9 and the underlying benefits. I have nothing against changing the way I do things to reap these benefits if I can get the same or better functionalities I used to have in the former version. The problem is, V9 without Presentation Mode is less functional for me than V8, so it's not even an option for me to go further as no Presentation Mode in the software is a dealbreaker irrespective of the other (real and significant) advantages brought by the new design. It would be the same if the ability to put the brain online was to go. For me these combined are two USPs of TheBrain, and what led me to purchase it in the first place, many years ago (apart from all the great things it can do).
Duplicating Brains
Harlan wrote:
The easiest way to duplicate a brain is to create a Brain Archive/BRZ (BrainZip in version 8), then change the GUID of the brain, then import the archive.

Thanks Harlan.
Two questions:
1) How do you import a brainzip into a new brain in V8? In the file/import menu there is no such option (that I can see)
2) I don't want to change the brain ID in the original brain. That brain ID is used to provide online access to the original brain to the participants of my presentations. Unless it means that the original brain becomes the copy (as we change the brain ID after creating the brainzip) and the duplicate (new brain in which the Brainzip is imported, I assume with the original brain ID) becomes the original. So I have to rename the original to give it a new name, and rename the copy to give it the name of the original? I think I'll stick to my original method if that's the case... Again, the need is to get something simple and less error prone than the copy/pasting of the thoughts in a new brain.

So please could you implement a "Duplicate Brain" (with a different brainID in the copy, not the original) in V9 (as I assume you've stopped development of V8)?

Any chance to get a confirmation that Presentation Mode is on its way back in V9, as well as an ETA?

Duplicating Brains
Thanks Matt, it sounds like a good temporary workaround for TB9 users, unfortunately I'm stuck with TB8 until Presentation Mode makes it to TB9 as I need it for my presentations. I don't think it's possible to create .brz files with TB8 (unless you're talking about a BrainZIP, but then I don't know how to import it back in a new brain).

Is the "Duplicate Brain" request going to make it to the "to be implemented" feature list in TB9?
Any ETA re Presentation Mode in TB9 (I and others have requested it so hopefully it will be implemented soon).

I can't wait to be able to switch to V9!
Duplicating Brains
I made this request for TB8 but it was never implemented.

Would it be possible to be able to duplicate a brain easily? I do presentations using TB, and frequently I'll start with an existing one.

Currently, I have to select all the thoughts, copy all the thoughts, create a new brain, paste all the thoughts, reset the home thought, set the theme... It's really time-consuming when a simple "Duplicate Brain" command could do all this in a faster and less error-prone way. Then we'd just have to rename the copy.

If I switch to Brain9 now, what significant features will I be missing?
mcaton wrote: Manni, 

mcaton wrote:

I hesitate to say this, but yes, it is still possible to select this type of location to store your Brain data.  But more importantly, it is very possible and very likely that you will LOSE your access to your data.  If the application is ever started without the path of the USB drive being present, or if access to the USB drive is lost while TheBrain is still running, your Brain data will no longer be accessible.  This is why we stress as much as possible that USB storage with v9 is not supported or recommended.

Thank you,

Hi Matt,

Thanks for this confirmation. This is very good news.

I only access a brain room USB in an emergency. It's a backup and as such, it's read only. If I lose the data on USB, it doesn't matter. The idea is simply that if my main partition fails, I can access my backup partition from bootcamp, with my USB backup assigned with the same drive letter as my main data partition. It works fine with V8. If my presentation laptop is also out of order, I had the Brain on the USB so I can install on another laptop.

I never do any changes to the brain on the USB, with V8 or V9. It's just an emergency backup if Murphy's law strikes during a presentation...

So I only need the return of Presentation Mode to be able to switch to V9. Looking forward to it!
If I switch to Brain9 now, what significant features will I be missing?
shatcher wrote:
Dave, Metta,

One of the things we worked on with V9 is the speed of access to files. As Harlan said a few months ago "TheBrain 9 depends on the access to the database being fast - if it is slow TheBrain will be slow. This is why slow drives (such as network drives, USB drives, or other drives where an additional layer is added) can have an impact."

We also recommend against storing Brains on removable media, or network drives, because it is very easy to corrupt the data, or mess up the links. If TheBrain 9 is started without access to the network drive, or without the USB drive plugged in, this will cause data issues.

Cheers, Sean

Hi Sean,

Thanks for this, but again I think it illustrates the unfortunate shift from using TheBrain as a presentation tool as well in V8 to using TheBrain as a mind mapping tool only in V9.

I use TheBrain to design interactive presentations. I like it better than Powerpoint, especially for long presentations (I do workshops that can last up to 3 days).

The presentation mode is crucial for me, so until it's implemented in V9 I'm stuck with V8.

The possibility to run a brain from a USB is also crucial when doing presentations. If, for any reason, I can't use my main partition on the MacBook Pro, I have a backup on a USB key, so I can run TheBrain from my Bootcamp partition with the same drive letter assigned to it. Modern USB discs, for example the 200Gb SDXC card that I use in a USB3 adapter, are faster than many hard drives. If the whole laptop is not usable, then I want to be able to run the presentation from the USB key on another laptop, so that I'm up and running as quickly as possible.

I understand it is our responsability to make sure the data is there before accessing it, but please could you clarify: is it still possible (but not recommended) to run a brain from a USB drive, or has the feature been removed from V9?

If that's the case, that's one more feature that needs to be added back before I can upgrade from V8.
If I switch to Brain9 now, what significant features will I be missing?
For me a huge missing feature is the disappearance of Presentation Mode. I really like the uncluttered look of V8 during a presentation and for this reason only I'm waiting for this to be implemented in V9 (I understand it is listed in the requested features).
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