• Posts 17
  • Member Since
  • Last Active
  • Name Richard G Bellew
  • Location: Hampshire, England
  • Occupation: Retired
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Startup message - there was an issue verifying the search index (#3096)
Hi Harlan -- I am seeing this same message on version No question of a network share. This is a standalone W10 laptop. The Brain in question is newly created on TB 9, not ported from any earlier version. I've tried the Shift-while-opening, but may have done it wrong. Request comment: This is the only TB9 Brain I've got, so it opens automatically when I start TB. Thus I've held down the Start key while starting TB, until the Brain itself has opened. No message about "Preparing for First Time Use". Just the original "Issue with Search Index" message. I've only got 58 thoughts. Possibly because of this I've seen no ill effects at all, despite the message.
Regards, Richard B.
Evolution - Revolution or Stagnancy
@HeinrichUnger -- I very much share the feelings you express in your posts. I check this website every morning to see whether anything has been released. But I can also identify with the stress and pressure that Harlan and his team must be experiencing and I think we should be grateful that Harlan has neither yielded to pressure to release something prematurely, nor (I hope) fallen into the trap of adding people to the development team.

Fred Brooks, who was the development manager of the IBM OS/360 project back in the mid and late '60s wrote in his seminal book The Mythical Man-Month that adding people to a late software project makes it later. He also wrote that writing compiler code was three times as difficult as writing an application. And writing system code was three times as difficult as writing a compiler. So consider for a moment the challenges facing the TB team: Multiple hardware platforms; multiple OS environments; the TeamBrain and EKP products; syncing between any combination of these; and the restrictions placed upon TB by the iOS and Android release processes. So I would submit that what they are doing is more complex and more difficult than anything Brooks described (and, no, I am in no way connected with the company except as a customer).

Into the bargain, remember the problems with database integrity that occurred a year or more ago, when a bug in one single beta release caused a huge amount of user concern and took time to find and fix. In today's more heterogeneous environment finding and fixing such a problem would be even more difficult. So one can understand TB's reluctance to release until they are as certain as they can be that they're ready to go.

All that having been said, Patrick Thompson's post of 7th May was extremely welcome. I do think that until then TB had erred a bit too much towards the 'wall of silence' approach. Certainly it's a fine line that has to be walked between saying too little or too much. But it's now the 7th of June already. Keep talking to us!

Notes Lock
Perhaps the Toggle Button could be made into a three-way switch? I find, all too frequently that I've added something to a Note and then, at the last moment see that the cursor happens to be resting over some other thought in the plex, so I've inadvertently added the text to the wrong thought's note. In this case one can correct the error. Much worse when one doesn't notice in time. Then, days, weeks or months later you access the thought to which you inadvertently added the note and find this completely incomprehensible note that means nothing at all in the context in which you find it. But where should it have been? Who knows?

Maybe this is not a problem for touch-typists but, regrettably, I'm not one.

So my suggested modification to Spacenexus' button is a switch (or equiv) that can be at:

-- Modify any Note (the current situation)
-- No modifications (per Spacenexus)
-- Modify Active thought's note only (my suggestion)

Possibly the UI tab in Preferences would be an acceptable place?

How to Eliminate Redundant

First of all, Chris, welcome to the PB Forum.

You mentioned "....in very large type. I find this distracting as the same items are are part of the center screen...." 

Two comments, for what they are worth: "...very large type." You can change this by pointing to the active thought (the one in the centre of the display ("Plex" in PB-speak)) and then rolling your mouse wheel. One way will enlarge the type in all visible thoughts, the other will reduce it. This may help.

The other "...the same items..." If you are just starting with PB you probably don't have that many thoughts in the Plex yet, so they're all visible both in the centre of the screen and in the past-thoughts list. In these circumstances it is, indeed, all a bit redundant. But as you add more thoughts to the brain you are working on you'll probably find that they don't all stay visible all the time. In these circumstances the past thought list can be a useful shortcut back to a thought you've activated fairly recently, but which has now disappeared from the plex. Note that you can scroll the past thought list 'back in time' by pointing to, and clicking, the left-pointing triangle between the Search button and the leftmost visible entry on the PTL. HTH!


OK. I'll do that in the next couple of hours. Thanks for the quick response!

Further to my post (#9) yesterday, I tried, and failed, several more times to download, never getting beyond the 'Processing...' message. All these failed attempts were made using IE 8. I then tried Chrome -- worked first time. So my crack (above) about a bad hair day was unwarranted. But, alas, wouldn't open the Brainzip I'd made with either. Same symptoms as before.

@Moe: Would it help if I tried to generate an Output.log file to send you?
Well, it must be a bad hair day today at Marina del Rey! First of all I had the exact same problem that BHurd had. So I read through this thread and saw Moe's post that was up and that it should cure the problem. So I tried to download it and got the 'Processing...' message. Fine, except it never went away and nothing downloaded. Oops, back to V5 pro tem.

Running PersonalBrain on two Computers

I'm running PB (mainly) on a W-7 desktop and (occasionally) on an elderly W-XP laptop. I want to pension off the old laptop, remove PB and then install it on a new laptop. Question: How do I actually do this? In particular, how do I notify the company that I've removed PB from the older mc? Presumably this is required, otherwise it will look just like I'm downloading a third 'pirate' copy of PB, won't it? Any guidance will be gratefully received! Richard B.

Calendar All-day Events
If you set up an all-day event -- someone's birthday, for example -- the PB Calendar seems to block-out a 24-hour period, starting from some arbitrary time of day. Thus the birthday seems to last for two days! I don't know how PB chooses the start time -- it might be the start time of the last event you set up before this one, but I'm not 100% certain of that, and it seems to have a fondness for 4 pm.

If you set up an event that starts at midnight and ends on midnight the same day -- ie, a 'zero length' event -- and then set up an all day event for a subsequent day it starts at midnight and blocks out the 24 hour period till the next midnight (which, I submit, is what it should always do).

But then it 'forgets' and if you set up a third all day event it reverts to a 4pm start. At least it did when I tried it just now. 

Has anyone else seen this behaviour? Or am I doing something wrong?

PB, W-7 64 bit, J-1.6.0_20

Notes Editor Timestamp surprise
Yesterday I brought my PB laptop with me from one time zone to another (1 hr difference). PB was running before I left. I didn't stop it, I just hibernated the laptop for the trip. After arriving I opened up the laptop, XP woke up, and PB was still running, as expected. I then reset the time zone in Control Panel, without thinking about the effect this might have on PB.

In fact, there was no visible effect at all. But some time later I noticed that a newly-created note, timestamped by clicking the date/time icon on the toolbar, was one hour out -- still showing the correct time for the departure time zone, but 1 hr different from the time shown on the clock at bottom-right of the XP desktop.

I stopped and then restarted PB and created another timestamped note as a test. Correct local time was shown.

So the moral of the story is that it's worth restarting PB, rather than just hibernating it, if you are using timestamps and also travelling from one timezone to another.


Edit: Sorry, forgot to add: PB Pro, XP SP 3. J-1.6.0_15
Can not Print
Well, I just tried printing a small part of my Brain and it worked fine. So it's not impossible! (XP, by the way, PB Prof -- but that shouldn't matter). The only thing I can suggest you try is this: File menu/Page Setup and check you've got the right paper size selected, then click the Printer button at lower right and make sure you've got the right printer selected.

After that, as long as you can print from eg, Notepad, you'll need someone more expert that me to advise you!

HTH, Richard
Forum diplay adjustments

Thank you Raymond, for asking the question, and Darkstar for providing the answer. I've been laboring with the same problem ever since I started using the forum, but without having the wit to post a question here. Grrr!!! Thanks again.

Comma Trick not retroactive
Thank you, sfacm. It worked fine when I tried it, too. But I suggest that it's worth asking the question whether that's the way PB ought to work, or whether it's a workaround. It seems to me that Rename should work the same as Create. That is, you have a parent thought A and a child thought B. You've already created the link so the relationship exists, but you forgot the comma. Should PB require you to rename to A,B? Or should it accept ,B as an elision of A,B? Anyone any views?

Comma Trick not retroactive
This may just be faulty expectation on my part, but I found yesterday that the Comma Trick doesn't do quite what I thought it would. I have a thought called September below which I have been creating children called ',20 Sat'  ',21 Sun' ',22 Mon' and so on. So far so good. But after a few days I forgot to put in the comma and didn't notice till I saw the 'day' thoughts collating out of the expected sequence -- i.e., with September as the active thought, '23 Tue' was at the top of the list, instead of at the bottom after '22 Mon'.

So I renamed '23 Tue' to ',23 Tue' expecting this to work as it does on creation of the child thought, but it didn't -- '23 Tue' was still at the top of the list. However, cutting the Notes text to the clipboard, deleting '23 Tue', creating child ',23 Tue' and pasting back the Notes text works as you would expect and '23 Tue' displays at the bottom of the list.

By this stage I realised that what I ought to have done was to name the parent thought 'September,' so that I didn't have to type the leading commas for each new day. (It's easy to be wise after the event!) So I tried renaming 'September' to 'September,' and created a child '24 Wed' as a test. Nope, still at the top of the list.

In conclusion:
PB didn't do what I expected (but perhaps that's my fault).
There's an easy work-around as long as you catch the problem early.
It's even better to prevent the problem by using a trailing comma.
But you can't easily do this retrospectively
And it's not obvious from the documentation (that I've found) that this is what PB does in these circumstances.


PB Core

Changing Fonts In Notes
For what it's worth here's a reply I got from Tracy Barr of PB Support earlier this year on how to change the default font and size of text in Notes.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for contacting us. To change your default font in PersonalBrain Notes:

  • Open the Program Files\PersonalBrain\res folder.
  • Make a backup copy of NOTES.CSS called NOTES.CSS.BACKUP
  • Open the original NOTES.CSS file in NotePad.
  • While keeping the original formatting, change any of the following lines:
    • font-family: Arial;
    • font-size: 10pt;
    • background: #ffffff;
    • color: #000000;

Best regards,

Tracy Barr

This works fine for me. The only snag I've found applies if you are in the Beta program: Each time you install a new release the font snaps back to Arial as, presumably, the Notes.css file gets overwritten with a new version.


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