PDC
Hello all...

I'm having the following problem with PB5:

I keep files internally associated with thoughts.
I'm finding that many of my thoughts have links to attachments within the brain that are actually associated with other thoughts.  I have never added these links to the attachments.

Also, most of my weblinks (url's) are broken.

I've attached a pdf with an example screenshot.
I've seen other threads with similar problems in my search, but there has been no resolution and the threads stopped short.  Has there been a resolution, and what can I do to fix this?  Please help, as I think this is indicative of a deeper problem with my data that I am getting nervous about.

Also, how do I get screenshots in the body of the msg instead of adding as an attachment?

Thanks.

Version 5.0.4.0
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zenrain
Hi PDC and welcome to the forum. Sorry it's under these circumstances.

Here's some questions, hopefully to help narrow things down.
  • Do you use synchronization software (syncs files between computers)? 
  • When did you notice this issue? Did you have any strange occurrences prior to the issue cropping up? By that I mean error messages, workstation issues, network issues? Upgrading the PB software?
  • Have you recently copied/pasted thoughts? To a brain? From another brain?
  • Do you make frequent brainzips? If so, if you go back to a prior brainzip can you tell when it started?
  • What do you mean by your URL's being broken (sorry, I couldn't tell from the .pdf). Is the location correct in the Properties & Attachments window but it opens the incorrect site? Is the link corrupt?
Files being associated with other thoughts may not be an indicator of corruption, unless the file is invalid, or not really in the thought folder. It could be that something happened on the back end in the thought folders (in the _brain database folder under Files), as any changes or copied files in one of those folders will be reflected back in the Properties & Attachments window.
However, attached URL issues (if they are not in the thought folder, which generally they shouldn't be unless you add them as a file attachment) could indicate a database issue as the URLs reside in the database.

Sorry I asked more questions than answered. Hopefully it helps narrow things down a bit.


Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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PDC
Answers in red below...   and thanks for the welcome. 

Here's some questions, hopefully to help narrow things down.
  • Do you use synchronization software (syncs files between computers)?  Yes, I had it in a shared folder in Groove.  Stopped doing that a few months ago.
  • When did you notice this issue? Did you have any strange occurrences prior to the issue cropping up? By that I mean error messages, workstation issues, network issues? Upgrading the PB software?  I noticed this problem a few weeks ago for the first time.
  • Have you recently copied/pasted thoughts? To a brain? From another brain? No, I haven't.
  • Do you make frequent brainzips? If so, if you go back to a prior brainzip can you tell when it started?  I don't make them frequent enough, but I have been in the past seek or so.  I've been correcting the problems in the brain thought by thought as I encounter them, but it has affected many many thoughts.
  • What do you mean by your URL's being broken (sorry, I couldn't tell from the .pdf). Is the location correct in the Properties & Attachments window but it opens the incorrect site? Is the link corrupt?  Let me clarify.  Most URL's that I have attached as weblinks to thoughts are not working, and when I click the Firefox icon that is next to my thought, a dialog box comes up asking which filetype I want to associate with the link.  This is not seen in the pdf file.   The pdf file shows another issue, and that is:  attachments associated with/located in one thought's folder areshowing up as links to that file in other unrelated thoughts' "properties and attachments" lists.  Additionally, if and when I delete the link to the attachment in the unrelated thought, the attachment itself gets deleted from the brain, so I have to follow a 4-step process to remove the link from the unrelated thought.  In the pdf, the highlighted file and link are an example.
Files being associated with other thoughts may not be an indicator of corruption, unless the file is invalid, or not really in the thought folder. You're probably right about this, because when I click on the file (or the link), the file opens up ok in all instances.  It's probably a database issue.  It could be that something happened on the back end in the thought folders (in the _brain database folder under Files), as any changes or copied files in one of those folders will be reflected back in the Properties & Attachments window.  Can this be corrected? 
However, attached URL issues (if they are not in the thought folder, which generally they shouldn't be unless you add them as a file attachment) could indicate a database issue as the URLs reside in the database. When I add url's to thoughts, I drag the icon from the firefox browser (from the left of the address bar) to the plex and release, or sometimes onto a thought and release.  I'm not sure if this adds the url as an attachment or not.

Thanks for taking the time to respond at such length.
Version 5.0.4.0
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PDC
I've annotated the pdf file to clarify the issue.
I hope this helps explain the problem better.

Thanks for any insight.

Version 5.0.4.0
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zenrain
Ok, thanks for the clarifications and annotated .pdf.
  • File synchronization - Unless you had brains open at the same time on two different computers, it doesn't sound like it caused your issue.
  • Broken URLs - When you try to open them and choose firefox as the program, does it then open the url correctly? If it does, depending on the OS you are using, you should have the option to automatically open that file type with the program chosen. If you do that, does it retain the setting?
  • Duplicate files -
    • The file in the first image is a shortcut to the actual file in the thought folder. In the location path, is it pointing to the correct thought folder, or a different location.
    • Also, if you open the thought folder (right click the file and choose Open Thought Folder) for the thought with the shortcut to the .pdf, is the shortcut that folder?
    • Finally, deleting the shortcut.pdf shouldn't delete the original file, even if the shortcut is referencing another file internal to PB (note that this isn't allowed in 5.5, but it is in 5.0 and I tested the behavior and in my case the original file wasn't deleted). What I would do is first make sure you have a back up of that file. Then delete the shortcut and verify it deletes the original file. Now, without closing PersonalBrain, go into the PersonalBrain Program file folder and copy the output.log to your desktop, and e-mail it to support with an explanation of what is occurring and perhaps a link to this forum thread.
Sorry, this really doesn't give any insight to how the issue occurred, but hopefully you can contact support with this info and they can look at it and figure out what happened.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Darkstar
PDC--- your updated PDF shows that your thought "Financing" has 3 attachments--- which are the 3 internal attachments. However, that thought has 2 additional items in it--- one is the shortcut to the document "Web Analytics For Website.pdf" WHICH IS IN YOUR MY DOCUMENTS directory (the last item in "Financing" attachments is an URL to "Business Taxes And Fees").

Your thought "Web Analytics For Website" has the solitary attachment "Web Analytics For Website.pdf" which is stored internally.

Those are two different documents--- one is stored internally in your personal brain, the other is stored "externally" in your "My Document" tree.

I'd guess that what happened was that at one time, you had a shortcut to that document, but then decided to drag it into PersonalBrain as a new thought (and storing it internally). Although without being able to see the full path length to the file shortcut, I cannot rule out that you made a file shortcut to the internally stored version of "Web Analytics For Website.pdf"
-Darkstar
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zenrain
It could also be that the brain database is in My Documents. Adding a shortcut to an internal file in 5.0.x does list the whole path file in in the location bar.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
Quote
PDC
Darkstar, see below in red...

Darkstar wrote:
PDC--- your updated PDF shows that your thought "Financing" has 3 attachments--- which are the 3 internal attachments. However, that thought has 2 additional items in it--- one is the shortcut to the document "Web Analytics For Website.pdf" WHICH IS IN YOUR MY DOCUMENTS directory (the last item in "Financing" attachments is an URL to "Business Taxes And Fees").

Your thought "Web Analytics For Website" has the solitary attachment "Web Analytics For Website.pdf" which is stored internally.

Those are two different documents--- one is stored internally in your personal brain, the other is stored "externally" in your "My Document" tree.

I'd guess that what happened was that at one time, you had a shortcut to that document, but then decided to drag it into PersonalBrain as a new thought (and storing it internally). Although without being able to see the full path length to the file shortcut, I cannot rule out that you made a file shortcut to the internally stored version of "Web Analytics For Website.pdf"   C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\MP_brain\Files\7AF304D3-72F0-54DC-7F17-C237FE26DAC5 is the path for the document that is internal (Web Analytics... thought).  I just copied and pasted it above.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\MP_brain\Files\7AF304D3-72F0-54DC-7F17-C237FE26DAC5\Web Analytics for Website.pdf is the path for the file in the thought Finances. I just copied/pasted it separately from the other copy/paste above.  It turns out that they are the same document, since my brain folder is in my My Documents folder.



Regarding broken weblinks (which is a separate issue), please see attached pdf for accurate explanation.  I'm wondering if the same event that precipitated one problem is also responsible for the other problem.  Some sort of database corruption.  I'm glad to see that only the weblinks are lost and not the actual files.  That would have been devastating.  Is there a quick way to export all the docs out of the brain and into regular folders while maintaining links to them within the brain?  And is this advisable?
Version 5.0.4.0
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PDC
Zenrain, the brain database is in My Documents.  Should it be somewhere else?
Thanks.

zenrain wrote:
It could also be that the brain database is in My Documents. Adding a shortcut to an internal file in 5.0.x does list the whole path file in in the location bar.
Version 5.0.4.0
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Moe
PDC, Thanks for the post. By default PB will create your Brain database in your My Documents folder unless you change the output folder to point to another location on your computer. Can you email support@thebrain.com with a reference to this post and I will be more than happy to look into your issue further.

Thanks,
Moe

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zenrain
PDC, sorry for the confusion, I was replying to Darkstar's post with another possibility, and should have added @Darkstar.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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