I'm using PB from my USB drive.

My Brain is becoming slower every day, and I'm unsure why. Can someone please enlighten me, is it the USB drive's transfer speed, or the size of the process found in the Task Manager?

Currently PB is reaching 100K-130K (650 internal files, 557 thoughts). It's become the largest application on my computer!

I'm hoping some of you can give me some suggestions to make my PB quicker.

This is at the point of making my Brain useless, as it is making my computer really, really slow.

Hopefully Harlan will release a new version which will fix everything

I have posted a similar comment earlier:
I know its not an answer, but if you look at
There are people with very large brains.  May want to ask if they have seen any perf issues as the size of the Brain grew.   To eliminate the USB drive as a issue make a duplicate on the local disk and see how that performs.

Thank you for replying, JosefBetancourt!

I've copied my PB (.exe and Brain data) to the HD, and -voila- much faster Brain.  I've opened the Expanded view making the Brain 130K in Task Manager, and it still works acceptably fast, with Outlook and browser windows running.

Previously, I've copied my brain to a USB hard drive, and PB was as slow as on my USB drive.

My question: Is the USB drive Read/Write capacity limiting the speed of PB? 

Looking forward to replies!
Short Answer: Yes.

PersonalBrain is very IO (Read) intensive. So having it on a device that has fast IO helps.

One of the ways to keep PersonalBrain running fast is to not use extended view, or to occasionally fully collapse the expanded view and let it "start over". I've noticed that PB slows down as the number of thoughts in expanded view mode are displayed.

If you need speed, don't run it on an USB unless you have to.
Good afternoon,

  • I almost always work in expanded mode
  • Most of the time i will see only the plex (not the notes, reports, ....)
  • I work with a WD passport drive because my brain is greater than 4 Gbyte.
  • Previously i too worked with a memory stick.
  • My preferences are : expanded view -> 'colapse on activate' and 'automatically recenter' on
  • The plex shows almost always show 20 to 100 thoughts.
  • There is a multitude of applications active like WDSC (eclipse based development environment), Lotus notes, Excel, Word etc
I find that the response is acceptable for me.



This observation may be one of correlation rather than cause, but I was building out a brain that was flying along until I went back and started associating URLs with some of the thoughts I had created previously. Once I had about 30 URLs pasted into thoughts of a plex, things became significantly slower. I believe that the time difference I am seeing is being spent attempting to render icons for the thoughts. Especially when the URL is from a site that has an icon associated with it like red herring or such.

I tried putting Brains on my NAS (which is slower I/O) and it will not work, too slow.   I copied it over to USB and it is fast.  Expanded view is slow, but it was slow even on the HD.

Axla wrote:
Thank you for replying, JosefBetancourt!
My question: Is the USB drive Read/Write capacity limiting the speed of PB?
Hello All,

Since PB runs a database backend (IE most data is not loaded into memory, but pulled from the disk as it is needed) this provides the advantage of being able to grow very large. This approach does require that your storage media be reasonable fast in order to support dynamic access to the data.

Expanded view will slow down as more thoughts are on screen - there is no way to avoid this as it is not only rendering time, but the need to calculate the display, which requires a lot of math.

Icons should not slow the display significantly unless you are running an old video card. Graphical performance can be improved by turning off shadows and thought backgrounds. On some computers, using a solid colored background (not wallpaper and not a gradient fill) may also provide additional speed.


I have had some performance issues as well. This is with version 3.03. However maybe it is relevant to other versions and users. Problems started when i moved to a new system.

Problem was caused by the point that my new computer had a different name............. By chance I got an error message starting with link \\ comp name\ etc Apparently under covers he was searching on the network for links before given me a local link. I renamed the new system to the name of the old system and everything is running smooth again!

Here are the symptons:

Problem is that I have normal say subsecond responses if I click to move to
another thought in the tool. However say 1 in 10 I do have to wait approx
10 seconds.......... It occurs with all thoughts, it is not tight to a
particular thought.

I tend to stay away from USB sticks with something like this.  I noticed a slowdown with a wiki I was running on USB and then switched to a HDD model instead.  As such, I'm keeping my PB on my hard drive.
Humm, I wonder if these comments about slow brain on USB may be source of my problem, or something else.  I haven't been running on a USB drive, at least, not intentionally -- but it occurs to me that I went back to using Vista ReadyBoost with a USB drive to get extra memory -- I wonder if Brain is switching out to the USB extra memory drive -- it's supposed to be faster than swapping memory to hard drive, but maybe there is something else going on.  I'll have to check it out.  (I have 1.5 GB of regular RAM, plus about 1.5 GB on the ReadyBoost USB)

PB has recently become so slow and taking so much of my CPU, that I've stopped having it loaded on normal basis, which sure decreses the convenience and use.

I did find that a recent addition of a link to the PB Manual on the web seemed to be one of the problems -- appears that PB was trying to index the whole manual from the web link.  When I broke the link, PB speed got better, but still much slower than it was not too long ago.

I ran a database repair, and everything I could find, but it's still much slower. 

Any ideas?

Big thanks! I had only recently upgraded to a new laptop running vista and as per my post here ( for some reason experiencing a slowdown in performance, i now recall it happening after a windows update.

Anyway, I had never heard of readyboost until i saw your post and had a 2GB SD card sitting idly in its port. Applying readyboost to the entire size has effectively doubled my memory to 4GB and and returned PB4 to liquid smooth performance! Awesome! Who would have thought that system performance would have been an issue.

Many thanks for the pointer and I hope you solve your performance issues soon too. Maybe even try a bigger drive for your readyboost and also send the output.log to brain support so they can check if anything else is sticking.


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