lost data... help!?

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Scott
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lost data... help!?

Post by Scott » Wed May 03, 2006 8:04 pm

I've had BS for quite a while, but don't use it much. Today I decided to get my act together and input a bunch of data for a project.

I created a new form called "Stock" and recall seeing "Stock.$$$" somewhere.

I did a lot of work and then at some point I exited my system with my normal routine which is to use the WindowsXP Home SP2 shut down routine. I assumed that Brainstorm would gracefully save the data and have it available for me the next time I opened it up. NOT!

It is gone. I've searched everywhere for "Stock*.*" and "*.$$$" and can find no record that I got off my butt finally and did some work with BS.

Can you help me A) find the data, and B) tell me why BS didn't save the file upon exit?

Please note that I have the AutoSave set for every 1 minute. And it most certainly was many many minutes and so many saves should have occured.

Thanks,

Scott

david
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Post by david » Wed May 03, 2006 9:02 pm

BrainStorm uses the .$$$ (temporary file) suffix until it knows what you want to call the file. As soon as you Save or Save as and give the working model a name, it is saved where you want it. I always do it as soon as I create a new file.

If you haven't provided a filename and you close BrainStorm, a dialogue invites you to Save changes to BrainStorm1.$$$. If you say 'no', the file is abandoned. If you say 'yes' you are invited to provide a filename.

I cannot force my system to bypass this. If I could, I would look in the user temporary folder. In XP, it's:

C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Temp

That's where BrainStorm notionally stores the temporary file. Marck is asleep at the moment, so I can't ask him exactly what happens if you say 'No' to the dialogue. I suspect that's the end of the affair.

For anyone who's reading this: Once you provide a filename in BrainStorm, then whenever you re-open the file and start changing a BrainStorm model, the file is saved in the same folder as the .brn file but with the suffix .bak. You will always have one generation of backup and the current working model saved according to your autosave frequency setting.

As ever, if your work is really important and you want to keep generations of backup, it's best to Save as and make up your own naming mechanism. I use the date yyyymmdd - eg david20060504.brn for a file saved today.
David Tebbutt

Scott
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still lost

Post by Scott » Wed May 03, 2006 9:54 pm

david wrote:BrainStorm uses the .$$$ (temporary file) suffix until it knows what you want to call the file. As soon as you Save or Save as and give the working model a name, it is saved where you want it. I always do it as soon as I create a new file.

If you haven't provided a filename and you close BrainStorm, a dialogue invites you to Save changes to BrainStorm1.$$$. If you say 'no', the file is abandoned. If you say 'yes' you are invited to provide a filename.
This is not ringing any bells. I don't remember a file name dialog nor being asked, but it is possible I just was focusing on my work and "spaced it."

From what you are saying it sounds as though the file may have been "abandoned." But what about all of those auto-backup files? Shouldn't one of those be hanging around? (If not, maybe that is something you need to consider in the future for dolts like me who don't yet understand all of the ins and outs of file saving proceedures. I've not had any troubles with my previous files, so I was confident that it worked fine.)

The normal BS file that I've been using on and off for a few months showed up when I started this new project. I've forgotten what process I went through in order to try and get a clean form to start on. That original form full of data is still there and fine and does not have the new data buried within it somewhere. I've used the balloon to look at all of the data in all of my BS files to see if it was buried within something else. Seems not to be.

I'm thinking that the "Title," or topmost element in the tree, was called "Stock" and I was under the assumption that that would be the default filename. I don't remember where I recall seeing the ".$$$" file extention, but I DO remember seeing it today while in the process of doing my work with this data in the BS program.

I cannot force my system to bypass this. If I could, I would look in the user temporary folder. In XP, it's:

C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Temp

That's where BrainStorm notionally stores the temporary file. Marck is asleep at the moment, so I can't ask him exactly what happens if you say 'No' to the dialogue. I suspect that's the end of the affair.
I have searched the entire computer, hidden files and all, and come up with nothing so far. I'm currently doing a search on internal file data for a word that I know was in the file. That search is still in process.

I looked in the Temp folder you pointed to and found nothing. I don't see how I could have used the program for as long as I did and there were no auto-back files.

This is distressing.

Well, we shall see what comes of the search. If you come up with any more ideas, please let me know.

Thanks, Scott

The text search has ended on my entire system with no positive results...

Marck
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Post by Marck » Thu May 04, 2006 1:24 am

$$$ files are only persistent in the case of a system crash.

.bak files are only created once - on the first save of a previously existing file. A brand new unsaved file has no .bak files or anything but a $$$ temporary working file set.

If the system is closed and the offer to save a changed file is rejected then that's it. Gone for good :(. All $$$ files are deleted on a graceful exit, so a search will not return your data.

BrainStorm does have an autosave function, but the pre-requisite for this to work is that a file has a clear name and location. In the case of a new model, it has neither, just a $$$ incarnation that is volatile except in the case of a system crash.

I can't quite get my head round what happened to make XP close BrainStorm without giving you an option to save the changed file on the way. That's the way we're set up to work.

Perhaps a file un-delete utility may be able to find your lost data. I don't hold out a lot of hope for that since the file was deleted from the rapid-turnover temp folder through which much file-water must have flowed since.

I'm truly sorry that you have had this data loss and that my news from the tech-front isn't better.
iviarck

david
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Post by david » Thu May 04, 2006 2:46 am

To clarify a couple of points:
I'm thinking that the "Title," or topmost element in the tree, was called "Stock" and I was under the assumption that that would be the default filename.
It is, indeed, the filename that is offered when you save a file for the first time with a proper name. You can edit it to suit yourself.

At the time of creation of the .$$$ file, BrainStorm uses the names BrainStorm1, BrainStorm2 and so on, depending how many un-named files you have since you fired up the current BrainStorm session. If you have autosave on, these are updated at the set intervals.
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david
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Post by david » Thu May 04, 2006 2:59 am

One final thing. All of this is explained in the Help file.

Go to the Recovery section in 'Technical stuff'

Or search the Index for backup or recovery or even .$$$
David Tebbutt

Scott
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Post by Scott » Thu May 04, 2006 8:12 am

Thanks David for the comments. (and Marck)

It does appear that all is lost.

I will survive, but only because I have a fresh cup of coffee and it is a new day. ;)

I tend to do a zillion things at once on my computer. I have all kinds of windows open, so maybe there was a window hiding somewhere that wanted me to select a backup name that I didn't pay attention to or something like that.

I would like to ask you that you seriously consider how this happened and perhaps create some kind of a failsafe routine so that it can't in the future. As I said, this was a file that I had open for quite a while and was in and out of doing lots of work, so I certainly gave it plenty of opportunity to try and save me from my own stupidity.

Thanks, Scott
Last edited by Scott on Thu May 04, 2006 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

david
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Post by david » Thu May 04, 2006 8:35 am

The problem is that it wasn't a proper file. And the dialogue box asked whether to abandon the temporary file or not. I'm wondering whether we should be more forceful. But the 'are you sure' type of approach would drive people crazy. "Of course I'm bloody sure, I wouldn't have clicked it if I didn't mean it."

Maybe we should force users to provide a name as soon as they hit 'new'.

This means that we wouldn't be able to offer the Title as a filename and it would mitigate against those who just want to grab some notes - a sudden phone call for example.

One alternative is not to delete the $$$ file on an orderly close, but this means that your temp folder will silt up with temporary files.

If you have any idea of how we might handle this better, I'd love to hear it. You might bear in mind that you're only the second user that's mentioned having this problem.
David Tebbutt

Scott
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Post by Scott » Thu May 04, 2006 8:45 am

One alternative is not to delete the $$$ file on an orderly close, but this means that your temp folder will silt up with temporary files.
Not necessarily. If you only keep one version of the *.$$$ file then it is not an issue. Just like with *.BAK files, only the last one is generally kept. Why not do that with the *.$$$ file? and then maybe erase it once a *.BRN or *.BAK file with the same name exists.

If you have any idea of how we might handle this better, I'd love to hear it. You might bear in mind that you're only the second user that's mentioned having this problem.
Well that is one too many! ;^) But then I do try to (and am generally successful at) screw up as many things as I can get my hands on. I am NOT a directions reader.

SPEAKING of which, I was really frustrated yesterday as I was inputting some stuff and wanted to make the second item subservient to the the first. I tried and tried and screamed and beat on the keyboard and FINALLY read the directions and STILL couldn't find anyway to do it without first raising the first item up into the title bar, at which point I could create subservient stuff for it.

Isn't there any other way of creating an item offset to the right from the one above it than to raise the first item up into the top bar (sorry for my lack of "correct" terminology here... that would require reading the directions again ;-)

- Scott

david
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Post by david » Thu May 04, 2006 8:54 am

Just type stuff in. Then you can select entries (in any sequence) and shift/drag them to the entry you want them to be subservient to.

You can also promote the destination entry (make it a heading), mark the dot line, return to the original list and 'throw' the things you want to make subservient. You can do this one at a time or in multiple selections.

Or you can have two windows open on the same model and drag and drop between them.

Or you can cut and paste.

It's all in the Help file. And I think there are even movies here in this forum. I can't answer any more questions that are already well documented. If you've tried and we've failed, then of course I will help.

I like your $$$ suggestion. Although overwrites could happen quickly - ie as soon as you create a new model. At the moment you get BrainStorm1.$$$ BrainStorm2.$$$ - unlikely to be more than a few in a session. Marck will see this message and tell me what's wrong with the suggestion. I can't see a problem, apart from a small amount of space.
David Tebbutt

Scott
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promote/demote

Post by Scott » Thu May 04, 2006 9:16 am

I tried clicking and dragging and there was no way i could get it to work. I tried shift clicking and alt clicking and every other kinda clicking and dragging i could think of and NUTHING worked except to promote the one item into the title bar and then i could make other stuff subservient to it. I do like your program, but i do NOT find it intuitive, which is one of my main design criteria for anything I design or use. I find that I have to think about what I want to do when using your program, and that is probably why I don't use it much, cuz it distracts me from the thought process that I'm trying to follow.

But I will try to invest more time in the damned directions and maybe I can figure it out.

All of this is meant as friendly suggestions, you understand. I wouldn't be bitching if I didn't think that your program was worthy of being bitched about.

I must say that I don't think that I think like most people do, so who knows what all this means as regards your tool in the rest of the marketplace.

- Scott

Scott
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Post by Scott » Thu May 04, 2006 10:29 am

Maybe it's cuz I'm expecting to be able to manipulate things in a tree like structure in the window I'm using, and you're program doesn't work that way. Like an outliner. So maybe the strength of you program is that it doesn't allow me to work like I want. Hmm. I'll have to give this more consideration and RTFM more. Sigh. ;^)

- Scott

david
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Post by david » Thu May 04, 2006 11:29 am

You're a mind reader, among your other talents.

:lol:
David Tebbutt

Scott
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Post by Scott » Thu May 04, 2006 11:49 am

Other talents? I have OTHER TALENTS?

- Scott

halh
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Problem with clicking and draggng

Post by halh » Thu May 04, 2006 12:24 pm

Scott,

I had similar problems unitl David created" http://www.brainstormsw.com/javaviewer/halh.html

Take a look. It solved my problems!

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