Electronic notebook for scientists (and everybody else, too)
Free-form notetaking tool with full-text search designed to supplement or replace paper logbooks and general purpose notebooks.
As a program running in the background on a modern workstation or pc, a Metalog is always available like a notebook and pen.
- The workstation/pc on your desk has improved on your slide rule and file cabinets full of data. Why? Because it saves you time and space, and, through archiving, protects your valuable data from loss.
- On that same workstation/pc, word processing programs have improved on the typewriter, for many of the same reasons.
- Metalog intends to improve on notebooks and logbooks, wherever workstations or pcs are in use.
While your paper notebook can already do these things, a Metalog does more to help you in your research:
- Use it to store and retrieve metadata (data about data):
- keep logs during data collection
- take notes about how data is to be used, pitfalls to avoid
- look up relevant journal articles (like keeping a reprints file)
- see what other scientists have said about an issue or data type
- Use it as a "personal information manager":
- write down important phone calls
- take meeting notes
- keep track of contacts
- jot down random (but maybe important) thoughts
- keep a log of daily work
- Full text search
- find that obscure reference you noted three years ago
- what other experts on this data have said about wind artifacts
- who it was you talked to about statistical relevance of 1° data
- gives you all the Data Processing notes from last weeks field experiment
- Links between notes
- while reading a note about long-term wind trends, your Metalog shows you a link to an article claiming that these trends are just artifacts of ship observing platform heights
- jargon unique to this database is explained in a link to its definition
- database documentation can now be organized in different ways for different uses, ie: tables of contents by topic, by variable, by source
- "live" indexes: point at an entry to go directly to it
- attach a "sticky note" link to a warning about statistical significance of 1° data
- Semi-structured data
- like a database program, a Metalog allows you to structure your notes by giving them "types", ie: Log, Meeting Note, Article, Warning, etc.
- unlike a database program, you dont have to know ahead of time what structure your notes will have - you can type anything you want into a Metalog note
- a Metalog keeps track of the details of each note, such as author, project, creation and modification times, etc., so you dont have to
- notes can be archived and exchanged with other programs and other computers using simple text files
Metalog is available for Macintosh and PCs running Windows 3 or above.
- Macintosh Metalog, version 3.0b2
Version 3.0b2 requires at least HyperCard 2.1 Player (included):
Version 3.0b2 adds:
- output to HTML (eg: for conversion to a WebBook)
- "Smart Arrows" for viewing Search results quickly
- Auto-save feature for text window
- Macintosh Metalog, version 2.9b12
Version 2.9b12 requires at least HyperCard 1.2 Player (included):
- Windows Metalog, version 2.9b12
Metalog shares some features and concepts with WebBook, and future plans for WebBook might include capabilities from Metalog.
Note that Metalog was developed several years ago, and is not actively supported. However, if you have questions or suggestions, feel free to direct them to: Rich Fozzard, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metalog's web site (as of this writing) is at:
Metalog was originally developed by the Artificial Intelligence Program of the Forecast Systems Laboratory; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U. S. Department of Commerce.