Re: qualitative data

Adrian Tanner (atanner@MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA)
Tue, 15 Nov 1994 09:43:18 -0330

On Fri, 11 Nov 1994, SARAH J. HAUTZINGER wrote:

[lots of stuff eliminated]

> The only caveats I offer about a program like NUD*IST is that it may be
> bigger and have more capability (and hence be pricier) than many of us need.
> Also, as Bert Pelto points out (CAM Feb 1994:8), anthropologists may have
> reasons to opt for programs that require minimal computer power to
> facilitate collaboration with those with less technological access.
> Sarah Hautzinger
> Johns Hopkins

For doing _some_ of the finding jobs also done by programs like Zyindex,
and apparently NU*DIST, my personal favorite is Lotus Magellan. This
software is no longer sold, as far as I know, and seems to have got
neglected by Lotus - I think this happened around the time of Windows, and
Magellan did not survive the transition. Amongst its many other features,
Magellan allows you to find references to words and combinations of words
across an unlimited number of text files. It uses a kind of fuzzy logic,
so it presents the files in order of the likelihood that they may contain
the kind of material you are looking for. You simply need to index your
text files every so often, and the search facility lets you find the files
and look into them, with the candidate text words highlighted. The files
can have been created by virtually any program, as Magellan has viewers
built in for all the popular programs. You can then quickly lift out
useful passages and assemble them or paste them to another file. Are there
any other Magellan fans out there? Do any of these more modern programs do
this particular job as well? Magellan works very fast on primitive
equipement - I use an IBM XT type in the field.

Adrian Tanner, Memorial University