I'm looking for a really simple to use lightweight database. Ideally something open-source that stores data in a (semi-) human-readable format, in case the software isn't working.
Something cross-platform enough that I can use it on my Linux machine, my Mac, or stick it on a USB stick and access my data from an Internet cafe on the road. A command line UI is fine, and might even be better for portability/compatibility.
And most importantly, something I can start using fast, without spending a lot of time learning a new language in detail to write a custom front-end.
(MS Access does this last bit well, unfortunately it fails every other criteria)
Here's the problem I'm trying to solve:
I do a lot of researching different options. Maybe I'm working on a project that needs web hosting in Elbonia. Right now that means making text file that lists every Elbonian webhost I can find, what they charge, whether they offer VPS or only shared, etc. Then add on notes when I call them -- this one sends me to a Moravian call center, this one's sysadmin is a Linux kernel contributor, etc. Now all of a sudden the project requirements change and I need to find all the hosts that offer dedicated. Hope I remembered to note that down...
Next week it's finding the right router... and then one distributor offers far better terms, so which routers of the one's he's got in stock do we want?
I used to use DevonThink Pro Office for this, but the proprietary, Mac-only, "big software" approach didn't fit my needs.