LogParser is cool

I was wondering how to read the IIS log files to check what's going on with my web pages (both this blog and company website) in an easy and flexible way. Sure, there are plenty of commercial and non-commercial applications that do wonders. I have to admit that I ruled out commercial apps because I don't have a big need for this, just to check statistics sometimes. I didn't like free ones either because they are too complex or to restricted. The time passed by and one day I read about LogParser. It is a free application (downloadable from Microsoft web site) that reads various log files and let you do the sql queries on them (it has other features, too). It comes in two formats: command line tool and COM object. After a day of using it I have to say that it is an excellent tool if you are in the mood looking at your log files.

Here is an example on how to check your blog rss feed hits per month:

logparser "select TO_STRING(date, 'yyyy-MM') as Month, count(*) As Hits from <communityserver> where cs-uri-stem='/blogs/blog_with_righthand/rss.aspx' group by TO_STRING(date, 'yyyy-MM') order by TO_STRING(date, 'yyyy-MM') desc"
Month   Hits
------- -----
2005-07 13842
2005-06 5174
2005-05 1206

Statistics:
-----------
Elements processed: 66202
Elements output:    3
Execution time:     0.52 seconds

Vista beta 1 is running under VMWare Workstation 5

I just installed Vista Beta 1 under VMWare workstation and I have two tips.

1. Vista won't format your virtual hardisk out of the box. Thanks to the guys from VMWare support forums here are two solutions:

  • Boot from Windows 2003 (or perhaps XP - I didn't try this) and format your partition then boot Vista (so you won't need to format the drive with Vista)
  • Use VMWare provided disk drivers - see this article (again, I didn't try this as first option worked fine)

2. When you install VMWare tools it won't enable your virtual network card automatically. So, after successful install of VMWare Tools and rebooting go to Device Manager, find the network card entry (under Other Devices) with an exclamation mark. Right click on it, pick Properties and Reinstall Driver ... button will enable the driver and network card will start working - voila, you can start using IE 7 now.

Here you go.

Is this luck or bad luck?

I finally built my new server (that is also the reason that RightHand webs were down this week). It is an Athlon 64 3000, 2Gb RAM, and 3x250Gb disks in RAID 5 configuration + system disk. Since my production computer had a relatively small disk (80Gb) and buying a disk smaller than 250Gb is not optimal, I've decided to buy a 250Gb disk, copy image of my production disk on it and use my production disk for server's system disk. The only problem I foresaw was that I need an application to copy image of my disk to the new one (I really wasn't in mood of reinstalling though reinstalling once in a while is not a bad thing). I decided not to buy Norton's Ghost since it wouldn't be reasonably for one use. Instead I used Ultimate Boot CD which did the job perfectly. So, I've put my old good disk into the server as system disk. I installed fresh new Windows 2003 x64 and everything worked well. Until I restarted server next day. It wouldn't boot anymore - it went into the endless loop of booting/reseting/booting.. Blue screen was saying "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE". How could that be since it was booting from the same device? It turned out that the my old good disk was failing more and more and finally died on the same day.

Now, the question is: Is this luck (I copied image of it on the new disk just the day before death) or is this bad luck (disk died just the day after I moved it)?