The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, September 28, 2001

Log file fun

“So, how do I check my logs?” asked Spring. Now that I host her site, she finally has total access to her web log files.

“Well … first you need to install a program like F-Secure,” I said.

“I have to install a program?”

“Or SecureCRT or something like that. Hold on, I can get you the link—”

“I think I already have it,” she said. Sure enough, she had F-Secure—an installation Wlofie did earlier. We spent the next hour or so futzing around getting it to work under Windows 2000. It was installed under Windows 98, but not under Windows 2000, so it was getting a bit confused I guess because of a lack of registry entries. So I deleted it, and reinstalled. I then walked her through logging onto, the co-located Linux box her site runs on, and I have her a few Unix commands to scan the file.

We then spent the next few hours going through her log files (which start on August 23rd, when I took over hosting her site) and seeing the type of traffic she gets. And like my site, she gets a lot of traffic via search engines, using such terms as tasteful nudes, illegal nudes and Veruca Salt (played by Julie Dawn Cole in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). Although some of her pages have been found with some very odd terms, but then again, some of the terms that people find my pages with are very odd indeed (masturbation being one of the more popular ones, but people looking to make napalm are probably disapointed in my site, along with getting a good car deal).

More log file fun

Spring downloaded a web log analyzer program, since I have yet to actually install one on the server (the people who have sites here either don't care for their stats, or have enough technical savvy to scan the log files manually). So she downloaded one, and it asked for the location of the log file.

“Oh,” I said, “you can FTP it down.”

“Then why all the fuss with F-Secure?” she asked. “I could have used NoteTab.

A blank look crossed my face. “Um … ”


“Because … that's how I check my log files?” Grovelling I think saved me from being thwacked up-side the head.

We downloaded the log file, then played around for about twenty minutes configuring the program to process the log file. It wasn't clear what needed to be set up, nor did the program really give any errors or indications of what it might need. But eventually we got it going. Impressive output; pie charts and all.

Not sure what it's called though.

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