Friday, April 28, 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Terry Pratchett Quotes - The Quotations Page a nice selection of quotes from the discworld series. Of course nowhere near as complete as the files at lspace.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Family sued by record companies. Yep, the RIAA strikes again. This time they're suing a family that doesn't even own a computer. Nice country that makes lawsuits like that possible.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Weird Secpol problem

Even when dealing with Windows 2003 you can still run into weird errors.
I had one of those this morning. Installed a server with an unattendend install. After installation I tried to start up the Local Security Policy MMC and found this staring me into the face:

MMC Cannot open the file C:\windows\system32\secpol.msc

This may be because the file does not exist, is not an MMC concolse, ro was created by a later version of MMC. This may also be because you do not have sufficient access rights to the file.

Of course I checked the file and the rights and they were perfectly normal. The file was not damaged either, it worked fine on another machine.

Googling a bit didn't reveal much. Other people either could not run any MSC file at all or they had weird errors with admin tools on XP-64 bit. Going trough google groups did get me thinking in the right direction. Turned out all I needed to do was to go to:
C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\MMC
And delete the secpol file there.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I was just listening to Faith Hill's latest album

Fireflies is such a wonderful track on her latest album. A beautiful ballad with a nice wistful atmosphere to it.

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince
And made myself a queen
And before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
And I slept in castles
And fell in love
Because I was taught to dream

Another nice track on the same album is Stealing Kisses :

I was stealing kisses from a boy
now IÂ’m begging affection from a man
in my house dress,
donÂ’t you know who I am,
donÂ’t you know who I am.
Standing in your kitchen.

Two excellent ballads that contrast with the first three tracks that seem to be destined to become the singles that will drive the album's sale.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hello World in 200+ languages. After installing something it's nice to know it works. On this page you'll find hello world (a simple test) in just about every language you can imagine.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Log Parser 2.2 is a tool published by Microsoft to make extracting information from logfiles easier. It is part of the IIS 6 resource kit. I mainly use it for IIS logs but you can use it on most Microsoft logfiles.
It's also one of the very few tools that can analyze an IIS ftp log file. It's a really powerful tool which is also the reason that I don't use it much, the syntax is not very friendly if you don't have much SQL experience.

Anyway, after reading some documentation I was able to dig out a list of unique visitors from 4 months of ftp logs. The command to do that is this:

logparser "SELECT DISTINCT c-ip FROM *.log" -i:IISw3c -o:CSV

Important here is the DISTINCT. If I didn't use that then I'd get all the ip adresses from all the logs. The latter would get me 2meg of output, using distinct I only get about 2k of output. The -o:CSV option tells logparser to output in CSV format. If you didn't use it you'd have to press the space bar every time.

The c-ip stands for client IP. You can get a list of fields you can query on by issueing the command: logparser –h –i:IISW3C (or replace IISW3C with the logformat you're using). For other SQL-challenged people like me, this Professor Windows article might help. For those of you more skilled with windows scripting and SQL have a look at

Just figured out you can even have it resolve dns. So:

logparser "SELECT DISTINCT REVERSEDNS (c-ip) FROM *.log" -i:IISw3c -o:CSV

Would give the same result as the first query but display DNS names instead of just IP adresses.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Years of Rice and Salt: Books: Kim Stanley Robinson
Award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson delivers a thoughtful and powerful examination of cultures and the people who shape them. How might human history be different if 14th-century Europe was utterly wiped out by plague, and Islamic and Buddhist societies emerged as the world's dominant religious and political forces? The Years of Rice and Salt considers this question through the stories of individuals who experience and influence various crucial periods in the seven centuries that follow. The credible alternate history that Robinson constructs becomes the framework for a tapestry of ideas about philosophy, science, theology, and politics.

A good read, a very good read. Apart from a very interesting alternative history it's also an interesting view on the whole concept of reincarnation. Kim Stanley Robinson does tend to lecture on a bit but in this one it only got on my nerves a bit at the very end. All in all highly recommended.

It's the third alternative history novell I've read. The other two being Len Deighton's SS-GB which is set in a Great Britain that lost the battle of Britain in 1940. And of course Fatherland by Robert Harris which is also a murder mystery but set in the 1960s after Hitler won the second world war. You may remember the movie starring Rutger Hauer.

Main difference between these two and the years of rice and salt is that you notice that Robinson is a scientist and Harris and Deighton are just good writers.
Only 'freaks' waste their time with Linux in Oklahoma is a nice headline for the continuing saga of a rather thickheaded civil servant who's made himself absolutely ridiculous in the Linux community. The man sees a default error page on a Linux web server and starts attacking and even threatening the distro makers, CentOS in this case. The guy just doesn't know when to throw in the towel.

Friday, April 07, 2006

As I said earlier, I was working on a little script to archive IIS logfiles. Microsoft has the logfile rotation working nicely now but provides no other mechanism to keep your logfiles from eating your diskspace. Here is my first attempt at a solution for that. It's still very simple and you need to set the logfile directory yourself.
Things that need doing:
  • Read logfile location from metabase
  • Allow working with multiple logfile folders
When trying to solve the first issue I came acros something weird. On some IIS 6 boxes the metabase was a binary file like in the old days, on most others it was the XML you'd expect. I noticed that only on IIS on XP the log file location was coded in the registry. If anyone has an explanation for this or suggestions how to get the logfile location I'd apprieciate hearing them

Anyway, here it is, if you find it useful I'd apprieciate a note. If you improve on it (which shouldn't be too difficult) please send me your copy so that I can learn from your improvements

What's needed:
7zip's command line version
the batch file itself

  1. You are running IIS 5 or later
  2. You have not modified the standard IIS logfile naming convention which is exAABBCC.log where AA= year, BB=month and CC is day.
  1. Open the 7zip download and extract 7za.exe to somewhere in your path (system32 for example)
  2. Place the batch file somewhere.
  3. Edit this line in the batch file:
  4. rem set iis logfile location
    set logfolder=d:\logfiles

    So that it points to your logfile folder
  5. Create a user with read access to the script and the 7za.exe and write access to your IIS log folder.
  6. Schedule the batch file under that user's credentials so that it runs every 1st of the month.
And that's pretty much it. When running it will zip last month's logfiles and then delete the originals.

Of course It would be really easy to integrate a logfile analysis tool somewhere into this. I've had good experiences with WebLog Expert but anything that can be called from a command line should do nicely.

All this is tested on a few of my systems, it works there but I provide it with no warranty whatsoever. If you use it and your server is suddenly sucked into a wormhole and ends up in the dungeon dimensions it's your problem.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Nerds op lokatie is a company started by a few friends. They're offering PC support at home. Good idea, I hope it will be a succes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Simpsons film begins production | The Register
Yep, you're reading it right. After the Flintstones and just about everything Marvell ever created now a live action version of the Simpons. I downloaded the trailer and that looks really good.

Oh and I'm back from vacation. Spend the afternoon sorting out the 45mb of email that accumulated last week. Tonite I'm going to try and get my mailserver back to life and get started on the exchange course manual.
In between all that I'll need to find the time to install windows on the replacement harddisk that finally arrived for my Notebook.