Technology Blog, by: David Monaghan.

Archive for January, 2006

Windows XP Home, Viewing Logs Remotely with MS Log Parser 2.2.

Posted by David on January 4, 2006

I've been seeing a lot of cool tools coming out of the doors over at Microsoft lately, I think they are finally realizing that just because most users don't like the text console, developers and administrators not only love it but need it. I've been hunting the last couple of days for a tool which would let me browse the log files on remote computers which I administrate and/or use because for some reason the built in Windows XP event viewer will not browse to remote computers (or if it does it is slow and won't look at the data, only at the top level categories). The Windows help for the event viewer has information about a tool I keep runing into called eventquery.vbs but I can't find it on my system nor can I find a download or source… I finally ran into this Microsoft tool called Log Parser which will take not only the Windows XP evt files, but many other types of logs as well, and will parse them into various forms using SQL syntax to join and tables of information into something more easily parsed like HTML, or XML. Need I say any more?

Here's a link to the download page on Microsoft's website; Log Parser 2.2 on Microsoft.com

If you're looking for an eventviewer download, I'm sorry to say I can't find one. I've been looking around and I keep seeing these articles about how great it is, but they seem to miss the fact the XP Home doesn't come with it. If I can ever find a place to get it I will report it but I'm not holding my breath, my next try will be Microsoft tech support.

Is Log Parser a good replacement? I would think not, it's still a command line tool but I don't think it works the same. I would have to take a better look at both of them to give a good description of them and to fully compare them but I think Log Parser is better for generating pretty reports than for basic system administration. I'm using Log Parser to generate reports that I can view from another workstation, it's obviously not the same but it accomplishes what I set out to do. The biggest problem here is getting an updated report when you need it, I don't really want to take the time to ssh the machine but I also don't want to generate a new report every minute. I have the tool running on a schedule of about every half hour or so but often I want to look at something that just happened, not to mention the fact that the Windows Scheduler or whatever it's called) seems to work about 95% of the time. Until I find a better solution this will have to work.


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Free Web Based List Organizer Software: RememberTheMilk.com.

Posted by David on January 3, 2006

Remember The Milk is a free web service I stumbled upon a couple of weeks or so ago while looking for free web services to both replace applications on my computer and to provide functionality currently unavailable from free desktop based software. I ended up finding Remember The Milk among many other free services listed on Nedwolf's site where you can find a comprehensive list of free web based software organized into categories of functionality. I was initially impressed by what I saw on RememberTheMilk.com, but now I have to tell you to give it a try, especially if you're looking for something to send you real reminders about events on your list.

The list items on Remember The Milk can have a due time, and in your settings you can configure times which you are notified before and during the event. The great thing about this isn't just the events, but you can now be reminded not just in your email but in your instant message program (I believe it is only for Google Talk at the moment, luckily that's all I use anyhow). Some may wonder why this is such a great thing, especially just for a list, but trust me there is more to come in the future of applications like this. When coupled with a good address book (or contact organizer as I like to call it) and a good calendar an application like this can automatically remind you of all types of events, and do it no matter where you are (that is when all IM protocols are supported, especially those accessible through cellular devices).

Now what I need is a good free web based calendar and contact organizer which support ical and vcard! Let me know if you have the solution please!

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Froogle Rocks with eBay and Amazon.

Posted by David on January 1, 2006

Have you ever tried Google's product search database Froogle? I know I have, I checked it out the second I caught wind of news they started one, and I must admit I wasn't entirely pleased at what I first saw. I have been going back, because I know there's power behind Google's search technology, and if the can correctly tap into the right sources there will be gold. Anyway, I have noticed recently that eBay and Amazon results are popping up in many of the searches I do on Froogle, and I must say that when I am looking for general prices on products, Froogle now does a very good job indeed. Take the time to check it out if you haven't, and if you have please trust me to check it out again.

Once more, that is all…

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