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Mach5 FastStats Analyzer Troubleshooting FAQ

What are log files, and how do I use them?
I get an error from FastStats Analyzer that says there is no referrer information. How to I get Analyzer to recognize my referrer information?
Analyzer reports that my IIS log files are unrecognized. How do I fix this?
Is there a way to use report filters?
Is there any way I can automatically run a report from the command line?
The times reported in my log file are off by several hours. How do I adjust them?
The dates reported in my log files are grossly incorrect. I think Analyzer might be confusing the day and month. How do I fix it?
What are the various directories that have been created in my Analyzer directory?
Analyzing only a Certain Range of Dates
How Do I Move Analyzer To Another Computer?
Can I Schedule Analyzer to Automatically Generate Reports at, say, Midnight?
Does FastStats Analyzer Show Visitor's Screen Resolutions?

 


What are log files, and how do I use them?
We've prepared a separate help topic that describes the basics of log files and how Analyzer can help you use them.

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I get an error from Analyzer that says there is no referrer information. How to I get Analyzer to recognize my referrer information?
If you are receiving this error and are not using an Apache server, there is little you can do, other than to try to get your Web Hosting provider or Webmaster to switch your log files into Combined Log File format. The referrer information is simply not in the log file.

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Analyzer reports that my IIS log files are unrecognized. How do I fix this?
You can read more information about configuring IIS.

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Is there a way to use report filters?
Yes. This is new to version 2.1. Here is a tutorial on using filters.

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Is there any way I can automatically run a report from the command line?
Analyzer can automatically run a report from the command line. This feature is useful if you are using scheduling software; you can configure Analyzer to download, analyze, and export your log files every day at, say, midnight.

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The times reported in my log file are off by several hours. How do I adjust them?
It is common for the time data in your log files to be recorded in an inappropriate time zone. To correct this, Analyzer allows you to add or subtract an offset to the hour recorded in the log file. This problem is common if a thirty party hosts your web site; the third party‚s servers may be located on the opposite side of the country, and in a completely different time zone. You can adjust the offset to any value between -12 and 12. The best way to determine the offset for your log files is to examine the times recorded near the beginning of your log file. If you know what time your web-hosting provider generates the log files, then you can just subtract to determine the offset. It may take some experimentation. Note that some servers record their log files in GMT time (which is 5-8 hours off times in the continental US).

To change the offset, go to the Global Options.

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The dates reported in my log files are grossly incorrect. I think Analyzer might be confusing the day and month. How do I fix it?
You should check your log files; the time data may be written in European (DD-MM-YY) format. Analyzer, by default, reads log files in United States (MM-DD-YY) date format.

To change the offset, go to the Global Options. Make sure "All log files are in European date format" is checked. The changes will take effect when the report is regenerated.

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What are the various directories that have been created in my Analyzer directory?
If you have told Analyzer to download your log files from an FTP server, Analyzer will cache the log files that have already been downloaded onto the hard drive. The log files (both compressed and uncompressed, if applicable) are stored in subdirectories of the main Analyzer directory. The name of the subdirectory corresponds to the name of the report the log files are from.

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Analyzing only a Certain Range of Dates

Often, you only want to analyze, say, the current month of log files. There are several ways to do this:

Often, the filename of a log file includes the date in it. You can use wildcards in Analyzer to only analyze a certain month. Take, for example, a directory that contained the following log files:
ex100930.log
ex100199.log
ex100299.log
ex100399.log
Note that the first two digits after 'ex' seem to contain the month, the second group of two digits contain the day name, and the third group of two digits contain the year. To include only log files from the month of October, you would tell Analyzer to analyze log files that matched the wildcard ex10*99.log. Similarly, you can analyze the first 10 days of October by using the following wildcard: ex100?99.log. This wildcard will match only the days of the month whose first digit is a zero (i.e. October 1st through 9th).
This is the fastest way to include only certain dates, as Analyzer can get information about the information inside the log file by only looking at its filename (and not reading in the contents). However, this method is not very flexible.

Analyzer lets you filter by a range of dates. You should tell Analyzer to analyze all of the log files, but you should click the 'Filter' tab while editing a project. Add a filter for the 'Range of Dates' you desire.

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How Do I Move Analyzer To Another Computer?

There are several stages of the transfer:

Downloading Analyzer onto the New Computer
You should download and install Analyzer onto your new computer. You can download the latest version of Analyzer.

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Copy Your Existing Reports for Analyzer 3 and earlier
This is the most complicated step. Future versions of Analyzer will be able to do this step automatically. This step is recommended only for advanced users.

Analyzer stores information about your reports in the Windows Registry. You can access the registry  by clicking the Start button, clicking Run, and then typing "regedit". Press Enter. Then navigate the "keys" (they look like directories) on the left of the screen and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mach5 Development\Analyzer\. Select the Analyzer folder on the left. Go to the Registry menu and then click "Export Registry File". Tell regedit where to save the file. Make sure to end the file name in a .REG extension.

Copy the .REG file to your new computer and double-click on it. It should automatically run and restore all of your old Analyzer reports and settings (including your registration code). If double-clicking on the .REG file gives you an error, you should load regedit on the new machine, click the Registry menu, and then choose "Import Registry File".

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Can I Schedule Analyzer to Automatically Generate Reports at, say, Midnight?

Yes, you can. Scheduling is not built into Analyzer, but Analyzer can be scheduled by other 3rd party programs. We recommend using the Windows Scheduler (available with Internet Explorer, we believe), and the Windows NT AT.EXE scheduler. Note: Mach5 Development cannot provide support for 3rd party scheduling programs.

You most likely want to export .HTML reports to your hard drive or a FTP site. Here's how to set up a Analyzer report so that it can be scheduled:

1. Start Analyzer

2. Select the project you want to schedule. We will be modifying this report to automatically export a report -- you may want to click Copy Project and edit a copy of the report.

3. Click Edit Project.

4. Click the Export tab, select Automatically Export Report and then click the Export Options button.

5. Choose the style you want.

6. Click Location.

7. Choose either Save the report to my hard drive or Upload to a FTP server. Most of the time, your web site is accessible via FTP -- by uploading your file via FTP, you can often publish reports that are then accessible over the web.

If you choose "Save the report to my hard drive"
Click Browse and select a file to save the report to.

If you choose "Upload to a FTP server"
Type in the name and path of the FTP server you want to upload the files to. You should first type in the ftp server name, follow it with a slash, and then enter the path you want to save the report to, relative to the login directory. For example, you should enter in ftp.domain.com/public_html/reports/week2.html

You must also specify a username and password for the FTP server. If you would like to log in anonymously, type "Anonymous" as the username, and enter your e-mail address in the password field. Note that on most servers, an anonymous login will not enable you to upload files, and Analyzer may report an error.

Note about naming files
Analyzer can replace special characters in the filename with the current day, hour, month, year, etc. Analyzer recognizes the following special characters:

Tag Substituted Data
%H Hour (in 24 hour format). From 0 to 23.
%d Day of month. From 01 to 31.
%m Month number. From 01-12.
%y Year without century (i.e. 99)
%Y %Y Year with century (i.e. 1999)

Note that case does matter. For example, %m is different from %M.

For example, if you specified "c:\reports\website-stats-%m-%d-%Y.html", it would, depending on the date, evaluate to something like: "c:\reports\website-stats-02-14-1999.html".

Advanced Tip: programmers may recognize this formatting from the strftime function. Any valid formatting strftime string will work here.

8. Click Ok until you are back to the main Analyzer Projects screen.

9. Configure your 3rd party scheduling tool to run the following:

    Analyzer.exe "C:\Path_toReport\Project_Name.fsp"

Analyzer will automatically run your report. Note that the project path and name is enclosed in quotation marks. You should include quotation marks too. The "Project_Name" should be the name of the project as listed in the Project List dialog. You can view the project files, for verifying you've created the path correctly, in your "My Documents\Analyzer Projects" folder.

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Does Analyzer Show Visitor's Screen Resolutions?

No, it does not. Many customers who ask us this question are using web counters that do show this information. These web counters require you to place JavaScript code on every web page on your site. This JavaScript can then gather data about your visitor's screen resolutions and so on.

Analyzer does not track screen resolutions for a variety of reasons:

  • Analyzer is a log file analyzer, not a page counter. It can track requests in greater detail for any type of page (JavaScript does not let you get statistics for .GIF files or .EXE downloads).
  • JavaScript slows the web browsing process down, commonly causes errors, and is not universally supported by older browsers. Web page counters cannot get information on users who have turned off JavaScript or are running older web browsers.
  • A record must be inserted into the database for every hit on the web page. Log files are written by the web server and are extremely fast.
  • Most web counters require that you place an image on your web page. This is viewed by many people  as unprofessional. We won't pass judgment, but we'd like to note that neither Microsoft, Netscape, or Yahoo have counters on their home pages! Your web server silently and efficiently logs web server requests, which are then analyzed by Analyzer.

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