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AccessWatch Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Does AccessWatch run on NT, OS/2, UNIX, DOS, Windows95, Macintosh?
    Yes. It will run on any machine that has Perl version 5.0 or greater. Perl is free software, and is available for almost any platform.

    Download and install it now if you do not have it, or ask your system administrator for assistance.

  2. I only have ftp access. Can I use AccessWatch?
    You can, but you have to have your system administrator set it up for you. To install AccessWatch, you need to have telnet and preferably cron access.

  3. What's gzip? Why can't I just untar/unzip it?
    AccessWatch is distributed as a gzip/tar OR zip archive. Gunzip is available for most platforms. WinZip for Windows 95/NT will also handle this format.

    Pkzip or WinZip will handle the ZIP format file.

  4. What is cron?
    Cron is a UNIX mechanism for automatically running programs on a regular basis. You need to edit your crontab from the command line by typing 'crontab -e'.

    Insert the lines:

    0  * * * * /path/to/accesswatch/aw-parser
    15 * * * * /path/to/accesswatch/aw-report
    This will run AccessWatch on your log files on the hour, every hour, and then generate a report at :15 after. Type 'man crontab' or ask your system administrator for assistance. If you can't use cron, just run it by hand when you need a report. Most other operating systems have a similar scheduler - check your manual.

  5. We run Microsoft IIS with non-standard log files. Does AccessWatch work with these?
    Yes, download our IIS to CLF converter.


    iisconvert ex980924.log
    This will create a file in the same directory - ex980924.clf, which is a common format logfile that will work with AccessWatch.

  6. Why does it say "syntax error" when I run AccessWatch?
    There are two common causes:

    1. You haven't modified the header of the aw-parser and aw-report files to point to Perl.

    At the command line, type whereis perl or which perl to find the location of perl. Common locations are /usr/bin/perl, /usr/local/bin/perl, or /bin/perl. Then, set the first line of the aw-parser and aw-report files to be the #!/location/to/your/perl.
    2. The version of Perl on your machine is older than version 5.
    If it returns errors like these:
    syntax error in file aw-parser at line 83, next 2 tokens "my("
    syntax error in file aw-parser at line 122, next 2 tokens "my("
    aw-parser error:
    Can't locate Time/Local.pm in @INC at lib/timelocal.pl line 16.
    BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at lib/timelocal.pl line 16.
    aw-report error:
    Can't locate File/Copy.pm in @INC at aw-report line 111.
    BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at aw-report line 111.
    Then you need to upgrade
    Perl. Visit perl.com or ask your system administrator for assistance.

  7. How do I [ insert Perl question here ]?
    Read the Perl FAQ.

  8. Can I modify AccessWatch?
    Yes, registered users are welcome to modify AccessWatch, as long as all copyright notices and credits remain intact and the source code is not redistributed.

Report Issues

  1. What is the difference between a 'hit' and an 'access'?
    An 'access' is a request for an HTML page on your server. A 'hit' is any request on the server, including text and graphics. For example, an HTML page with two graphics counts as 3 hits, but only one access.

  2. How can I tell how many *people* are viewing my pages?
    The best way to approximate this is to determine the number of unique hosts that are accessing your pages. This assumes that every computer is unique to one person, so it is not exact, due to multiuser systems, public computer labs, etc. However, most people do use a desktop system of their own, so unique hosts gives a fairly accurate approximation.

    A better measure is the number of 'visits' that you receive to your site. A visit is a unique host active during the period of an hour. If someone from foo.bar.com visits at 4 am, and again at 10 am, this is considered two visits. It gives you an indication of user interest in your site.

  3. How do I get referer and browser stats?
    It depends on the extended-NSCA format of your access log:

    Apache web servers

    Insert the following line after the TransferLog declaration in httpd.conf, or in the appropriate <VIRTUALHOST> section: LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-agent}i\""
    Netscape Enterprise servers

    Using the Server Administrator, go to 'Server Status' -> 'Log Preferences'.

    For the format, select 'Only log:' and check the following options:
    	Client hostname
            Authenticate user name
            System date
            Full request
            Content length
            HTTP header, "referer"
            HTTP header, "user-agent"
    or replace the 'Init access' line with the following in obj.conf: Init access="/websites/logfiles/ads/access" format.access="%Ses->client.ip% - %R eq->vars.auth-user% [%SYSDATE%] \"%Req->reqpb.clf-request%\" %Req->srvhdrs.clf-s tatus% %Req->srvhdrs.content-length% \"%Req->headers.referer%\" \"%Req->headers. user-agent%\"" fn="flex-init"

    If you do not have access to your web server configuration, ask your system administrator or webmaster for assistance.

  4. Is AccessWatch 2.0 year-2000 compliant?
    Yes. It uses 4-digit years throughout. It depends on your own system to be Y2K compliant.

Registration and Licensing

  1. How do I register?
    Read the license agreement :
    • AccessWatch is free.

  2. What does it mean to be a registered user?
    Registered users have downloaded AccessWatch from http://www.accesswatch.com/download/.

  3. Further questions? Ask us.