Adding access_log reporting to Urchin

If you run Urchin locally on your machine, you might have noticed that access_logs are turned off by default, while error_log’s are turned on by default. Turning access logs on is easy but there is a little trick.

First off, I have my Urchin installed in /usr/local/. The conf files for the Urchin webserver are in /usr/local/urchin/var/urchinwebd.conf. But that is not the file that you want to modify. You will need to make the changes in /usr/local/urchin/var/urchinwebd.conf.template. Otherwise, any change you make will be over written when you restart Urchin with /etc/init.d/urchin restart.

To turn access logs on, simply change this:
# Uncomment the following lines to turn on access logging
# LogFormat “%h %v %u %t \”%r\” %>s %b \”%{Referer}i\” \”%{User-Agent}i\”“
# TransferLog var/access.log
ErrorLog var/error.log

to this:
# Uncomment the following lines to turn on access logging
LogFormat “%h %v %u %t \”%r\” %>s %b \”%{Referer}i\” \”%{User-Agent}i\”“
TransferLog var/access.log
ErrorLog var/error.log

Then simply restart Urchin. There is no need to create the access_log on your own, as Urchin will automatically create the file. Though you might be smart to add log rotating for this file if you have a lot of people accessing Urchin on your server.

Use MacFUSE sshfs to mount an SSH session on your desktop

A buddy pointed me to MacFUSE from Google today. This is a very cool little app headed up by Amit Singh at Google Inc. Note that the little how-to I am going to show you here is based on the fact that I am using OS X.

MacFUSE implements a mechanism that makes it possible to implement a fully functional file system in a user-space program on Mac OS X (10.4 and above). It aims to be API-compliant with the FUSE (File-system in USErspace) mechanism that originated on Linux. Therefore, many existing FUSE file systems become readily usable on Mac OS X. The core of MacFUSE is in a dynamically loadable kernel extension.

Really quickly it means I can mount an SSH session on my desktop as a folder. For a fast little how-to from the parts I collected from Google, scroll on down past the Google Video.

If you want to hear what MacFuse is about from the creator Amit Singh, checkout this Google Video:

This install will require a reboot of your machine.

Okay, first off, let’s download MacFUSE from Google here.. Before installing MacFUSE you will need to add the /usr/local/bin path to your environment for this to work properly. Edit your ~/.bashrc file and add this line:

then at the prompt enter this and hit return:
source ~/.bashrc

So now you have the path you need in your bash environment, we can go ahead and install MacFUSE. Mount the image you downloaded from Google and install the package in the disk mount and reboot your machine.

Once you machine has rebooted, and you have logged in, hop into Terminal and enter the following to mount an SSH session on your desktop:
sshfs username@domainname:/path/to/mount /local/mount/point -oping_diskarb,volname=your_volume_name

Substitute of course, username, domainname, path to mount, local mount point and your_volume_name for your own information. Hit enter and if all went correctly, you should be asked for the password to the SSH login. Enter the password, hit enter, and again, if all went well, you should now have a new File System mounted on your desktop.

It will work just like a normal folder on your mac, copy files to and from the folder using drag and drop, and the Finder undo even works.

Once you have finished you can unmount the drive easily by ejecting it using OS X’s normal disk ejected method, or you can use:
umount /local/mount/point


  • My buddy said using the Finder eject caused some weirdness on his machine.
  • Here is the link to the MacFUSE wiki for more information.
  • As usual, and even more so than usual since this software is Beta, you are doing everything at your own risk. Don’t blame me if you machine suddenly goes weird. You’ve been warned.


What is the true speed of Videotron’s multitiered bandwidth packages

Do you ever really get the advertised bandwidth from your ISP? Read on to see how far off Videotron’s advertised bandwidth was compared to what I actually got.

Three weeks ago, my ISP Videotron called one day as a courtesy call, to see if everything was okay. I told him over all yes, I am happy with their service. While I was on the phone with them I treated myself to an early present and got the Extreme High Speed Internet connection from Videotron which is listed as being 10Mbps/900Kbps for $64.95 a month with unlimited bandwidth. Currently I had what Videotron called High-Speed Internet which is listed as being 7Mbps/820Kbps for $54.95 a month with a cap of 20GB/10GB. Having checked my usage online, I saw that I never came too close to my cap so bandwidth was not an issue here.

During the week between Christmas and New Years, I like to take a few days to clean up my office and test a few things out, that normally I would not pay any attention to. One such item that popped up was about the actual throughput of my connection to the internet. Especially now since I was paying for Extreme High Speed. A friend on iChat told me a little story about how he just realized after two years, that even though his connection to the Internet was supposed to be 8Mbps he was only getting 5Mbps because his router was capped his throughput. He removed his router and poof, he suddenly started to get what he was paying for. This is where my fun begins.

Hmm, I thought. I am paying for 10Mbps from Videotron in Montreal, let me check what I am actually getting. I hopped on over to SpeakEasy’s speed test and tried all the cities they list. Not one went over 5700Kbps. Well I thought, they are from different cities, perhaps it is a slow day, or perhaps my router was limiting me. With a few small changes in wiring, I quickly connected my computer directly to my Videotron modem, and for good measure, restarted my modem and computer. I then went back to SpeakEasy to see my incredible jump in speed which I had been missing out on. Strangely enough, there was no speed improvement. The fastest connection I could get was New York at around 5700Kbps… again. To get a better idea of my true speed I figure it was best to try Videotron’s own speed test. For sure I should be able to get closer to my promised 10Mbps speeds. Once again, I could only obtain around 5500Kbps top speed.

At this point I figured Videotron had just not switched whatever they were supposed to switch, to allow me to get my true speed improvements. So I called up technical support at Videotron. Being a holiday I did have to wait a few minutes for a tech to come online. I explained my problem and was told he could verify everything right away. After about a minute technical support came back online and said everything looked fine and that I could just be experiencing a slow Internet day. I told him of the tests that I had performed including using Videotron’s own speed test. The tech found this a little unusual and asked me to download a 10MB file from their own FTP server. Supposedly this file should download at close to the full 10Mbps speed I was promised with this Extreme High Speed Internet package. I pointed my browser at their FTP site and downloaded the 10MB file. The tech was correct, it was downloading faster. I was now able to get a full 7300Mbps top speed. But this was still not close to the 10Mbps or 10240Kbps top speed I was promised. The tech sounded a but stumped and asked me to wait while he asked a level 2 tech if there were any issues with the internet in my area. After about 2 minutes the Videotron tech came back and told me everything was normal in my area. As a side note, in those two minutes I had changed my ethernet cable just to be sure I was not experiencing a bad cable. No difference.

At this point the tech told me that there was really nothing more he could do, and that my top speed was pretty typical for my type of connection. Pretty typical I thought? So I said “So you are telling me that with Extreme High Speed Interent which is supposed to be 10Mbps, I will only be able to get around 5Mbps?” The tech responded with, “It looks like it.” I explained to the tech that I saw no point in paying for the Extreme High Speed Internet connection when I got the same thing from the High Speed connection. The techs only answer was “But you do get unlimited bandwidth from the Exteme High speed.”

Anyhow, to wrap the rest of the story up, I asked to be transferred to Videotron’s Customer Support where I quickly explained the situation to them, and downgraded my account to the regular High Speed Internet package.

Before posting my story I wanted to wait a day and try my speed tests again. Strangely enough, now that I am back on the normal High Speed Internet package, my speeds are exactly the same as they were when I was on the Extreme High Speed package. With the exception of my uploads, they have dropped from around 802Kbps down to 790Kbps, so no great loss here.

The whole point of me writing this, is to get you to check your High Speed or Extreme High speed connection and see if you are really getting what you are paying for. If you are paying for Extreme High Speed then you should actually get that Extreme High Speed, and not fifty percent of the cap. These tests will also help you to ensure that you don’t have a router sitting between you and your cable modem that is slowing you down unnecessarily.

Something that pops to mind right now is: Is there any type of check in place to ensure that ISP’s give you what they tell you in their ads? That is, if they tell you that you will get 10Mbps, is there any legal body that will check that they are actually giving you that speed? Perhaps the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
checks those things here in Canada? Or maybe the Competition Bureau of Canada covers this?

MySQLdump to reset Slave server from Master

Just a quick entry here. I keep forgetting how to reset a mysql slave server from the master, without disrupting the operations on the master server. Something silly that doesn’t stick in my head, so I am putting here for future use:

If you have Server A with the master, and Server B with the slave, and you need to reset the slave if it gets lost, simply do this:

Login to the Server A and issue this command:

mysqldump --master-data --all-databases newdbs.sql 

Then scp or ftp the newdbs.sql file to Server B.

Login to Server B, stop http and turn off the slave (slave stop;), load in the new database SQL file you brought over and restart the mysql slave (slave start;) and http:

/etc/init.d/httpd stop
/etc/init.d/httpd start 

To be sure everything is working as it should, you can go into mysql and ‘show slave status;’


{deprecated} PalmOne Treo Error 0x7301

I just got a PalmOne Treo650 with my Bell account here in Quebec. Shortly after I got my new phone I started getting the error ‘Error 0X7301’ whenever I tried to connect to the internet.

After some searching on google, I came across the rather simple and straight forward solution. Here is the site I found the solution on:

And here is the solution:

Goto the main application screen by pressing on the Home button, select Prefs and then Network under Communication. Beside where it says service at the top of your screen, you will probably see ‘1X Connection Copy’. This means that at some point I made a copy of my connection, which is not good apparently. Simply delete the copy by selecting Delete from the menu at the top. Click on Done and that’s it, your done!

You should now be able to connect to the internet again!

Albeit short and simple little how-to, I hope it helps someone else.

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