. Google « Torchwood Archives
Torchwood Archives
25Nov/11Off

Webserver Logs vs Google Analytics

Who should read this post

My fellow EVE bloggers and all other webmasters who care about their site and would like to have more visitors.

Logs vs Reports

Many website admins have to decide which is better for analysing traffic on their website. I was struggling with answering this question as well, but the latest improvements introduced by Google (Real Time (beta) or Intelligence Events) make Analytics a great tool, that no logs or log parsers can compete with.

Raw Apache logs are very useful for most anything - from analyzing the number of "hits" on the website, to debugging errors in the PHP code. Unfortunately, they do not gather as much information as Google does. Analytics on the other hand uses cookies to track users movement around the website and allows to discern returing users from new ones. It also collects information such as screen resolution, flash and java versions, language, website loading time, the domain of the visitor or approximate location based on GeoIP.

Apache LogsI used to favor Apache logs, because with tools such as Webalizer it was possible to see graphs and trends of visits. When skimming through the raw log it is also possible to see the IP address and other corresponding data such as OS and browser versions. Unfortunately, neither raw logs, nor the reports based on them are going to say anything more than that, not to mention that raw logs are not the easiest (or interesting in that matter) things to read.

And there comes Google Analytics. You can't access the raw data gathered by Google, but Analytics reports are very useful, not just for bloggers, but also for big websites and e-commerce based companies. Moreover, you can create your own custom reports,which can be based on any of the available metrics.

But why am I saying all of this to you?

CCP was here!

Because thanks to Analytics I was able to make some very interesting findings. For one, I know that CCP devs have been visiting my website since I started publishing information about Crucible (so I have promptly added the copyright notices everywhere 😉 ). I know that an Asus EEE Pad Transformer owner from Ontario has visited my website (and I think I know who is that 😉 cheers to Kirith Kodachi).

Visitors world map I know that most EVE Online players come from US, UK Russia and Germany. I know that most of the visits come from Google search. Twitter and various forums only make a fraction of percentage in my incoming traffic.

I know what keywords people used to land on my website and what information to feed them with to achieve more visits. Of course this information/opinions need to have proper quality, because otherwise  these users will not return. Posting accurate information is crucial. When visitors consider your information important and accurate, they are more likely to spread it further, this includes forum links or sharing on Twitter and other social networks.

One day my post about Cockroach ship has received about 150 hits in just one hour. I wondered why people would out of a sudden begin looking for a ship, which is hid deep in the EVE data dump, and is rarely seen by players. So I started investigating. My post was quite high on the Google search for the keywords containing "eve online cockroach", so the question remained, what is the root cause. I quickly found it was a Facebook post of CCP employee, who linked a killmail of one of the GMs, who lost his Cockroach to a group of players.

Can your webserver logs tell you this much?

I don't think they can. So now go and connect your blog to Analytics. You will not regret, it's a very powerful tool.

23Nov/11Off

Android Honeycomb 3.2 running on x86 CPUs

NEW: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on x86 PC/netbook: check this post


The Android-x86 project has recently released Android Honeycomb 3.2 compiled for x86 processors. It can easily run on a PC, laptop, netbook or even inside a virtual machine. Moreover, this version includes Android Market! Unfortunately, the current RC2 build does not have any Ethernet kernel modules compiled, so it is not possible to access the Internet if you install it on a VMware or Virtualbox virtual machine.

Is it just a toy for geeks or can it be actually useful? I vote for the latter, but not just yet. Developers need to notice and support the new platform first. We also have to know, that some netbooks have already been sold in dual boot Windows - Android configuration (look for Acer Aspire One D250). Android can be actually more useful for netbooks than Windows. This is due to short boot times and lots of useful widgets, which display information right on the desktop. I have successfully used Android 2.2 for a while on my Acer Aspire One for some time, and I was only missing the Android Market and a bit more stability regarding power management (problems with waking up from stand-by).

But as you recall, I have also mentioned the need for developer support. Why? Because Android running on x86 CPU will only run SDK based apps. It won't however work with more advanced games or apps written in NDK. Why? Because NDK apps are compiled for a specific CPU - ARM in this case. NDK based apps would have to be recompiled in order to run on x86 CPUs. So until x86 Android becomes a widely recognized platform, we will probably not be able to run most games and programs on this platform.

UPDATE: First paid 3D game that works on Android x-86 is Fruit Ninja. Congratulations, Halfbrick!


EDIT: I have just installed the Honeycomb 3.2 on bare metal - Acer Aspire One (AOA 110 / ZG5). The eeepc build works out of the box, with smooth accelerated graphics, working WiFi and Android Market.

Works out of the box:

  • WiFi
  • Sound
  • Touchpad
  • Browser
  • Android Market
  • Mail
  • Settings
  • Widgets

Does not work:

  • SD card emulation (storage works as USB instead)
  • Screen will sometimes rotate randomly
  • After one sleep/wake cycle it can't wake up.
  • Voice commands (Audio error)
  • Ethernet (there is no kernel module)

To install it alongside an existing linux distribution, about 3-4 GB of space is required. You can use GUI based GParted to shrink your exisiting linux partition, or console based e2fsresize. DO NOT LET THE ANDROID INSTALLER TO INSTALL GRUB - it is known to cause your previous linux unbootable. Instead, after performing the Android installation, edit your existing GRUB2 configuration (Ubuntu example for /dev/sda5 below)

sudo vi /etc/grub.d/40_custom

Add the following lines at the end of the file:

menuentry "Android-x86 Honeycomb" {
  insmod ext2
  set root='(hd0,5)'
  linux /android-2011-11-13/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 \
     androidboot_hardware=eeepc acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode \
     SRC=/android-2011-11-13 DATA= DPI=160
  initrd /android-2011-11-23/initrd.img
}

Save file, run update-grub

1Oct/11Off

MSE identifies Chrome as malware

I have encountered a problem during an automated update of Chrome today: Microsoft Security Essentials has reported that Chrome browser contains PWS:Win32/Zbot. MSE alert causes the update to fail. Google has already responded to the problem and posted on the official Chrome blog. The solution is to update the definitions of Microsoft Security Essentials to version 1.113.672.0 or above.

15May/11Off

Android 3.1 SDK now available. Motorola XOOM receives 3.1 update.

Android 3.1 HomeAndroid has recently been split into two branches: mobile and tablet. Android for mobile is the one we have known for some time now, whereas the  Honeycomb 3.0 version is the recent spin off. Users don't like it and neither does Google: Ice Cream Sandwich will be an unified system for both phons and tablets. But before that...

Android 3.1

Google has just published the SDK for Android 3.1. Additionally, Motorola XOOM 3G users can already update their slate to use this new version of Android.

What's changed?

  • UI is now more intuitive and more efficient to use. Animations are optimized for faster and smoother transitions.
  • Users can connect a broad range of USB input devices (keyboards, mice, game controllers) and digital cameras. It is possible for developers to create third party drivers for other USB devices.
  • Better multitasking and instant access to the Recent Apps list, which is now expandable. Users can now select from a list of recent apps vertically to see thumbnail images all of the tasks in background, then touch an image to jump back into that program.
  • Efficient Home screen planning. Users can now resize their Home screen widgets using drag bars delivered by the OS. Users can expand widgets both horizontally and/or vertically to include more content, where supported by each widget.
  • Android 3.1 adds additional Wi-Fi features. A new high-performance Wi-Fi lock lets programs keep high-performance Wi-Fi connections even when the device screen is dimmed. Internet radio is one of many possible uses for this feature.
  • Proxy - it is now possible to configure a separate proxy server for each access-point. Web browser will use proxy when connecting to web sites or downloading files.
Tagged as: , No Comments
21Mar/11Off

Android 2.2 running on x86 netbooks

NEW: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on x86 PC/netbook: check this post


The Android x86 project has recently built Froyo images for most popular netbooks (and of course a generic image for other computers).  This means you can easily run Android on your ultra mobile computers the same you would on a mobile phone.

Supported netbooks:

  • ASUS laptops/tablets
  • ASUS EEE PC
  • Dell Inspiron Mini Duo
  • Viewsonic Viewpad 10