I've written about Microsoft Log Parser before, and even started a site around it. But, I noticed the other day that I hadn't written on how to get started with this powerful tool.
Getting Log Parser
The current version of Log Parser is version 2.2, which you can download from Microsoft.
Installing Log Parser
While it says supported operating systems are "Windows 2000; Windows Server 2003; Windows XP Professional Edition," it appears to run fine on Windows XP Home Edition and Windows Vista (at least Ultimate has been personally confirmed).
While it will install to C:\Program Files\Log Parser 2.2\ by default, you can grab the core executable and move it anywhere you'd like, including to a USB flash drive, for parsing on other systems.
Running Log Parser (easily)
Log Parser is run from the command line. By making one addition to your system(s), you can easily run Log Parser from any directory.
To allow the Log Parser executable to be run from any directory, through the command line, right-click on My Computer and select Properties. On the Advanced tab is an Environment Variables button.
Under System variables you'll find a Path variable, with an existing value. If you add the full path to logparser.exe, you can simply type logparser from the command line to run the executable.
;C:\Program Files\Log Parser 2.2\
Each path must be separated by a semi-colon (;).
Starting Log Parser
With this done, you can now go to Start > Run ... - or press the Windows key and R - and Open cmd.
To verify that Log Parser is available, type logparser -h, which should show a listing of available commands.
Visit Log Parser Plus to see a listing of available functions and a list of examples and tutorials, and to share your queries.