Michael Siegenthaler
Home Photos Projects Resume

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January 7, 2008 - Photos from Beijing and Hong Kong are now posted.

January 5, 2008 - New pictures are posted from Shanghai, China.

April 8, 2007 - I posted some pictures of snow during the past winter.

November 12, 2006 - I added a few pictures of Fall colors to the existing Ithaca and Cornell gallery.

August 26, 2006 - I've posted some photos of my new home and school.

April 20th, 2006 - I've removed a lot of things on this website that were no longer useful or relevant. There will be more changes in the future, as time allows.

October 27, 2005 - I posted some details about my parallel port FPGA interface, a project that I worked on over the summer.

September 17, 2005 - I just posted photos from Finland.

May 30, 2005 - This weekend I met friends with whom I studied in Göttingen. I've posted photos of our trip to San Francisco and Sonoma County.

March 6, 2005 - Photos from my weekend trip to Tahoe are posted here.

February 11, 2005 - After a long delay, I've finally added some new pictures again. I expanded the seciton on my dad's project, the New Bay Bridge, which I toured in December. I also added a photo of where I live, and of the house blessing that we had in November.

January 11, 2005 - The server was offline for 7 hours today due to a DSL/telephone outage which affected a significant number of customers in Santa Rosa. I have no other details at this point.

November 7, 2004 - After more than a year, I finally got my weather page back online. The thermometer has been installed and logging data for a few weeks already, but I'm so busy with homework and school related stuff that I haven't had much time to update the web site.

August 17, 2004 - The server will be down for a while sometime in the next few days due to a scheduled power outage. UPDATE: The power is back on. For some reason, the DSL modem failed to work when it restarted. My sister rebooted it this morning and now everything works.

August 7, 2004 - I recently returned from my 3rd trip to Italy.

June 19, 2004 - Last weekend I went to Poland to visit Bartosz, a friend who I met in Göttingen while we were both studying abroad.

June 6, 2004 - I finally added pictures of Würzburg, where I currently live. I divided the existing Germany images into Southern and Northern categories and added new images to both.

April 14, 2004 - For the Easter weekend I went to Holland.

February 25, 2004 - I've returned from a trip to Italy and posted photos. I also added three images to the Germany section.

December 31, 2003 - For the first time ever, I experienced a White Christmas, in Thun, Switzerland.

October 21, 2003 - Photos from my recent trip to Austria and Slovenia, as well as various images collected in Germany over the past few months have been posted on the photos page. In addition, pictures of Göttingen, where I am studying this semester, were posted about a month ago without an annoucement here on the front page.

August 9, 2003 - I've arrived in Göttingen, Germany and moved into the Studentensiedlung.

July 27, 2003 - I'm currently on vacation. I've posted various photos taken in Switzerland over the past few weeks, and also those from a weekend trip to Venice, Italy. Next week I'm moving to Germany to begin the Education Abroad Program.

June 28, 2003 - Photos are posted from my Thursday trip to the New Bay Bridge construction site, and from my Friday trip to Mendocino County. Other recent additions include photos of my mom's 50th birthday party, on the Santa Rosa page, and two pictures of the church I go to, on the Davis page.

June 22, 2003 - The server is running on new hardware, details of which are listed at the bottom of the network page. There are still bugs that need to be worked out (for example, all the graphs on the network page), but otherwise most things are working properly. There will be some more downtime as I move the server to its permanent location in the garage, but that should only take a few minutes.

May 18, 2003 - The traffic on Monduna.com yesterday was causing the server to crash as it ran out of swap space. I set a limit on the number of simultaneous HTTP requests that can be handled, preventing the crash. However, a high load has returned this morning, and the web server is performing poorly because it is constantly hitting the limit. All hosted sites are slow, but if you're patient, they will load. UPDATE: Apparently, Monduna got Slashdotted. Even though the link was in the discussion board, not on the homepage, the amount of traffic was enough to overwhelm the perl scripts. Daniel has disabled the script and the problem went away, at least for now.

May 17, 2003 - Well, for over a month I haven't had any exciting annoucements regarding this web site; I guess it's because I've been busy with school and haven't had time to add anything to the site. Last week, however, I completed an update to the Viet Nam Laryngectomee Project's site. The pictures section is expanded, so if you're interested in international humanitarian projects, check it out.

April 15, 2003 - If you've been paying any attention to my weather page, you surely noticed that it had stopped updating recently. That's because I cancelled my Greystone Ethernet account (due to a problem with the line into my building) and connected to my roommates' DSL. The dynamic IP address is a problem, but I set up dynamic DNS so the thermometer should work most of the time. On a side note, every time someone makes the smallest configuration change to our router, it drops the PPPoE connection and has to "redial", getting a new IP address. This effectively disconnects all open TCP/IP sessions, and last night I accidentally disconnected Lazier during the middle of a game. Oh well, that's what he gets for signing up with the phone company and not a real ISP.

March 30, 2003 - My web site and all hosted sites were offline for over an hour due to a failure in the router that serves all Bay Area Sonic.Net DSL customers. More information is posted on their home page.

March 25, 2003 - I tested the server's memory today and found that some of it was bad. Hosted web sites were inaccessible during the tests. The bad memory has been replaced and all the tests now pass. I have some screen shots of the test failing.

March 18, 2003 - I finally got a copy of the Tijuana trip photos and posted a few. It must have been very tedious to scan all the pictures (there are over 300 on the CDROM!). Thank you Arnell, for doing all that work.

March 15, 2003 - Although it's been nearly a month since I posted anything to this front page, I actually have been doing quite a bit of web work. I revised the Regents Scholars' Society site, making it more graphical and correcting a lot of small imperfections. On my own site I expanded the electronics section, added a reverse DNS lookup function to the dynamically generated HTTP Information, and rewrote the guestbook to store entries in a database rather than a plain text file.

February 16, 2003 - I tested the UPS today. The server ran for 25 minutes after losing power, and then cleanly shut down. You can see graphs of the battery level and voltage. I also tested the UPS on the network equipment, but since it doesn't have to shut anything down I didn't wait for battery to run down. That UPS ran for 10 minutes before I plugged it back in, and the low-battery indicator had not yet come on.

January 25, 2003 - The server was down for about 15 minutes today while I replaced the CPU fan and installed a UPS. The old fan had been making abnormal noises, which is sometimes a sign that it's about to fail. You can check the power/battery status on the new UPS Status page.

January 20, 2003 - I posted high resolution versions of most of the photos. Some of them would make good desktop backgrounds, so they are available in multiple standard resolutions. Also, I just got an email from my dad saying that the server is making odd noises. I'll have to check that out next time I'm in Santa Rosa.

January 4, 2003 - My dad sent me a link to the California Coastline Records Project, which has photos of nearly the entire California coastline. Have a look specifically at the Mexican border, where the wall enters the ocean. On Tuesday evening I was there, on the Tijuana side next to the lighthouse, peering through the fence at the deserted park and the American border patrol. The sand on both sides of the wall is the same, and the waves travel on both sides as if there were nothing in between. I can cross just by showing my passport, but our Mexican guide could only do so if he obtained a visa by filling out a stack of paperwork and answering hundreds of stupid questions. The families we built houses for probably wouldn't be able to get a visa at all. While I know that the wall cannot come down from one day to the next without causing a lot of other problems, I hope that with time, hard work, and foreign help, Mexico can get itself into a better economic situation, one that does not require such a strict border.

January 4, 2003 - I just returned from Tijuana after about 13 hours on the road. The experience of being down there for a week and building houses is one that I really cannot put in words, but I can say that it is one of the more important things that I have done in my life.

December 26, 2002 - Early tomorrow morning I'm leaving for Tijuana, Mexico, to help build houses. The project is organized by my church. I am returning to Davis late on January 3rd.

December 24, 2002 - First of all, Merry Christmas! Second, you can see that the format of this web site has changed in a big way. This is my first major revision since the Spring of 1998, and comes just in time for Christmas. Some of the content of my old site has been migrated, as well as some things that previously resided on home.msigi.net. In the near future, I plan to add a lot more photos, and also to revise the art page and guestbook backend. Also, this homepage needs some work. Any other suggestions? Email me.

December 10, 2002 - I promised Leslie that I would put up a link to a list of radio stations for the entire US. That link has been added to my links page under the "Free Services" section, but since it's such a great site and because I have no other worthy news, I'm announcing it here on the main page. The full listings include the type of programming, transmitter location with maps of coverage area, link to a station's web site, station owner, amount of power they're broadcasting with, and more.

November 28, 2002 - Happy Thanksgiving! I returned from Davis to Santa Rosa last night, and my family is having our turkey today. To follow up on one of my previous messages, I got two UPS units to protect the network and server here against power outages. The unit for the network equipment is installed and working. Unfortunately, the unit for the server was dead on arrival. I hoped that I could fix it by replacing the battery, but after some further testing that is not the case. I think the transformer is dead. I will try sending the unit back to Newegg for replacement.

November 7, 2002 - Bad PG&E day. The server was down for a little over an hour this evening, due to a power outage in Santa Rosa. I'm not at all surprised, considering how windy it is, and because in Davis I've had 3 power outages today (each lasting for ~20 seconds). I'm going to buy a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for the server, so it can survive a very short outage (less than a few minutes) or shut down cleanly during a longer one.

November 3, 2002 - Server crashed for unknown reason, with no information in the logs. It restarted itself automatically, and seems to be working fine now.

October 10, 2002 - Router traffic graphs are finally working again. I still haven't figured out how to programmatically read CPU or memory usage on FreeBSD, so I don't have all the same graphs that I did on Linux. One new addition is a measure of the outdoor temperature at my apartment. It's not entirely reliable yet, but once it is, I will separate it from the network statistics page, since it doesn't really belong there.

September 23, 2002 - A server misconfiguration caused WWW (apache) log files from the 13th to the 22nd of September to be lost. I restored from a backup the logs from the 13th to the 18th.

September 15, 2002 - Server upgrades mostly complete. The FreeBSD machine has been serving web pages since yesterday, and email for two days already.

September 12, 2002 - Server is being taken offline for major software upgrades. The operating system is being changed from Linux to FreeBSD. This is expected to take a few days. Web pages will be served from a temporary machine, and should remain available. Email will be unavailable for a few hours, but no mail will be lost.

September 1, 2002 - Finally, I have more vacation photos posted. It took a while to sort through the 776 digital photos that my dad and I took, and I haven't even looked at the ones my mom and my sister took with their conventional cameras. I hope to eventually post some higher resolution versions that people can download and use as desktop backgrounds, but for now I've got too many other things to keep me busy. Among them, I have to move into my new apartment in Davis.

August 31, 2002 - I arrived home in Santa Rosa last night after 8 weeks in Switzerland/Germany/France. I'll post photos from the second half of the trip sometime in the next few days.

August 3, 2002 - After several weeks of travel, I've finally had an opportunity to transfer some photos from the digital camera to the Internet. You can follow the first half of my vacation online.

July 5, 2002 - I'm leaving today for my trip to Switzerland. I'll only be checking my email on an occasional basis, so if you send me something it could be days or weeks before I reply. Daniel LeCheminant will help manage my server while I'm away, although there really isn't much to do unless something goes terribly wrong.

June 28, 2002 - In preparation for my trip to Switzerland, I've been improving the remote-management capabilities of my server so that I can better troubleshoot it over the Internet, without physical intervention like using the attached keyboard and monitor. This includes setting up Linux to put the main system console on a serial port, so I have remote control over the boot process, before the network drivers are loaded. I spent most of yesterday working on a device that uses hardware from Rabbit Semiconductor to provide a telnet server that is a gateway between the ethernet LAN and the serial port on the server. It turns out that telnet servers are a bit more complicated to program than just sending and receiving raw ASCII data on a TCP socket, but after reading some RFC's and capturing a bit of actual network traffic to analyze the hex codes I wrote a working prototype. It will be finished and installed before I leave for vacation.

June 23, 2002 - Server crashed this morning, for the second time since installing the latest RedHat kernel update about a week ago. I rolled it back to an older kernel, which was known to work well at the time I was running it, and will see if this change makes the system more reliable or if something else is at fault.

June 7, 2002 - My first year at the university is coming to an end, and I thought I should announce a project I've been working on with other people in my dorm. The Integrated Studies 2002 web site has been up for over a month now, and is a success. It took a bit of effort (to say the least) to get the general population of the dorm to contribute, but a few people put in considerable time into making it happen, and I hope that with their help I can continue to update the site after we've moved out of the dorm.

May 26, 2002 - Webserver was down briefly while I replaced a network card that I suspect is guilty of causing a loss of connectivity to the private LAN. Hopefully the problem will not happen again.

April 28, 2002 - I spent this weekend at home rather than in the dorm. My dad spent the past three weekends building cabinets for the garage, so on Saturday I got to clean out my closet and move old toys (like LEGOs) to the garage. This was much needed storage space, since my closet was full from floor to ceiling. On Sunday I finished a circuit that I had begun during Easter vacation, which will initiate an unattended reboot of my server if it ever crashes. Linux rarely crashes, and in the past when it's happened, I've been able to call my parents and tell them to cycle the power on it. However, this device will be useful for family vacations when nobody is home.

April 18, 2002 - Today for my Urban Geography class, I bicycled through downtown Davis to observe how restaurants were distributed through the town, and what types of buildings they were housed in. I decided to go through the bike tunnel under the railroad tracks at Richard's Boulevard, and then following another bicycle path from there, soon found myself south of Interstate 80, in a part of town that I had never been to before. I eventually found my way to familiar streets and crossed back to the north side of the freeway, where the university is.

April 12, 2002 - This week I reorganized the HTTP server configuration, data, and log files. It amazes me how many hits I still receive from virus-infested Microsoft servers that are trying to spread their infections to random machines on the Internet. Over half of of the pages requested from my site generate an Error 404 (File Not Found), and almost all of those hits are rudely probing for a vulnerable Microsoft product.

April 4, 2002 - I know I haven't been updating my web site for some time. Maybe I should get into the habbit of posting messages on a regular basis, as done here. In any case, today was a good day for me because I was finally offered an apartment to live in next fall. Here in Davis, the hunt for housing for September always starts early in the year, and getting a desirable place is not guaranteed because the waiting lists are long. I will be living at Greystone Apartments with three of my friends.

February 25, 2002 - Server crashed today, for unknown reason. I called home and my dad rebooted it.

February 9, 2002 - To reduce clutter on the main page, I created a separate page to store archives of the "message of the day" items.

January 29, 2002 - Server crashed for unknown reason at 1:30 PST, and was rebooted at 10:55.

January 12, 2002 - Web site was down for a week but is now back online. The pair of copper wires carrying the DSL signal from the service entrance to the DSL bridge seems to have gone bad, so I switched to an unused pair and everything works again.

January 3, 2002 - Happy New Year! I just returned from a one-week vacation in Ottawa, Canada. While I was away, there were four power outages at my house in Santa Rosa, including one that lasted more than a day. If you had trouble accessing my website, or email you sent me got returned during that time, that is why.

December 21, 2001 - I upgraded the hard drive in my server from 1.6GB to 5.7GB. Downtime was shorter than I expected, since the process of cloning the drive was very quick over the 100Mb/s home network.

December 12, 2001 - I am almost done with my finals at UC Davis, and will go home to Santa Rosa on Friday. My server is due for some hardware upgrades, as well as a general cleaning-out of all the dust that has built up inside. Therefore, don't be surprised if my website is inaccessible for some time the week before Christmas. I will, however, run a backup mail server during the upgrades to prevent mail from bouncing.

December 11, 2001 - I (finally) got around to adding some more photos to the graphics page. This update was much needed, as my website has been relatively static for over a year. Hopefully I will find time to update more often in the future.

November 27, 2001 - My website was down for more than a day due to an unknown connectivity problem. Today my dad rebooted the router and DSL transceiver and everything works fine again.

November 22, 2001 - Thanksgiving Day - I came home from college and found an ant infestation in my closet, under the network hardware. My website was down for about an hour while I took the router to the backyard to debug it with a can of compressed air.

September 15, 2001 - I moved my server today from an indoor closet out to the garage. This follows a change of IP address made on the 10th and a kernel crash on the 14th. As a result, my website was down several times this week.