Software Defined Radio

I’ve been ask,  “What is Mark up to now”?

You my friends now, I’m always learning new thing. Art, poetry, electronics, computing, as a matter of fact I’ve come to the conclusion my hobby is “Learning New Things”.

Now I’m learning how to make radios out of computer code.  There is a little bit of hardware.  But it’s a very little bit. The biggest part of the radio is the computer and the software to run the math.

Do you remember imaginary numbers from high school?  Right…     i = Sqr Root of -1

Well, I’ve found a use for all that math. Try to think of all the radio signals running through your space right now.  AM radio, FM radio, TV, Cell Phone, WiFi, Blue Touth, Child monitors, CB radio, Ham Radio, Satellite signals, and more. Now think of them as sound.  All that noise.

If you digitize that noise and run it through a few math functions, you can tune in one signal.  With a little more math you can demodulate it and turn it back into sound.

I’ll post a few videos and document in the next few weeks about what I’m learning.

San Francisco Zoo

The SF Zoo is a great place. I loved my morning.


But SF has a bit of a homeless problem and they know how to spot a rental car. I had my stuff in the trunk and they broke in just to see what might be there.


This I believe

This I believe.

You are as you believe.

Our goverment once knew the difference between right and wrong. It didn't fear doing the right thing.
I'm not saying It where always right. Just that it was this behaveour that mades use as we believe.

Now this country leaves in fear. Not from tarriost. We have traded in hard working pride, and the
labor of our creations, for cheep forgin goods at Walmart.

same time that the Government is demanding greater and greater access to what you do and say,
it is hiding its own conduct behind an always-higher and more impenetrable wall of secrecy.  
Everything you do and say must be accessible to them; you can have no secrets from them.  
But everything they do — including even criminal acts such as torture, assassinations and
warrantless surveillance  — is completely off-limits to you, deemed "state secrets" that not
even courts can review in order to determine their legality.  This is all driven by Francis Bacon's
observation that "knowledge is power":  the idea is to make sure that they have full knowledge of
what you do (i.e., full power over it), while you have no knowledge about what they do (i.e., no power).

Building a Home VMWare Server – UPDATED

I am building my own VMWare "Whitebox" server for home. I manage ESX system at work. I find using like equipment and software at home helps find, and resolve, issues before have to deal with them at work. I'm also interested in saving on my electric bill and increase my systems capabilities.  With four computers in my small corner bedroom it gets hot. The air condition runs almost continuously during the summer.  Along with the build project I'll be reporting on my energy savings.

I have three Linux servers to convert. I'll use ESXi to re-create them into virtual systems.  They are, a firewall, a web/s data store server and an email server.  The firewall is a small system running Untangle with a single disk, the web server is a Fedora Core system with a four disk RAID 4 and the email system runs Zimbra with mirror disks.

I'm also interested in experimenting with new systems.  Some of these are Gentoo, MythTV (MythBuntu), OpenFiler, BackTrack and Zarafa email. I may report on these as well.

In the next new posts I'll go over:

  • Hardware – What I purchased and why.
  • Server Construction – How I put everything together.
  • System Migration – Moving from physical systems to virtual systems.
  • Network configuration – How one Internet connection is connected to all the virtual servers and my desktop.
  • Benchmarks – How fast is everything and are there better configurations.
  • Power savings – Did I really save on my power bill? What is my return on investment.
  • Tweeks, Hacks and Tuning – Little things that make life better in a virtual world.

If you have questions about this project please email Mark @ or Tweet me at mgrennan

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MySQL Fan Boy get noticed

Looks like I may have found something people are interested in. My Linux Fan Boy blog is getting as many hits as this bog in only a few weeks. 

I got mentioned in Log Buffer #188, a Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

 You can find it at URL    :

but here is the jist.

[…] […] Starting off this week’s issue is a request from Mark Grennan a DBA who would like to let the community know about his blog MySQL Fan Boy, where he wrote an interesting post on including a script to replace MySQL table files on a live system, making it faster and limiting locking on large table loads. Also a post this week on whether MarieDB is a drop in replacement for MySQL. […] […]

Can we all just work together

I was reading an article by Boe Parrish entitled Layoff Employees Need Help…Survivors Need Hope and here are my thoughts.

He said "(Everyday) Another layoff is announced, and another significant percent of the workforce is being laid off.  … Profits are declining, sales are off, and executives are left with no other choice than cutting expenses in order to remain competitive, or simply to survive."

This seems like a self fulfilling prophecy. People out of work spend less. People who think they may soon be out of work spend less. People who are not out of work but are supporting other family members who are out of work, spend less. Business people who are afraid customers will be buying less spend less.

I agree with Boe. Employees need Hope. I also believe employers need Faith.  I understand companies have stock holders to support and growth numbers to meet. I also know it is easy to say "I have faith God will provide all my needs" when it comes to your own life but harder to say to unbeleivers in a stock holders meeting. 

Everyone recognizes and responds to success. I believe companies that keep faith and offer support, not just price cuts to their customers, will shine bright and quickly be recignized. Business partners will become excited to learn how succesful companies are staying succesful when other are cuting back and holding cash because of fear.

We don't just live in a consumer ecomony, it is also a sellers ecomony. If you can't sell your product because your customer can't sell his, offer help.  Don't say, "I'll work with you." and then just cut your price, WORK with your customer. Go to their meetings and help bring new idea for growth. 

I think the only thing to fear is fear. I believe President Bush planted a seed of fear when the declared a financial  crisis and started this tail spin. We need to reject fear and keep the faith. 


I attended the open house for the Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative (OkcCoCo).  Over one hundred people attended.  Derrick Parkhurst, Ph.D and Noah Everett spoke of spoke to the crowd.

Dr. Parkhurst is the founder of OkcCoCo.  He spoke about the business and how collaborating booths assist and creates businesses. He spoke about the problems of starting a business. About how hard it is to work from home or from placed like Panera Bread or Starbucks.  Darrick hopes to create a place where independent workers, or small teams, can meet and talk to interesting people doing cool things with technology. OkcCoCo will included a learning center for classes about technology.

OkcCoCo should open April 1st.  It is located on the south west corner of 7th and Hudson, just north of downtown Oklahoma City.  OkcCoCo will be providing office space, conference rooms, class room space and a commons social area for people to meet. Space can be rented on a daily or monthly bases.  Flex plans provide cubical like work spaces for members from as little as five days a month.

Mr. Everett spoke about his endeavors starting Like so many start up stories Noah TwitPic from his apartment, in Tulsa Oklahoma, with only one server.  Today (literally) Noah is installing new equipment in a computer center in Dallas.  TwitPic has received lots of interest because it provides a way for people to share photos from their cell phones and through desktop computer apps easily. Here are my received some notoriety for a single picture taken about the Hudson river plan crash and posted to TwitPic.

Crossroads is still alive

Crossroads Wireless of Oklahoma City is still alive but only to divide the assets.

Tom is still negotiation through an Attorney to pay vendors and work with stock holders to determine how the assets will be divided.  Chickasaw has agreed to unencumber the assets remaining and retain the liability on them.  

Some staff still remain but it looks like there will be more cuts next week.