Backups & Clones


My Mac has a lot of stuff on it, and it’s configured exactly as I want it. I would hate to lose the drive or have it stolen and be out of luck. I do use Time Machine to take regular backups of the files, even though my capsule died and I had to replace it with a 5TB drive. The concern I have with Time Machine is that it’s not a bit-for-bit copy of my hard drive that I can boot from if needed. Enter Carbon Copy Cloner. There are a few options out there to choose from, Super Duper being one of those, but after trying a few of them I landed on CCC. Cloning my drive gives me peace of mind, and the program monitors my HDD for file modifications, if the modifications == 1GB, then it performs a “sync” of sorts. Basically it’s another backup, but only the changes. That happens many times during the day, which is pretty awesome.

The only thing I wish this did was encrypt the data and require a key. In case someone snagged my external drive, it would be useless. For now I lock the drive in the hidden safe located in my office whenever I leave the house. But it would be great if that was something I did not have to do.

Fun with VMs

The need for a VM

This week I am taking the Active Defense & Cyber Deception class with John Strand and in preparation for the class I followed this guide.


One of the steps is to install VMWare. So I try this on my Macbook. It’s an M1, and I forgot when I was downloading to make sure to grab the right download. That failed because I have the M1 chip. I grabbed the right one, but it won’t run the VM because the VM wants X86 Arch. Of course.


So I scramble and borrow a Windows laptop (Dell Inspiron 17) that my mother in law is not using. We got it for her last Christmas, but she never uses it because it’s slow. Well, she was not kidding. It’s super slow, and that’s because HDD utilization under Task Manager is always at 100%. Like, always. I really don’t like Windows. I loved Windows 98, and XP was probably my favorite. That’s about the time I made the switch to Mac. So I spent almost a day doing all the things I could find and think of to solve the issue, but no go. Even reinstalled windows, updated all drivers, etc. I think the HDD and/or cable is bad or RAM is not working right and causing constant swapping. Whatever it is, I can’t use this laptop. I ordered an SSD and some new RAM so I can play with it later.


Next was to try and make this work on My Kali Linux. I was sure that it was not going to work, but someone in Discord who is also in the class mentioned that it should. I gave it a shot, and sure enough, I am good to go! I figured Kali would not work as well as Ubuntu, or RHEL, but it’s smooth.

So lesson learned … try Linux first. Always.