Happy Monday!

Currently listening to Desi, waiting for my new USB stick to finish a slow format.  So I have been using my wife’s computer to start prepping for the OSCP, and I have to say, that was a bad idea.  I have a mac, but trying to create my own virtual lab in there has been rough.  I used VirtualBox to do this, but VMWare workstation on a windows machine just seems to get the job done right.

So, my first thought was to go with a souped-up Chromebook.  I went ahead and got the i7 Pixelbook.  Nice looking machine, and yes, I think ChromeOS is nice – but I wanted to run Linux off of it.  So I went two different routes on this, and both didn’t work like I needed it to.

Route 1:  I changed my channel to the developer channel and just used the crostini linux that google offered from this channel.  It wasn’t a full blown linux like I needed.  So scratch that.

Route 2: I put the Pixelbook in developer mode, and ran chroots of linux.  After some crazy finagling, I got kali-rolling on a xfce desktop.  But, still limited – for example, I couldn’t do any networking – this was just a virtual container running on ChromeOS.

I didn’t try wiping the OS and just installing a linux on metal.  Mainly because I was afraid that doing that would lock me into not being able to return the machine.  After not being able to successfully do either of the above routes, I put the machine back on the stable channel, main mode, and powerwash.

I haven’t gotten my $ back (it’s still in the mail), but I need a machine that is not my wife’s.  Some googling commenced, and I settled on a Matebook X Pro (MXP).  I think it’s the best bang for your buck.  I almost bought a Surface Book 2, but it was clunky, and $1K more.  I don’t really need a 2-in-1.  The only thing about the MXP is the resolution is a bit wack.  It works, but it’s like 3000×2000 – and then you have to increase the font size.  So far, ok, but some of my older Vms (windows 7, XP, Ubuntu) are hard to see/really small.  But the ports, the size, and the power of the computer I really like.  I am a bit concerned about the build – Chinese products sometimes don’t last as long, and I am hoping this will take me 5 years out.  But I hope that I am done with my OSCP at that time, and might be time for a new PC, based on what I learned.

I am going to set up a dual boot on Kali and Windows.  The drive is a 512MB SSD and so far, all is well, except for the heat – the computer does come with a 1 year warranty, so I am going to lean on that if something doesn’t go well.

Greetings from Cambridge.

I am writing to you from Cambridge – my sister in law is a freshman here at Harvard, and it’s parent’s weekend.  Here’s a pic of her and my daughter 🙂  I had an opportunity to step into CS 50, which is the largest core computer science class that Harvard has to offer.  It was awesome.  The teacher was animated, clear, and descriptive.   I want to come to Harvard and get at CS degree now!

Here, they are introducing databases.  The one thing I love about Harvard is the inspiration it brings – which leads me to my Bsides event, which was awesome.  I learned a lot from the CTF, and I need to learn more.

I got to the game late, so I didn’t understand the team’s strategy.  Hell,  I didn’t even understand the board.  But a few reddit posts later, I think I am good to go for my next one.  I think I am going to play some CTFs online.

Oh, and work approved my OSCP tuition – so its on.