Deleting protected folders in your Mac home directory

One day I was setting up my new Catalina (and later in Big Sur) OS on a fresh work Mac laptop and I discovered something fishy. I couldn’t delete my Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music directories. Normally what I do on my Linux systems is create symlinks for those folders whose target is in a common directory that I can then sync onto my NFS server, or like in the case of my work laptop, into a corporate system. Be it Office365 OneDrive, or Box, or Amazon WorkDocs.

Ok, anyway I fought and fought with the Mac OS. Attempts to delete the folder were denied even though I have sudo access on the system:

% sudo rm -rf Documents
rm: Documents: Permission denied

So my hunt began. Turns out the culprit is SIP. Otherwise known as System Integrity Protection. It’s designed to help keep things setup the way they need to be for various aspects of the OS to work as expected. In some ways it kinda really annoys me because is the result of the whole Mac eco-system dependencies. So as Apple continues to force you to keep apps on your OS like News, Stocks, iTunes, etc, the OS has to work a little harder to make sure dependencies stay correct.

Cool, how do you shoot that shit in the head?

This is the link to the official documentation from Apple. But I will duplicate it here:

Restart your computer in Recovery mode.
Launch Terminal from the Utilities menu.
Run the command csrutil disable
Restart your computer.
Make your changes, then do all the previous in reverse using csrutil disable

I think it’s work noting that I was able to do everything I needed in just the one reboot to Recovery mode. Once in Recovery Mode and in a terminal, I could disable SIP, make my directory changes, then reenable SIP, and then reboot back in.

Hope that helps!

My terrible experience with the OnePlus 6T. An awful phone from an awful company.

Since November 2018, I have been fighting OnePlus and their shitty support over this phone. Here is my story and a YouTube video to vent my frustration.

To start, it’s a OnePlus 6T purchased directly from OnePlus. I have done many many factory resets. No mods. No roms. No root. Here’s my story so far with my 6T:

I bought it very late in Nov ’18 and received it Dec 5th.

The first issue I discovered was that a lot of background apps were getting killed frequently including Waze. It was fantastic on a long road trip when I discovered that it wasn’t announcing updates. So I called into support. We started with adjusting battery optimization for just a couple apps. That sorta helped. After a couple exchanges they eventually had me disable battery optimization for everything and that generally settled things down.

Continue reading “My terrible experience with the OnePlus 6T. An awful phone from an awful company.”

I love Security Theater

#SecurityTheater.  You all know what it is.  The attempt to make it appear that you are doing a great job of security an event/situation/communication/etc.  Early in the days of #TSA, we use to accuse them of Security Theater. At least they are getting better.  I recently attended #GoogleNext2018 in San Francisco.  Each entrance of the event was guarded as you can see in the attached image.  At each entrance, I was required to hand my small shoulder bag to the security guard, then step through the metal detector. My bag was given a cursory glance inside.  Inside my bag was ANOTHER bag that was never opened during the 3 days I went in and out.  What was inside the inner bag? What about the shoulder bag’s pockets? My inner bag was, admittedly, filled with medical supplies I need for my Diabetes (type 1’s holla!). 


Given my interest in physical security, I thought I would test how effective all this was.  The list of restricted items was pretty straight forward. Illegally sized knives, firearms, explosives, flammable gas, etc.  I should have taken a picture. I was able to successfully enter the event repeatedly with some basic restricted items (knives) that were cheaply bought in the area.  In fact, I loaded my bag down with weight one time that was approximately what my loaded Glock 21 would weigh (about .9kg). The suspicious weight should have been a tip off to any security guard. Nope. The other picture you will note is a security guard radio. Non-trunking, non-private. I was able to overtalk on these channels with my $10 ebay baofeng ht.  So lets recap – An individual basically could have entered the event completely armed without any hassle, proceeded to jam their communications with ease, and begin causing some serious issues. Given the level of training of the guards seen during my day-to-day activities, they would have been borderline useless. In this day and age that is a serious thing to consider.  So that begs the questions: what is the point and what can we do to change it? I’m not fond of a police state situation, but I do think there are better ways to control situations like this without the theater. I’d like to hear your thoughts!