Prison Really Sucks Essay

Submitted By BruceHuckfeldt
Words: 7810
Pages: 32

It all started with me getting a job at a company that is no longer in business near downtown Des Moines. We troubleshot CD Recorders, Mice, Floppies, Keyboards, and software necessary to run the equipment it came with. I came in as a complete rookie and didn’t know anything about computers but I caught on really fast. I started at this company when the fastest recorder was a 2x write (Meaning it would take 36 minutes to burn a full 72 minute disc.) Eighty minute CD's were not even available yet. The people that worked with me started using Ahead's Nero and Adaptec's Easy CD Creator to make our own music discs and compilation CD's from music that we had of own store-bought CDs. Only a few months down the road, Napster Beta versions had made its way to the internet and we were in heaven over this program. Napster was a peer-to-peer file sharing program that had what seemed like an endless supply of mp3s. After using Napster for quite some time, I started noticing that some of the tracks had tags on them such as -aPC, -EGO, -RNS and -KSi. Curiosity got the best of me and I started asking around what these were. I found out that these were the "Release Groups" that had a copy of the original and were making them available to the world by ripping them into mp3 format and sharing them by any means possible. By searching and reading more about this, I stumbled upon a website that also no longer exists (mp3crackhouse.com.) This website had released a new CD or two every day in full downloadable format with the highest quality sound which at the time was 192Kbit. An internet quality song was usually 96Kbit, radio quality song was 128Kbit and a music CD was usually 192 so that kind of explains the quality. The entire CD would only take a few minutes to download from this site and sometimes even included a cover scan. This site also included the SFV and NFO files. The SFV was a file that would verify the size of the mp3s to make sure that once they were downloaded, you had the whole CD and nothing was missing or corrupted. The NFO file included info about the release itself, release date, record label, number of tracks and information about the group that ripped it. This is how I found mIRC. At the bottom of one of the NFO files, I saw that it said "aPC on EFNET" After some quick googling for EFNET, I found mIRC and got it installed. Once I had started using mIRC (www.mirc.com), a chat client, to talk with other guys also in the "scene" (as it's referred to) I joined a release group called aPC (which was short for Apocalypse Production Crew). A release group simply is a group of people that released movies, games applications, or music on the internet. aPC was strictly about the music though and didn’t mess much with movies, games or applications. mIRC was the group's medium to stay in contact with each other besides the few that actually shared their ICQ or AOL messenger names. The size of the release group varied, some groups have 5 people, others maybe 20... I recall aPC having up to 30 members at one point. Mostly the members of the group don't know each other in real life and don't even know each others real names. Trust is a highly important issue, since the group's activities aren't legal, the team members have to be able to rely on each other. This is what got me.

The majority of CD's that I downloaded, I had before the release date in the store. EXAMPLE: Korn-Untouchables-2002-PMS was released on the scene in April of 2002 by a group called PMS (which stood for Phat Metal Shit or Porch Monkey Surveillance) but didn't come out in the stores until June 11th 2002. I had gotten it 3 months early! Korn actually found out about this and was one of the first groups that got really upset about file sharing. This is just one of the thousands of CD's that came out before the release date. Anyone could go out and buy a new CD the day it came out, but to go up to your friends and say, “Hey, I got the new Enimem or the new NSYNC CD”…