Many of my Tech Wreck Tuesday posts have been fun little posts of me screwing up something that ended with minimal consequences and fun stories to result. This is one of those stories that I got in serious trouble with and actually hated to refer to while I was getting my computer engineering degree. Wounds have healed and this is maybe one of my greatest tech wrecks, ever.
I’m An Innocent Middle Schooler
In middle school, I was given the opportunity for the next six years to work on the school system’s student technology team where we helped fix computers for teachers, install computer labs and Ethernet cables, and free college credits for learning about website design. At 12 years old, I was enjoying this freedom that got me out of study halls and empowered me to do great technology ideas. That freedom kind of got to my head.
The Days of Napster
As a middle schooler, it was the height of Napster and file sharing with stolen music, videos, and pirated software. No youth pastor talked to me about stealing because it was a grey area. Is copying a digital file really stealing? (It is, but that was undefined) I ended up making my own file sharing server that was independent from any famous file sharing software platform. At the height of it, we were sharing 50 GB of data a day to many different students and we had to put together 20 hard drives ranging from 500MB to our amazingly large 5 GB.
The Fall of seventh grade, our Internet provider only serviced school systems in Ohio, ended up taking down the whole school’s Internet because we exceeded our bandwidth. An internal investigation showed that our tech closet was consuming 90% of the Internet bandwidth with illegal music transferring. I was suspended from the team for a few months as punishment and the whole tech team was restricted from most of their activities.
Giving people freedom is good, but without rules and regulations, you could end up losing your Internet. As a team member, do not abuse what freedoms your team leader is giving you. If you need training, ask for it. If you cannot follow the rules, maybe you should take a step down for a while.
What is your viewpoint of digital file sharing?
Illegal when you do not own copyright or fighting the man?