I was very happy and proud when an article to be published on CISN was requested from me. During my employment at CC, which starts in 1995 and ends in 2002, I assumed a range of responsibilities in various CC groups and positions. I must admit that this period had been an exceptional experience for me. As I have left CC two years ago, I believe there is nothing more thrilling at this moment as I sit down before the computer once again to write down an article for a newsletter that I myself produced a lot of hard work for once.:) In this special edition of CISN which celebrates its10th year on Internet, I wish to share with you how I experienced the transformation that the information technology produced in my life and how it evolved afterwards.
I have graduated from METU in 1991. Therefore, the first facts I am going to mention are the memories I recall from the 1980s. That means they all happened 18 or 19 years before. It is hard to believe how time has gone so quickly. My first encounter with a computer was the consequence of the fact that my sister Elvan Göçmen Ertem was studying Computer Engineering at METU at that time. I was a high school student then. (1985-86). My uncle had bought an "AMSTRAD 128K" computer and a "Dotmatrix" printer for her so that she could do her assignments better. That was a very important moment for us. Though it cannot be compared with computers of today, it was a high technology product in those times. Of course my initial ambitions were to play games (tetris, tennis, snake etc.) on that black and green screen. Then, in 1986, I became a student of METU as well. Our assignments would be written on typewriters rather than the hand writing. That was the first time I began to use the computer for more serious concerns. I was using a wordprocessor named "Wordstar" to write my assignments. We did not have "windows" environment in those years. We were doing everything on DOS environment. Computer was more convenient to use than the typewriter. Because it facilitated the writing process and it was easier to correct the errors. We were saved from the physical nuisances of the typewriting such as deleting with an eraser or repeating the writing process of the whole text from the very beginning due to an error you made.
Later, I took an elective course called "Programming with Fortran 77". But as the course progressed, I bagan to ask "how will we practice these course materials? They told me to "book" a day for myself at Computer Center to be able to work on the terminals of "Burroughs" system. I promptly made my there; however the earliest possible day was 15 days later; because of the scarce resources there was a queue of people in front of me. If one failed to be present on his/her reservation day due to an illness or an excuse, s(h)e had to wait for another 15 or 20 days. Moreover, it was not possible to obtain print-outs at the end of our work. We had to go and get our print-outs from another place on another day. When I think of those times, I can't help thinking that enormous progress has been achieved since then. Today, there are PC rooms even in some of the rooms of the dorms, there are PC Rooms in almost every dorms, there are color or black-white printers, library and CD service opportunities etc. These were all the services that were abscent in our time. Yet, we were studying vigourosly, because we knew that it was a privilege to have even that much of computer resources. Actually, we were much luckier than our peers in those times.
After the graduation from the university, the jobs I was hired for did not provide a personal computer until the time I was finally working at the executive position. That was the time when I got acquainted with Windows environment. It was much easier to work on Windows, however it was slowing down the computers. Then came my years at CC. I am a graduate of METU Department of Philosophy, therefore, CC's working environment had been an oasis and a second school for me upon information technologies. I had assumed tasks and responsibilitie that were related with human affairs at CC. Yet, we were to use computer and computer technology resources intensely. I have learned a lot of things from the colleagues and the executives. I feel very lucky personally because of that. In other universities, the resources made available at METU CC were abscent or scarce. And, there was that feeling of proudness; because we were actually the first institution in coordination with Tübitak that brought Internet to Turkey. I still remember how prideful we were and how we were working very hard. It had always been a very nice experience to work in the pioneering and innovating environment of METU and CC. I believe it is the same now.
I am still engaged with the information resources since I have left CC. But it is not for work nowadays. I am using these resources for my personal interests and to facilitate my daily life. Researching about graduate degree programs, preparing documents, calculations, accessing to online news and media sources, social plans, purchasing books, CDs, and tickets.. For all of these small chores, I use my computer, printer and the Internet. I do not know what would I do without them. You may guess how much computer news and resources take up our life when you think of the fact that my husband, Hakan Güven, is a computer engineer as well.
I wish that METU CC and CISN shall carry out successful projects and will keep its innovator status in the information technology field ever more in the future.
With best wishes...
Evrim GÖÇMEN GÜVEN