To the memory of my first room mate Ahmet Aktoprak...
Once upon a time there was a place called Computer Center... There lived punch card machines... This is how the tale starts and how it merrily goes on.
I was one of the characters of this tale between the years 1988-1995 in Technical Support Group. The largest group was ours in those days J. The computers that were cooled by air, or by water, or the ones that do not require cooling (because they were "cool" by nature) have gone one by one from the scene of CC and from our fingertips at keyboards. Don't be startled to hear me speaking about 10 years ago as if it is a tale belonging to long long time ago! Sometimes one can hold the illusion that the days pass so slowly; and other times, you realize that two or three years have passed very quickly and huge developments have taken place as if they all happened in a moment's time.
When I look back to recall my memories, I remember a bunch of young people trying hard to render what seems impossible into something real. Each of us was trying sincerely his/her best as far as our ambitions and aspirations were able to carry us to the point where we were able to do our job well in order to contribute professionally to the well being of the University. Though it was difficult to attain that professional goal in an amateur working environment with an ameteur spirit, we worked vigorously to overcome that difficulty.
1990 was the year when Prince IBM 3090 entered to the palace with all the magestic grandeur it possessed. Everybody awaited in front of the trucks that came from Vienna with an overwhelming feeling of reverence. The room where the Prince would stay was prepared beforehand with due care and attention. The capricious prince was to be pleased in courtly and flattering manners. The courtly attendants and courtiers were competing with each other to better praise the Prince lavishly. This does not mean that there were not eyes scrutinizing the new Prince with suspicious eyes; however they knew that the only thing they can do was to speak in vain.
The power of the Prince was further affirmed as after he began to rule over the network structure as well. It was so planned that the maintenance of the tasks and responsibilities of the academic and administrative units would be handed over to the sovereign of the Prince. But the reactionary groups who did not know the Prince well were calling back the former rule. On the other hand, the people of the country were merrymaking and celebrating an event; new fountains were built as a generous and benevolent act of the Prince to reach his subjects. Numbers were provided to each citizen; because using the names, it was thought, may cause disharmony and a consequent insurgence. Though the Prince was huge in physical appearance, his resources were limited. Many thinkers and specialists studied strenously the ways to distribute the scarce resources effectively and rationally to the citizens. They consulted many intellectuals of the time to provide better service to the citizens. Special security forces were employed to protect the Prince.
The Prince have become the pride of the Palace. He was also being visited by many people who wished to see his magnificence. He was a touristic attraction in this sense.
In the meantime, before the Palace of Computer Center was able to feel assured that its infrastructure has been substantially established, rumours that would disturb that self-confidence began to circulate around. Soon after that people heard about the less capricious, more diligent and earnest Princes in far away countries, revolt was triggered, and rebellions against Prince's authority broke out.
The folk of the palace was also wearied about the everday bathing rituals of the Prince. They secetly began to envy the other modest and less demanding princes. The resources of the Palace were employed to the utmost for the Prince; and consequently the Palace went broke. The penniless Palace could not afford those new princes, therefore, the most valuable goods of the Palace had to be offered for sale. As you may guess, the most valuable piece in the Palace was the Prince himself. The shrewd chief vizier was able to find a buyer that would pay tin coins which was worth 1,000,000 gold coins.
1994 was a turning point in my tale. This brave and radical decision borught into existence the current infrastructure of the Computer Center.
It was high time that we selected the new Prince in exchange for 1,000,000 golden coins. As apart from the monotonous chores of the Palace, the selection of the new Prince constituted a big event and it attracted the attention of many. Many comittees and boards were set up to evaluate and inquire about the Princes of faraway lands. The examples from various races were examined carefully and their characteristics were worked fastidiously. It was told to the representatives of the races that they should bring all the males in their countries because the characteristics studied up until that time was not found satisfactory. The chief aim was to select the best princes and set up agroup of its own that would not be dependent on any race or submissive to another prince. Projects were considered and one of them was as follows:"The Princes would be connected to each other by tyinsg them from their hair to each other as to gorm a circle. The Prince who had less hair would be dismissed from the circle , however, the citizens would not even feel the change that took place.
In the meantime, the value of the tin coins was decreasing against gold coins and the sum was worth 600,000 golden coins then. The bargaining power was weakening, however, the palace was to make use of its prestige and prominence to gain the upper hand during the fierce transaction process.
I clearly remember that SP1 system of IBM was recommended to us. However, we had learned that SP2 would be released soon. We solicited IBM to offer SP2 to us without demanding a change in the price! The SP2 that was set up at Computer Center was the first SP2 of Europe.
It took so much time and effort to survey all the males and to select the best ones to appoint as Princes. In the end, there remained the members of 3 races as best suiting our needs. We made up our mnds that, among them, the most smart and handsome ones were the ones that came from the race of the Sea. Eventually, Nautilus, Beluga, Narwhal and Rorqual were admitted and welcomed to the Palace in 1995.
And they happily lived thereafter... This is the end of my tale, however, I know that where this tale ends, other tales start to blossom. And, as long as Computer Center maintains its distinctive dynamism, I believe many other wondrous tales will be written.
Hope to meet again in other tales...