Who is Kayhan B.? Nutshell version (First Person):
Hi, I’m Kayhan B. and I am a digital librarian and podcaster that is passionate about computers, gadgets, technology, libraries and the creative arts. I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada but ask anyone I know, and they would say my “spiritual” home and birth place is the Adirondacks in upstate New York. If I had to pick one major city in the world to live in, it would have to be Berlin. I am also addicted to coffee. Nothing beats a good Americano.
Who is Kayhan B.? Long, complicated, and perhaps somewhat boring version (Third Person):
Kayhan’s fascination with computers and technology began in the late 1970s during an exchange trip with the boy scouts to Southington, Connecticut, a town of about 40,000 located just 20 miles southwest of Hartford. The hosting family had an Atari VCS, better known later as the Atari 2600. After a weekend Frogger blitz (fuelled by pizza and soda pop), Kayhan was hooked (the host’s parents, on the other hand, were not impressed and forcibly dragged Kayhan and their two sons to the Southington Apple Harvest Festival, a popular event in the small town).
Fast forward to the early 1980s in Montreal, Quebec, some of Kayhan’s childhood friends were getting their hands on computers and gaming consoles such as the Mattel Intellivision, Commodore VIC-20, and the IBM PC (model 5150). What sealed the deal for Kayhan and his strong passion for computers was a visit to the local Radio Shack store where the futuristic TRS-80 computer was on display. He waited (impatiently) outside the store on cold Saturday mornings and left when the store was closing down (or dusk, whichever came first). Kayhan held several newspaper routes in the hopes of saving up enough money to purchase the TRS-80, but it became clear that the dream would never come to fruition. The TRS-80 was simply beyond reach, financially. Kayhan and his friends were able to acquire, as a collective group, the Atari 2600, an Intellivision, a Colecovision, an IBM PC (courtesy of a friend whose dad was a math professor at McGill University), a Commodore 64, a Vectrex and more. Kayhan’s first attempt at writing a computer program was a Dungeons and Dragons character database written in BASIC on the IBM PC (source code printed out on a tractor feed dot matrix printer). Computers and vintage gaming consoles were the driving force of his passion for technology today. Today, he is an avid collector of vintage gaming consoles and equipment and has amassed a sizeable and respectable collection (and yes, he does own a Nintendo PowerGlove!).
Kayhan’s teenage years in the 80s were marked by indecisiveness and confusion. At one point, he wanted to become a professional tennis player. At another, a guitar player for a rock band. By the time he was ready for university (which was a few years after high school), he decided to pursue a B.A. with a Major in Anthropology and a Minor in Archaeology. Kayhan was always fascinated by other cultures and places, which would explain his lifelong love of travel. Kayhan’s love of libraries goes way back to public school when he used to frequent the local public library everyday after school to do his homework, talk with the librarians and even play board games with his friends. So naturally, even while at university, he frequented the library on a daily basis. He took a library technicians course on how to do proper research, in order to help him with his term papers, and that’s when he knew he wanted to pursue a Masters degree in librarianship. Kayhan has worked at almost a dozen different libraries since the mid-1990s both public and academic and in 1999, he finally completed his MLIS degree from McGill University. That same year, he moved to Peterborough, Ontario to become an Assistant Systems Librarian at Trent University, his first professional job. He is currently employed as a Digital Services Librarian at a public library system located in the Greater Toronto area.
So how did Kayhan get re-introduced to computers and technology after the “dark period” of the 80s? While doing his undergrad degree at Concordia University in the early 1990s, he was annoyed at having to re-type entire pages of term papers on his Smith and Corona typewriter due to typos. A close friend of his suggested he buy a computer and type up his papers using WordPerfect (Kayhan still thinks that WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS was one of the best programs ever written…a true gem in the world of software). Kayhan consulted the classifieds section of the local newspaper to find a cheap computer he could afford. He managed to find an IBM PC XT clone for cheap, and yes, it did have WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS pre-installed. It was a rekindling of memories past from his childhood, and he was in love once again. The IBM clone brought back memories of punching out BASIC code on his friend’s IBM 5150 (remember the Dungeons and Dragons database?). Today, Kayhan couldn’t imagine a life without computers, gadgets and technology. He also couldn’t imagine a life without helping people with their computers, gadgets and technology. Librarianship as a profession helps him combine both, technology and people because behind every computer or gadget is a person.