Thursday, January 22, 2009

What, no WiFi??? Obama's crew struggles with the low-tech White House


"It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of his new digs.

Cut phone lines, old software, and a jumble of other technological restrictions have taken the Obama high tech crew by surprise.

Anne E. Kornblut of the Washington Post reports:
One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.

If the Obama campaign represented a sleek, new iPhone kind of future, the first day of the Obama administration looked more like the rotary-dial past.
If I was used to a shiny new MacBook Pro and had to leave it at home so I could work on a Dell 386 running Windows ME, I don't know if I could bear it. These people must be in serious withdrawal.

Read the whole article.