Obama’s tech-savvy staff finds White House is anything but

“It’s like going from an Xbox to an Atari,” official says


After running the most tech-savvy presidential campaign in U.S. history, Barack Obama’s team moved into the White House to find outdated computer software, disconnected phones, and security regulations barring everything from Facebook to outside email log-ins. The team, which used Macs throughout the campaign, found their new workspace outfitted with clunky desktops with Microsoft software outdated by six years. One aide’s transition cellphone was disconnected, forcing him to tell callers to dial his wife’s phone, and calls to the White House switchboard prompted a recording instructing callers to the presidential website. At least there were no missing letters on computer keyboards, the Post notes, as was the case when the Bush team moved in, in 2001.

The Washington Post

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Obama’s tech-savvy staff finds White House is anything but

  1. Is the outdated Microsoft software on the computers Windows XP? I hardly think anyone would call that ‘outdated’.

  2. I’m pretty sure most Mac users would call XP outdated. This is from someone that uses OS X, XP, Vista and Ubuntu more or less on a daily basis, and has no religious affiliation with any of them. Heck, I think MS Engineers would call XP outdated, off the record, so as not to scare would be customers.

  3. This makes Obama’s staff sound like a bunch of whiny hipster douchebags. Boo hoo, I can’t check facebook from my Macbook. Shut up and write some policy, I’m pretty sure Word 2002 will work for that.

    • Hear hear. What’s wrong with typewriters?

    • I have to agree. I don’t think XP will pose any serious impediment to the work they should be doing.

  4. Is anyone else feeling incredulous while reading this?

    We can’t use our MacBooks? We have five year old Microsoft Software (Windows XP)? We can’t access our GMail?!? We can’t check our GD FACEBOOK!?!?!?!!!?!?????!!!?????!

    What the hell do these people think they are doing, running a country or chilling with a latte while stealing free internet from Starbucks? Unbelievable. Seriously unbelievable.

    I’m inclined to believe this story was leaked by an angry Republican as a big joke on his new hipster replacements. I refuse to accept anyone working at the Whitehouse is actually this retarded.

    • Perhaps they’re trying to run the country right away without having to learn a new operating system, and change all their networks (you do realize that governing is primarily about communicating ideas to those who can enact them, right?) to communicate with people.

      Just a thought.

      • If they’re confused by Windows, they’re not smart enough to do their jobs.

        • I’m sure they’re smart enough to figure out how to use it, but perhaps they are incredulous at how difficult it is to some things they took for granted on other operating systems. For example, XP does not have a decent system-wide search built in; this is a big deal for people who are used to, etc… Similarly, if you were used to XP, you would find having to revert to NT problematic. XP was a good operating system for its time, but it 6 years old, and based on even older technology. Similarly, despite the obvious criticism it has received, Vista has many more features than XP.

          • Nonetheless, the operating system really is a non-issue.

        • So you’re saying you pick up the intricacies of a brand new operating system instantly? That it doesn’t take you a day or so to get “up to speed” with how things work?

          Truly, you are unique among men.

          I never said they’d be confused by it, but that it imposes a learning curve that people who’s job is dealing with politics, not technology, would probably rather not have to deal with when they’re, you know, trying to get things done.

    • To be fair, you don’t ‘steal’ free internet, when Starbucks has it to keep people in their store.

  5. well, at least W didn’t leave his atari behind and force the hipsters to play space invader while they sipped lattes and crunched granola!!! Oh the humanity!