Obama Staff: White House Tech Is “Atari” Level


Barack Obama’s tech-savvy administration staff found itself at a loss yesterday when it moved into the White House only to discover a technological time warp filled with old software, phone lines to nowhere and limited Internet connectivity.

“It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,” Bill Burton, Obama spokesman, said.

Gotta be hard for Obama’s staff, who ran a campaign that was fueled as much by Twitter updates and Facebook rallying as it was by TV spots and stump speeches, and have promised a new age of informational transparency spearheaded by a new media approach. Used to having a Macbook Pro handy at all times, members of the White House’s new media team came into work and found themselves staring into what looked like a Comp USA liquidation sale circa 1994, the Washington Post reported: “The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfited 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 videos.”

The staff is insistent that things will get better, and a massive shipment of Macbooks is probably being delivered via helicopter at this very moment. Still, for security’s sake, the amount of flexibility the staff will get with its information sharing will be severely limited for the sake of security. “The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is,” David Almacy, President Bush’s Internet director in 2005, said. “The White House is not starting from scratch. Processes are already in place.”

In any case, I guess this means that the White House does not have any HDTVs. Good thing Obama brought a Wii and not a PS3 or 360 then.

[Via MTV Multiplayer]

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