wasting bandwidth since 1999

In Need of an Upgrade

According to this morning’s Post, bringing the White House into the technological 21st century is going be a little harder than anticipated.

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.

Get those folks a MacBook Pro and a copy of Final Cut!

At least someone figured out a way for the President to keep his Blackberry.

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2 Comments

  1. Dave

    This article is fun to think about, and I would be tickled if its message were true, but if you read it critically the ‘journalist’ really goes out of his way to try and fling mud. For example, from the one paragraph you quoted:

    – “six-year-old versions of Microsoft software” almost definitely is talking about Windows XP or Office 2003, both of which are more than acceptable for professional use right now.
    – “Laptops were scarce” imagine what would happen if someone in the White House lost a laptop. It really makes sense not to issue laptops, for that and other security benefits.
    – “The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.” Captions are a major problem with online videos right now — most articles on the subject try to give some advice but ultimately admit that there is no clear standard in place on what technologies to use.
    – “accustomed to working on Macintoshes” …so…the new media team…as in the online, Web 2.0, tech-savvy team…is having so much trouble with the most prevalent OS in the world that they aren’t able to use web apps? This is either a failure of the new-media team or just creating problems out of nothing.

    I think this article is sort of an in-joke, referring to the pranks reported during the transition from Clinton to W. Bush.

    The president’s Blackberry, by the way, is a horrible thing. Remember when Sarah Palin’s yahoo email account was compromised and it was discovered that she had used her personal email account to conduct official government business? Remember how that’s a major no-no because it goes around various checks and balances, like Freedom of Information Requests? For a president who is talking so much about fixing corruption, keeping money out of the legislature, and generally doing what’s right, I’m disappointed that he insisted on keeping the Blackberry. Beyond keeping the appearance of being legitimate, I’m pretty sure that Blackberrys are required to use RIM’s email services, which is a pretty blatant security threat.

    I’m definitely all about Obama, and I’m impressed by a lot that’s happened so far, but the Blackberry is not among that.

  2. Katie

    Well Dave, I feel for the staffers. I work on my Macs at home and then have to go to work each day and deal with the “six year old” PC stuff.

    The President should have whatever hardware and software he wants. Are you sure you’re not PC from the commercial? You sound a lot like him. “More than acceptable for professional use?” Guess it depends on the profession.

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