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Obama staffers surprised at outdated computers and no IM...

by shawnlin / January 22, 2009 4:54 AM PST

Obama staffers surprised at outdated computers and no IM...

http://i.gizmodo.com/5137030/obama-staffers-white-house-is-a-barbaric-technological-wasteland-without-im-or-macs
excerpt:
*****
Other brutal conditions include dated computer software and rules banning outside e-mail accounts (don't want another Sarah Palin mess, do we?). Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari."
*****

Along with O. Thomas I say - "whine, whine, whine - you want cheese with that!?"
http://valleywag.gawker.com/5137084/technologys-white-house-of-horrors
excerpt:
*****
Those "six-year-old versions of Microsoft software"? That must mean Windows XP. If you haven't noticed, most people still prefer XP over Microsoft's clunky, buggy, annoying new Vista. Here's a suggestion for the Obamans: Stop whining about the tools taxpayers have paid for, and get to work learning how to cope with what your employer gives you, just like the rest of us.
*****

Please...we got to the Moon and back with slide rules, vacuum tubes, and basic transistors (see this gem for additional context: http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2008/03/attention_gen_y.html#more).

Sure, it could be better, but consider this a way of, let's say, humbling any euphoria and adding a dose of pragmatism - it's a pretty good mix I think. Hey, you wanted the job, and I'm happy to pay my taxes for effective work. Save the country some money, get your upgrades Happy

As far as not having laptops are concerned - may I remind you how much information on government laptops have gone missing over the last several years? And don't even get me started about security issues...

Thoughts?

Best,
Shalin

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phones not working; unique approaches...
by shawnlin / January 22, 2009 4:59 AM PST

But the phones not working for the Pres. is inexcusable.

I do understand that unique approaches to the "open source" government is what the mantra is and I'm looking forward to what they come up with. But seriously, get to know how most of the Nation lives/works - it builds character Wink

Best,
Shalin

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I entirely sympathise
by Nicholas Buenk / January 22, 2009 6:32 AM PST

Going from Mac to XP can well be describes as going from an Xbox to an Atari.

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That's odd...
by Slikkster / January 22, 2009 6:38 AM PST
In reply to: I entirely sympathise

I use both a Mac G5 and Windows XP machines. I find them quite similar, save for the fact that I can't do any serious gaming on the Mac, nor do I have access to many of the programs I run on XP. But that's nitpicking, right?

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I find I have more of an issue the other way around...
by Nicholas Buenk / January 22, 2009 6:40 AM PST
In reply to: That's odd...

Mac programs not running on XP.

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Uhh... and in regards to valleywag
by Nicholas Buenk / January 22, 2009 6:38 AM PST
In reply to: I entirely sympathise

"Those "six-year-old versions of Microsoft software"? That must mean Windows XP. If you haven't noticed, most people still prefer XP over Microsoft's clunky, buggy, annoying new Vista. Here's a suggestion for the Obamans: Stop whining about the tools taxpayers have paid for, and get to work learning how to cope with what your employer gives you, just like the rest of us."

They do... realise he's the boss right?

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Which is wasting more money?
by minimalist / January 22, 2009 10:39 AM PST

1. "Sucking it up" and wasting time waiting for your slow as hell hardware to catch up with you?
2. Spending some money now so that people can be as productive and efficient as possible.

A new computer and a a full suite of up to date software might be 1500. Compare that to wasting huge chunks of time with people making 80K a year.

It seems to me that the "get over it" attitude is just encouraging just more of the same government waste. Its bureaucracy at its worst.

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(NT) I agree with minimalist; this is absolutely inexcusable
by erier2003 / January 22, 2009 10:45 AM PST
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knowing the system first hand; moving forward from there...
by shawnlin / January 22, 2009 11:52 AM PST

Personally, I think this is a fine symbolic way of getting to know the bureaucracy they'll be dealing with. I think they should immediately begin the process of procuring, through the officially documented process, new equipment. Through this process, many valuable first hand lessons will be learned about how the government process works.

When it's "personal", you tend to remember it and deal with it with more vigor, productive creativity (not shady stuff, just clever solutions). I've been part of a computer lab management team at the space program and the rehost of older Silicon Graphics machines to up to date Linux machines took a lot of planning and work. They won't have to rehost, but may have to do something significant for their satisfaction. Like a lot of citizens, I'd like the administration to make sure the government works well - dealing with smaller issues first hand is a good way to know what you're dealing with, and you can move forward from there.

I'm looking forward to how they deal with this... I do have a feeling, though, that there's going to be someone who'll just bring their personal computer with them and get in trouble.

Best,
Shalin

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That's a tight budget for you.
by Renegade Knight / January 23, 2009 6:14 AM PST

What did he expect? A fat cat tech reception as the working mans president?

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