1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Where Technology Goes to Die



I never really stopped to think that I probably have more up-to-date equipment in my home office than they do in the White House until I started reading the stories coming in about antiquated technologies piled high at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I’m pretty sure my creating LOLcats, blogging incessantly and getting lost in a stream of tweets isn’t nearly as important as some of the things WH staffers need to be doing on their machines.

Now, I know security is a big issue here and that’s important. Wouldn’t want something to happen like a special agent getting outted… what? That happened? And it didn’t involve a Mac?

Seriously though, I think it’s high-time the U.S. starts making technology a leading issue in government. How can we expect continued growth and change in government if we’re taking these extremely bright, educated, and tech-savvy people and throwing them in a dimly lit room with a couple of Packard Bell boxes running on Pentium IIs? The kids on Obama’s social media team probably have more processing power in their pockets (iPhones and BBerries) than they do in their collective offices.

I was really stoked to see the first pictures of POTUSBO in his office, half-hoping, half-expecting there to be a MacBook Pro sitting on his desk, or at least a ThinkPad. However, that dream isn’t going to be played out anytime soon I’m guessing… although he did brush away Bush’s “coats required” rule on his first day in the Oval.

Do I expect the Obama presidency to be a blogtastic romp through the social media universe? Not really. Did I expect them to at least operate on the levels they were during the lead-up to the inauguration – kind of. Was I expecting that I would feel so bad for the staffers I called up my mom to see if we still had our old HP towers still sitting in the garage because I knew they could use the kick from P2s to P4s? Oh yeah.

America is changing. It’s not your fathers’ and grandfathers’ time at the helm for too much longer. We’ll play the little “oh, it’s just bureaucracy at work and the regs are too stiff” game for a while.

But when we take charge of the bridge, we’d at least like the screens to be backlit LEDs, not CRTs. K, thanks.