Obama's Staff Finds High Office Means Low Tech

'Kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,' one says of White House's rigid apparatus
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 12:47 PM CST
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Tech-savvy Obama staffers had a rude awakening on their first day at the White House, saddled with disconnected phone lines, limited Internet access, and 6-year-old PCs, the Washington Post reports. “It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,” a spokesman said of the disconnect between the wired transition and the low-tech federal government.

A dearth of Macs and BlackBerries isn’t the only hurdle for Obama’s White House. Strict security regulations and the need to document all work mean restricted off-site access and communications. The new White House website went most of the day without new information or blog posts about President Obama’s schedule or executive orders. “The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is,” one former staffer said.