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January 2009
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Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was a technologically successful one : using Facebook to rally more supporters, using Twitter to keep in touch, sending emails to raise funds and social networks to share ideas.

But arriving at The White House was quite a disappointment for his staff …

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

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.

In many ways, the move into the White House resembled a first day at school: Advisers wandered the halls, looking for their offices. Aides spent hours in orientation, learning such things as government ethics rules as well as how their paychecks will be delivered. And everyone filled out a seemingly endless pile of paperwork.

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