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Author Topic: Report: Bush left White House in 1980's IT mode  (Read 1022 times)
Tender Branson
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« on: March 16, 2012, 02:05:31 am »
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White House CIO's first 40 days included 'worst day' ever

Colangelo started his job the same day as President Obama, found IT assets 'in pretty bad shape'

By Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld - PHOENIX - Here are two facts about Brook Colangelo's job as the CIO of the Executive Office of President.

On taking his new position on inauguration day, he and his staff put in 80 hour weeks, "if not more." And in his first 40 days on the job, the White House email system was down 23% of the time.

Colangelo began his job on Jan. 20, 2009, the same day that President Barack Obama started his.

On that first day, Colangelo walked to the White House, found his office with some difficulty, and then "delivered the first presidential Blackberry," as well as handhelds to all the top administration officials. "It was just a mind blowing experience," he said.

But Colangelo quickly realized that the White House's IT assets "were in pretty bad shape."

Over 82% of the White House's technology had reached end of life. Desktops, for instance, still had floppy disk drives, including the one Colangelo delivered to Rahm Emanuel, Obama's then chief of staff and now Mayor of Chicago.

The White House CIO office had one data center, said Colangelo. "We had no redundancy," he said, before attendees of Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference here.

The problems became apparent on Jan 26, six days after the administration was sworn in.

"Our email servers went down for 21 hours," said Colangelo. "In my professional career, there has not been a worst day since or ever."

At 5:30 a.m. on the morning of that already long outage, Colangelo was called over the West Wing to brief chief of staff Emanuel about it.

"I was walking (to the meeting) with some other leadership. It was pitch black and I haven't gone home, and then the most amazing thing happened," said Colangelo. "As my two feet hit the door of the West Wing, my Blackberry started to buzz. I normally hate that feeling, but I got to tell you it was the best feeling I ever felt."

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225132/White_House_CIO_s_first_40_days_included_worst_day_ever?taxonomyId=13&pageNumber=1

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Tender Branson
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 02:11:04 am »
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For the Youngsters on the Forum, this is a so-called FLOPPY DISK:



1.44 MB ! YAY !

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Joe Republic
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 02:21:31 am »
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Floppy disks?  Really, Bush?  Really?


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Real Americans (and Big Sky Bob) demand to know.


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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 02:35:25 am »
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How about this? Wink

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 03:19:58 am »
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it's pretty typical for changing factions in power systems to do stuff like this to those incoming.  happened in Mexico City to AMLO in 2000.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 07:17:22 am »
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Yeah that's the real deal -- actually was 'floppy'.

How about this? Wink


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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 11:54:49 am »
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I remember a time in 2005 when I bought floppy disks to save files, only to realize my PC didn't have a floppy drive. Sad
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King
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 12:57:57 pm »
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SD cards fill my nostalgic floppy storage needs.  USB drives and DVD-RWs can kiss my ass.

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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 01:00:08 pm »
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I remember a time in 2005 when I bought floppy disks to save files, only to realize my PC didn't have a floppy drive. Sad

Why were you buying floppy disks in 2005? You could send files larger than what a floppy would hold by email attachment by then, memory sticks were already available, external hard drives were starting to come onto the market, and floppies had already been on the way out for some time. Not to mention that if you had a PowerPoint presentation with graphic effects, pictures, or sound, a floppy was almost certainly too small to hold it.
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 01:22:21 pm »
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I remember a time in 2005 when I bought floppy disks to save files, only to realize my PC didn't have a floppy drive. Sad

Why were you buying floppy disks in 2005? You could send files larger than what a floppy would hold by email attachment by then, memory sticks were already available, external hard drives were starting to come onto the market, and floppies had already been on the way out for some time. Not to mention that if you had a PowerPoint presentation with graphic effects, pictures, or sound, a floppy was almost certainly too small to hold it.

I thought maybe I could keep files on disks rather than use up drive space.
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 02:09:54 pm »
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it's pretty typical for changing factions in power systems to do stuff like this to those incoming.  happened in Mexico City to AMLO in 2000.

Yep. Clinton's people did it to Bush. If a Republican wins in 2016 it wouldn't surprise me to see Obama's people do something similar.
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Lowly Griff
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 04:59:23 pm »
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I remember a time in 2005 when I bought floppy disks to save files, only to realize my PC didn't have a floppy drive. Sad

Why were you buying floppy disks in 2005? You could send files larger than what a floppy would hold by email attachment by then, memory sticks were already available, external hard drives were starting to come onto the market, and floppies had already been on the way out for some time. Not to mention that if you had a PowerPoint presentation with graphic effects, pictures, or sound, a floppy was almost certainly too small to hold it.

Don't knock the poor guy for buying floppies! Although yeah, I didn't know people were still using them then. Just for reference, I got my first USB thumbdrive in 2005 (256MB; $30).
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London Man
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 05:07:55 pm »
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This is not too surprising - for one thing, you never find the time for a changeover and with the stuff in the White House, some might deem it too risky. The London Stock Exchange runs on 1980s software and so do the Met Police.
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 06:03:07 pm »
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Anyone seen that episode of 30 Rock where Alec Baldwin goes to work at in the Bush Administration? Yeah, it's basically this.
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 07:05:09 pm »
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Anyone seen that episode of 30 Rock where Alec Baldwin goes to work at in the Bush Administration? Yeah, it's basically this.

LOL yes, that's exactly what this reminded me of.
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 08:11:04 pm »
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happened in Mexico City to AMLO in 2000.

Did it? I don't recall - I had just moved to Mexico City around then, but wasn't yet reading the local papers. Seems strange: he took over from his fellow PRD members: immediately before him the mayoralty was held by Rosario Robles, who took over when Cuauhtemoc Cardenas resigned to run for the presidency. As this was long before Cardenas and Lopez Obrador started major bickering, it would seem not clear why cardenistas would be out to screw Lopez in any serious way. Though, of course, I could easily believe that back at the time Cardenas didn't know what an e-mail was - he doesn't strike me as a computer geek, to put it mildly Smiley))
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 08:13:23 pm by ag »Logged
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2012, 05:42:34 pm »
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White House CIO's first 40 days included 'worst day' ever

Colangelo started his job the same day as President Obama, found IT assets 'in pretty bad shape'

By Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld - PHOENIX - Here are two facts about Brook Colangelo's job as the CIO of the Executive Office of President.

On taking his new position on inauguration day, he and his staff put in 80 hour weeks, "if not more." And in his first 40 days on the job, the White House email system was down 23% of the time.

Colangelo began his job on Jan. 20, 2009, the same day that President Barack Obama started his.

On that first day, Colangelo walked to the White House, found his office with some difficulty, and then "delivered the first presidential Blackberry," as well as handhelds to all the top administration officials. "It was just a mind blowing experience," he said.

But Colangelo quickly realized that the White House's IT assets "were in pretty bad shape."

Over 82% of the White House's technology had reached end of life. Desktops, for instance, still had floppy disk drives, including the one Colangelo delivered to Rahm Emanuel, Obama's then chief of staff and now Mayor of Chicago.

The White House CIO office had one data center, said Colangelo. "We had no redundancy," he said, before attendees of Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference here.

The problems became apparent on Jan 26, six days after the administration was sworn in.

"Our email servers went down for 21 hours," said Colangelo. "In my professional career, there has not been a worst day since or ever."

At 5:30 a.m. on the morning of that already long outage, Colangelo was called over the West Wing to brief chief of staff Emanuel about it.

"I was walking (to the meeting) with some other leadership. It was pitch black and I haven't gone home, and then the most amazing thing happened," said Colangelo. "As my two feet hit the door of the West Wing, my Blackberry started to buzz. I normally hate that feeling, but I got to tell you it was the best feeling I ever felt."

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225132/White_House_CIO_s_first_40_days_included_worst_day_ever?taxonomyId=13&pageNumber=1

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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 02:22:16 pm »
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happened in Mexico City to AMLO in 2000.

Did it? I don't recall - I had just moved to Mexico City around then, but wasn't yet reading the local papers. Seems strange: he took over from his fellow PRD members: immediately before him the mayoralty was held by Rosario Robles, who took over when Cuauhtemoc Cardenas resigned to run for the presidency. As this was long before Cardenas and Lopez Obrador started major bickering, it would seem not clear why cardenistas would be out to screw Lopez in any serious way. Though, of course, I could easily believe that back at the time Cardenas didn't know what an e-mail was - he doesn't strike me as a computer geek, to put it mildly Smiley))

you're right, I misremembered.. I was thinking about the '97 transition to CC rule: see the chapter called "Left City" in John Ross' 'El Monstruo: Dread and Redemption in Mexico City', which I likely read on Nov 6 2010.
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 12:15:33 pm »
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Haha!  Yes, I do.  My dissertation occupies nine of them, and I had them numbered like that.  

Actually, I also remember the five-and-a-quarter-inch floppies as well.  They were quite floppy.  When the 3 and a half inch floppies came out I thought they were so cool.  Man, I gotta get me one of them 3.5-inch drives.  High tech.  

I'm not quite old enough to remember punch cards.  Well, I've seen them, but I really don't ever recall a time when the CS majors would walk around campus carrying them.  That was long before me.  I just remember the big boxes holding the 5.25-inch floppy discs.  

I also remember my first dial-up modem, about 21 years ago.  I'd dial a number and it would make all these loud boings and scratchy sounds, and about half the time I'd actually get connected.  If I actually got a connection, I'd log on to a a mainframe and within five minutes or so I could be opening an email message.

It seems mostly that we just get more and more dependent on technology.  I remember when I could take a month-long vacation and not be bothered by anything in the civilized world.  I can't imagine that happening now.  We also insist upon replacing everything that's a few years old, even when it still works.  None of this is necessarily a positive development.

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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 02:22:29 pm »
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...I remember when I could take a month-long vacation and not be bothered by anything in the civilized world.  I can't imagine that happening now.

Dude that has nothing to do with technology but rather with you.  If you got rid of the enormous-salaried job and the wife-and-progeny you could have a peaceful holiday again as well. 
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 05:01:02 pm »
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you're right, I misremembered.. I was thinking about the '97 transition to CC rule: see the chapter called "Left City" in John Ross' 'El Monstruo: Dread and Redemption in Mexico City', which I likely read on Nov 6 2010.

Well, back then it was a lot worse. Much of the city was run on all sorts of unofficial and semi-legal arrangements between the local PRI machine and whatever local group that did the job. Once the regime changed, they couldn't even pick up the garbage - the oficial procedures for that were entirely unworkable. It took a while for the machine control of the city to be re-established - probably not until Lopez Obrador himself came to power (he, of course, is a machine politician par excellence).
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