White House e-mail was down 23 percent of Obama's first 40 days

When the Clinton administration handed over the reins to President George W. Bush in 2001, a lot was made of allegations that Clinton staffers pulled parting pranks, such as removing the “W” keys from computer keyboards in the White House.

When the Bush administration departed eight years later, it left a little more trouble than that for the Obama administration, even if unintentionally.

The White House’s IT systems were in bad shape, with 82 percent of its technology having reached its end of life, White House CIO Brook Colangelo told an audience at the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference in Phoenix, Computerworld reports. Some of the desktop PCs still had floppy drives, for instance.

The worst problems hit the e-mail servers, which went down for 21 hours six days after the administration took office, constituting Colangelo’s worst professional day “since or ever,” the Computerworld story said.

More outages followed, and in all, White House e-mail systems were down 23 percent of the time during the administration’s first 40 days. The problems with e-mail and the ancient IT in the White House was reported at the time, though the full extend of the trouble was not widely known.

During his talk at the Computerworld event, Colangelo decribed the series of reviews and upgrade efforts to improve the White House's systems.


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