While President Barack Obama may seem totally tech-savvy, he and everyone else at the White House have basically been running the country on really old tech.
Between black-and-white printers, clunky laptops, old desktop phones from the Clinton era, and years and years of cables left to languish in the walls, it’s amazing the country didn’t come to a grinding halt.
Now, though, the White House has finally finished a massive technical overhaul, according The New York Times.
It’s a massive improvement over the tech the House was running on before, but we’re still not talking about a futuristic upgrade by any means.
The overhaul (led by David Recordon, who oversaw Facebook’s office tech) includes the introduction of a greater number of slimmer laptops with SSDs and “modern” processors, digital desktop phones, aides carrying iPhones and color printers that can also handle double-sided printing (oooo!).
The White House has now also implemented a better security system for managing visitors and staff that involves chip-based cards and passcodes instead of just passwords.
Recordon and his team of technicians also removed an astonishing 13,000 pounds of cable that had just been sitting in the walls over the years, abandoned without a purpose.
With the massive amounts of cabling removed, a better Wi-Fi infrastructure was installed.
Welcome to the new century
While these tech upgrades may not seem impressive (after all, you probably have better tech in your home right now), it has been quite a feat for the president’s residence.
The White House’s infrastructure is overseen by four different bodies – the Executive Office of the President, the National Security Council, the Secret Service and the White House Communications Agency – making any wide-scale changes more than a little complicated to implement.
Though some stuff had been upgraded over the years, it was always done in smalls bits and pieces, either in individual rooms or for a particular system – which is undoubtedly what created the mass grave of cables.
But then, in 2015, Obama developed the United States Digital Service arm of his office, paving the way for the full-scale overhaul to take place.
All up, the upgrade took about two years to complete. Thankfully, it didn’t cost anything extra than what was already allocated to the different agencies involved.
Now, let’s wait and see how long before the White House’s current tech becomes utterly obsolete.
Top image credit: iStock/TriggerPhoto