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February 21, 2012
Volume 1, Special Issue

President's Day

In celebration of President's Day, CS Bits & Bytes is sharing some fun Presidential computing facts. We will return to our regular issues next week (February 27) with an exciting issue on Kidney Exchanges.

Oval Office

Browse through U.S. Presidential photographs and images and you'll be hard-pressed to find a picture of a President sitting in front of a computer. In fact, there is NO computer in the Oval Office.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse.

President Obama is the first President to use a Blackberry. Prior to his Presidency, President's chose to go without e-mail. On January 30, 2009, President Obama even stated, "In just the first few weeks, I've had to engage in some of the toughest diplomacy of my life. And that was just to keep my Blackberry..."

President George W. Bush gave up his personal e-mail address just before his inauguration. Also, only two staffers had access to the iTunes store in the White House - one to upload speeches and another to download music to the President's iPod.

President Clinton only sent two e-mails while in office: one was a test of the system and the other was to Senator John Glenn, who was aboard the space shuttle Discovery at the time.

President George H.W. Bush signed the High Performance Computing and Communication Act in 1991. This act, spearheaded by Vice President Al Gore, who was then a Senator, is often credited with putting the infrastructure in place to build the Internet Information Superhighway.

Sources:

Rastogi, Nina. (2009). "Microsoft Oval Office: Will President Obama have a personal computer?" Slate. Accessed on February 21, 2012 from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2009/01/microsoft_oval_office.html.