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Computers at the White House

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The Jimmy Carter administration began the task of automating the White House with computers. Initial uses included assembling databases, tracking correspondence, developing a press release system, and compiling issues and concerns of Congress. In 1978, the West Wing was equipped with a Hewlett Packard 3000, which was connected to terminals in the office of senior and mid-level staff. By the end of Carter's term, the White House had purchased its first laser printer, a water-cooled IBM model that measured 8'x10'x3'. President Ronald Reagan's staff expanded the uses of computer office technology soon adopting the word processor with the widespread introduction of personal computers in the 1980s.

Although White House staff began using computer office equipment in 1978, President Ronald Reagan continued to work in the Oval Office in a traditional manner.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum/NARA