<B>GETTING WIRED ... </B>Palo Alto officials often bask in the city's worldwide reputation as a global trendsetter for new technology. But things are different inside City Hall, where employees rely on 25-year-old telephones, a voicemail system so old that the manufacturer no longer supports it and a crash-prone computer network that the city's Chief Information Officer <B>Jonathan Reichental</B> described as "expensive to maintain" and "highly risky." Mayor <B>Yiaway Yeh</B> recalled when he first used the mayor's phone at City Hall in January. "It really looked like a prop from 'Barney Miller,'" Yeh said, referring to the late 1970s sitcom centered around the New York Police Department. <B>Chuck Vondra</B>, CEO of the consulting firm <B>Communications Strategies</B>, surveyed the city's facilities and described the city's infrastructure as "moth-eaten" and "rat-eaten." Vondra said the phones currently in use at City Hall have a typical life expectancy of about 10 years. "The good news is that you've been able to triple the life expectancy of the system you've been using," Vondra told the council. The other good news is that this week the City Council approved $1.8 million to replace phones and install a new and improved data network.
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posted Friday, June 8, 2012, 12:00 AM