The U.S. federal government shutdown was relatively short -- just over two weeks -- but enormously frustrating and painful for both government and private sector solution providers. Government VARs were already grappling with decreased IT spending, and the shutdown threw even more uncertainty and apprehension into the equation. And they weren't the only ones hurting, too; commercial solution providers with clients that did business with or for the federal government also took a short term hit. Luckily, Washington eventually got its act together. But the shutdown was just another episode to negatively impact the fragile economic recovery this year.