Update: Repercussions of a three hour outage due to "testing"

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From a thread on Tuesday Dec 7:

(Chicago)Police computer crash stalls booking process

...A computer server that handles the Criminal History Records Information System crashed Sunday after a three-hour test of backup generators at headquarters at 11th and State, Deputy Supt. John Harris said. ...

now a bit of an update on the repercussions of that three hour crash


By James Hill Tribune Staff Writer December 9, 1999

Cook County Criminal Court clerks say that any Chicago Police Department officials who claimed last weekend's power shutdown and subsequent three-hour computer crash would cause "no problems" didn't talk to them.

Since Monday, courthouse personnel said, they have been hit with all kinds of delays, causing a backlog of fingerprint and background checks and resulting in huge delays and long lines--particularly for inmates scheduled for bond hearings.

"It's crazy; that's the best way I can put it," said Louis Palli, a clerk in Central Bond Court.

A power shutdown at police headquarters Sunday, designed to test how much electricity the building uses, wound up crashing the computer system. Law-enforcement authorities depend on the system to trace criminal backgrounds.

A police spokesman said he was unaware of major problems Wednesday, but that view wasn't shared at the courthouse.

On an average weekday, Palli said, the call for Central Bond Court is about 150 prisoners. However, because of computer delays, only about 40 prisoners cleared in time for court on Monday and Tuesday. That number ballooned to 257 Wednesday as a flood of prisoners who should have been on Monday's and Tuesday's calls finally began to clear, Palli said.

The line of family members and friends who attended the Central Bond Court hearings Wednesday was about four deep and extended well down the courthouse hall. Judge John Kirby, who presided over the hearings, had to take the unprecedented step of addressing the crowd in the hallway to explain the delays before entering the courtroom.

"This is ridiculous," said Andre Jackson as he stood in line hoping to get a seat before his friend's case was called. "I've been here for Central Bond Court before and there's always a line, but I've never seen it like this."

The clerks said they hope things will be back to normal by next week.

But Central Bond Court, which handles most drug and non-violent criminal cases, wasn't the only bond court affected. Branch 66, which also is housed in the Criminal Courts Building at 26th Street and California Avenue and deals with violent crimes such as murder and sexual assault, also was feeling the pinch.

Kirby, who also presided over Branch 66 Wednesday, ordered a husband and wife held without bond in connection with the child-abuse death of their nearly 3-year-old daughter until Thursday, when their fingerprint and background checks are expected to be completed.

Assistant State's Atty. Jennifer Ravin said the Police Department computer crash was responsible for the delay.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), December 09, 1999


Interconnections and dominoes on a small scale.

-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), December 09, 1999.

That 3-hour crash slammed down hard.

What a ride the RollOverCoaster will be!

[ We'd like to get off now, thank you ]

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), December 09, 1999.


Was just thinkin' the same thing.

It's gonna get... "interesting."


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 09, 1999.

"A power shutdown at police headquarters Sunday, designed to test how much electricity the building uses, wound up crashing the computer system."

In Virginia we would have a problem checking for use with the power off. For the technology impaired, as myself, we would look at the demand meter and calculate the maximum observed load during any any thirty minute period since the meter was reset and then revue our tables included in the electric bills to see maximum demand, time of day, for previous months to confirm.

This week we are adding appliances (pumps, mechanical rooms) to our existing emergency circuits served by the emergency diesel generator.

That job will eventually result in power loss, transfer to emergency power, etc to confirm completion of the project. Of course, computer systems need UPS to cover the allowed twenty second gap between power interruption and start up and initialization of the emergency circuit

In any event, should a computer crash upon power loss or only be allowed an expected loss of data and grumpy restart?.

-- Tom Beckner (tbeckner@xout.erols.com), December 09, 1999.

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