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Thread: Pennsylvania Police Obstruct Gun Rights

  1. #1
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Pennsylvania Police Obstruct Gun Rights

    At least that's what the headline of a CCRKBA (Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms) email says. Here's an short excerpt from the email:
    A complete shutdown of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System by the state police for a period of 60 hours later this month for a system upgrade is "inexcusable," the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

    "Closing down the background check system, and thus suspending all firearms transactions and concealed carry license processing simply allows the Pennsylvania State Police to obstruct the gun rights of law-abiding citizens," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. "We are not reassured by a promise from the agency that it will expedite this computer system update in order to restore service as soon as possible. Access to the computers for background checks should not be suspended at all."
    I have been around computers for almost 40 years, starting with the Burroughs 3500 in the early-1970s, and owned my own computer business for 7 years. Regardless of whether it's a large mainframe system or a PC Network on steroids, 60 hours is not an unreasonable amount of time to upgrade an entire system. However, there are numerous variables that must be taken into account...
    First: How much equipment is involved in the upgrade and how easily is it moved in or out of the data center?
    Then all the others in no particular order:
    How big is the company doing the upgrade, and how many persons did the contract specify were delegated to complete the job?
    What exactly does the "upgrade" entail? Software upgrades are relatively quick and easy. Hardware replacement is considerably more challenging. How many servers are involved? Will they be re-cabling the entire State Police building where the mainframe or servers are located?
    Is that 60 hour figure based on consecutive clock hours, or is it just one shift per day? There's a big difference in accessibility between a 2.5 day shutdown, and a 7.5 day
    unavailability (which could possibly turn into 8-9 calendar days... the weekend - or at least Sunday - is normally time off)
    Most computer technicians work an 8 hour day. How many shifts were contracted - 1, 2 or 3?
    And on, and on. Working 'round the clock - with 3 shifts - 60 hours = 2.5 calendar days. Not at all unreasonable, IMHO. However, Pennsylvania is not the friendliest of states to hand-gunners, so they may have planned to stay offline for that 8-9 days, just to inconvenience their fellow Pennsylvanians. Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 05-10-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    When they upgrade the welfare check computer system, or the system that processes paychecks for government employees, I doubt that it causes ANYWHERE near this sort of downtime.

    Just sayin'...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 05-10-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    I remember this happening last year around this time.

    PA should just go back to only using NICS and be done with it.
    Considering how state agency's are run in this state, Id rather have toddlers in charge.

    Getting anything done and done right in this state is worse than a root canal.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Not nearly as obstructive as the 'cuff & stuff' type of obstructing. 60 hours does seem a little vague though. But, it is state government, who really expects transparency and efficiency.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member MatieA's Avatar
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    1 hour of downtime is too much. That is why most good IT staff have built redundant systems that can handle the load while the main systems are being upgraded. The service should never be completely down for any reason; especially not maintenance.
    If you do not test yourself every single day,
    then it is just another wasted day.
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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatieA View Post
    1 hour of downtime is too much. That is why most good IT staff have built redundant systems that can handle the load while the main systems are being upgraded. The service should never be completely down for any reason; especially not maintenance.
    You're MUCH more likely to find redundancy in a private corporation with big money, than you are in a state government functionary granted only a limited budget. It's limited by your taxation, so if you'd like to see redundancy you may have to pay redundant state taxes. Double should work, eh? Pax...
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    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Side by side upgrade.

    Downtime, is bootup time.

    They are doing it wrong.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I don't know. I was in the computer biz for a long time myself. Even back in the old days of very large mainframes this was not how it was done. Assuming a large hardware change...If at all possible, you assembled the new system, and tested it piece by piece before it went live.

    As for large government systems..WA state DSHS has one of the largest systems in the state, specifically built so that any one section could/can be taken down, and the worst the user would see is maybe a 0.2 sec slower response time. It is/was redundant by a factor of 4. Yes, I know, welfare is more important to the politicos than firearms.

    What we need is to go back to Pre GCA68...there was never a problem then. Worked for 200 years. Criminals are going to get firearms, why impede the rights of the law abiding citizens in an attempt to stop something that can't be stopped. Prohibition never stopped drunk driving did it?

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Buy Firearms Just Before PA State Police Shut Down the System.

    I would highly recommend that all good gunowners buy a firearm and get the PA check in on the last 15 minutes before they shut down.

    Shutting down the system doesn't just mean they cannot process nics checks, it also means they cannot contact the dealers to deny the already started checks.

    Once the information from a 4473 is put in the system, they then have 3 working days to say no, or the dealer can transfer the firearm.

    I would especially ask all of our PA permanent resident aliens to buy a last minute gun. PA state police will certainly delay these firearms.

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

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    Thundar
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post

    Assuming a large hardware change...If at all possible, you assembled the new system, and tested it piece by piece before it went live.

    Whoa there hot shot.

    What you're suggesting makes entirely too much sense for a state government to even attempt.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    I have been around computers for almost 40 years...
    About 30 years, myself. In fact, I helped a good friend set up the first ten IBM PC's for use by students in the Virginia Tech Library.

    I concur with your assessment, Gil223. I will state, however, that in 1989 I worked with an inventory database of over 150,000 parts, and each part had some thirty fields associated with it. The comma-delimited database was 120 MB, which was huge back then. Still, we ported it from one system to another in about three hours, and that was on a "fast" 20 kHz PC/AT with a 200 MB hard drive. That's "kHz," not MHz, and certainly not in the GHz range we use to measure processor speeds today.

    As always, the key to a successful, and smooth port is careful planning followed by pre-deployment trials and testing. If the testing is scripted, then post-deployment testing need not take two days. I would think two hours would be sufficient.
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