Download Was Unsuccessful
This can happen to new subscribers if you have incorrectly entered your User ID and/or Customer Number upon installation. Please double-check them on the "Account" tab of General Settings (on the Options menu) and try again. If you are repeatedly unsuccessful in attempts to retrieve an update, please check the topic below and if the problem continues, CALL CSI!
An error message displays during the brief periods when CSI's computer is inaccessible due to normal file maintenance. Try the call again in two or more minutes. If problems persist, you may want to try retrieving data through direct-dial access, where our backup system can deliver data to your computer in cases of more involved problems. Please note that you are responsible for any long-distance phone charges incurred.
Unattended Retrieval Session Didn't Execute
Unattended retrieval is an excellent way to update your portfolio at a time when your computer is not otherwise engaged. UA's Autoschedule feature, found on the Download Preferences - General Download Settings screen of UA's Preferences, can be used for this, but this method is prone to interruption due to energy-saving utilities built into your computer's operating system.
If your computer goes into a "sleep mode" when idle, then it is likely that the UA Autoschedule will not activate at the scheduled time. This feature cannot function on a sleeping computer. Therefore, we recommend that UA perform unattended data retrieval using Windows' Task Scheduler. See the "Initiating an Update from Outside UA" topic in the 3rd Party Software chapter for details and instructions.
Unexpected Error Messages with Unsuccessful Download
On rare occasions, Unfair Advantage users have experienced the repeated inability to process a downloaded data file, accompanied by a seemingly unrelated error message. In these cases, we have found that the data file received was corrupted. We were at first puzzled by data that mysteriously changed between transmission and receipt, but were able to find the culprit: Internet screening and filtering devices such as Microsoft Internet Explorer's Content Advisor and Net Nanny. These filters are designed to screen out objectionable content including language, sex, nudity and violence from your Internet downloads. Unfortunately, they may read our binary code as though it were ASCII and substitute ASCII "blank" characters for what they misinterpret as objectionable content. In the eye of Content Advisor, for example, a simple price or volume figure might appear to be an objectionable word, which would be stripped out of your incoming file. The result is an imperfect file that Unfair Advantage cannot process.
To avoid this problem, all Internet filtering software should be disabled before beginning a download with UA. Do not assume that MS Content Advisor is turned off just because you did not enable it. A bug in Internet Explorer can cause Content Advisor to enable itself, requiring that you manually disable it, even if you did not enable it initially. Below are step-by-step instructions for disabling Content Advisor.
Disabling Content Advisor in MS Internet Explorer with Windows 95 - 98
(These instructions are not for use with Windows ME)
1. Start Internet Explorer and pull down the "Tools" menu from the menu bar. From there, click "Internet Options," and then select the [Content] tab as shown:
The above example offers the Content Advisor options of [Disable] and [Settings], indicating that Content Advisor is active and could corrupt your UA files. If your screen shows only [Enable], then the Content Advisor is turned off and you should click [Cancel] to exit. You may download UA data without corruption from the Content Advisor.
2. If your Content Advisor matches the above example, click [Disable]. You'll be prompted to supply your password, which you should enter and click [OK]. Click [OK] again to exit the Internet Options screen. You may now run UA with no worries about corrupted data. If you later re-enable the Content Advisor, be sure to turn it off again before each UA download.
If you don't know your password (because IE activated this feature automatically), continue as described below to correct the problem and disable the Content Advisor.
3. (Necessary only if Content Advisor was automatically enabled.) Quit Internet Explorer and open Windows Explorer by right-clicking the "Start" button and selecting "Explore." Pull down the View menu from the menu bar and then click "Folder Options" to display the screen below:
4. Click the [View] tab, which brings up the dialogue box below. Make sure that "Show all files" is selected as shown. If this option is not selected, click the "Show all files" radio button. Click [OK] to exit the dialogue.
5. Back on the main Exploring screen, select your hard drive (usually drive "C:") and then pull down the "Tools" menu from the menu bar. From there, select "Find" and then "Files and Folders." A screen like the one below will display.
6. Enter "ratings.pol" in the "Named" box and check that your hard drive (usually C) is shown in the bottom box. Make sure "Include subfolders" is checked as shown above and then click [Find Now]. There will be a delay as Windows searches for the file(s).
7. When the search is over, the results may show one copy or many of the ratings.pol file. There should be only one in your WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, but we'll delete them all in this step. Highlight all copies of the ratings.pol file and press your keyboard's [Delete] key. Click [Yes] when asked if you are sure you want to send the file(s) to the recycle bin.
8. Close Windows Explorer and launch Internet Explorer. It is likely that the following error message will display. Click [OK] to clear the message.
9. Pull down the Tools menu and then select "Internet Options." Click the [Content] tab to display the dialogue box shown in step 1. Again, you'll have the option of selecting [Disable] or [Settings] for Content Advisor. This time, click [Settings].
10. You'll be prompted to enter your password, which, of course, you don't have. Just press <Enter> and then [OK]. Explorer will regenerate a fresh ratings.pol file, which should solve your problem.
11. Back at the Content screen, click [Disable]. You'll be prompted to CREATE and re-enter a password. Enter a password that you won't forget, and write it down for when you do! Content Advisor will now be turned off (and will hopefully stay off) leaving your UA downloads uncorrupted.
This procedure addresses a problem with Content Advisor that is part of MS Internet Explorer version 9x. It is unknown if similar problems can occur using later IE versions but that may be the case. See the Internet Content Rating Association's website at http://www.rsac.org/faq27.html for more information on this and related issues.
Norton Internet Security Firewall
This is another internet security product that is designed to protect your computer, which can also interfere with data transmission from CSI. If your transmissions are corrupted through by this product, you have a choice of temporarily or permanently resolving the problem.
1) Temporary Solution (recommended):
[Disable] NIS before each download, then [Enable] it afterward.
2) Permanent Solution (at the cost of reduced internet security):
Open NIS, and then click [Options]. Next click [Advanced Options], and then click the [Other] tab. On the left-hand side is a numeric list of the HTTP Ports. Port 80 should be the first one. Highlight it and then click the [Remove] button. Click the [Apply] button and then [OK] until you are back to NIS. Restart your computer to make Windows recognize the changes.
If you later want to restore full filtering on Port 80, repeat the process, but instead of clicking [Remove], click the [Add] button.
Note: Port 80 is primarily used for the World Wide Web. By removing it from the list, you are opening up World Wide Web access. NIS will continue to look for bad things on your computer, but it won't filter every single data byte coming through. There are several common viruses out there that expose your hard drive to the world using Port 80. This means that if you were to contract one of these viruses, anyone in the World Wide Web would have access to anything on your drive. Please contact Norton for further clarification.
Data Distribution Takes Too Long
The time required for data distribution is controlled by a number of factors. Among these are: the scope of your update (just domestic commodities, world commodities, options and/or commodities and stocks, etc.); the quantity of adjustments required for your markets (including dividends or earnings data); the quantity of files that must be recalculated (as opposed to appended); the number of export format files that must be written to disk; and the number of screenings required.
Whatever the cause of a slow distribution, you should avoid interrupting the process, as doing so can result in corrupted data files.
Here are some tips you can use in designing your custom portfolio that will speed distribution:
Unfair Advantage offers several "Accelerations" that affect data distribution speed on the Advanced 1 screen of General Program Settings under UA's Preferences. Be sure these are set to your best advantage.
Make sure the Database Corruption settings are adjusted to meet your needs. These are modified through the Advanced 2 screen of General Program Settings under UA's Preferences. Your selections there can dramatically affect the speed of data distribution.
In your portfolio, use nearest future group (individual contract group) sparingly. This feature scans all contracts so it can automatically add new contracts and omit expired ones from your portfolios, which can be time-consuming.
Do not select "Always Retrieve the Cash" from the "Cash/Saturdays" tab of your portfolio settings or Non-Portfolio Chart settings. Instead, select the "cash" option in the portfolio manager for those individual commodities for which you wish to view cash.
Do use the "Append to portfolio files when possible" feature on the Daily Distribution of UA's General Settings (from Preferences). This keeps file building to a minimum.
Do not inflate the Charting Limit beyond the recommend ten to 12 charts. Doing so can slow your system in several ways.
Don't make indiscriminate changes to the Data Presentation on the Rounding/Ranging tab of your Portfolio settings. Whenever this is changed, UA must scan all data series and rewrite all files that are affected by out-of-range settlement prices.
Recognize that a complex portfolio may take a while to build, especially on days when back-adjustments require extensive re-building of files. Accepting this fact won't speed distribution, but it will allow you to better manage your time. Why not find another task or take a short break during lengthy distributions?
Using the MarketScanner can be a very time-consuming, but worthwhile exercise. Time increases as more exchanges are involved and more days of data are included. We recommend you limit the MarketScanner function to those days that you will be making use of the scanning file.
UA Duplicates Last Day of Data in Each Retrieval Session
This is not a problem, but a valuable UA feature. There is a very good reason for re-sending the past day a second time: Markets close around the world as the earth rotates, and we post data all during that period. If a customer calls before all data is released for the day, which happens as late as 8:00 PM Eastern time, data can be missing for some of the contracts. Error corrections on data released in earlier downloads are also corrected by about 8:00 PM. If we didn't supply the redundant update, you would miss those corrections.
As far as we know, we are the only service in the industry to offer this luxury. It assures that you receive critical information, the loss of which could cause unpredictable voids in your data continuity.
Multiple Daily Updates
Retrieving data from the CSI host computer more than once a day isn't a problem because CSI no longer charges extra-access surcharges for multiple daily calls from the same computer. You might make a call in the morning to retrieve Pacific Rim data, or perhaps in early afternoon for European data, and then another in the evening to update the balance of the markets. This will allow you to update your files as the sun sets around the world, without incurring additional expense.