Each month in this
Journal, our technical support staff addresses issues of interest to many CSI
subscribers in a question-and-answer format.
The views and information expressed
in this document reflect the opinions and experience of the author Robert C.
Pelletier. Neither CSI nor the author undertake or intend to provide tax
advice or trading advice in any market or endorse any outside individual or
firm. All recommendations are provided for their informational value
only. Readers should consult competent financial advisors or outside
counsel before making any software purchase or investment decision. CSI
does not stand behind or endorse the products of any outside firms.
Copyright (c) 1999 Commodity Systems Inc.
(CSI). All rights are reserved.
Ways to Speed Data Distribution with Unfair Advantage
Keep your database current. Try to retrieve updates each trading day, if
possible, and avoid long periods of time when do updates are downloaded.
Use "Individual Futures Group" (IFG) sparingly. This feature scans all
contracts so it can automatically add new contracts and omit expired ones from
your portfolio, which can be time-consuming.
Do not select "Always Retrieve Cash" from the "Cash/Saturdays" tab of Data
Options (on the Options menu). Instead, select the "cash" option in the
portfolio manager for those individual commodities for which you wish to view
Do use the "Append to portfolio files when possible" option on the General tab
of Data Options. This reduces 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 Default "Data Presentation" through
the "Rounding Ranging" tab of Data Options (on the Options menu). Whenever this
is changed, UA must scan all data series and rebuild 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 periodic contract rolling back-adjustments trigger extensive
rebuilding 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?
Questions and Answers
I've been using QuickTrieve® with System WriterT for a long
time, but my System Writer stopped working at the beginning of the year. I
haven't been able to solve the problem with Omega. Can CSI help?
An additional feature has been added to QuickTrieve that
allows non-Y2K-compliant analysis programs to continue functioning.
To get this program, visit our website page
http://www.csidata.com/qtpatches.html and download the self-extracting upgrade
file: qtbias.exe. The web page gives instructions for saving it to your current
QuickTrieve directory and executing the downloaded file to decompress the
modified program files. You can then press Y from the Main Menu to access the
new program that creates the time-shifted data series. Please read the file
READY2K.TXT that is included in the self-extracting file for special notes on
using this program.
I bought TraDe$kT from CSI several years ago and it stopped
working on January 3, 2000. I assume this is a Y2K compliance problem.
What, if anything, can I do to get my market accounting up and running again?
TraDe$k, our DOS-based trader's accounting program was a
wonderful innovation for keeping track of trades and equity and all the things
a trader needs to know about a trading account. We were pleased to add it to
our offerings in the early 1990s, and to support it all these years. However,
TraDe$k was developed by an outside firm, and has not been revamped for the new
millennium, or even Windows®. Due to the common date convention used in its
original architecture, our version of TraDe$k was destined to be a 20th Century
product. We are in the process of developing a new Trader's AccountantT program
that will replace TraDe$k in our arsenal of traders' tools. This program will
be included in Unfair Advantage for everyone paying our full UA license
fee. We intended to have the replacement accounting software available
before the new year, but a delay in its release makes accounting our one Y2K
casualty. We regret the inconvenience to our TraDe$k users and anticipate
having new software available shortly.
I never realized what I had been missing until I got UA, with
its complete commodity database always on hand. It has opened my eyes to
opportunities I had overlooked in the past. Now I'm wondering how much I might
benefit from having a similar options database. Is anything in the works?
As a matter of fact, our staff is now involved in the
internal testing of a UA version with a full commodity options database. We
hope to release a trial "Beta" version within the next month or two, and then,
following more testing and tweaking, make the options available as an optional
upgrade. This feature won't be for everyone; early results show that the
options database will consume upwards of 200MB of drive space.
What do you mean by "personal and private use" in the UA
The "personal and private" user typically looks at a handful
of commodities and perhaps a few stocks. We now have the capability of
monitoring individual usage of the database. Anyone making excessive use of the
data may fall into the "commercial user" category and will be charged