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) 2001 Commodity Systems Inc.
(CSI). All rights are reserved.
Questions and Answers
On November 27th and 28th, my commodity download took much
longer to distribute than it usually does. Why was that?
Every day we search several government websites looking for
additions and changes to the 428 government series we carry. If any of these
sites make a generalized change, such as increasing or reducing precision (as
was the case on 11/27) we adjust our database as necessary to bring all data
into current terms. Consequently, Unfair Advantage (UA) downloaded and
distributed several thousand historical data changes on the 27th. Since UA
always repeats your last successful download when retrieving new data, you also
got the same revisions on the 28th. Extensive downloads such as these will
occur from time to time, as they are necessary for achieving peerless database
I'm a Delta Graphics customer who recently began back-testing
with Unfair Advantage. My initial one-day-at-a-time walkthroughs went just
fine, but a gap has suddenly appeared in my data files. I think it happened
when I clicked on "Manual Database Distribute" without first retrieving any
data. What do I do now?
You are right about when your database became corrupted.
When you installed UA as a Delta Graphics subscriber, your software was
automatically set to "Prompt between each day's distribution," which is what
allowed you to step forward through the days of market activity following your
first update. Unfortunately, one day's data distribution must have been cut
short by a power interruption or forced reboot, thus interfering with UA's
ability to know where you left off in the distribution of your data. UA skipped
the interrupted day the next time you manually distributed data, thus leaving a
To avoid this problem in the future, use the "Manual
Database Distribute" selection only when necessary, and do not interrupt your
computer during data distributions. To correct the problem, reinstall UA from
your CD ROM and bring the database current with your first download. If it has
been more than a month since you received the UA CD, you'll need to order a new
one from CSI.
Is there any harm in turning my computer off with the On/Off
button instead of using the "Shut Down" routine?
Aside from the extra time required to start up after an
abnormal shut down, there are larger, more serious dangers to consider: In
general, drastic measures like turning your computer off, pressing the "Reset"
button or using the old standby Ctrl-Alt-Del are inadvisable except in
emergency situations. The process can result in corruption of your UA database.
For example, on each power-up cycle following an improper shutdown, Windows
2000® deletes the last several database files that have been updated. You
probably wouldn't notice right away, but if it happens enough times, it will
eventually delete a market you are trading! So please have patience. Forcing
your computer to stop abruptly may cost you more than just time in the future.
Computer crashes and deliberate forced shut downs can also
result in significant fragmentation of your drive. We recommend you defragment
your drive once weekly for optimal performance.
Is any type of annual maintenance required to keep my data
files and software current in the new year?
Not really. Some of our long-term customers may recall the
early days of creating bigger files and moving data, but those inconveniences
have become ancient history. Unfair Advantage and QuickTrieve® are engineered
to cross into the new year without so much as a hiccup. Please check our
website regularly at www.csidata.com for software upgrades and the latest
information on CSI services.