Google Data

Use this forum to discuss data providers like CSI, charting, or other non testing software.
damian
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Google Data

Post by damian » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:03 pm

I sent an email to Google asking them to add to their portfolio of information products by buying out or competing with CSI. They could easily offer the same mass information service with undoubtedly far superior Google software and product savvy. Even without trying they would offer better customer support as well.

Please join me in this rather odd lobby campaign. CSI are ripe for some real competition and we are deserving of significantly better data management software. It is long overdue.

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Re: Google Data

Post by RedRock » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:39 pm

damian wrote:I sent an email to Google asking them to add to their portfolio of information products by buying out or competing with CSI. They could easily offer the same mass information service with undoubtedly far superior Google software and product savvy. Even without trying they would offer better customer support as well.

Please join me in this rather odd lobby campaign. CSI are ripe for some real competition and we are deserving of significantly better data management software. It is long overdue.
:? Strongly disagree with this idea. Leave CSI alone. They are the best data provider in the world in terms of accuracy. . Leave well enough alone and be glad its available... Google....Pleeeeease.

eom



EDIT:

Agree software could be easier, but it is powerful in features. Just difficult to access. The data quality is very good. One feature I would like is to know the anticipated date of rollover, FND, or whatever method the exchange/pit uses. Nice to have a pop-up or access to easilly know top month roll day in advance.

damian
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Post by damian » Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:18 am

A company of experts and winners like Google would be able to offer a product that simply does better than CSI. I promoted Google as they are busy being brilliant at nearly everything they try and because the product of global market data falls nicely into their business formula.

CSI are accurate, but that goes without saying. If you are not accurate, you are not a market data company.

CSI have limited top tier competition and that needs to change. As c.f. used to say: good enough isn't.

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Post by Old European » Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:14 am

Damian,

CSI's data quality is indeed outstanding, but their Unfair Advantage software, although very powerful, is not really state-of-the-art. Among other weaknesses it is very user-unfriendly and poorly documented.

There definitively is room for a competitor as you pointed out. CSI will then at least be forced to drastically improve its software.

I have however never had any problem with their customer support.

Cheers,

Old European

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;-)

Post by Bernd » Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:53 am

:wink:
Last edited by Bernd on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

damian
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Post by damian » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:00 am

A while ago I quietly suspected that the uber entrepreneurial c.f. consortium (incl. OWOGOG data) were going to launch a competitive product and raise the bar substantially. That was until Troy from OOWODOG blew up.

Your above linked pricing slight of hand is a worry. I think CSI data is excellent, but I have for a long time been a bit dubious about their business habits. I remember a time when CSI openly offered for sale a huge database of traders email address on their website. Subscribe to CSI, hand over your email address and they sell it! I was disappointed when I saw that. I have seen no evidence that they continue to do this today and do mean not infer that they do.

Although vending market data is a somewhat commoditised service (pun not intended), it seems that CSI are keen to try and innovate themselves ahead of the curve, or to create data user dependency. This is evidenced by the add on products that, in my opinion, are throw together and almost useless - position manager, strategy analyser, indicator builder etc. The common strategy to all data vendors is to make traders functionally dependent on the service beyond just the data feed dependency. Bloomberg (in a banking environment) try to do it constantly. The basis of their business is data, accessed via a 'Bloomberg Terminal'. I have one on my desk. They attempt to lock in traders by churning out volumes of added functionality in the way of analysis and pricing screens. After a while a trader constructs their daily market activity around these functions and hey presto, leaving Bloomberg for another data vendor becomes a major hassle for the trader. They are locked in. It is one reason I have not devoted massive time to using the API - I don't want to build CSI into the fabric of my daily trading infrastructure. I never want to be locked in and dependant, particularly to a service provider that has the capacity to pull pricing manoeuvres as in the case of Bernd and his daily stock subscription

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Post by sluggo » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:41 am

I have a nice thing to say about CSI: I like their pricing policy for adding a second computer to your subscription. When my primary trading computer went kablooey last year, I realized the need for full hardware and software redundancy. Called up CSI and asked them "How much to be able to download onto a second machine?" Their answer was "another 20 percent" which seems eminently fair to me.

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Post by AFJ Garner » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:07 am

Good value indeed, I shall have to do the same if I trade my system myself. I guess you also get Pinnacle in case CSI breaks down for a day or two? Do I remember in one or other hurricane recently that CSI were down for a few days?

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Post by AFJ Garner » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:10 am

Actually you know, CSI told me a couple of years ago that I could have a backup on another PC for free - and I did this for a while until I gave my old laptop to my 11 year old son. I must give them a call and check this out. I use to back up from one PC to the other using Laplink and it was most effective.

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Post by damian » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:12 am

Sluggo, I think you are being skinned.
Backing Up Your UA
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In the past, we recommended that Unfair Advantage users regularly back up the complete UA directory so that a copy would be available for use in the event of a hardware failure or unrecoverable software error. This is no longer our policy for most subscribers because of the relative ease of downloading a full replacement system over the Internet using DSL, cable, satellite or other high-speed Internet services.

High-Speed Internet Users

If you use a high-speed Internet service and your UA directory becomes unavailable to you (through damage or loss), you can replace the full system with a download. You can arrange for access to a replacement UA software package and database by contact CSI Technical support at:


E:mail support@csidata.com or telephone 561-392-8663.



After the download, double-click the downloaded executable file. This will launch the installation routine, just as when you used UA for the first time. You'll restore full capability by entering your User ID and customer number, as prompted, and by then copying or "Importing" your recent portfolio file (portfile.adm) into the system. You'll need to perform a normal daily download to unlock and update the database.

To assure a smooth recovery, please keep a record of the above information about contacting CSI, your CSI User ID, your CSI number and a computer-readable copy of your latest portfolio listing (portfolio.adm) separate from your computer.

Low-Speed (dial-up) Internet Users:

If you do not enjoy fast connections over the Internet, we recommend that you preserve a copy of the UA folder weekly to use as backup in case of database corruption or in case an unexpected problem occurs with a new or upgraded version. The manual backup method is recommended.

Keep in mind that you when you use your backup copy, you will need to bring the database current through UA's download feature. We recommend weekly backups so that this will be a relatively quick process. The older the backup, the longer the time required to bring the database current. Note that no updates are available via download more than four weeks into the past, so failure to back up your system at least once every four weeks will render your backup unusable. The only remedy in that situation would be to order a new CD from CSI. A nominal fee will apply.

********* Perhaps the simplest and best way to back up Unfair Advantage is to copy the whole UA folder to a DVD disk. This saves everything in a portable format that is easy to label and shelve. As the backup copy is independent of your computer, it will be unaffected by drive failure, power surges or even hardware theft***********

Backup Instructions (to be done once weekly):

1) Insert a new DVD disk into your DVD/RW drive

2) Click your computer's "Start" button and then click the "My computer" icon. Under "Hard Disk Drives," select the drive that holds your UA database (probably C:\) and double-click it. A list of folders displays. Scroll through the list until you find the UA folder. Click the UA folder.

3) In the task pane, locate and click "Move this folder" from the "File and Folder Tasks" section.

4) When asked where to place the moved folder, select your DVD drive.

All UA program, database and auxiliary files will be written to a temporary file for transfer to the DVD disk. Although this may seem like a simple process, the sheer volume of data being transferred can take quite a while to transfer, so allow as much as an hour for your first backup. After that, you'll know how much time is required on your computer and can plan accordingly.

5) When the transfer is complete, click "Write these files to disk." When prompted, label the disk "UA" and be sure to include the current date. Write a corresponding label on the disk itself.

Alternately, if your tree structure allows, you may drag and drop the UA folder into the DVD image and click "Write these Files to Disk."

Restoring from your backup DVD

To restore your UA folder from the backup disk, repeat steps one through four, above, substituting the UA folder on your DVD disk as the source in step 2 and moving the files your computer's hard drive (usually C:\) as the destination in step 4. Be sure that you are moving the entire, unopened folder, not individual files.

Remember that all backups have a limited lifespan of up to two months, and a practical lifespan of a couple of
weeks. Beyond that, the time required to bring the files current will be prohibitive.

Alternate Backup Method

An alternate method of creating a backup UA before installing a new copy from a CD is to simply rename your UA folder UA2 (through the File menu). If you do this, your new software will install in a new directory. You'll start with a completely fresh slate, without benefit of previous settings and portfolios. You can still use the UA2 folder as a backup and storage place for files that you will transfer to the new UA folder.

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Post by sluggo » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:26 pm

This is a perfect win-win situation. CSI and you guys think CSI are getting the best end of the arrangement, while on the other hand I believe I have gotten a great deal. Let us rejoice.

What I am paying 20% extra for, is a second full installation of CSI Unfair Advantage, on a second computer. Computer A downloads prices (from CSI's servers in Florida) onto compter A's drive. In another room, computer B downloads prices onto computer B's drive.

I don't "back up" files from computer A onto computer B, or vice versa.

If computer A has a disk crash or its motherboard fails or it is otherwise incapacitated, I can still download prices from CSI onto computer B and run my systems there. I can still generate my orders for tomorrow. The important point is: there are two full and complete installations of Unfair Advantage. I download onto them both, daily. If one computer crashes, I've got another, with a full up to date installation of CSI. A crash doesn't prevent me from getting today's prices and generating orders for tomorrow.

I suppose a Terrible Person might consider taking advantage of this by having one 78-commodity portfolio on one computer, and another completely different 78-commodity portfolio on the other computer, thereby thwarting CSI's 79 commodity limit for non-professional customers. But I am not a Terrible Person and besides, a guy I know once showed me some tricks with multiple portfolio.adm files that achieve comparable naughty results.

In the area of redundancy, I've got broadband internet from a cable modem, and I also have separate broadband internet from DSL. Tertiary fallback is a dedicated second phoneline and a dialup ISP. (It's good to have a worldwide access dialup ISP if you visit hotels in remote places and want to connect to the internet.) One of computers A and B is a laptop, the other is a conventional desktop connected to a very large, rather expensive battery backed UPS with 12 hour capacity.

Figuring up the cost of the entire redundant setup, including hardware and software and my time to put it all together, the total cost is less than 1 ATR on a single contract of Natural Gas futures. And I trade NG in quantities quite a bit larger than 1-lots.

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Post by Bernd » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:34 pm

:wink:
Last edited by Bernd on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

damian
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Post by damian » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:46 pm

I agree that a rare win-win is a nice thing. And cost benefit evaluation using an NG 1R is exactly the frame that the cost should be placed in.

However, in my setup, I am the only winner.

Besides the golf buggy battery, I have exactly the same redundancy and ready to roll software and database contingency that you describe. The only difference is that I do not download onto two computers daily from the CSI server. I only download to my laptop. If laptop dies, I simply switch on Dell desktop and download the last day or two of CSI data to update my backed up UA data files. I keep everything up to date on the desktop by using a freeware sync tool which is set to (automatically) asymmetrically sync the redundant desktop with data file changes on my working laptop. The sync process is defined to reference every type of non-operating system data file on my laptop. That vast population happens to includes UA data files in the archive folder (and they sync perfectly). I presently use a cat 5 cable as the machine interface.

If I lose data on my laptop then I simply replace it from last nights sync run to the desktop (just like restoring from a UA dvd backup as described by the UA help file). And if my laptop is stolen or dies, I turn on my desktop and can execute my system within a few minutes.

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Post by Bernd » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:47 pm

:wink:
Last edited by Bernd on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

AFJ Garner
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Post by AFJ Garner » Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:30 pm

Bernd

I know this is going to sound dumb but I have had a brief look at the website you mention and rather than plodding all through it and ending up none the wiser, I wondered if you could just explain to the less technically able, such as myself, just what this software would do for one in terms of running a backup copy of CSI UA?

Also, am I right in thinking that there are various outfits who operate 3rd party remote servers so one could have all one's work backed up to that and access it from the internet?

I guess that's entirely different.

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Post by Jake Carriker » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:30 pm

you might be interested in virtual machines.
This seems like a tool to run multiple operating systems on one machine. What happens if you take your computer case and hit it a few hundred times with a sledge hammer or set it on fire? I don't think this solves the problem.
Also, am I right in thinking that there are various outfits who operate 3rd party remote servers so one could have all one's work backed up to that and access it from the internet?
One outfit like this is www.remotedatabackups.com. You can back up your entire system to a remote server under 128 bit encryption. You can download that data to any machine you choose over the internet. There are other providers as well.

For an operation where technology failures can be critical, a person might want to have redundant hardware (a second or third computer), on site backup, off site backup, and redundant connectivity (more than one phone line and internet connection).

For CTAs that manage other people's money the NFA mandates that you have, in writing, what they call a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. The written plan outlines backup procedures and procedures that you use to ensure compliance with backup procedures. It's probably not a bad idea for even individual traders to take a hint from the big boys and have a similar protocol.

Jake

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Remote Backups

Post by AFJ Garner » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:39 pm

Thank you Jake - extremely helpful.

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Post by Bernd » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:45 am

:wink:
Last edited by Bernd on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by AFJ Garner » Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:17 am

Thank you Bernd, most interesting. I guess what I had been doing (prior to giving away my old laptop) was just what Damian does. Laplink is excellent software for that. As like Damian, I had the ability to take the backup PC and connect to CSI to download the last few days of data in case of disaster.

Not sure I like the 20% loss of performance........

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Post by damian » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:15 am

It's just a matter of time.

http://finance.google.com/finance

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