Google Analytics

Monday, June 27, 2011

Banjo's Trading - Adding New Hardware

My trading platform consisted of a gigabyte mother board, several large hard drives, two 23 inch Samsung monitors, and a video card with dvi and vga output.  I had 8 Gbytes of memory.  I had set the Java configuration to 1.28GBytes for the trading platform I use (TOS), but would still get system slowdowns when I had a lot of charts I was monitoring.  I found the app's system utilization to be typically around 600 meg, with 600 meg left over, but other times I would see I only had 100 meg or less remaining.

I found that I needed more screen realestate.

I debated on swapping out the graphics card for a 4 channel card, which would drive 4 screens, but I was a little concerned about the slowdown I was already experiencing, so wasn't sure this would work well.

I had an old Dell computer loaded with Ubuntu, but it was an older version of Ubuntu.  However, it had 3Gbytes of memory, dual core mcu, and a dual video card.

Since I already had all of the hardware, except for the monitor, which I was going to have to buy anyway regardless of which direction I went, I decided to give the Dell Ubuntu an OS upgrade and see how well it would work.

I bought a Samsung B2330HD monitor/tv for the display.  I can also connect a tv signal to it when I don't want to use it as a computer monitor, so I was good to go with the display.

I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 11.04.  It was easy to install and get running.  I downloaded and installed my trading platform, TOS.  Since TOS Is written in Java, it will run on any Linux system.  I had already confirmed that TOS would let me have multiple sessions up from the same IP address.  Since my system is proxied behind a router, all of the PCs on my home network appear to all have the same IP address to TOS, so I can run as many on as many different computers as I want.  This meant I could run, realtime, the TOS software on Ubuntu while it was also running on Windows.  Since it would be on multiple computers, I would have some redundancy in case of computer issues, as well as offloading some of the work so it would be split between 2 computers.   I already have a Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200, which gives me a redundant Internet connection via cell towers should my cable modem crash or a neighbor cut my cable with his shovel.....again.

Everything was up and running within an hour, with the monitor.  I placed the new monitor on the existing Windows system, as in the past I've been aware that Linux lags in device drivers.  It may have worked OK on the Ubuntu system, but it wasn't an issue to place this on the Windows system and move one of the older monitors (Samsung 23") over to the Ubuntu.  This worked without any issues.

This Dell Ubuntu system is slower overall than my Windows system, but then it is a couple of years older and only cost 1/3 as much!  

During the day, I place my more static charts onto the Dell Ubuntu system.  By this, I mean I have 10 - 12 charts that I don't change, so they are just running and showing the chart.  I have 6 futures that I set to 'Daily' chart, (/cl, /dx, /es, /gc, /si, /zt), and then the others are for stocks I currently own, for which I have these set to 15 minute intervals.

The Windows system, being the fastest, and most stable (have noted some screen color issues on the Ubuntu), so this side has news, cnbc video, trading, and multiple sector windows, as well as any charts I'm working with while analyzing and determining whether to make a trade.

I also have a small switch box, where I can select either "System 1 or System 2".  When in "System 1", the mouse, keyboard, audio are all connected to the Ubuntu system.  When in "System 2", these devices are connected to my Windows system.  Therefore, I only need a single keyboard, mouse, and set of audio speakers.

Now, on to getting my Ubuntu system recognized by the Windows Workgroup, so I can share files, music and movies.....

No comments:

Post a Comment