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THE NEED FOR SPEED

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Hello Fellow ChartWatchers!

Are you feeling more bullish now?  Last week's rallies have put some needed energy back into the traders that haven't gone on vacation this summer.  Technically the market is mixed and you can see evidence of that in the articles below - John Murphy talks about a positive development on the daily charts while Arthur Hill points out a negative sign on the latest monthly charts.  Clearly the markets have a ways to go before anyone can say a bull market has returned, but last week's trading was the first bullish action in a long time.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Here at StockCharts, we are constantly looking for ways to get you our charts as quickly and consistently as possible.  Much of the past two months has been spent adding and testing two different "web acceleration" technologies to our site in an effort to reduce the time it take for our charts to move across the Internet.

The first technology we tried came from a company called Akamai.  While this technology works well for other websites and, at first, showed some promising results for us, when we dug deeper we discovered that it really wouldn't work well for us mainly because when the market is open our charts cannot be cached (i.e., saved for later reuse).

The second technology looks much more promising however.  It is called "XIP" and it comes from InterNAP, the same company that currently connects us to the Internet.  XIP dynamically adjusts the low-level settings that control how data flows across the Internet.  It works best when transmitting large items (such as a chart) across long distances.  The bigger the object and/or the longer the distance, the more XIP helps.

(Another really nice thing about XIP is that it doesn't require any changes to your computer - it's a change that we make here in our datacenter.  No install, no settings to mess with, just improved speed - pretty nice!)

At this point we've completed our internal testing of XIP and the results look good.  In our tests, XIP reduced the time it takes to send out our charts by 30 to 40% in most cases.  That said, we now need your help.  We want to make sure that if we switch to XIP it won't cause any problems for our users.

If you have a spare second this morning, please click on the following link and see if you have trouble seeing any of the charts on the page.  If any of the charts don't appear, please let us know.  If any of the charts take a really long time to appear, please let us know.  (If some of the charts appear 30 or 40% faster than they did before, please let us know too!)

Here's the link:  http://stockcharts.com/charts/gallery.html?VMW

Some of the charts on that page use the "old, standard" technology and at least one of them uses the new XIP technology.  See if you can see which is which just by refreshing the page.  Click here to send us your comments and thanks for helping us test this technology.

- Chip 

Chip Anderson
About the author: is the founder and president of StockCharts.com. He founded the company after working as a Windows developer and corporate consultant at Microsoft from 1987 to 1997. Since 1999, Chip has guided the growth and development of StockCharts.com into a trusted financial enterprise and highly-valued resource in the industry. In this blog, Chip shares his tips and tricks on how to maximize the tools and resources available at StockCharts.com, and provides updates about new features or additions to the site. Learn More
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