Welcome back, Meta-Traders.
Everyone involved with Automated Forex Trading with Meta-Trader has to deal with the challenges of hosting your MT4 platform and your Expert Advisors. Sure its relatively easy to get it up and running successfully. The challenge is keeping it up and running for days, weeks and months. What could possibly go wrong you ask? I'll get to that shortly, but first ..
As to why I don't use a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? I examined all the angles and came to these conclusions:
1) I use mainly laptop computers, and in the event of a long-term power or Internet disruption, I could relocate and re-connect the laptops. I also have access to 3G wireless services, so I could run the platform from nearly anywhere, as long as I have power and 3G coverage
2) Laptop computers have limited battery storage capacity, and in the event of a power loss, will continue to run for several hours. Desktop computers need some type of UPS or the will go down hard on a power hit.
3) For the amount I have invested (at this time) $40 a month for a VPS would eat up a good part of my profits.
4) Plus all of the orders that get entered have TP and SL instructions, so worst case, your open trades just close out and no new trades get entered which is not good, but not a catastrophic either.
So I decided to run the operation myself on a laptop computer.
So setup the laptop in the playroom of the house on top of a 4.5 foot wooden speaker from a stereo system I bought about 20 years ago. The nice part is that you can walk right up to it and check on the robots without having to sit down.
One evening in the middle of last week, my son came in from the playroom with a very sheepish look on his face. We asking him what was wrong and he wouldn't say. We assured him that everything would be okay no matter what it was. Finally we got him to admit it, he knocked over the speaker in a dorky move only a 16 year old could do (trying to get out the side door) and my Forex Robots laptop crashed into the coffee table and was dead. And this was the laptop that I told him was VERY important and to NOT mess with it because it had VERY important Forex Robots running real money accounts, and this was the future etc, etc.
So after I got over the fact that he totally played me emotionally, and my horror as to what happened. All those settings, balance transfer files, etc, etc gone and need to restart from scratch, sigh.
I quickly got to the laptop. It appeared to power up, but nothing legible appeared on the screen. I connected it to an external monitor and voila! It booted up just fine, so it appeared the laptop was okay, just the display was cracked.
So I resumed operations in the basement shortly thereafter and have been running okay since. But it definitely was a warning shot that I need to have a backup platform and a contingency plan.
I did notice (several times this week) unexpected restarts of the laptop. I examined the crash log (could write a whole blog post on that) and found just a plain old failure to read the NT kernel from the file system. In other words, a basic hardware problem. So it appears the hardware took some kind of whack on its crash into the coffee table.
So for the time being, i'm limping along running from a laptop with a cracked screen and attached to an external monitor in the basement. I did lose one days trading FX-Regression this week because the system rebooted just prior to the daily startup interval and I couldn't get it going again until late in the day.
I need to get a replacement laptop going and my whole operation migrated over to it before I can declare myself fully operational once again.
Before you leave me a comment - yes I know that some brokers will offer me a free VPS with enough funds on deposit. I expect that to happen some time between late this year or early next year when I double my funds under management from 10K to 20K. If you haven't read my forex robots 5-year plan, you can find it here.
Check back later for an update on FX-Regression v1.2 and have a great week!