December 1999 Newsletter

I. NeuroShell Trader Y2K Alert.

We have tested as many Y2K issues as we could think of, but there is one area we cannot test: the data downloaders. We have no control
over data downloading, and this INCLUDES the Dial Data Downloader that we supply with the NeuroShell Trader and Trader Professional. We are not affiliated with Track Data Corp, which owns Dial Data, and we call the program THEY supply when you go to download data in NeuroShell.

In fact, Dial Data has not yet assured us that their download program will work after the new year, and they also have not given us a means of
testing it. Downloaders from other companies you use may not have been tested either. Therefore, we offer the following precautions that we strongly suggest you take to avoid being adversely affected by any Y2K problems associated with data, no matter what downloader you are using:

1. ASCII backup. The main idea is to export backup text files from NeuroShell after the last day of the year and BEFORE you attempt to do any downloading in the new year. In case your downloader fails, or worse yet, contaminates data you have already downloaded, you will be able to continue using your charts with the text files. If the downloader doesn’t start working right away, you can add to these text files manually in Wordpad or Excel each day from quotes you get from Yahoo or a similar source. We have placed instructions for exporting and adding to text files on in the section called “Known major bugs, fixes, and warnings” under “Y2K Alert”.

2. Backup your downloader files. The idea here is that if your downloader does contaminate your already downloaded data, you will still have a good copy. You could restore your backup to the original location later if there is a problem. Remember the NeuroShell Trader will do a date merge of data streams for the same ticker even if the streams come in different data formats. Therefore, if you have to get new data from a different source after the first of the year, you will still have the data you spent time in 1999 downloading. The folder you need to save if you are using the Dial Data Downloader is called “Data”, and it is in the NeuroShell Trader/Download folder.

3. Liquidate positions you weren’t happy with anyway. Then if you have to do any manual data loading, you will have less issues to worry about.

If there is any additional Y2K information, we will be posting it on

II. More Neural Nets in Medicine

Avi Amin, M.D., and Bob Nease, Ph.D., have used NeuroShell Trader and NeuroShell Classifier to predict patient preferences for medical
treatments and outcomes. The neural nets used clinical data about the disease as well as information from patient questionnaires on symptoms. The nets were very successful at predicting patient preferences. The neural networks performed substantially better than traditional modeling techniques. The patient preference data are used in decision models which helpdetermine which treatment option to pursue for a given disease. Understanding
patient preferences is important because they are critical inputs in the decision models.

The NeuroShell Trader? Sure, it doesn’t have to be used for trading, because it is a very good time series prediction system in its own right. However, we happen to know that Dr. Amin, like many physicians we know, is also a trader, so his software serves two purposes!

Dr. Amin can be reached at Aurelius LLC in St. Louis by emailing

III. News on the NeuroShell DayTrader Professional

This is NOT the official announcement of the NeuroShell DayTrader Professional (our new “intraday” version of the Trader). We expect that
announcement shortly after the first of the year. When the announcement is made, that date will be the cutoff for the extra discount we expect to give existing users of the NeuroShell Trader and Trader Professional. So if you have been thinking of purchasing the Trader, and you expect eventually to upgrade to the DayTrader, you’ll save some money if you buy before the official DayTrader announcement.

IV. Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.

Ward Systems Group will be closed December 24 and December 31 to allow our employees to have a day off for Christmas and New Year’s. If you want to purchase software before the end of the year, call us before close of business December 30.

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