Today’s highlights:

  • installed Linux (Ubuntu) onto a server! 
  • installed IB Gateway and can connect to Interactive Brokers through my server.
  • Next step: move my Python algorithm to the server and schedule it to run there.
  • Question: How do I move my Python code to my server? Is this through containerization? How do I do this?

Thoughts on overall progress

  • I still have a goal of launching something by 31 Jan. Need to confirm with product to launch, and how to market it.
  • Haven’t been able to tackle many of these to-dos in last few days. Yesterday had a personal situation come up – took the whole day to resolve. But am back in the game now.

Algo trading work

  • Today I’ll attempt to setup my trading algorithms on my GCP server so they can run a paper trading account in the background over the coming weeks while we work on other stuff. We can then see the performance of our algorithms on our trading paper account over time.
  • First step: get IB API and IB Gateway onto my VM. 
    • At first, I thought I could just transfer the files to my VM. GCP provides Secure Copy Protocol (SCP) to transfer the files.
    • I used this command: gcloud compute scp twsapi_macunix —recurse instance-1:~
    • It has to be —recursive, because twsapi_macunix is a folder, not a file.
    • This uploads locally from my Macbook to my server.
    • I also made the mistake of first logging into my server and trying the above command. Instead, I should be submitting that command from my local computer.
    • Wow, file uploads with this SCP is super slow! Is it the SCP tool that’s slow? My folder is only 2MB, but it’s taken over 20 min to complete! (Turns out it might have just been my wifi connection. When I moved to another network, it was immensely faster.
    • Great, files loaded to my vm. Now what?
    • Ah shoot, I didn’t download the latest version of IB Gateway (only the stable). The latest version supports Python, while the stable does not. Let’s do this again.
    • Next, I realized that I needed a different version of Linux on my server for IB Gateway to work. Because IB Gateway requires a Graphical User Interface (GUI) – basically, I need to be able to click around the computer. I can’t just rely on the Command Line Interface to issue commands to IB Gateway.
  • Thus, I had to switch my server for a new image. I switched to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, because this blog has instructions to setting up a GUI.
  • I Installed Ubuntu 14.04, gnome-core, and also a vnc on the server and my local macbook. The VNC is a program that allows me to control the desktop on my server from my local Macbook. 
  • Problem: Getting a gray screen when I log into my Ubuntu GUI. The desktop is not showing up. 
  • Solved: Just restarted my VM instance, and now I no longer have a gray screen. Perhaps I didn’t properly kill a VNCServer application?
  • Question: Can I open IB Gateway on my server, while opening TWS Workstation on my Mac so I can see the trades being made?
  • Question: For some reason, my external IP address for my server changed when I restarted it. Why?
  • Success: Yay, installed IB Gateway successfully! Had to restart the server a few times. Also had to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE), because IB Gateway runs on this.
  • Question: Now what? How do I move my algorithms onto this server, and run them?
  • On my local Macbook, I would run the algorithms through Jupyter Notebook. Technically, I could also run the algos through the CLI also.
  • Question: Can I install Jupyter Notebook on this server?
  • Question: How to I containerize my Python environment so I don’t have to re-install all of those packages?

My, this to-do list just keeps getting longer.


6 startups / 6 months challenge

  • Setup landing pages for potential projects, to start garnering interest (how do I do this? How do I create the images / files for it?):
    • To-do list with Gantt Chart
    • Slide sorter
    • Financial aggregator between US and China
    • Automatically upload photos / videos to iPhotos from Desktop
  • Budget for 2019
  • Figure out how much I spent in total in 2018, to make a simple assessment of my annual burn rate
  • Bryan Johnson – check if I want to take this course on keyword targeted advertising

  • Add bio to
  • Add comment box to
  • Add google analytics
  • Finish writing my reflections blog post and publishing it
  • Upvote button on which projects seem interesting

Algo trading

  • Setup server for algo trading, so we can start paper trading
    • Install a Linux environment with GUI, because IB Gateway requires it (done)
    • Install IB Gateway on the server (done)
    • Containerize Python environment and migrate algorithm onto server
    • Schedule Python algorithm to run every trading day

VPN service

  • Setup my own VPN through GCP (done)
  • Create landing page for $5 VPN – (done)
    • Add Stripe payments


  • Practice Chinese for at least 15 minutes
  • Make 2019 plans
  • Redeem flight miles (how do I do this if I threw away my ticket?)

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