In light of MKTSTK’s first book, Intro to Social Data for Traders by our own Thomas Pendergrass, we would like to introduce a convenient tool for Traders to get started programming with the Linux OS: CoCo. Short for Coding Companion, CoCo is a single board computer (SBC) preloaded with everything you need to execute the examples found in the book.
Setting up all the required software on Windows or Mac can be a tedious and long process given the wide range of configurations possible. Buying your own Linux system requires learning a system admin’s job and can get expensive. CoCo radically simplifies configuration and accelerates your learning process.
CoCo gets you up and running immediately and is loaded with every code example from the book. This way you can follow along step by step without the hassle of setting up your coding environment.
With the area of a credit card, the CoCo is based off the Odroid U3+ and has the following feature set:
- 1.7GHz Quad-Core processor and 2GByte RAM (capable of overclocking)
- eMMC Flash memory module
- XUbuntu 14.04 OS
- 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 LAN Jack
- 3 x High speed USB 2.0 Host ports
- Python 2.7
- The Python science stack: NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, pandas…
- Seaborn: a plotting library for producing beautiful charts
- Coding examples from Intro to Social Data for Traders ($50 off coupon with purchase of book)
CoCo gets you learning as quick as possible. It minimizes the steps needed to setup your coding environment, which unfortunately is one of the hardest aspects of coding.
Getting started is easy, just connect your CoCo to your home / office network and you can control it remotely from your current computer.
Want the code but not the computer? You can download the code from the book and follow along on your own computer.
Odroid U3 vs Raspberry Pi
The CoCo is based on the Odroid U3: a quad-core 1.7GHz ODROID-U3 that can easily outperform the single-core 700MHz Raspberry Pi board (even when overclocked). Many test results show six to twelve times more performance from the U3 vs the RPi.
Compared to the Raspberry Pi (aka RPi), the number of CPU/GPU cores is 4 times higher and the operating clock frequency of the CPU is about 2.4 times faster. In addition, the RAM size is also 4 times larger and the RAM access frequency is 1.6 times faster. For the overall footprint of the PCB, the RPi is 1.2 times larger and the weight is very similar if we consider the heat sink
Tests were done on manufacturer provided images with a clean install, plus apt-get update && apt-get upgrade to ensure that both boards were up-to-date. The RPi was overclocked at 800Mhz and using a Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 45Mbyte/s 8GB SD Card with the Debian Wheezy OS.
The U3 was clocked at its standard speed of 1.7Ghz and using a 16GB eMMC with Ubuntu 13.10 OS. We ran a famous and simple benchmark: Unix-Bench version 5.1.3 To use all four cores in the ODROIDU3, we issued the ./Run –c 4 command.
The Dhrystone-2 benchmark is about 14 times faster on the ODROID-U3.
File I/O benchmarks at about 5 times faster on the ODROID-U3 because of the faster eMMC storage.
For overall performance, the test results show the ODROID-U3 is about 8 times faster than the RPi.