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Linux Magazine: Linux's Perfect Storm

May 06, 2003, 10:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan)

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"Though nobody knew it at the time, it turns out that April 1, 2001 was an important date in the annals of the Linux operating system. That was the deadline (mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commissions) for equities markets and trading companies in the United States to switch from their centuries-old practice of trading shares in fractions of a dollar to a decimal-based trading system.

"Aside from making things a little more tricky for day-traders, the decimalization of stock exchanges like the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) created one high-priced headache for IT departments, who not only had to deal with the conversion itself, but also had to cope with the massive increase in trading volume that came with the switch from listing shares in sixteenths to listing shares in cents.

"As if 2001 hadn't been hard enough for finance industry IT managers: budgets had been slashed, and fee-based trading was adding complexity and sucking clock cycles from machine rooms, leaving IT managers to squeeze every last 'flop' of productivity out of their networks..."

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