by JACK K. HUTSON
A few years ago I decided to explore the possibility of using a small computer to take some of the
drudgery out of trading. The endless hours of maintaining and experimenting with chart and numerical
aids to transaction timing was infringing upon my trade decision process. I always felt that by taking just
a little time, and cranking out just one more wonderful oscillator or average, that my chances for a
profitable trade would be improved. In most cases all I did was reassure myself that I had examined most
every "system" in my personal repertoire, but I had no idea whether this had actually improved my
trading. The one thing I was very sure about was that the time and effort required to make a trade
decision had jumped from minutes to hours. It was taking some of the fun out of trading.
My experience with computers started while I was still in college, using a teletype terminal linked via
telephone to a time-sharing computer service. My professor was a physicist who had been drafted into
teaching a mathematics course about differential equations. The book he chose relied heavily on using a
computer to help solve these 'equations'. Our kindly Physics professor thought it would do us a great deal
of good to use the time-shared computer arrangement to further our understanding of differential
equations. This process was complicated by the fact that the books' computer examples were written in a
dialect called Fortran and our time-shared computer spoke a language called BASIC. On this desperate
note began my self-taught computer education.
After more than ten years of remote computer timeshared use, I decided it was about time to consider
using a computer in my own personal endeavors. The so called "personal" computers had been on the
market for about three years, by 1980, so I began to collect hardware information. I soon learned all about
CPU's, disk drives and all the other new technology one could buy, and all about the wonderful speed
these machines promised.