Converting Data Files
by Franz Hrazdira
Most charting programs work with historical data stored in files of a specific data structure best suited
to that program to access, process and present. Only one source I know of, Telescan in Houston, TX,
supplies the user with a program that can receive, store and reproduce the actual graphs as screen images
rather than working with sets of numbers.
In most cases, we choose a charting and analysis program for a special reason, which may be a particular
function, study or feature not found in another program. As long as each of our programs can convert its
files into American Standard Code for Information Interchange (more familiarly known as ASCII) format
(export) and can convert ASCII files into their own format (import), all our programs will be able to
share all our data files.
You may be, for instance, a MetaStock or other trading software user with a number of existing files of
stock and futures data to which you would like to apply an optimization for the most profitable
combination of moving averages, analyze the data and chart and print the results. The ideal way to
perform this task is with the N2-Access Plot & EXport (APEX) program. Converting your current files
into ASCII should be no problem using existing utilities; but converting ASCII format files to your
trading software file format may be limited. The access data features of APEX is currently limited to
manually inputting data or downloading data from Warner. If you want to use your existing data from
your current trading system, however, you need to export that data into ASCII file format, then convert
the ASCII data to APEX's NDX file format.