Stocks & Commodities V. 31:4 (40-43): System Design Software (Part 1) by Sunny Harris

Stocks & Commodities V. 31:4 (40-43): System Design Software (Part 1) by Sunny Harris
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System Design Software (Part 1) by Sunny Harris

Basics Of Using Trading Software

Back when I first began trading, only one piece of software addressed the trading community: it was called CompuTrac, the only available DOS program for a long time. It was wonderful by comparison to the alternative: pen and paper, or even primitive spreadsheets. CompuTrac (the company) put on annual seminars where they invited notable gurus to share their trading ideas. It was exciting to meet all these famous people face-to-face.

Somewhere along that time came an upstart young company called Omega Research. They introduced a DOS program called SystemWriter, later SystemWriter Plus. It answered a fantasy: backtesting concepts and producing detailed reports of the outcomes. It only processed daily data, but I created 15-minute data (by hand) and fed it into SystemWriter Plus and then wrote in all the corresponding times on my charts. It was definitely primitive. But it was head and shoulders above anything else available.

When Windows came along, it didnít take long for it to catch on, along with the need for intraday data. And along came an upgrade to SystemWriter Plus, called TradeStation. After that, it all happened very fast, as computers became more sophisticated, operating systems blossomed, and datafeeds got faster.

I do not pretend to know all there is to know about available software. Iím dangerous: I know a little about a lot, but not a lot about much except TradeStation. In this series of reviews, I will show you available software products, but not a lot about them. This isnít meant to be in-depth reviews of each product, but a sweeping stroke over a lot of choices available to you as a trader.

I will present these products alphabetically, with no evaluation as to fitness for purpose. That is up to you. I have lots of software because I love software and buy everything I can afford. Iíll show you what I currently have.

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