Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trading Setup -- Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I took a picture, but I can't find the cable to put it onto my computer. While I'm looking for that, I wanted to post my developing computer setup. Interactive Brokers has a built-in API feature that allows multiple computers to connect to a single client and access the quote data without additional charge. I figured that working from multiple computers would reduce any bottleneck I might experience on the CPU side of things, especially when running multiple screens.

Anyway, here's the general setup:

- Old Athlon 1.2ghz (or so) computer with 1.25 gb of ram
-- Connected to one 17" monitor.

- Apple iBook G4 1.2ghz with 768mb of ram and 12" screen.
-- Updated device software to allow multiple screens.
-- Connected to one 17" monitor.

- 2.4ghz Atholon X2 laptop with 3gb of ram and 17" widescreen.
-- Connected to a 17" monitor.

With quotetracker or ibcharts I should be able to run all three, over the same network and connected to the same IB client. I'll post more information (and a picture or two). Maybe it will inspire some more cool setups.

The cost of this setup is relatively inexpensive. All three of the 17" monitors are at least 6 years old, if not 8; they're all CRTs. I got one for free a year ago from a friend, and I'm guessing that you could probably find someone wanting to get rid of CRTs in order to replace them with LCDs (which, I would eventually like to upgrade to). I put together the Athlon tower 6 years ago. It still works nicely, especially with the amount of ram it has; you could probably get the equivalent (or better) at Fry's for $300, new. The iBook is 4 years old and can be purchased off eBay for around $300. It serves its purpose fairly well. The dual core, 17" widescreen, laptop is the newest piece of equipment. Maybe a year or so old. It's some off brand, but works nicely. I'd say $600 or so, used.

All in all, the setup is nothing pretty to look at; but, I'm hoping it will do its job of giving me a wider view of the market.

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