I love the word customize. It implies that all of your preferences are met. I don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all, off the shelf mentality. Customization, custom trading computers – yup, you got it. That’s my wheel house.
Without the ability to customize certain areas of our lives, we are left having to try and fit ourselves into these situations, rather than the situation, product, or service fit our preferences. Imagine a restaurant with only one menu item. All cars having immovable seats. Options allow us to choose what aligns with our preferences.
I happily take advantage of any situation that allows me to customize my experience. My trading computer is definitely one of those.
If you’re like me your computer desktop might look like this: three open windows from Microsoft Word, Tradestation, a web browser displaying Investors.com, the Economic Calendar on Yahoo, Microsoft Excel, Skype…the list goes on and on. And that’s just one hour of my day.
By default Windows 7 combines and hides some of your programs that are open on your taskbar. That’s a nice trick for some people. Combining apps into one icon helps keep my desktop simple. But, yet, it takes too many clicks to find the window I need during my trading day.
Maybe you can identify with this; I have eight monitors and gobs of applications open every day, all day. It bothers me to have so many monitors with apps open on each. I just don’t like it when it’s hard to find the ONE application I’m looking for.
Here’s a tip for Windows 7 that makes it easier for me to manage my open applications. If you’d rather see all the open programs in your taskbar, you can also display them all, this video and the steps below will help.
In today’s video I want to show you how to display all open programs in your Windows Taskbar instead of combining them into one menu.
Although there are millions of websites on the Internet, as a trader you probably only use a dozen (maybe even less) per day. These websites are your go-to sites. If you’re anything like me, there are three to five sites you use all day long. You might have one for news, one for deep analysis of charts, and maybe a membership site you belong to.
How could you access these sites more easily? I got so fed up with loading the same sites over and over, I decided to find out if there was an easier way. It turns out there is.
In today’s video I want to show you how to use Google Chrome to transform any webpage that you frequent into an app.
Why would you do this as a trader?
In the video below you can see in my Taskbar that I have many applications. Some of these are websites I refer to often. As my software brokerage platform, I open TradeStation every day. I go to EZBreakouts.com a bunch of times each day. I also use Investor Business Daily to check the market direction, analyze charts, and come up with my Top 10 Daily Stocks list for EZBreakouts. These are just a few of the websites I use constantly.
There is a hidden feature in Google Chrome to transform any webpage into an application.
Using this feature you can switch apps super fast. If your web page is transformed into an app you’ll be able to use your keyboard to switch between open apps. To do this use the “ALT” and “TAB” keys together. If you press the alt key and the tab key you can cycle through open windows.
Without leaving your keyboard, without touching your mouse, you could switch to investors.com and then right back to TradeStation. Without this tip you’d wind up using your mouse to click around way more than you have to.
Have you recently visited a website only to see some of the content was blocked? Even if you were on Amazon.com or Ebay.com you may have received a message about needing to upgrade Adobe Flash.
Don’t ignore this message. Every trader should take three minutes to upgrade their installation of Adobe Flash. Not upgrading could cause your computer to become vulnerable.
The team at Mozilla made this announcement on social media last week:
In today’s video I want to address this important security concern. Users of Firefox and Chrome web browsers will need to upgrade Adobe Flash. The development teams of these popular internet browsers have chosen to proactively discontinue support. This is highly unusual. However, it shows the importance of upgrading. Both Mozilla and Google have opted to force us all to upgrade for our safety.
Addressing risk up front, before something happens, is simple. Addressing risk in motion, during or after an adverse event, is messy & complicated.
Our mantra at EZ Trading Computers is to leave no stone unturned. We believe this is especially true when it comes to risks that threaten your trading computer and data security. There are three key areas to evaluating and managing your defense system against these types of risks.
- Hardware – your personal computer(s), home office router, and portable devices.
- Software – any installed software from a third party reseller and your suite of security or firewall software installed on your trading computer.
- Publicly Viewed Personal Information – email accounts, social media, and cloud based storage.
Risks And Warning Signs
In preparation for traveling to a recent business meeting in New York city I took one additional precaution.
Is there anything worse than having a slow computer? Our answer is NO. Having a slow computer is an atrocity when you’re trying to trade. It’s like being in a Formula One race with a bicycle.
But, how fast is fast? How much processing power does your computer use? And if you own a super-fast computer and a pound of memory, is it making a difference?
Well, there’s a simple way to find out. Anyone can easily monitor their processor usage and available memory using a feature built right into the Windows operating system.
In today’s Quick Tip Video Series you’ll learn how to monitor your computer’s CPU performance. You can do this using the Windows Task Manager. You’ll know exactly what to do if you watch this Quick Tip Video and read steps below. Note: Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. We recommend Windows 7 for traders. However, the steps are similar on all operating system versions, such as Windows 8).
Have you ever had your computer get sluggish? You’re not alone. We all have. There’s really nothing worse than looking at an hour glass on your monitor while you wait for a piece of software to load.
You may have asked yourself why your computer was fine yesterday, but today it’s as slow as a turtle. Often times garbage can pile up in your computer’s system that causes your computer to slow down.
Anyone can improve their computer’s speed by performing what we’d call, “Spring Cleaning”. Everyone should look at their computer as an appliance. Just like any appliance in your house, a computer needs basic maintenance periodically.
5 Steps To Spring Cleaning Your Trading Computer
- Get all the latest Windows updates.
- Get all the Microsoft Security Essentials updates.
- Run a scan for any malware or virus issues.
- Clean up all unused internet history and dead end registry files.
- Defragment your hard drive (applies to magnetic, SATA hard drives. DO NOT Defrag SSD hard drives).
In today’s Quick Tip Video Series you’ll get detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to perform these spring cleaning steps. You can use the video below to follow along. You should feel free to pause the video any time. Once you complete the steps you can click play to resume. (Note: Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. We recommend Windows 7 for traders. However, the steps are similar on all operating system versions, such as Windows 8).
Imagine this scenario: You spent hours creating the ultimate profit/loss spreadsheet for trading last August. You’re super proud of it. There’s great promise of saving time analyzing your trades each quarter. Nearly a year later you go to look for it, but you can’t find it. After about an hour of searching your cluttered Documents folder, you locate it. Whew! Disaster averted. Flash forward. The third quarter rolls around. Once again you find yourself on a scavenger hunt for that same silly file.
How do you avoid this dilemma? There are three simple tricks to finding files fast.
1. Knowing how to search for files on your computer. We covered how to search for files on your trading computer in a past video.
2. Learning to rename files. Rename files that have hard-to-remember names, or make it difficult to use the Windows Start Menu search function.
3. Naming your files in a consistent way. You should leave yourself “clues” in the way you name your files.
Knowing how to rename files on your computer can save you a lot of time. Besides just knowing how rename your files, you should also have a method (otherwise known as a “convention”) for naming files. If you stay consistent in naming your files, you can easily find them using the Windows Start Menu search function later on.
You’ll never have to go on a scavenger hunt again, or search for more than a few seconds for a file. The trick to a stress-free computer is staying organized.
In today’s Quick Tip Video Series I’ll show you an easy, step-by-step way to rename your files and tips for how to keep your trading computer organized. (Note: Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. We recommend Windows 7 for traders. However, the steps are similar on all operating system versions, such as Windows 8).
We’re all digital hoarders, aren’t we? We have more photos on our computers than we could ever print. If you’re anything like me you have at least 10 years worth of digital documents, spreadsheets, and PDFs on your old computer.
So what happens when you move to your new trading computer. Most people ask, “How am I gonna get all that old data to my new trading computer?”
Good question. And, there are many different answers.
In today’s Quick Tip Video Series I’ll show you an easy, step-by-step way to transfer your files from your old computer to your new trading computer.
Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. We recommend Windows 7 for traders. The basic process is the same on any computer and any operating system. Menus and locations may change depending on which operating system you’re using (Windows 8 for example). You’ll need to have an external hard drive handy to complete the steps below.
Have you ever been late for an appointment only to discover you can’t find your car keys? Panic sets in. Soon you’re frantically running around the house. You ask your spouse, “Have you seen my keys?” Patiently and slowly they raise their hand up with your keys. They were in the most obvious place possible.
That happens with computer files too. Sometimes we lose track of a file we suddenly need. Not to worry though. You should know exactly how to find forgotten files with a little help from your friend–your computer.
This is our Quick Tip Video Series. In each of these videos we’ll show you step-by-step how to perform configurations and customizations to save you time. You can focus on your trading instead of your trading computer.
In this video we’ll show you how to search for files on your computer.
Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. We recommend Windows 7 for traders (in a future video we’ll cover searching for files on Windows 8). Windows 7 is our preferred platform for trading computers.