Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Voice-Activated Trading: Are the Rewards Worth the Risk?

Although I spend a lot of time talking about cutting-edge computer technology, I haven’t discussed voice technology that much, except for a couple of articles about getting help with general tasks. While Cortana or Google Assistant installed on your laptop trading computer can help find a restaurant in a new town, they haven’t been of […]

What Traders Need to Know About the Spring 2019 Windows Update

Number 10 formed from bicycle chain links

Although it’s not a trader’s favorite thing to do, every so often you’re going to have to take an update to Windows 10. Microsoft is always updating its software products to add new features, improve current capabilities, and prevent security breaches.

The security updates, particularly, are super-important for traders. And the major updates are fairly unavoidable because of the way Microsoft has things set up.

For Windows 10, Microsoft generally releases two updates a year. As of this writing, the last major update for Windows 10 (version 1903) was in May 2019.

In this post, I’ll take a look at the current update process, along with the features of the 1903 version most likely to be interesting to traders.

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How to Recover Windows Admin Password on a Trading Computer

Couple embrace; woman is holding keys.

Keeping your trading computer secure is a frequent topic of mine, and for good reason. For traders, having your trading desktop or laptop hacked isn’t just inconvenient. It can cause a major financial loss.

One security best practice that’s not often mentioned has to do with the account you use on your trading computer. If you’re the only one on that computer, it’s easy to forget that multiple accounts are even an option.

It’s easy to fall into to the mindset of one user/one account. It’s just quicker to get ready for trading each morning if you don’t have to specify which user account you want.

However, it’s a bad idea to use an administrator account for daily tasks on your trading computer.

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VPNs Aren’t Just for Corporate-Based Traders Anymore

Young woman using laptop in a coffee shop

If you’ve worked for a big company any time recently, and wanted to connect to the company’s computer system from home, you probably had to make that connection via a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

If you thought the purpose of the VPN was to make the company’s network extra-secure, you’d be right. But if you thought VPNs were just for big companies, you’d be wrong.

VPNs are now offered as a paid service to anyone needing the extra level of security they provide. As a trader, this could be you. Especially if you would like to be able to trade securely while sipping your morning latte at Starbucks.

In this post, I’ll give you a high-level overview of what VPNs are all about, and why they could be important to your trading business. Plus I’ve linked to a few articles that will give you even more information in case you decide you need to get on the VPN bandwagon.

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Windows 7: Why It’s Time for Hold-out Traders to Say Goodbye

[Originally published on August 27, 2019. Re-published with minor updates on June 19, 2020.]

Believe it or not, it has already been 5 years since Windows 10 came out (in 2015). Understandably, many traders decided to stick with tried-and-true Windows 7 for their trading computer. However, if you are one of them, now might be the time to move on.

I realize updating the operating system on your trading computer is always a difficult decision. Especially if you are happy with the current state of your machine.

A lot of traders like Windows 7 because it’s a stable operating system. They don’t want to risk the move to a new territory and potentially new problems.

Additionally, Windows 10 isn’t cheap. So, Windows 7 traders are following the motto: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Although you might still be able to get it for free.)

However, if you’re still on Windows 7, it’s time to revisit that strategy. Here’s why:

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Going Incognito on Your Trading Computer? What, When and How

Dog in fake nose and glasses

Most traders have tried incognito mode (aka private browsing) on their trading computer at some time. It sounds neat and makes you feel protected. But just how protected are you?

Like so many things on the web, there are some widely held misconceptions about private browsing. It’s a good idea to understand when incognito/private browsing can be useful for your trading business and when it’s not.

Keep reading so you’ll be able to make better decisions about when to go incognito in the future.

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Don’t Let Avoidable Hardware Failures Handcuff Your Trading

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any time at all, you already understand the importance of regular back-ups. In fact, if you’ve just been using a personal computer for any time at all, you understand about back-ups. Sometimes files and data just get gone.

Stuff happens. You might accidentally delete something. Your laptop might get stolen.

But in my experience, the most likely cause of data loss is hardware failures. Hard drives don’t last forever. Other computer components don’t last forever.

Your trading computer has many critical hardware components:  CPUs, GPUs, RAM, hard disks, fans, and more. Failure of any one of these components will bring your trading to a halt, and may result in data loss.

What you may not know about is that there are multiple easy ways to regularly monitor the state of your hardware. Such hardware monitoring can prolong the life of your trading desktop and/or laptop.

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5 Tools to Ensure Your Laptop Battery is Ready for the Road

If you’re a trader who loves to travel, like I do, you know how critical your laptop battery can be to the success of your trading while on the road. If your battery is low on power and there isn’t a power outlet in sight, you could be taking a huge risk to hold or enter a position.

If you’ve ever run out of battery power unexpectedly, it won’t surprise you to hear that battery indicators on laptops aren’t always reliable. Sometimes their discharge estimates are way off.

Fortunately, there are more reliable tools available to help you get a better understanding of the battery health of your trading laptop.

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These 7 Keyboard Shortcut Mistakes Could Tank Your Trade

When you are working in a fast-paced trading environment, keyboard shortcuts (aka hotkeys) can be extremely helpful. They can save you time and make you a more efficient trader.

However, if you aren’t accustomed to using these keyboard shortcuts, it can become a big problem when you accidentally activate one. It’s an especially big problem if you don’t know how to deactivate it. If this happens in the middle of entering a trade, it could cost you money.

If you suddenly find your trading computer is behaving in one of the following ways, and you didn’t expect it or don’t want to be there, here’s how to fix it.

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One Mouse to Control Them All: How to Use Your Laptop as an Extension of Your Trading Desktop

Most traders nowadays have multi-monitor trading computer systems. Our customers typically have at least 4 monitors, but we sell plenty of 6- and 8-monitor systems as well.

Despite the prevalence of multi-monitor systems, there are times when it would be handy to add one more monitor. Or have a laptop sitting next to your desktop and be able to drag-and-drop files or clipboard content between the two. Or be able to operate both desktop and laptop from one mouse.

I bet you’re getting excited just thinking of the possibilities!

If you’ve ever wished you could do any of this, you’re going to love today’s post.

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