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If you could fix or automate one thing with the software you use...


west
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Hi guys!  I have a small question for the forum.  I'll try to keep it short.

 

Let's say you have a friend who's a software engineer.  He recently approached you and offered to write a custom piece of software for you for next to nothing.  He's pretty smart at software (he just left his high paying software engineering job).  And he's decently smart when it comes to investing (he just took and passed the Level I CFA exam).

 

He's just a one man team (at this point), so he can't, say, write a better version of Windows or Outlook for you.  They're way too big!

 

Also, regretfully, he can't write software that fixes hardware problems.

 

Beyond these two restrictions however, he can write most small to medium-sized programs, even more technical ones, with relative ease.

 

What software would you have him write?

 

If you're not 100% sure what you'd have him write off the top of your head, he offers two things to think about:

 

First, what's something that you'd love to have automated for you on your computer, either when dealing with investments or otherwise?  What are some tasks that you'd happily pay, say, a nice meal or two to have set up for you so that you'd never have to worry about doing them ever again?

 

Second, what "damnits!" occur for you on a regular basis with your computer or your software?  What problems do you have that seem to pop up regularly, maybe even daily, that you would kill to have go away forever?

 

Since this is an investing forum, he says he's definitely looking more toward developing investing-related software products.  However, if you have ideas that aren't investing related, he's not afraid of listening to them!

 

For full disclosure, yes, this "friend" would be me :).  I'm currently doing market research for small to medium-sized software products to develop.  I hope my commercial intentions don't bother anyone too much though!  After all, this could be your chance to have that one piece of software that you've always wanted written for cheap!  :)

 

Thanks for your help!

west

 

PS- For what it's worth, I did get the OK from Sanjeev before posting this since it's somewhat commercial in nature.

 

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Here's what I want. If it can be built it may have wider demand than just investing.

 

I want a template program which could be called 'Windoes'. It would allow me to cut and paste any part of any active website and position it into the template thereby building a personalized constantly updating custom webpage. Upon boot, each saved windoe would launch automatically with all it's components and be updated in real time.

 

Examples:

C&P the Recent Posts block from B&F message board.

C&P watch list portfolio from Yahoo.

C&P just the Bloomberg Radio player from the Bloomberg Radio page.

C&P just the search box at SEC's Edgar.

C&P a Twitter feed.

C&P just the search box of QuantumOnline.

 

I'm not computer savvy so maybe something like this already exists. I find myself building something like this everyday with lots of different open windows but its a hassle with an enormous amount of wasted and unused space. There's got to be a better way.

 

 

 

 

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Hi cofabmd!  racemize is right.  Something for small website clips already exists both for Mac and Windows machines.  They're called Web Clips and Web Slices respectively.

 

If you use a Mac, it's pretty easy to set up Web Clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEkIo2wWi_0

 

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/9046.html

 

Otherwise, if you use Windows, Internet Explorer 8 has something called Web Slices.  I've never used them myself though:

 

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/cc956158(v=vs.85).aspx

 

Is this what you were thinking of?

 

Otherwise, there are also things online called "One Page Aggregators" where many websites and website clips can be combined on one website.  I haven't used them myself.  (Doing some basic searching doesn't show anything that promising... it could be a potential product!)

 

Hope this helps!

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West, speaking from my own experience, it took me quite a while to set up a spreadsheet (using google docs) to manage my investments and calculate various metrics (e.g., TWRR, IRR) with live updates.  When I started, it wasn't too clear how to do all this and my investment broker is terrible about performance (Fidelity), although they claim to add it soon (I bet it is only TWRR though).  Potentially, this might be of value; however, I probably also wouldn't have paid very much money for the service, so perhaps that isn't too useful to you.

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I have a few:

 

A way to view photo thumbnail pics in my Dropbox folders.

 

Ability to set a folder on my networked hard drive an exact copy of my documents folder. Instead of having to copy every time overwriting all the existing files which takes forever! This software would just copy the files I have changed or added etc every so often when I am not using it.

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Kinect related applications have huge potential in my opinion and so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg with it.

 

BeerBaron

 

Hmm. A Kinect app for day traders would be cool. Fist-pump the air to signal a buy order. Bury your face in your hands to signal a sell. Yell "Xbox Oh God I'm Ruined!" to liquidate your account. Burn calories while you trade. Won't make you wealthier, but it will make you healthier.

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Ha.  Great idea, leftcoast :).

 

Ross812: I've always wanted to write a better stock screener.  All the ones out there are lacking, to say the least, in regards to what I want to do (more statistical/historical, fundamental analysis stuff.)  However, the little that I've looked into it, it costs a lot to get fundamental data, and even more if you want to licence it for software you're developing.

 

This being said, if anyone on this board knows how to get real historical/fundamental data for cheap, and hopefully license it for cheap as well, let me know!  We can do a quid-pro-quo thing, even if it's not for product development.  I'd love to get my hands on a nice set of historical/fundamental stock data.

 

elltel, could you go into more details about this:

 

Ability to set a folder on my networked hard drive an exact copy of my documents folder. Instead of having to copy every time overwriting all the existing files which takes forever! This software would just copy the files I have changed or added etc every so often when I am not using it.

 

It sounds like rsync on unix would solve your problems.  And there's probably a good windows solution out there.  I can find one if you would like, if you do use windows.  Ditto for mac.  It would only take a few minutes.

 

For what it is worth, my background is in networking and storage, so this would be up my alley.  However, every time I get a good idea related to networking and storage, it seems there's always at least three other products already out there doing the same thing!

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elltel, here is an (free) open source program, Free File Sync, that looks like it may accomplish what you're looking for:

 

http://freefilesync.sourceforge.net/index.php

 

I don't know how clunky it is though.  If you want to give it a try and give me feedback about it, please let me know!

 

There's also this, but it the website doesn't really inspire me to recommended it.  (And it's not open source, which is generally a plus in my book, or from a reputable website like sourceforge, which Free File Sync, above, is.)

 

http://allwaysync.com/

 

I am seeing a few good comments about it online though.

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