We’ve all heard the saying “when you go Mac you never go back”. How true it is.
But the first thing I noticed in my transition was that Apple is not supported by as much share market software. If Apple were able to compete in this area, I would never glance at a Windows computer again. Unfortunately, at least for now, Windows will have to be part of my routine.
The “Mac only” option
(PLEASE NOTE: As of February 2014, I no longer recommend Pro TA. Their website is out of date and they have not responded to my emails. I believe updates in the future will be “maintenance only” and not keeping up-to-date with the rest of the charting community).
For a Mac alternative to Metastock, the first and most obvious option is ProTA.
While I have only tried the demo version, it appears to be a very stable and effective piece of charting software. But the truth is, I learnt my skills on Metastock and I will have great difficulty ever changing (or should I say I’m just too lazy to learn an entirely new code!).
If you are new to the Stock Market and you use a Mac, you can try ProTA first for EOD charting. It will also save you having to “relearn” a new charting software formula from scratch (even Metastock & Amibroker use two totally different codes).
If you still want to use Windows software, I recommend Parallels.
How to use Windows software on a Mac
To use Windows software on your Mac, you have two options.
1) Use Bootcamp – a native Mac application that allows you to start your computer in either Mac or Windows. If you want to start the computer in Windows, you simply hold down a key when you turn the computer on. Your Mac will operate and feel just like a Windows computer. Because Macs use Intel chips, your computer will run Windows natively with no loss in performance.
2) Install virtualisation software – it allows you to use Windows and Mac software at the same time. Essentially, you are running your Mac normally, but you can open Windows applications from your Mac desktop. They work in harmony.
Both options require you to own a genuine copy of MS Windows. I suggest Windows 7.
Windows 8 is a big leap (probably better in the long run) for Windows, but Windows 7 is supported by more software and the user interface is more familiar to most people. It will also be supported until 2015 with extended support until 2020.
For Mac/Windows virtualisation software, there are three options:
- Virtual Box (free)
- Parallels Desktop for Mac (~$90)
- VMWare Fusion (~$75)
I have tried Parallels 7 and Fusion 3. Parallels was definitely faster. Both offer a free trial, so download both and choose the one you prefer. Be aware though that Fusion updates are significantly cheaper than the Parallels updates (so you’ll be paying about $55 a year extra to maintain Parallels). Realistically, this is only one small trade with an average Full Service Broker.
My Choice: Parallels consistently out performs Fusion in all tests.
Mac Software I Recommend
MPlayerX – plays all types of videos imaginable
1Password – for keeping all my password, credit card numbers and logins in one safe place
Tweetbot – so you can keep up-to-date with all the latest stock market tweets
Readkit – my favourite RSS feed reader
Jpeg Mini – to compress photos prior to sending or uploading
Pixelmator – an excellent and cheap Photoshop alternative
iPhone Apps (for Australians)
Shazam – to find out what song is playing (very accurate even in noisy environments)
Converter Plus – a great little tool for the latest currency prices, length, temp and volume conversions
Shredder Chess – the best iPhone Chess
Skype – For keeping up-to-date with your friends and contacts overseas.
Don’t Worry! All your favourites like MS Office are available on Mac.