Monthly Archives: November 2009

3D graphics in Resolver One using OpenGL and Tao, part III: Stock prices

20 November 2009

I’ve done another 3D example in Resolver One. This one uses Yahoo! Finance to download the close prices over the last two years for every stock that’s currently in the Dow Jones index, then charts them in a 3D window which you can pan and zoom using the mouse. Here’s a video showing it in action:

Here’s how you can try it out:

  • If you didn’t already, download and install the Tao Framework, a set of multimedia libraries that (among many other things) makes it easy for .NET programs like Resolver One to call the OpenGL 3D graphics libraries. [UPDATE: Rick comments below that when he first installed Tao as a non-admin user, it didn’t work, but when it had been reinstalled by an administrator it did work. It sounds like Tao is failing silently when installed by a non-administrator, so look out for that.]
  • Again, if you don’t have it already, download Resolver One. (It’s free to try.)
  • Get the sample spreadsheet, along with its supporting Python code. Unzip this file somewhere, and then open the file 3dShares.rsl with Resolver One. (An alternative: if you’re on GitHub, you can clone a repository there that contains all of my Resolver One 3D samples so far.)

I won’t explain in depth how the spreadsheet works; there’s not actually all that much there beyond what I described in my last two posts about 3D graphics in Resolver One.

I’ll be tweaking the performance of the sheet over the next few days, and I’m keen to hook it up to the BetFair API so that we can chart gambling odds too, but before I charge ahead with that, let me leave you with a question — what could I add to make something like this truly useful to someone watching the financial markets? Would it be useful to be able to “fly around” the chart instead of just spinning it around? Perhaps clicking on things could give you information? Or anything else?

What do you think?

Shiny new blog theme

19 November 2009

I thought it was time for a change around here, so I’ve updated the theme with something prettier. What do you think?

London Financial Python Users Group

11 November 2009

Last night, I went to the inaugural meeting of the London Financial Python Users Group. It was a small gathering (as you’d expect for a new group), just four of us, but a very interesting one. Didrik Pinte gave a presentation of an interesting new library called pandas, a useful layer on top of existing stats packages that provides some very neat data-alignment capabilities, and we also discussed what future meetings should involve (lightning talks are definitely on the cards).

As with all these things, the most interesting discussions were left for the pub afterwards. I was particularly interested in what Didrik had to say about Cython, a tool which lets you write CPython C extensions in Python (!). I’ll have to play with it and see if it can easily integrate with Iconclad

Anyway, the next meeting is very tentatively planned for 14 December; the best way to track the group is probably currently the LinkedIn group, though I will definitely also post the details when they firm up.

New splogging technique?

4 November 2009

I’m sure everyone has encountered the kind of spam blog where they’re scraping posts from someone reasonably well-known — presumably via RSS — and presenting the results as their own, normally with a million Google ads on the sidebar.

Here’s a new (to me) twist on that. I spotted two new incoming links to my WebGL blog. One was a (very brief) mention in a roundup from Dion Almaer on Ajaxian, an Ajax community site. The other was this one.

Let’s compare Dion’s introductory sentences:

A lot of great news is coming in via Twitter. I make a lot of Ajax comments under @dalmaer and wanted to give you a roundup on the month of October via Tweets. Always interesting to take a glance at the month. What do you think?

…with that of the intriguingly-named “admin” on

A aggregation of enthusiastic programme is reaching in via Twitter. I attain a aggregation of Ajax comments low @dalmaer and desired to provide you a roundup on the period of Oct via Tweets. Always engrossing to verify a spring at the month. What do you think?

Well, yes. It certainly is always engrossing to verify a spring at the month. Couldn’t agree more.

What impresses me, though, is that they’ve clearly automated this. There’s no way a paraphrase that bad could have been written by hand (or if there is, I never want to meet its author) so presumably they have some kind of program doing it. Maybe they run it through Google translate a few times?