Hackaday Prize Entry: ForEx Display Is A Well Executed Hack

[Stefan] works in a place where knowing the exact state of the foreign-exchange market is important to the money making schemes of the operation. Checking an app or a website was too slow and broke him out of his workflow. OS desktop widgets have more or less departed this earth for the moment. The only solution then, was to build a widget for his actual desk.

The brains of the device is a ESP8266 board, some peripherals and a small backlit TFT display. The device can run off battery or from a wall wart. [Stefan] even added some nice features not typically found in hacks like this, such as a photocell that detects the light level and dims the screen accordingly.

The software uses an interesting approach to get the latest times and timezones. Rather than use a chart or service made for the task, he uses an open weather API to do the task. Pretty clever.

The case is 3D printed and sanded. To get the nice finish shown in the picture [Stefan] spray-painted the case afterwards. All put together the device looks great and gives him the desktop widget he desired.

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16 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: ForEx Display Is A Well Executed Hack

  1. “The only solution then, was to build a widget for his actual desk.”

    You mean as opposed to his “imaginary” desk?

    HaD, it takes just 30 seconds to proofread your posts before pushing them out.

    1. Just previously, the article talks about the “Desktop” – “Desk top”, which can be seen as a virtual desk. In context “actual desk” makes sense, although “desk top” may have been better – although nobody refers to the top of their desk as a “desk top”, just their “desk”.

    2. See “desktop” (used in the computing sense) in the previous sentence. It’s a metaphor. For something. Something a lot like an “imaginary” desk.

      Which is to answer your rhetorical question in the affirmative.

      And your obsession with our editing is just weird, man.

        1. Desk==desktop. The top of the desk is the part you actually use. Windows systems use the pretend-desk as a metaphor. This is all well known stuff. The metaphor was valid!

          1. No, since you are challenging me. The desk is the parent object, while the top is a child structure. We typically combine these two to form a place, or setting. When you say you are going to “place the pen down on the desk,” it may be implied you meant to place the pen on top of the desk, or the desktop. Since nobody has directly used the term desktop for the physical world describing the top of an *actual* desk, it therfore does not mean that the desk==desktop. Besides, a desk has a top, bottom, sides, legs, etc. Stating a desk is equal to a desktop is like saying a desk is only a desktop. I’m sorry if your desk didn’t come with the rest of the stuff in the box. You were cheated. Mathematically.

      1. Agreed. Interesting articles mercilessly picked apart on irrelevant pedantic and often wrong points. Thanks for the article Gerrit! Never mind these sad small-minded fools.

    3. In the context of the previous sentence which was talking about desktop widgets (ie. computer software on a non-physical ‘desk’), it works well and its completely valid from a grammar and writing standpoint.

      I don’t see what the issue is. Quit being pedantic.

  2. Typical “can’t-see-forest-through-the-trees” ‘hacker’ mentality.
    Who gives a crap about the widget? I’m more interested in “if”
    he actually produces decent returns on his forex trades – and
    what kind of methodology he’s using – the analytical software being
    used would be much more interesting!

    He can’t be a professional proprietary trader, since they all
    have dedicated terminals for pricing information.

    1. And if I had actually clicked on the link, I would have read he works in the export business and therefore needs to know foreign exchange rates. How boring.

      Still a cool hack.

  3. Great article – and inspiring.

    There are a plethora of “technical analysis” trading indicators (I use FCharts). If you are watching a particular exchange rate (or stock) with data scraped from a trading website, something like this is a good start.

    If you have a bid to buy at (for example) $10 per share, and current price is $10.50, you could see if the price drops enough to activate your bid – without even turning on your PC. Same goes for sell bids.

    Knowing how close you are to the closing bell for a given exchange can be useful, too

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