A data acquisition and display system has been developed for the study of electron impact ionization of atoms. Parallel data recording permits simultaneous but independent acquisition, analysis, and display of electron energy-loss spectra from two 180 degrees electron energy spectrometers at single-detector count rates up to 100 kHz as well as their time coincidence spectra for coincidence rates of up to 1 kHz. The system has sufficient energy resolution to clearly observe the post-collision interaction energy shift of argon L(23)M(23)M(23) Auger transition lines for low excess energy. It can acquire data at excess energies simultaneously from threshold to 30 eV for more than one transition, representing an improvement in experimental efficiency of at least an order of magnitude. Real-time data processing allows for faster experimental optimization and better statistical accuracy of accumulated data. Object-oriented programming in Windows with an IBM 486 computer was used. (C) 1996 American Institute of Physics.