How does one go about starting out in futures trading?

So how does one go about staring out?

How much money does one need to start up a portfolio? I did a search and found Optimus Futures and my friend says he uses Cannon Trading.

What is the most popular futures trading company/broker?
In order to trade Futures you need a margin account. There are many brokers with different rates and requirements. Do some research and find one that fits your budget. Stay away from 1 size fits all vendors. As far as the amount you should start with? How ever much you can afford to loose without loosing sleep!

Next you need a charting package, data feed, and computer set up. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve. Take some time, compare options, and test drive the software.

I'm not going to name any vendors because this is not the place to do that. But to get some clues, read the posts here, look at the charts and you will quickly figure out what most guys are using.

Good luck,

Sounds like you need to look at these resources:

Broker reviews and ratings
Trading Software
Trading Books
I think to be successful you need to have an account with at least $25k in it. Also expect to lose that 2-3 times before you start to make money :)
Setup a sim account and see if you can figure out a consistently profitable trading method. Once you have that worked out, then you can look at trading live. Until you have demonstrated the ability to produce a positive expectancy, there is no rational reason to trade live. Hope and wishful thinking isn't enough to succeed in this business.