★ Little Trip

Tomorrow I’m leaving the United States of America for the Philippines. My cousin Arlyn is getting married. So my whole family, minus my brother, is going to attend the wedding. I’ll be over there for about a month so I won’t be able to update this, or check email as much as I would like. I will have my PowerBook so if I can find an internet connection, I’ll be able to post updates from there. I’ll be back on February 17. Until then…

: California by Phantom Planet

★ HP/Apple Alliance

Today HP and Apple announced that they will deliver an HP branded mp3 player based on Apple’s iPod and will have iTunes preloaded on HP PCs beginning summer 2004. HP has already started to sell consumer electronics such as digital cameras and plasma TVs. Rather than half ass a hard drive based mp3 player (cough, Dell, cough) and rip off an online music store (ahem MusicMatch), they chose to partner with Apple.

“We explored a range of alternatives to deliver a great digital music experience and concluded Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes music service were the best by far. By partnering with Apple, we have the opportunity to add value by integrating the world’s best digital music offering into HP’s larger digital entertainment system strategy.”

I think this will be great for Apple and HP. Apple can potentially get its iPod and Music Store into more homes and HP doesn’t get ridiculed when it comes out with a lackluster mp3 player and music service.

An update:

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has written an excellent article that pretty much sums up the entire HP/Apple alliance. It goes over the advantages for both HP and Apple and what it means for the entire industry. It also goes over what this means for Microsoft. It’s good, just go over there and read the article.

★ Macworld Keynote

Today, Steve Jobs delivered the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld. It wasn’t as exciting as last year but there are definitely some things to get excited over. Most important of all, Apple has come out with the iPod mini. About the size of a business card, and coming in 5 different colors, I can see a lot of people getting excited over this. The 4 GB hard drive has enough space for about 1,000 songs. The only thing that I wasn’t so excited about was the price. I was expecting something a little less expensive since a lot of people were thinking that Apple was going to go after the lower priced mp3 market. On the other hand, I can see the niche that this player is targeting. Someone who thinks that 10,000 songs is a ridiculous amount of music to carry and they want something even smaller than the iPod to go jogging with. We will see when they ship in February.

The other release that I got excited over was the new iLife suite and more specifically, Garage Band. iPhoto is supposedly much, much faster and can handle photo libraries of up to 25,000 pictures. I have around 2,000 pictures and iPhoto lags. They also added more flexibility as to how you organize and manage your photos. You can rate your photos similar to rating in iTunes and you can create smart albums, just like in iTunes.

Garage Band is the type of program that defines what kind of company Apple is. They believe that a computer is not just an appliance that completes tasks, but a tool that you can use to create things. If you had a chance to see the keynote, you would know what I’m talking about. Steve Jobs had John Mayer come up and demo how the software worked. I literally was sold like 30 seconds into the demo. Even the musically challenged, like me, can create their own music with loops and samples from different types of instruments. You can also plug in a USB keyboard or even directly hook up a guitar to your computer and start recording music over the background loops you’ve recorded. And since it’s an iLife app, it’s integrated with the rest of the iApps, so you can record your own music, export it into iTunes, then listen to your own music on the go by loading it onto your iPod. iLife ’04 comes out on January 16th.

★ Happy New Year

So long 2003, how’s it going 2004. To welcome in the new year, about two hundred relatives, close friends, and I celebrated my cousin Melissa’s 18th birthday. She really was born on New Year’s Eve so this year on her 18th birthday, she had a cotillion, as is the tradition in Filipino culture. I was one of the 18 roses. Rochelle also made it down to celebrate the birthday/New Year. After the whole debut was over, we celebrated the rest of the night throughout the hotel in the many different rooms people had for the night. Even did the whole countdown thing out on the dance floor. Here’s to finding a full time job this year…
Along with the new year brings some changes to this site. Now that the holidays are over, the holiday theme has been put away until next year. Don’t be disappointed however, since I have now added user switchable style sheets. You can change the colors of the site by choosing one of the themes listed in the sidebar. The default theme is the black/gray theme. If you prefer one of the other colors, that preference follows you as you navigate throughout the site. It even remembers your preference if you leave and come back again. There’s a good tutorial on how to do this on A List Apart, which is what I used to make the different styles. I also updated the sidebar a little, adding new band sites and cleaning up the underlying code. Enjoy!