Well, we’re finally done moving out of our old house. It took a lot longer than we could have expected, but I guess it wasn’t so bad considering how busy we are with the kids, school, and work. Anyway, I’ll post pictures soon so you all can see our new place. I’ll also try to get some shots of the view from our street. We’re at such a high elevation that we actually have two views of the ocean.
My buddy, Scott Driza, started DocBuilder.com Incorporated back in 1999. Scott is a great programmer and has written several books and articles on document automation. He got me in to the document automation business while we worked together back in Chicago, and thanks to his initial push, I know a thing or two about programming. Right now, DocBuilder.com Incorporated is having a Document Automation Challenge. For between $10 and $50 per page, the company will automate any document in Microsoft Word. Check out DocBuilder.com for more information.
Yesterday, Apple (AAPL) released yet another iPod model to further their dominance in the portable music player market. The 1GB iPod nano is perfectly priced at $149 and should draw interest from the people that have been holding out for a cheaper iPod with a screen. The price drop for the iPod shuffle to $69 for the 512MB model is really going to put pressure on the competition. No company has come close to the integration and ease of use that the iPod/iTunes combination provides.
The latest company that has succumb to the power of the iPod is Dell (DELL). You’re not seeing things. I mean that Dell. The company quietly exited the music business yesterday. Check out this article from The Motley Fool for more information. Now, let’s hope that this news translates into a higher stock price for Apple.
Isn’t moving the most enjoyable experience ever? I barely feel like we’ve even moved into our current house. Anyway, because the owners of the house we’re renting are moving back to town, we had to find another place to live so starting March 1st, we’ll have a new address on the other side of town. The nice thing is that we’ll have a back yard that the kids can play in, and I’ll be fifteen to twenty minutes closer to work. The bad thing is that like everything else in California, the prices for renting went up last year.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been listening to more and more jazz music on a daily basis. I think seeing Wynton Marsalis in an iTunes commercial reminded me of how cool jazz music really is. I’m not saying that I haven’t been listening to jazz, but it has taken a back seat to rock and blues music in my daily listening.
I wanted to take some time to comment on a couple new albums I’ve been in to lately. The first is Wynton’s new live album, Amongst the People: Live at the House of Tribes. The album contains six songs, and all but two are over ten minutes long. All of the musicians stretch out and play some great solos. For me, this album ranks up there with some of the best live albums that I’ve had the privilege to hear like Wynton’s Live at Blues Alley, Cannonball Adderley’s In San Francisco, Art Blakey’s Ugetsu, and Duke Ellington’s At Newport. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I would definitely recommend giving Amongst the People a listen.
The other album I’ve been listening to a lot lately isn’t really an album at all. It’s a three-song session Wynton did for iTunes. I have a feeling Wynton went into the studio with these three songs for the commercial, and they ended up picking Sparks. All three songs are brief by normal jazz standards which should make them more accessible to the masses. They’re also fun to listen to because they have a certain level of humor and attitude. I hope to hear more of Wynton in a quartet setting in the future if this is the kind of result we can expect.
Well, I need to get back to listening.
Okay, I’d like to apologize for taking almost a month to comment on what happened at Macworld last month. Every time I’ve tried to sit down and write anything, something else comes up, or I find myself passed out on the couch. Anyway . . . as expected, Apple (AAPL) came out with some really great new stuff. The Intel Macs came out six months early starting with the new iMac. From what I’ve read, these things scream when they’re using software written for the Intel processors inside of them. Even with the transition layer, old PowerPC software runs very well. I really think that once all software has transitioned to run natively on Intel Macs, individuals and businesses will think twice about buying a Windows (or is it Windose) machine. The Macs will look and run too well to pass up.
Apple also introduced the new MacBook Pro which is pretty much the notebook computer I’ve been waiting for all these years. If only I could justify the cost to get one. Hey, if any of you have a suggestion on how to convince my wife and me to get one of these, I’m open to suggestions.
Apple also updated the iLife and iWork packages. I have to tell you, I wouldn’t enjoy working with digital photos and digital movies nearly as much without iPhoto and iMovie at my disposal. Those two programs make it so easy! Then there’s iTunes. I think no comment is necessary about how iTunes has changed the world.
Anyway, that’s my wrap-up of the announcements at Macworld. I can’t wait to see what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve for the next Apple event. Until then . .