A wonderful and fabulous 2019 to you all!

I wish you all a happy new year. I know I should blog more often, but I tend to have a list of things to do and usually, other things win over blogging. Since one of those things is looking after my baby boy born last April, you cannot really blame me. Nao’s a true bundle of joy, an active explorer who’ll go where no one has gone before.

I have no resolutions for 2019. I’m just taking responsibility for doing the creative best I can with my own life. Of course, there’s a lot of things I want to do and/or gain. Perhaps I’ll get to that this year or perhaps it takes longer or perhaps it will not be attained. Life’s unpredictable, let’s just take it day by day.

Right now I’m very grateful for the wonderful family I have, the roof over my head, the job at Technorati Japan. I’m a happy camper.

I hope you all are too or at least find what you are looking for this year. It’s your life to mold into what you want it to be.…

iBlogger, a version of ecto for iPhone

The new owners of ecto, illumineX, Inc., have worked hard to make a version of ecto for the iPhone. The new product, named iBlogger, has been available for over week on App Store. I have been involved as consultant, sometimes even helped fix some bugs. It has turned into a great blogging app for the iPhone. I recommend it heartily, especially since the illumineX team is continuing to improve the app and add user-requested features. It’s not a free product, but you get excellent support and each new version will be better than the previous one.

Just like ecto, iBlogger is compatible with all blog systems, from Blogger to WordPress, as long as they allow communication via the Atom and XML-RPC protocols. Here are some screenshots:

The editor has support for adding images, url and geo-location. Tags and categories are obviously supported as well. Personally, I think tagging can be much improved and there should be an easier way to edit the body without using the “Edit” button and not having to worry the user tried to tap on a link.

For me, the release of iBlogger shows that illumineX, Inc. has great future plans for ecto on the desktop and mobile platform. I also got to see how they work; they have a hard-working team that knows its stuff.…

Don’t mind my dog

he sky was colored light brown with sand and dust picked up and strewn about by strong gales. We were on the way back home. I drive our car along the road past the train station in Fujishiro.

Up ahead a woman is walking her dog. She does not walk on the sidewalk. Rather, she walks next to it, on the road. Behind her, on a leash, a small fluffy dog is following. It’s round and white, carried by 4 stick-like legs, and limps a bit. The dog does not walk on the sidewalk, either.

It walks instead right in the middle of the road and the woman seems to be totally unaware of that. It is as if she is not walking a dog. I slow down the car since it appears the odd pair is not planning to move aside.

I stop. The woman, in her fifites with a creased and weathered face, is hunched over to ward off the cold howling wind. As she trots past the car, the woman turns her head and looks at my puzzled face. Her eyes ask if there is something I want to know. Yes, there is a lot I’d like to ask, but she moves on. The dog tries to walk through the car, but in the end gave in and slowly hobbled around us. We continue our journey home, baffled.…


When writing kanji, those pictograms you typically see in Chinese and Japanese, the order you draw the strokes is important. There are basic guidelines you can follow. Kee’s studying basic kanji at the moment and I have joined her studies since I think it wouldn’t hurt to practice more Japanese. She got this cute anime poster with stroke order hints.

However, as in all languages, there are subtle exceptions. Consider the kanjis for left and right, 左 and 右, respectively. The order of the first two strokes is opposite for each as you can see in the following picture.

An easy mistake to make. I bet a lot of Japanese get this wrong often.…

Passing the torch

After 6 years of developing, maintaining and improving ecto, I felt it was time to move on. From now on, the new owner of ecto will be illumineX, inc. Instead of one guy working on your favorite blog client part-time, you’ll now have a team of developers working on ecto full time. Before I decided to sell ecto, I had a long correspondence with Gary Longsine, the CEO of illumineX. I wanted to make sure it will continue to be in good hands. I found Gary to be a great guy and he convinced me that his team has many new ideas that will keep ecto growing in functionality and power. In fact, they have already developed a blog client for iPhone based on ecto’s code base. I helped out with a few tricky XML-RPC and Atom issues and I was very impressed with how quick the illumineX team picks up things and how fast they work.

I will remain involved with ecto as a consultant and it’s very likely I will develop custom plugins (I already wrote an iTunes plugin). I will always be a fervent user of ecto, so obviously I’d like to see it continue the excellent job it’s been doing. You will also still find me in the support forum.

It does feel odd to let go of something that has been my flagship product and my precious for so long. I put many hours in it and I take much pride in having created ecto. But it remains in capable hands and I now have the opportunity to spend my free time on new things.

If you have any questions about the transfer of ecto to illumineX, feel free to post them in the comments section below.…