Welcome to the 99th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. Our last newsletter in the double digits comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Today’s newsletter comes to you packed with updates from The New Leaf Journal, links from around the web, and other news and notes. Without further ado, let’s cut to the content.
I published five new articles since mailing the previous newsletter. One of these articles was our traditional month-in-review post. Below, I will review the other four articles from the last week.
The last week was light on Leaflet microposts, but I submitted two for your reading configuration. Firstly, I covered some default application issues after switching to a new operating system. Secondly, I talked briefly about ordering a GB Operator, a device that allows for playing original Game Boy cartridges on the PC (it has not arrived yet, so further analysis will have to wait).
My content from the last week was largely picture-based, so save for those of you who want to try my custom search engine timer shortcuts, our new content may not be enough to hold you over for the entire weekend (albeit, I will note that we have 657 articles in our Archive at the moment). To ensure that no one is left wanting for reading material, I present ten article links from around the web.
Let’s dig into our New Leaf Journal archives.
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed. The week of August 27 to September 2 was the 35th Newsletter Week of 2022.
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||35 (22)|
|2||Review of /e/ - An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones||NAF||11.21.21||4 (3)|
|3||“Casey’s Revenge” - Grantland Rice’s 1896 Reply Poem to “Casey at Bat”||NAF||8.26.21||1|
|4||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.27.21||34 (7)|
|5||Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. Johnston||NAF||11.4.21||1|
Newsletter week 35 saw two 2021 articles make their first-ever appearances. My August 2021 article on Grantland Rice’s Casey’s Revenge poem took third place on the ranking while my November 2021 article on two letters by Abraham Lincoln to his step-brother came in 5th. The source of both debut appearances may be referrals from classroom.google.com, which suddenly appeared when my Casey’s Revenge article began receiving a bump in traffic. The Casey’s Revenge article has performed decently in 2022 - it was our 24th most-read article of the year at the half-way point and sits in 28th as of the mailing of the instant newsletter, so perhaps it will maintain its performance going forward. September 2021 did see one of our strangest strong article performances in my review of the hair color of Iroha Isshiki, an anime character - the post took 10th place in the September 2021 ranking despite not having been close to that status before or since.
The rest of the Newsletter week 35 top-five was less eventful. My tsuki ga kirei article secured its 22nd first-place finish of the year, displacing my /e/ OS review which held the spot for three consecutive weeks. My 2021 F-Droid app review is fading a bit, but it secured its 34th top five in the 35 weeks of 2022 (spoiler: I will publish a new F-Droid app piece before 2022 ends).
Today I will share a free and open source (and free as in cost) tool that I made use of for three of the five articles that I published in the last week.
Upscayl is a small application which upscales images (shocker). According to the FAQ on its GitHub repository, it “uses AI models to enhance your images by guessing what the details could be.” I tested it on images that were not actually low-res and was satisfied with the results. You can see the fuller results of Upscayl in my Pixelfed post of the Ferris wheel picture I featured in my first article of the last week (note: I had to scale the upscayl’d photo down by about 50% in order to bring it within Pixelfed Social’s file-size limit). The results have been quite good.
Upscayl is now available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. I have only tried Upscayl on Linux. For those not inclined to build it from source on Linux, it is available as a Flatpak and Appimage. I opted for the Appimage version.
One caveat for Upscayl is that it requires “a Vulkan compatible GPU,” there referring to a video card. While my main workstation does have one, I will note that my computer crashed on the first occasion I tried to upscale an image wherein I had my usual two monitors open along with a number of applications. The crashing issue did not arise for any subsequent upscale attempts.
The current version of Upscayl lacks options beyond dropping an image and letting the application go to work, but it is a new project and the team behind it has a road-map on the GitHub repository for adding new features.
I do not have much New Leaf Journal news to report, but I am moving on several projects that I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks. I remain busy with real work for the time-being, so the projects that require substantial work (meaning projects other than my short-but-surely-charming photo posts) will be spread out a bit.
Thank you as always for joining us for the 99th Newsletter Leaf Journal. I look forward to mailing a special 100th newsletter on September 10. Although this was not planned, I will note here (and note again next week) Victor V. Gurbo published our 100th article on September 10, 2020 (time flies).
Until newsletter 100,
Cura ut valeas.