Welcome to the 54th issue of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you - as always - from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. I am jugging a few things at once - which explains my sending this newsletter on a Saturday evening instead of morning. Nevertheless, I have our normal full slate of newsletter content below.
I published five new articles since I reported to you last. There was a more distinct trend in the articles than what we have seen in recent weeks, but I still covered a number of topics.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 10, 2021.
I brought last week to a close with an article about the 1922 Better Homes in America Demonstration Week. The new week began with an article about then-Vice President Calvin Coolidge’s remarks for the same occasion. Rather than focus solely on immediate policy concerns, Coolidge reflected on the place of the home in the life lived well and in American society.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 12, 2021.
I followed up my post on Coolidge’s Better Homes the remarks of with then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover’s. Hoover’s focus was a bit more policy-oriented than was Coolidge’s, but he made a very interesting observation about purposeful thrift contrasted with thrift for its own sake.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 13, 2021.
I spent part of this week setting up a home server on a refurbished mini PC that I purchased on Ebay. This is not a discourse about running a home server, however - that will be reserved for a future article. Instead, I wrote about my not noting that the product description for my mini PC expressly specified that it not only did not come with an AC adapter, but also that it required a particular adapter to work.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 15, 2021.
I reprinted an 1898 poem by Lizzie Deas about hawkweed flowers in the autumn. You can expect to find a second article about a Lizzie Deas work sometime around Christmas.
As always, I present several article recommendations from around the web.
Cyril Chapellier. October 4, 2019.
Since two of my articles this week were about self-hosting and digital homes, I present to you a very long guide about hosting a number of useful services in the cloud. To be sure - some of it is a bit technical for me, much less people who are not familiar with the concepts at all. But it makes for a good read and will introduce people to a number of interesting services that they may be interested in trying in one form or another.
Oona McGee. October 15, 2021.
Of all the uniquely Japanese stories I have featured in the newsletter - capsule machine airline tickets may be the best.
Campbell Kwan. October 13, 2021.
Story from Australia. Did we stumble on a new use for those masks that my colleague recommends?
Syncthing is a very useful and interesting service that syncs folders between any two devices (it is fully free and open source as well). Official clients are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. A third-party client is available for iOS. We use it here at The New Leaf Journal, and I recommend it. You can read a brief introduction in the above link.
Will Feuer. October 13, 2021.
“Musk’s $32 million, 47-acre estate is just south of San Francisco. Musk first listed the 7-bedroom, 9.5-bathroom abode for sale in May 2020 for $35 million after he said he ‘will own no house’ and sell ‘almost all physical possessions,’ according to listing records.”
Consider Mr. Musk’s views on ownership to be a counterweight to those views expressed by Coolidge and Hoover in 1922.
“The Wiby search engine is building a web of pages as it was in the earlier days of the internet. In addition, Wiby helps vintage computers to continue browsing the web, as pages indexed are more suitable for their performance.”
An interesting project - and likely subject for a future review. You can try the niche search engine for yourself at https://wiby.me/. Alas, The New Leaf Journal has a few too many scripts for inclusion in its index.
Now for an article from our archive…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 19, 2020.
This post focused on a different idea than my new digital home piece - but the ideas are close enough that it makes for good complementary reading.
Every newsletter, I list our most-visited articles since the previous newsletter - according to our privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics. These “newsletter weeks” cover the period beginning with Saturday and ending with Friday. For the 41st Newsletter Week of 2021, we cover the period beginning with October 9 and ending with October 15.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 26 (14 in first).
“How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes” (Change +1)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 7
“A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’” (Change +9)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 9
“An Early Review of Pixelfed - Instagram Alternative” (Change +2)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 23 (2 in first)
“A 2021 List of Alternative Search Engines and Search Resources” (Change +23)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 13, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 6
Beyond the top two, the view counts for other articles were a bit softer this week than in previous weeks, opening the floor for the return of three articles to the top five - including two that had not been ranked in a good while. My Pixelfed review, which has the fourth-most top-five appearances, made its first top five since July 3-9. My piece on alternative search engines made its first appearance in the ranking since early August.
My Tsuki ga Kirei article topped the ranking for the sixth consective week while making its 26th straight appearance in the top five. At the moment, there is no sign that either point will change in the next ranking, but stranger things have happened.
Since I am late this week, I will offer only a truncated penultimate section of the newsletter.
My third article of the week discussed indirectly my new home server. As I explained in the article, I bought a nearly-ten-year-old ViewSonic mini PC to use as a small, low-profile, home server. To make running the home server easier, I installed the YunoHost operating system, which makes running server applications easy for moderately competent people like me.
Thus far, the home server is working terrifically at running several small apps. The two that will receive the most use are Wallabag for bookmarking and Miniflux for RSS. However, I am testing several other small applications to see how they run.
Once I am more confident with my set-up (and my old mini PC not burning out), I will write a more detailed piece for The New Leaf Journal with advice drawn from my own experiences for those who may want to try a similar project in their own homes.
This concludes a short, late, but nevertheless newsletter-y edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. I look forward to writing to you again next week with a full-length newsletter and more exciting New Leaf Journal content.