Welcome to the 77th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of Nicholas A. Ferrell, editor of The New Leaf Journal. In today’s newsletter, I bring news of new articles and resources, content from around the web, and much more.
I published six articles since last week’s newsletter. Enjoy the list in table form.
|Nook Plants in Brooklyn||N.A. Ferrell||March 27||My photos of a pair of brave plants growing from a concrete barrier|
|On DRM-Free Games on Steam||N.A. Ferrell||March 28||An essay about the surprising number of DRM-free games on Steam|
|“Fradie-Cat” – A Children’s Poem By Clinton Scollard||N.A. Ferrell||March 30||Re-printing an 1896 poem and concluding with a brief biography of the poet|
|EGM’s 2001 Sega Neptune April Fools Joke||N.A. Ferrell||March 31||A short history from someone who read the joke when it was published|
|March 2022 at The New Leaf Journal||N.A. Ferrell||March 31||Do note the featured image that I chose for our regular month-in-review post|
|April Fools With Justin and Justina||N.A. Ferrell||April 1||Our fictional dialogue duo took on April Fools with a bit of a contest|
Last week, I promised that I would publish a blogroll section to help readers find other interesting content from around the web. I not only delivered on the promise, but I published two additional pages and put them in a “resources” section on site. You will find our list of resources here. Below, you will find our new pages (as of the publication of the instant newsletter).
|Blogroll||N.A. Ferrell||A list of interesting blogs and content by creators from around the web|
|FOSS Software & Services||N.A. Ferrell||Free and open source software and services used and recommended by your’s truly|
|WordPress Plugins||N.A. Ferrell||A list of recommended WordPress plugins and resources that we use (or have used) here at The New Leaf Journal|
The blogroll and FOSS sections are still very much works in progress, and I expect to add content to them regularly. The WordPress plugins section is largely complete for the time being, but I may add other types of resources to the page.
Regarding the resources hub page, I will add a separate table with articles that contain similarly useful information and lists.
Let’s see what’s happening around the world wide web.
Casey Baseel. April 2, 2022.
“That’s the cool part: they just don’t have flowers yet. Take the bundle of branches home, put them in water, and after enough time passes, their cherry blossoms will bloom, indoors and without any soil.”
I want this.
Chris Welch. March 28, 2022.
“This morning, I received a very blatant spam text offering me “a little gift” for supposedly paying my phone bill. Normally I’d groan, roll my eyes, and quickly delete such a thing, but there was something different about this particular message: it was spoofed as coming from my own phone number.”
These spam calls and texts are what we invented prisons for.
AP and Stephen M. Lepore. April 1, 2022.
Thank you to the Daily Mail for writing a headline that saved me from having to summarize the story myself.
Stephen Chen. January 18, 2013.
I was able to discern what happened in broad terms from the headline and the date. It is not nearly as exciting as reading the headline literally. Proof that context is overrated.
Joseph Petitti. December 30, 2019.
I was testing a couple of small web search engines. I decided to try a search for the greatest anime production of all time, Gainax’s iconic six-episode FLCL OVA from 2000-2001.
“Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t already watched FLCL go do it now.”
That’s the best advice
Liam Carberry. December 20, 2021.
I made use of this guide on Thursday, so I figured I ought to include it in today’s newsletter.
Inventaire.io. November 16, 2021.
Inventaire.io is a quasi Goodreads alternative focused on cataloguing and lending physical books. In December 2020, it became possible to follow Inventaire accounts (as well as authors, series, shelves, etc) from federated social media platforms based on ActivityPub. This is a very neat feature that I will discuss in a future article.
Joe Rice-Jones. September 15, 2021.
Let’s dig into our archive…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 1, 2021.
Try as I may, I may never create a more beautiful piece of art(icle).
Victor V. Gurbo. June 25, 2020.
Back in June 2020, my colleague Victor V. Gurbo reviewed three boutique guitar strings. For guitar fans, however, the highlight of the post may be the photos of three vintage guitars from his collection.
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 on site.
The week of March 26 to April 1, 2022 was the thirteenth “Newsletter Week” of 2022. Below, you will find our most-visited articles of the week.
|Rank (LW)||Article||Author||Published||2022 Top 5|
|1 (=)||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||13 (11 first)|
|2 (=)||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.27.21||13 (2 first)|
|3 (=)||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21||13|
|4 (+9)||Sending SMS Messages From My Computer With XMPP Through JMP||NAF||9.8.21||NEW|
|5 (+36)||Building an Airline Res-O-Glas Guitar Copy||VVG||8.26.20||NEW|
Last week was an interesting week in the ranking. A single page visit separated my tsuki ga kirei article from the F-Droid app review, but that one view was enough to give tsuki ga kirei its 11th first-place rank in the 13 newsletter weeks of 2022.
From four on, our ranking was a bit flat. A large number of articles were grouped together with similar numbers of views, and this reduced the threshold for making the top five. This perfect storm yielded two surprise debuts.
First, my piece on using JMP as an SMS-XMPP bridge made its first appearance in the top five in 2022 and its second overall (it last appeared in November 2021). The bigger surprise may have been my colleague Victor V. Gurbo’s piece on the history of the Res-O-Glas guitar and his efforts to build one. Originally published in August 2020, the article appeared in one top five in January 2021 (note I only started keeping track in January 2020). It posted its strongest week ever on the right week to make its first top-five appearance in more than a year.
I started my week by installing a new home internet router. For years, I had been using a cheap TP-Link wireless router to both rout internet traffic and produce wireless signals. After some research, I settled on a new system. I purchased a MikroTik hAP ac^3. Despite the fact that it, too, is a wireless router, I decided to disable wireless on it and have it act only as a router while using my old TP-Link router as the wireless access point.
I got everything set up and it is working well. After also upgrading my ethernet cables (if you are using old cables - look into CAT 6-8 cables), our mediocre internet (thanks Spectrum) is faster. I still need to learn how to fully use MikroTik’s RouterOS, it is featureful but complicated.
At some point, I will get a stronger access point to go with the MikroTik. I have some interest in either building a router or getting a more powerful MikroTik. But for now, we’re off to a good start.
After publishing our new Resources collection last week, I have another addition to The New Leaf Journal coming this week.
I have almost implemented quasi-microblog functionality and an activity stream. Barring issues, I will go live with it shortly after publishing this newsletter. This new feature will be explained in a new article this week and I will recap our new section in next week’s newsletter.
Thank you for joining us for another edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, consider signing up to follow our weekly newsletter via email or RSS. I look forward to next week’s update wherein I will cover our new microblog activity stream and other news and notes from the week that was.
Cura ut valeas.