Review: IPS 16Bit Pocket MD HD - A Genesis / Mega Drive Handheld That Plays Carts by Damien McFerran (Time Extension)
Back in 1995, Sega released the Nomad, a portable Genesis / Mega Drive which, for many fans, felt like the stuff of a madman's dreams. It offered the ability to play your 16-bit library on the move, as well as connect up to your TV for more traditional play. It was like the Nintendo Switch 20 years ahead of its time – and it was also something of a commercial dud, sadly.

Time Extension reviewed a new handheld device designed to play Sega Genesis carts. My first thought when I saw a modern Sega Genesis handled was the Sega Genesis Nomad, a 1995 handheld device created by Sega to play Genesis games. Time Extension, which is a game history site, unsurprisingly led with the Nomad, noting that it had many neat features but was ultimately a “commercial dud.” I actually had a Nomad back in the day to play my Genesis library on the go and I distinctly remember bringing it on a trip to Texas in 1998. It worked well and I must note for the benefit of kids these days who grow up with the Nintendo Switch and powerful phones that being able to play consoles on a handheld device was novel back in the 90s. But the first thing I think of when I remember the Nomad is not any specific gaming experience, but the batteries. As the Wikipedia entry for the device notes, the thing burned through six AA batteries in about 4 hours. One can chalk up many reasons the cool device was not commercially successful, but the battery life was unfortunately atrocious even by the standards of when it was released.

I watched the second season of The Dangers in My Heart (“BokuYaba”) as a simulcast after watching and reviewing the first season. While I do not want to fully spoil my upcoming New Leaf Journal review of season two, I’ll note that the second season is was the strongest anime of winter 2024 and a very early anime of the year candidate (impressive in light of the fact the first season came in outside of my 2023 top six series). The second season finale aired on Saturday, March 30 and I watched it a little bit after midnight on Easter the 31st. It was an excellent final episode that ended on a very sweet note. But maybe it was too sweet. I was satisfied with the way the season concluded but I needed a change before a checked out for the night (or morning). I have been watching Initial D for the first time after being inspired to try it by MF Ghost (which aired in fall 2023). For those not in the know, Initial D mostly consists of street car racing against a Eurobeat sound-track. It is not at all sweet. It has some awful anime romance writing but the races are great fun. I watched the first two episodes of Fourth Stage right after the Dangers in My Heart finale. Just the contrast I was looking for — very satisfying.

Blogging and AI: A Personal Take by Greg Morris (Greg Morris)
I've been mulling over this clash between AI and the content it's trained on for some time now. As a frequent user of AI and a regular online publisher, I see both sides of the coin. I'm well aware that the articles I put out there probably end up as fodder for some AI training algorithm. And while I know many writers are upset about their work being used this way without compensation, I personally don't get too riled up about it.

I came across an interesting take on blogging and AI by Greg Morris, an independent blogger. He states that while he sees the issue of AI language models training on internet writing without compenstation or authorization, he is not personally bothered by it. From his perspective, “once I publish something online, I’ve pretty much let it go. It’s out there in the wild, free for anyone to use, maybe even to profit from. And I’m okay with that. It’s a part of the deal you accept when you decide to publish online.”

I concur in part and dissent in part.

I concur with him that there is nothing anyone can do from keeping their writing or media from being used by language models or scraped for other nefarious purposes. There are ways to limit exposure, but once one puts his or her writing online, he or she cannot fully control what happens with it. While I accept this, however, I disagree with Mr. Morris’ take that it is not a problem because “[y]our work s both yours and not yours at the same time.” I think my work is mine unless otherwise explicitly stated. I just accept that we live in an imperfect world and I do not think some of the bad or annoying things on the internet should deter people from building their own digital homes.

I read a news report that HiDive, an anime streaming service, re-designed its website. I have been an HiDive subscriber for a few years (two of my top three series of 2023 and my 2022 anime series of the year aired on HiDive instead of Crunchyroll) and I thought the website was an abomination. For that reason, I was curious to see the new design. My first impression is positive and it should work well on my TV set-up.I will try it for a few days and see how my positive first impression holds up.

Back in 2021, I wrote about walking around Manhattan with a friend to see cow statues. One of the cow statues was in Bloomingdale’s. In the post I explained that I had previously not known anything about Bloomingdale’s other than the name. In a recent Washington Times report, I learned not only that Bloomingdale’s is owned by Macy’s (I went to Macy’s many times when I was younger), but also that Macy’s owns something called Bluemercury. What is Bluemercury? Beats me.

Introducing Pokémon Red Novel Project by Nicholas A. Ferrell (thenewleafjournal.com)
I introduce a project to turn a new play-through of Pokémon Red into a serialized novel and quasi-strategy guide with helpful tips and strategies.

I am making progress in my Pokémon Red play-through novel project. I am perfect. But what fun would it be to write a serialized Pokémon play-through novel of me being perfect? To make things more interesting, I decided to pretend to not be perfect on occasion. After I pretended to lose to Misty twice, I reached the entrance to Rock Tunnel and realized that I forgot to exchange my bike voucher for a bike in Cerulean City. Of course, there is absolutely no possible way that I could forget to get the bicycle before leaving Cerulean City behind. I only “forgot” to make for a more exciting story and show my future readers how quickly you can obtain Fly after making it through the tunnel.

(Or so I like to tell myself…)

I have never used Linkedin. I have also never been tempted to use Linkedin. But what if Linkedin added some new feature to make me sign up? I quote from a report by Mr. Mauricio B. Holguin on AlternativeTo: “LinkedIn has introduced new AI-powered features aimed at improving professional networking, simplifying networking tasks such as making connections, job searching, and content sharing.” While using AI to help guide users’ Linkedin network interactions will surely (operative word) make Linkedin a better (other operative word) place, I will continue to sit on the sidelines.

Nintendo is sued the developers of the free and open source Yuzu emulator for Nintendo Switch games and succeeded in securing an agreement wherein both open source projects were shut down. I take no position on the litigation here. Instead, I highlight an absurd GitHub issue raised by a user with an unkind name directed at the Yuzu project (see archived issue). The user explains that he or she strongly disagreed with Yuzu’s decision to drop support for Windows 7 in the last few months (note that Microsoft dropped support for Windows 7 in 2020). This prompted the user to find 93 Nintendo emails and social media accounts and send messages “informing” Nintendo, a multi-national corporation that is very defensive of its intellectual propery, of the existence of Yuzu. After news of the lawsuit broke, the user confidently stated that Nintendo “probably” sued because of his or her awareness effort, but humbly conceded “maybe not.” While the user thinks that it is at least 50.1% likely that his or her spam emails and posts led to Nintendo unleashing its lawyers on Yuzu, I am 100% certain that  Nintendo, which named one of its most popular characters after one of its former lawyers, was well aware of Yuzu and rival Valve’s not subtly encouraging people to use Yuzu on Steam Deck while the disgrunted GitHub poster was still happly running Yuzu on his or her Windows 7 PC.

Main take-away: Imagine having the self-confidence to believe that your email and social media spam spur Nintendo’s legal department to action.

I caught up on all the winter series I decided to follow as simulcasts. Below are my (mostly) one-sentence impressions thus far. I publish a year-end top six anime series list annually over at The New Leaf Journal, so I will note which series I view as potential candidates for 2024 based on how they compare to one another and also to series that have made my top-six in previous years.

  • 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy: It is much better than the ridiculous (somewhat misleading) title and it has had some good episodes, but cracks started to show in the writing and setting with the introduction of a certain sibling.
  • A Sign of Affection (thru 8): This is a solid effort all around and one of the better shoujo series I have seen in recent years — it should be a solid year-end top-six candidate with a good finish. (Note: I may be somewhat biased due to its exemplary attention to hair color detail.)
  • Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki-kun: 2nd Stage (thru 8): This has erred on the disappointing side with its odd pacing and sometimes-shaky writing, but it has had its moments — episode 8 was its best episode of the first 8 and delivered what should stand as one of the better moments in 2024 anime.
  • BUCCHIGIRL?! (thru 6.5): A trashy delinquent comedy that feels like it is from a different era and stays watchable by not forgetting what it is.
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (thru 24): It has had some genuinely excellent moments and seems like a near-lock for best aesthetics of 2024, but episodes 18-24 have been shaky (read: boring and very uncomfortable depicting action) to put it generously. It is still a likely top-six prospect but any chance it had to be in the series of the year mix have gone by the first class mage exam wayside.
  • Metallic Rouge (thru 7): It’s a convoluted mess but I’ll watch to the end for some unknown reason.
  • The Apothecary Diaries (thru 20): Its generally strong start has been underminded by its unsatisfying mysteries (a problem for a mystery show) and its passion for using Maomao’s (or Xiaomao’s) long, winding monologues to advance the plot.
  • The Dangers in My Heart (thru 7): The class of the season and the only anime of the year caliber show of the winter bunch.  I expected it to improve over last year’s season one, but not go go from borderline-top six candidate (it missed my 2023 top-six list but would have made 2022) to potential series of the year.
  • Sengoku Youko (thru 7): This is admittedly not my cup of tea but it built up to an excellent episode 7 and has done enough to keep me around so far.
  • Shangri-La Frontier (thru 20): I respect this series for turning the sort of dumb premise that usually makes me run for the hills into a genuinely fun, excellently-animated show that makes for a good watch on Sundays.
  • The Demon Prince of Momochi House (thru 8): I am in a strange place with Momochi where I find it slightly boring but also find myself looking forward to it. So long as the ambulatory daikon (I thought it was a turnip, but it is a raddish) keeps appearing every episode, we have an unexpected borderline top-six candidate with a solid finish.
  • Urusei Yatsura [S3] (thru 9): There’s an animation cut toward the end of the new OP that is about as pretty as anything you will see in anime (AS FOR THE ACTUAL SEASON THEY STILL YELL ALL THEIR LINES SO IT IS STILL VERY MUCH URUSEI YELLSURA).

All in all, winter 2024 has been solid and certainly better than winter 2023, which ultimately yielded no top-six entries in my final 2023 ranking. Dangers in My Heart is a genuine series of the year caliber production through 7 episodes and despite its dull mage exam arc, Frieren is still a strong more-likely-than-not year-end top six candidate. Sign of Affection and Momochi both have top-six ambitions.  I’m still not entirely persuaded by Sengoku Youko, but it is long enough that it may be a good prospect for 2024 if it keeps improving. Tomozaki, 7th Time Loop, and Apothecary Diaries are outside candidates for top-six contention but they would need much stronger finishes than what the episodes which have aired thus far suggest they are capable of.

I built my current desktop computer back in August 2020. One of the benefits of building your own computer is that you can easily fix it when you have a hardware issue. For example, one of the top fans on my case is becoming a bit off-kilter. Once in a while (maybe once every 30-40 start-ups), it will make an unpleasant noise. When this happens, I bring all the knowledge I gained from building the computer together for a solution.

A fist overs over the top of a pink desktop computer behind a lucky cat.

Punch the top of the case once and the issue is resolved. This is what we call an expert solution.

I read that Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Publisher in October 2026 (see report). This made me feel nostalgic in the same way that seeing a Ti-89 Titanium graphing calculator does. I worked on my high school newspaper for two years, one as an assistant to my friend and New Leaf Journal colleague Victor V. Gurbo, and second as the senior editor after he graduated. We used Publisher to make the paper and I created a new template for it when I was senior editor. In light of the fact that I had never done anything like that before (mind that I had only had a modern PC at home for about 1.5 years before becoming senior editor), Publisher was intuitive and easy to work with. I have not worked with Publisher since high school and have not used Microsoft Office at all since switching to Linux in 2020 (I do most of my writing in markdown and use LibreOffice when I need an MS Office equivalent), but it is still nostalgic.

I had a second non-nostalgia thought when I read that Publisher is being retired: “I thought Microsoft killed Publisher a long time ago.”

This site and The New Leaf Journal are self-hosted WordPress sites. I have never really used WordPress.com. However, I made a WordPress.com account around the time I started The New Leaf Journal in 2020 for some reason I no longer remember (maybe it had to do with Gravatar, although that is moot now). I gave up on maintaing my now-former Osmosfeed aggregator on GitHub because figuring out why it was not building required too much time and effort for a project that I want to be low maintenance. Instead, I decided to finally take advantage of having the ability to make a free WordPress.com site. Behold, my free WordPress.com aggregator site that shows off my supreme full site editor skills: The Pressed Leaf Reader.

Steam On Linux Falls Short Of 2% For January, AMD CPU Adoption On Linux Hits 70.5% by Michael Larabel (phoronix.com)
The Steam on Linux marketshare per Valve's official survey put it at 1.97% for December after hitting 1.91% in November -- continuing a slow upward trajectory seen in recent months thanks to the ongoing success of the Linux-powered SteamOS / Steam Deck ... In turn the CPU results for AMD continue to climb for Steam on Linux use in part due to the Steam Deck. AMD CPUs power 70.5% of Linux gaming systems on Steam.

From Phoronix:

“The Steam on Linux marketshare per Valve’s official survey put it at 1.97% for December after hitting 1.91% in November — continuing a slow upward trajectory seen in recent months thanks to the ongoing success of the Linux-powered SteamOS / Steam Deck … In turn the CPU results for AMD continue to climb for Steam on Linux use in part due to the Steam Deck. AMD CPUs power 70.5% of Linux gaming systems on Steam.”

I did my part to contribute to the positive Linux and Linux-AMD trends. My workstation has an AMD CPU. However, my mini TV-designated PC and laptop, both of which have Steam (although I never really run Steam on them), run Linux with Intel CPUs.

Introducing Sudo for Windows! by Jordi Adoumie (devblogs.microsoft.com)

Introducing Sudo for Windows
We’re excited to announce the release of Sudo for Windows in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052! Sudo for Windows is a new way for users to run elevated commands directly from an unelevated console session. It is an ergonomic and familiar solution for users who want to elevate a command without having to first open a new elevated console.

  1. Puts on Apple Hat
  2. Turns on Apple Hat
  3. Opens article about Microsoft adding sudo to Windows
  4. “Looks like Microsoft is ripping off Apple again”
  5. Starts video of Steve Jobs introducing some Apple product in 2005

(For the record, I almost use Arch by the way.  Posted from my desktop PC running EndeavourOS.)