How many computer tools you used today are 14 years old?

I have one.

This is one of those things that happen out of conversation; I was DMing Maha Bali of all things about the weather. I know that saying it was 108º here Sunday is not useful to her as Fahrenheit (well she likely knows how to convert, but still, think of the other person).

So I went to my browser shortcuts, and pulled up this item form my dropdown of various web tools:

bm1

I type in my temperature in Fahrenheit, press OK, and now I can talk Celsius

bm2

Yeah, there are phone apps for this. heck there are these web tools that do it via a URL, e.g. http://converterus.com/108-degrees-fahrenheit-to-degrees-celsius. And if I was a tad less lazy I would remember the approximate formula (subtract 32 from ºF and divide by 2, that’s a little low at 38).

But I have this web bookmarklet! I know I added it to my browser when these first came out — bookmarklets were enabled in the NetScape browser in 1995. I am still not sure when I added the temperature conversion ones, but with every computer upgrade from the one I used at the Maricopa Community Colleges til now, they have gone with me.

They are like old friends (I say “they” because there is also one that converts ºC to ºF).

I wondered if I could find the source. I looked at the JavaScript code:

javascript:tMpZ85r=prompt('Temperature%20in%20degrees%20Fahrenheit...','');if(tMpZ85r){if(isNaN(parseFloat(tMpZ85r))){alert(tMpZ85r+'%20is%20not%20a%20number')}else{void(prompt('Temperature%20in%20degrees%20Celsius:%20',Math.round((tMpZ85r-32)*500/9)/100))}}else{void(null)}

Not much to go on, but the variable name tMpZ85r is kind of unique. I found a reference to it on some Opera browser forum from April 2002 just where someone was saying it did not work.

That’s about as far as I went, I could have dug more, but finding the source is not essential.

What I dig is that this little string of code, that I likely put on a NetScape browser on a Mac 8500 in the late 1990s… is still in my Chrome browser on a MacBook Pro in 2016… and it still works.

You want it? Just drag the links below to your browser toolbar, and convert your temperatures like it was 2002!

Here is another one, relevant to my last post- clicking it will look up the current URL you are looking in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine: Wayback

And here is one I redid on GitHub that is again, something I use almost every day- it lets you create a tool that will search a specific wordpress or blogger blog from ANYWHERE YOU ARE ON THE WEB! I must be crazy to give this stuff away.

That’s enough nostalgia for today.

Tomorrow? Another day


Top / Featured Image: I searched first on antique bookmark in Google Images (do I have to keep writing that I use the option to restrict results to images licensed for re-use?) (yes I do) but old bookmark worked a little better.

I find it a tad annoying when the “View Page” option in Google does not take me to the pixabay image itself, but a long list of images matching a search term of reviews (?). You’d think those folks could figure out the source URL?

The one I used is a Public domain image found in Pixabay.

The post "Old Web Bookmarklet Tool: Converts Like it is 2002" was originally pulled from under moldy cheese at the back of the fridge at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2016/06/old-web-bookmarklet/) on June 22, 2016.

1 Comment

  • Mike C.

    It’s funny, the thing I use most in Wikity is the bookmarklet, and it still feels like amazing Voodoo.

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