Using robots to make a bookmarklet for the Wayback Machine

As I dig through and repost the archives of J’s Notes I’m finding a ton of dead links because twenty plus years is a LOOOOOONG time on the Internet and things go away. But thanks to the Wayback Machine you can find a lot of lost digital history with a quick search. But cut and pasting each link into a search is tedious, so maybe there’s a way to shortcut with a bookmark that has a little code to do the work for me.

So let’s ask ChatGPT!

After a little tweaking, some testing, minor back and forth with ChatGPT, and a total of 15 minutes, the following code did the trick:

javascript:(function() {
  var currentUrl = window.location.href;'*/' + currentUrl, '_blank');

To use:

  1. Create a new bookmark in your browser.
  2. Edit the bookmark’s URL field.
  3. Copy and paste the code above into the URL field.
  4. Give the bookmark a name (e.g. “Find Cache”).
  5. Save the bookmark.

Sure, I probably could have just Googled this, but even some of those answers didn’t work when testing afterwards. And using ChatGPT and working through the process helped me learn a thing or two about life, love, and javascript. It got the process started a lot quicker than if I’d tried to do this from scratch and I was able to get to iteration right away.

And this is where I think the true value of ChatGPT is (right now at least). Rough first drafts that you can then edit and build off of and make your own. I wouldn’t recommend it for “original” content — because it’s not original, it’s aggregated and filtered from other people’s work — but for non-proprietary work or learning the basics of something it can go a long way to saving some time and effort.

A Novel Dungeon and Letters as Random Number Generators in a Diceless RPG

I’m a nerd. Shocking, I know.

So last year I made a game, A Novel Dungeon (, that is a fully diceless solo table-top RPG you can play with just a book, pencil, paper, and the rules.

It still uses randomization, but instead of dice it relies on the frequency of letters used in English.

There are a few different resources and frequencies floating around but I ran with numbers from a 2004 cryptography writing by Cornell Math Explorers Club.

So using the frequency of each letter, I assigned numbers to approximate the same odds you’d have rolling dice. In some cases this means fewer instances of a number in the table, but the letter frequency balances it out for the most part.

Letter assignment to approximate a D4
Letter assignment to approximate a D6

Does it hold up? Let’s see… I’ll take a blog on and use the d6 table to assign numbers to the letters in the first couple lines.

Not an exact 16.67% but you wouldn’t necessarily get that rolling a die either. And the more letters we include, the closer we get to an even distribution. It’s not an exact replica of rolling dice, but it’s close and still varies enough to be suitably random.

There are limits of course – with only 26 letters and E’s frequency alone being more than 12% you’d have to force a reroll to approximate a d10 and d20 may be a bridge too far, but you could utilize this system for most games that use d8 and under.

I’ve broken out the No Dice No Problem chart for d2-d10 into a bookmark for ease of use and to show how it’d work.

Now to keep playing with it a little more.

Accidentally discovering Eyebombing – Alastair Johnston

(or how we learned to make the world a nicer place with a small packet of googly eyes) We were standing in Tesco’s technology area looking at computer keyboards, headphones, TV’s, and assorted paraphernalia. This was the bargain struck by my 10 yr old, in return for him following me…
— Read on

This Mom Didn’t Know She Was In A $250K Candy Crush Tournament, But She’s Killing It

Erryn Rhoden is an ordinary person who works at her family’s roofing company in Columbus, Ohio. She’s also the top-ranked player in her semifinal bracket for the Candy Crush Saga All Stars Tournament, the biggest Candy Crush tournament in history, which she entered by accident.


How one Twitter account disappeared for a week — and why nobody knew how to fix it

SB Nation’s Twitter account has a little over 300,000 followers. Or, at least, it did last Friday. Then, suddenly, it was gone, disappeared from the internet for almost a week. When you go to the profile page, the account was replaced by an ominous message: “This account doesn’t exist.