Internet Annual Maintenance
Found on the Internet in January 1999
Do not connect to the Internet from March 31st at 23:59 p.m. (GMT) through 23:59 p.m. (GMT) the following day. During those hours, the Internet will be closed for cleaning.
As you know, the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours each year for maintenance and automated cleaning. The cleaning process is important to the continued health of the Internet, and removes undeliverable e-mail, unviewed vanity Web sites, Internet phone calls permanently connected to the speaking clock, delayed instant messages, burst packets, and flakes of dried Spam. It also flags for future action sites of significant blog bloat and clips dangerously OT discussion-board threads. It also brews a new batch of Java and checks if anyone is still using Web TV.
In cooperation with private business, this year for the first time both Google and Yahoo's caches will be initialized and refreshed during the cleaning process, allowing for faster, cleaner, more accurate searches after the Net comes back online.
To protect your personal data from deletion, the World Internet Maintenance Consortium asks that you follow these simple steps:
We apologize for the inconvenience this process may cause, but assure you that annual maintenance is necessary to keep the Internet running smoothly and stave off the clogging of information pipelines.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Behind the Legend
The annual cleaning of the Internet has become a part of all our lives, particularly since the explosion of World Wide Web growth. This message, however, makes a joke of the process by signing the warning, "Al Gore," a reference to Gore's statement that he invented the Internet in his garage with the help of his friend Steve. Aside from the bogus signature, the message is, of course, accurate.
Note that there is a spurious version of this warning going around which claims that maintenance takes place from March 31st at 23:59 p.m. until April 1st at 12:01 a.m. This is only a two-minute window, and certainly not enough time to complete such a Herculean task.