[Editor's note: Please forward this widely. It's important that people take appropriate steps next week. -- jdcc]
It's that time again!
As many of you know, each leap year the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a better-working and faster Internet.
This year, the cleaning process will take place from 12:01 a.m. GMT on Feb. 29 until 12:01 a.m. GMT on March 1. During that 24-hour period, five powerful Internet-crawling robots situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any data that they find.
In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do the following:
- Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their Internet connections.
- Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the Internet.
- Disconnect all disks and hardrives from any connections to the Internet.
- Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any way.
We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam.
We thank you for your cooperation.
Interconnected Network Maintenance staff
Main branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sysops and others: Since the last Internet cleaning, the number of Internet users has grown dramatically. Please assist us in alerting the public of the upcoming Internet cleaning by posting this message where your users will be able to read it. Please pass this message on to other sysops and Internet users as well. Thank you.