footnote

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At the bottom of thexkcd comics beneath Randall's list of Comics I Enjoy there is a footnote written in a very tiny font, as to make it almost unreadable. The footnote has been all gone in between a change from the old to the new footnote.

[edit] Current footnote

A new footnote was added either on October 4th or on October 5th, 2016.

As of October 2016 the footnote/tiny print at the bottom of xkcd.com pages reads:

xkcd.com is best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.0 or below on a Pentium 3±1 emulated in Javascript on an Apple IIGS at a screen resolution of 1024x1. Please enable your ad blockers, disable high-heat drying, and remove your device from Airplane Mode and set it to Boat Mode. For security reasons, please leave caps lock on while browsing.

It did not replace the Original footnote as there had been a span of 22 days without a footnote in between these two footnotes.

The text gives questionable advice on how to view xkcd.com. Using a discontinued browser on an Apple computer released in 1986 with a screen resolution one pixel tall would be extremely difficult.

Netscape Navigator 4.0 or below It is normal to specified browser and minimum version, as all later versions typically retain needed features from previous versions. Instead, the footnote claims that older versions are better (perhaps due to reliance on a bug fixed after version 4.0). No version of Netscape Navigator is currently maintained.
on a Pentium 3±1 Pentium was a brand of processors made by Intel. Instead of specifying just a minimum or maximum version, both are specified, in a syntax more often used for specifying tolerances, usually of a physical property.
emulated in Javascript Javascript is a programming language used on web pages. While may be possible to write a Pentium emulator in Javascript, this would be an unusual and probably inefficient choice.
on an Apple IIGS The Apple IIGS was a computer made in the 1980's. Even the slower of Pentium computers are hundreds of times faster than the Apple IIGS. Combined with the inefficiencies of processor emulation, this would result in a painfully slow experience, if it worked at all.

The Apple IIGS was made before Internet connections were common, and there was probably no web Javascript-compatible browser for it, if any browser at all. There are now Ethernet cards available for the IIGS.

at a screen resolution of 1024x1. If the dimensions given are in pixels, as they usually are, then the recommended display setting would only show one horizontal line. 1024 pixels is wider than the maximum supported display width of the Apple IIGS.
Please enable your ad blockers, Many sites ask users to disable ad blockers, either so the owner can get ad revenue, or because blockers sometimes inadvertently block other parts of the page.
disable high-heat drying, This appears to be referring to clothes dryer heat settings, which are irrelevant to websites. Some clothing is damaged if dried with high heat.
and remove your device from Airplane Mode and set it to Boat Mode. Many portable devices, especially cell phones and tablets, have an "Airplane Mode," which disables the wireless radios to avoid potentially interfering with an aircraft's operation while flying. "Boat Mode" is fictional. (Though it might be nice to have a boat mode that turns the phone off if dropped, to reduce water damage.)
For security reasons, please leave caps lock on while browsing. Having caps lock on would not improve security. It may reduce your security if it prevents you from using lower-case letters in passwords.


[edit] Original footnote

Previously the footnote was (the earliest webarchive with it is from May 2007):

BTC 1FhCLQK2ZXtCUQDtG98p6fVH7S6mxAsEey
We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

Relevant info/links:

It was added by Randall in April 2007, according to his April 19th, 2007 Blag post as a response to random billboards appearing in the New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. It turned out these were a viral marketing campaign by the ask(jeeves) search engine to drive publicity around their new search algorithm. The campaign is long over, but Randall kept the text there (apparently) as a self referential advertising campaign. Specifically, people who find the small text will use a search engine to see what it means and the search engine will likely lead them back to xkcd — where they saw the text initially.

[edit] Removal of original footnote

The entire old footnote was removed on September 12th, 2016 as was the xkcd warning above it. The last day these were on the page was September 12th, 2016 when 1732: Earth Temperature Timeline was released.

It was maybe due to the popularity of the comic that this footnote was removed along with the warning to not scare new fans away.

Four hours later that day the page looked like this with no footnote or warning.

There was the a span from the 12th September until the 5th of October where there where no footnote, before the Current footnote was added.

[edit] No footnote

Before the Original footnote was printed there was no footnote at least up til April 2007.

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