Who Left This Server On, for 19 Years?

The Maximum PC site is still online to this day, as it was when it was abandoned in 2001

On the most recent episode of ATP, John Siracusa referenced once of his early Mac OS X reviews. This prompted me to revisit his review of the Mac OS X public beta, as the evolution of computer interfaces is something that I find fascinating.

In one of his screenshots, he shows the Ars Technica home page. At the top of the page is a banner informing readers that Ars is part of the “Maximum PC Network“. I immediately recalled this web site, as it was closely related to many other publications I was into at the time, including .net magazine. So, I decided to see what became of the Maximum PC Network by visiting its site in 2020. I expected to find a domain for sale, or it redirecting to a parent company – but no, to my surprise, maximumpc.co.uk is still online, and is still showing the date of when it was presumably last updated – 26th February 2001. Complete with references to em@il and asking whether Windows XP is worth upgrading to, the site is straight out of 2001, but amazingly – still online. Some server, somewhere in 2020 has been left running sine 2001.

I’d love to know the story of how this has happened – how does someone forget a web site existed, but continue to pay for its hosting – even going as far as renewing the SSL certificate each year? That said, I think it’s great and I wish more web sites could stay online once they are abandoned.

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