IPv4 Exhaustion FAQ

Q: What does IPv4 exhaustion mean? Can’t you give IPv4 some Red Bull?

A: As everyone knows, the Internet was constructed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1895 using an old-growth forest and a thousand buffalo hides. He created a giant “pool” to hold all of the Internet’s numbers. While quite large for its time, the pool is much too small to handle the demands of today’s Internet.

Q: When will the pool run out?

A: In about eight and a half minutes.

Q: What will happen then?

A: The entire Internet will grind to a halt. It will shudder comically as it does so.

Q: But how will I get to Twitter? I gotta have my tweets.

A: In recognition of its role as the most important web site ever, the final IP address will be reserved for Twitter. In order to get there you will have to defeat an opponent in a cage match. You will get to choose between a crowd shouting “Two packets enter! One packet leaves!” or the Star Trek fight theme.

Q: Can’t I have something cool like Eye of the Tiger or that one Van Halen song that sounds like a motivational poster?

A: No. Not nerdy enough.

Q: I don’t want to fight a nerd in a cage. Is there another way to get my tweets?

A: No. Gotta battle a nerd.

Q: Really?

A: Well…

Q: Well, what?

A: You could use IPv6.

Q: What’s IPv6?

A: It’s a newer, better Internet created by Matthew Broderick’s character in War Games in 1983. Its number pool is huge. The addresses should last for dozens of months at the very least.

Q: How do I use IPv6?

A: You have to have a modern computer. You also have to have an ISP that supports IPv6 or create a tunnel.

Q: OK. Tunnel’s all ready to go. Can I have my tweets now?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Twitter doesn’t use IPv6.

5 thoughts on “IPv4 Exhaustion FAQ

  1. Paul Nicholas Boylan

    When I began reading this FAQ discussion, I got excited: not only did this page appear informative (I never realized Teddy Roosevelt created the first internet) but it also seemed I had FINALLY found an information source that would answer all of my nagging – and persistent – questions about whether I will still be able to tweet after the internet collapses, which we all know is imminent.

    Imagine my consternation when I reached the end of the FAQ discussion to learn I would NOT be able to tweet after doomsday. Thank you SO much, Gerald Combs (if that IS your real name) and Wireshark for lifting my spirits up so high only to let those elevated spirits fall to crash and die on the rocks of bitter disappointment. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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