Depressed Web Servers and Other Amusing 404 Pages

by Bill Brenner on December 16, 2013

I write a lot about my own episodes of depression and that of others. But I’ve never written about a web server suffering from it. That is, until the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) gave me reason to do so.

The students got creative with a 404 File Not Found page.

Instead of the usual 404, you get a depressed web server going on and on about how dismal it is to be a server that can’t deliver a simple web page. It then goes on to suggest that we users ask for too much. After all, it’s not like the server knows us.

A sample of what it says:

depressed server

Variations of this message have been kicking around for at least three years. It just so happens that I’m only now getting around to seeing it, thanks to a Facebook share from my friend Alex Howard.

As I was researching the background of the ACM’s work, I came across plenty more creative 404 pages. I’m finding them at the right time, as I’m in a bit of a snit today. The clever lightheartedness is just what the doctor ordered.

Mashable.com has an epic slideshow of “35 Entertaining 404 Messages.” A few of my favorites:
404 Spaghetti-Os

Broke the Internet

Star Wars 404

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