Gmail: Google's approach to email:

Is there a limit to how far back I can send email?

Yes. You'll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail. If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born -- crazy talk.
"I just got two tickets to Radiohead by being the 'first' to respond to a co-worker's 'first-come, first-serve' email. Someone else had already won them, but I told everyone to check their inboxes again. Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."

Robby S., Paralegal

This is one of those deal where it's funny because it's true... That is, there's really nothing about an email's format other than a few fairly involved, but accessible, ASCII edits that prevent you from sending emails that, for all anyone could check them for, appear to have come from the past -- or future. You may have noticed spammers doing this to send messages from the future that stay atop your Inbox essentially until you deal with them, or there's the issue of when I've let my laptop's battery die and send a few emails before the clock syncs back up online. Hello, forty year-old email dates... If the recipient doesn't have their inbox arranged by "date received" to deal with this and the spamming issue (or even more rare, a clean inbox!!!), these "antiques" might never be seen.

So though Google thinks they're joking, they really aren't. I wonder if their SMTP server does anything about wacky send dates in emails...

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