maximum Maytag mode
= M =
4 lines of at most 80 characters each,
sometimes still cited on Usenet as the maximum acceptable size of a
sig block. Before the great bandwidth explosion of the early
1990s, long sigs actually cost people running Usenet servers
significant amounts of money. Nowadays social pressure against
long sigs is intended to avoid waste of human attention rather
than machine bandwidth. Accordingly, the McQuary limit should
be considered a rule of thumb rather than a hard limit; it's
best to avoid sigs that are large, repetitive, and distracting.
See also warlording.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.