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Shutdown Day dares you to turn off your computer this Saturday

What would happen if you put your computer away for a day? Montreal residents Denis Bystrov and Michael Taylor are hoping that thousands of people around the world will find out tomorrow. They founded Shutdown Day, in which participants are challenged to shut down their computers for the duration of March 24, 2007--and keep them off all day.

Think you could do it? You're not alone. As of 9:00 AM PST on March 23, nearly 55,000 people worldwide have clicked on a "yes, I can do it" button on Shutdown Day's official site.

The rules of Shutdown Day, however, are extremely open-ended. The Web site's FAQ explains that while laptops and desktops are the central focus, they encourage you to think about turning off your PDAs, cell phones, and gaming consoles as well. No mention is made of televisions, DVRs, or "smart" household appliances. It's really the thinking behind it that counts.

In order to test the ropes, several members of CNET's staff, myself included, will be participating in Shutdown Day. You'll be able to read our experiences next week.