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12th of February, 2003 ANTE·MERIDIEM 10:46

“The juiciest bit of news actually happened about a week ago but I was told about it today. A couple of days ago it was rumored that all top officials had their phone numbers changed, well who cares it’s not like I call Saddam every night to chat, but today a friend explained why. Around six days ago the phone lines of the Iraqi air defense units were ‘attacked’. When you picked up the phone in some of the command units you didn.t get a dial tone but a male voice speaking in broken Arabic. What it said is close to what the infamous email said, don’t use chemical or biological weapons, don’t offer resistance, and don’t obey commands to attack civilian areas and so on. This went on for a couple of hours. Now everyone has new numbers. I have no idea how that is at all possible. I do know that for some rural areas we use microwave signals for phone connections but they can.t be so stupid as to use it for military purposes. Way to go uncle Sam. This is going to make one hell of a James Bond movie.”

Heh. That’s from that Iraqi blog which Metafilter pointed to a few days ago, http://​dear_raed.​blogspot.​com/​ , and that particular bit is via Danny O’Brien.

In boring Unix-head news, I managed to compile the Xfree86 Virtual Framebuffer server[1] on Matrix, with the net result that I can do this;

$ Xvfb -nolisten tcp -fbdir ~/.xemacs -screen 0 50x50x1 :30

which starts DISPLAY :30, a 50 pixel by 50 pixel X screen, in black and white. Screen shot is at http://​netsoc.​tcd.​ie/​~hcksplat/​images/​scrn.​pdf . Pretty mundane, except now I can do this;

$ DISPLAY=:30 xemacs &
$ gnuclient

and, when the Random NAT timeout hits, I can reconnect, do a gnuclient(1), and I’m back in the same session, no work lost. Which gladdens my heart, anyway.

I wonder if woher[2] and whither[3] are related? The OED entry doesn’t really clear the matter up. Woher doesn’t mean whither, of course; that would be wohin, the one that sounds like whence. Which is what woher means. Natürlich.

[1] http://​ftp.​xfree86.​org/​pub/​XFree86/​snapshots/​4.​2.​99.​4/​doc/​HTML/​Xvfb.​1.​html

[2] http://​dict.​leo.​org/​?search=woher

[2] http://​dictionary.​oed.​com/​cgi/​entry_main/​00284896

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