= W =
wheel of reincarnation
wheel bit n.
A privilege bit that allows the possessor to
perform some restricted operation on a timesharing system, such as
read or write any file on the system regardless of protections,
change or look at any address in the running monitor, crash or
reload the system, and kill or create jobs and user accounts. The
term was invented on the TENEX operating system, and carried over
to TOPS-20, XEROX-IFS, and others. The state of being in a
privileged logon is sometimes called `wheel mode'. This term
entered the Unix culture from TWENEX in the mid-1980s and has been
gaining popularity there (esp. at university sites). See also
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.