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Practical UNIX Terrorism

[Book Cover]


The image was produced with Paint Shop Pro 5 using the ITC Garamond and Gill Sans MT Truetype fonts and a picture of an alarm clock strapped to a few sticks oy dynamite I found on the web.

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and a very skillful entrepreneur and business man, born in Stockholm on October 21, 1833. His father was Immanuel Nobel, an engineer and inventor who built bridges and buildings in Stockholm. After a bankruptcy, Immanuel left his family in Stockholm in 1837 to start up a new business in St. Petersburg, Russia. Immanuel's business was to manufacture submarine mines and torpedoes that he had designed for the Russian government. In 1842 the rest of the family also moved to Russia.

Immanuel wanted his four sons to get involved in his business, and put them all through education with private teachers. Alfred was a good student who early picked up the interest for chemistry. His father sent him on to further education in the United States between the years 1850-1852; during this period he also visited Paris and got in contact with nitroglycerin for the first time, an explosive liquid which was first made by an Italian scientist named Ascanio Sobrero in 1847. In 1852 Alfred went back to Russia to work with his father as the Russian Navy had placed big orders for the Crimean War (1853-1856). After the war ended and conditions changed, Immanuel Nobel experienced another bankruptcy and moved back to Stockholm with his family. Two of his sons remained in Russia and developed very successful careers in the oil industry.

Back in Stockholm, Alfred, his father and Alfred's younger brother Emil started a laboratory in 1859 where they started to do experiments with the explosive liquid nitroglycerin. Alfred saw that the advantages nitroglycerin had over gun powder could be used in a commercial and technical way. Over the years they had several explosions in the laboratory; a big one in 1864 killed the younger brother Emil and several other people. The city of Stockholm enforced laws that experiments with explosives could not be made within the city limits of Stockholm.

This did not stop Alfred; he moved his laboratory to a barge on the Lake of Malaren. Alfred had by now realized that there were safety problems to be solved; he had to find a safe way to transport the explosive as well as a method to have control of the detonation of nitroglycerin. In 1864 the company Nitroglycerin AB was founded and a mass production of nitroglycerin started, and the following year,1865, he opened up the first factory abroad in Hamburg. Alfred still worked on the safety issue of the explosive, and in 1866 he successfully mixed nitroglycerin with silica which turned the liquid into a paste. This paste, which could be formed and shaped as desired, including into the classic 'stick' made it possible for safe transportation. The new material was patented in 1867 under the name "dynamite." He also invented a blasting cap (detonator) also patented, which could be ignited by lighting a fuse. The market for dynamite and blasting caps grew very rapidly and over the years Alfred founded factories in over 20 countries in 90 different locations. In 1893 he bought the Bofors-Gullspang company in Sweden, today a world known munitions and firearm factory.

Taken from

Colophon for 1st Edition

I designed the T-shirt after seeing (I think it was) Sir Dystic wearing the original version on an interview for some vaguely technical programme on BBC2 (a UK television channel). I thought of doing one myself, then realised the style had changed and why don't I do a more modern version? The image was produced with Paint Shop Pro 5 using the ITC Garamond and Gill Sans MT Truetype fonts and a copy of the face I found on the web.

Whenever possible the T-shirts upon which the image is laser printed is usually a Screen Stars (Fruit of the Loom) or Jersey 363 type. Fairly heavy cotton, it shouldn't need ironing if you dry it by hanging it over something.

The image on the cover of Practical UNIX Terrorism is the offical FBI sketch of the face of the Unabomber.

Over the course of 18 years (1978-1995), "the Unabomber" (generally accepted to be Ted Kaczynski acting alone) placed or mailed 23 package bombs. These bombs killed 3 and wounded 16. As the first targets were UN-iversities and A-irlines, the FBI gave the case the name UNABOM. The FBI was finally able to apprehend Kaczynski thanks to his brother David and David's wife Linda who recognized the writing in "Industrial Society and Its Future" (aka "The Manifesto") which the FBI finally decided to have the Washington Post publish. His federal trial resulted in the sentence of multiple life terms in the SuperMax prison in Colorado.

Currently, Kaczynski has appealed and hopes to get a retrial in which he is able to defend himself. He has decided he would rather risk receiving a death-sentence than live out his days in prison diagnosed as insane (he insists he is not mentally ill, only that he had a very difficult time with social adjustment as a kid). His book has been postponed, but his allegory was published.

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