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chain: 1. [orig. from BASIC's `CHAIN' statement] vi. To hand
   off execution to a child or successor without going through the
   OS command interpreter that invoked it.  The state of the
   parent program is lost and there is no returning to it.  Though
   this facility used to be common on memory-limited micros and is
   still widely supported for backward compatibility, the jargon usage
   is semi-obsolescent; in particular, most UNIX programmers will
   think of this as an exec.  Oppose the more modern
   `subshell'.  2. A series of linked data areas within an
   operating system or application.  `Chain rattling' is the process
   of repeatedly running through the linked data areas searching for
   one which is of interest to the executing program.  The implication
   is that there is a very large number of links on the chain.