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Xdefaults being ignored?


I have the weirdest problem: Whatever I enter into my ~/.Xdefaults
seems to be ignored entirely. I tried to make my mouse wheel work
with netscape; pasted the relevant lines from 
to ~/.Xdefaults - nothing.
I edited (for test purposes) ~/.Xdefaults to look like this:
xterm*background:              white
xterm*foreground:              black

Xterm is still white text on a black background (I tried different
capitalizations of 'xterm', also).
I really don't understand what's going on.
I am running the latest Woody with XF4.0.1 and gnome/sawfish.
Any ideas, anyone?


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