On 9 Jan 2014, at 14:56, Clem Cole wrote:

I agree with you, I always thought it was crazy and always seem to be caused me a number of issues with things like tape utilities. 

That's how I found it.  tar xfp will almost never work as an ordinary user on a system like this.

I don't think it is in Solaris: for my sins (which must be many, clearly) I've spent a lot of time running Solaris systems and I can't remember them allowing this.  My memory of SunOS (as in 4 or earlier) systems is too vague to be sure though I am sure tar xfp worked, so probably they did not do this either: must have been some other system I used (Masscomps?)