In my early days of Unix, 1985 or thereabouts, when I needed to create an archive I used cpio. I don’t really remember why I used cpio instead of tar. Tar seemed to be the ubiquitous Unix archiving command. I ran across few fellow cpio-ers. So at some point, I gave in and started using tar. I rarely use cpio now, and almost never run across a reference to it. So I find it curious that Oracle, in the midst of distributing their patchsets for Oracle 9i (9.2), suddenly switched from distributing as tarballs, to distributing as cpio archives. It’s like a flashback to the Reagan Administration.