Thanks to everyone who submitted an answer ( 3 of you)!
The original problem:
When untarring a file on my sun, onto a disk remoted mounted from an SGI,
the ownership of the untarred files was not the user but was the owner as
defined in the tar file. Since this wasn't even a user defined on the system,
the files and directories couldn't even be creatd due to permission problems.
On the SGI I needed to set the tunable system paramter "restricted_chown"
to 1, which only lets the superuser change the owner of a file or directory.
By default on the SGI any one can do this.
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