Most Oracle professionals are surprised to learn that the name “Oracle” originates from the name of a CIA project. This article in Forbes Magazine notes that Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison worked on a CIA project with the code-name “Oracle”:
“He [Larry Ellison] dropped out of the University of Chicago in the 1960s, headed to Berkeley, Calif. and by the mid-1970s began working on a database project. Code name: Oracle. Client: the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1977, Ellison founded the company with Robert Miner and Edward Oates, naming it after the CIA job.”
There are other publications that suggest that the CIA did more than just lend the name Oracle, and they suggest that the CIA gave Ellison the Oracle software, after it was stolen from Russia:
“I’ve chosen to publish his theory on Oracle’s origin – in other words, how CIA stole the source code from the Russians, who had developed it originally!”
Monday, November 20, 2006
How CIA stole Oracle from the Russians
At the UKOUG conference in Birmingham last week, the OakTable got a new member – Kurt van Meerbeeck from Belgium – the author of DUDE, Pepi and Pretoria, and a guy with a slight hint of humour.
His presentation had people laughing rather hard, and so I’ve chosen to publish his theory on Oracle’s origin – in other words, how CIA stole the source code from the Russians, who had developed it originally!
Here we go, in Kurt’s own words:
I believe, to truely understand X$ tables you need to have some basic knowledge of an eastern european language … just to even pronounce them. Now – Oracle used to be named after a CIA project right ?
And Oracle hasexisted … for how long now… 31 years ?
I think the Americans stole the source code from the Russians during the cold war – and asked Larry and his team to read in the tape (they were developing tape driver software weren’t they).
Probably they were expecting some list of agents and I can imaging the CIA was quite dissapointed when they saw this source code full of X$ garble.
I guess they told Larry he could keep the tapes and on he went revealing this relational database power… of course they couldn’t use the X$ stuff so they wrote V$ views on top of them … so people could understand…
It’s not a coincidence that after the fall of the Berlin wall a *lot* of features were added – Oracle 6 was almost a complete rewrite !!!
So to end this – and you are probably wondering about this … how come Jonathan Lewis is such a wiz in X$ tables ???
There’s only one explanation – MI6 ! His codename was probably OO-600 … with a license to kill your instance 😉 (math-teacher … yeah – right !)