Despite the much reported demise of BSD and its variants (namely FreeBSD) in the wake of Linux, I have to say that yet again FreeBSD was called upon and didn't let me down. In my shack was a Gentoo box had been going strong since mid-2003. Gentoo's portage system of updates was a godsend, avoiding RPM hell, dealing smartly with dependencies and just being quiet about the whole thing. The box worked flawlessly for web browsing, email as well as a nice convenient file dump. That was, until the past month or so when Gentoo appears to have just lost its collective minds. A hotplug update rendered the machine unable to reboot, a ReiserFS update no longer can replay the journal and I have no idea what they've done to xorg, but the only way to get a desktop was to rebuild XFree86. So, not wanting to dink around with a fresh installation of Gentoo (which can take days), I had a 6.2 release of FreeBSD and installed it. In 20 minutes I had a clean, stable desktop machine. 20 minutes, with no bloat, no RPM nightmare. This seven year old PC is just fast.