Back to BSD.
Set up my new (to me) Thinkpad T42 last night - you really can't tell it's a refurb other than a few very light scratches, and the battery holding no more than a 41% (courtesy of KDE, that figure) charge.
Power up, and Windows XP started its installation. Hold in the power button and switch off, stick a USB key in there and into the BIOS (which appears to be a bit of an IBM custom job to me...) to choose the boot order and get ready to get a different OS on there.
First up - NetBSD.
What can I say about the installer, other than, IMHO, UGH.
I can't remember the last time I had to manually select partition sizes (yep, just like the old days, kids!), rather than it suggesting some sane defaults, and then trying to step back and ... having to go through the whole palaver again. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but for now I'll just stick with my VirtualBox version (with awesome) on my Kubuntu desktop.
Got it installed, had a little tinker and then.... decided to go with FreeBSD.
So, new USB key set up courtesy of a dd on another machine, plugged in and away we go.
Smooth as butter! Sane default partition sizes, wifi set up...
And then I decided to do it all over again. I forget why, but I have a feeling I forgot something so thought the quickest way to fix it was to spend ten minutes reinstalling.
Then came the setup - user added, check. User added to wheel, check. X installed, check. XFCE installed, check. KDE installed, check. KDM set to start on bootup check.
At this point I decided I didn't want KDM to start automatically, so after a bit of a fight with vi (as I decided to forget some commands... oops), which needed a quick reference to here and there to edit some config files, and then a forced pkg_delete to remove KDE (I think), I had a boot to the command line and XFCE starting up with X.
Next I just need to install some software, but so far so fantastic!