So the question is, has any person, anywhere, at any
time, successfully installed 5.2.1-RELEASE on any
hardware whatsoever ?  Or is it just a practical joke
release ?

I'm not going to tell you again that the installation media is bad, because everybody else said that already.

But something that I do wish to say is that I am wondering why it is always the fault of the software, and not the person itself. I mean, think about it, do you truely think a project like FreeBSD would release software that is _that_ unstable? Thousands, ten thousands of people are using it daily for their server or workstation needs. Aren't you going to think then that it might be a problem which lies with you and not the software?

Why don't we take our friend Bill's software for example? Starting from Windows NT4, it has been a good operating system for both servers and workstations. You can't say it's bad, because it's probably being maintained by a bad system adminstrator then. It's the programs running on Windows that can make it run bad (spyware, malware, viruses, bad drivers, name it up). People always bash Microsoft for security exploits, but FreeBSD and Linux people have to patch their machines as well because of security exploits. Why don't they ever give a kick when they have to patch their *nix machine, and they all blame, curse, troll and flame on Microsoft and Windows, but we forget that Windows developers are humans as well. Anyway, this is going too much offtopic.

Pardon my obvious frustration, but I am quite tired of people bashing and trolling on software like this before they even think about their problem.
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