Well, Santa brought me OpenBSD and FreeBSD for Xmas, just as I asked. The FreeBSD install went off without a hitch and I managed to get Gnome running with no prob. I would really like to use the ports collection and compile apps from source. The problem is, whenever I enter /usr/ports/whatever_pkg and type "make," BSD attempts to download the source from the net, rather than from CD. This box is not connected to the net, so could not possibly retrieve the sources from the net. This occurs whenever I follow the EXACT instructions from the FreeBSD handbook. Is there a configuration file somewhere in etc that I must edit to force retrieval of sources from CD, or does the Cd contain precompiled binaries only?
You are confusing two things: binary packages and ports. Here's the difference.
Binary packages: just like RPM's or .deb's, the app has already been compiled and put into a nice package. To install it, you just need to do: pkg_add <filename>. This is what you will find on the CD.
Ports: This is a tree containing a lots of Makefiles for different apps. The source is downloaded off the internet (always). If you don't have internet, you can't use this. They are not on the CD AFAIK, only the ports tree (ports.tar.gz) is on the CD.
The same applies for OpenBSD and NetBSD (though in NetBSD, ports are for the different architectures and packages are the source tarballs. /usr/pkgsrc)