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Running “patch” without generating *.orig and *.rej files
This doesn't work for me – it just puts the rejects in a file called "-", which is a very very annoying filename to have around. I'm using version 2.5.8 on a Mac.
Why is rm slow?
I haven't formally benchmarked it, but I did try it after reading someone else's benchmarks, and the difference was substantial. I can't find that post any more, but this answer on serverfault has an explanation and source for an even faster delete program.
What's the difference between a hard links and copied files?
This has nothing to do with the question.