I got jigdo running, and downloaded the first two Debian CDs. Successfully installed this time. Somehow it skipped installing the ethernet drivers, and when I tried adding them with dselect inside Gnome or KDE dselect couldn’t see the CD-ROM.
So, I booted in “emergency” mode, and dselect could then see the CD-ROM. Installed etherconf, ran it, it did everything automatically, rebooted one more time, and the machine is on the net.
Sound still doesn’t work, but I’ll worry about that later.
Now I have some annoying program asking me what network configuration I’d like to use every time the machine starts up, where the correct answer is “no network configuration *you* know about, bucko”; I need to get rid of that…
dselect is definitely way better than RPM.