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H2 disks, simple dselect problem

After several years delay, I have ventured into Hurd country.

Starting with the H2 disks images, I have
  --  cross installed a hurd using a baseHurd.tgz
  --  set up Grub, and rebooted into the Hurd
  --  run initial-install, rebooted, and run initial-install again
  --  copied the hurd-H2-CD1.iso into a hard disk partition, and mounted it
      with a 
        settrans /cdrom /hurd/isofs -r /dev/hd0s3 

so far all is good. Then I boot up into non-single user mode,
and start dselect
    Choose Access
    Choose from an already Mounted partition
then dselect asks:

>> In order to make it easy for me to find the relevant files I'd
>> ideally like to install from a straightforward copy of the Debian
>> distribution.  To use this I'll need to know where the top level of
>> that copy of the distribution is (eg. 'debian/dists/stable') - this
>> directory usually contains the Packages-Master file.

>> If you do not have a straightforward copy of the distribution available
>> just answer `none' and we'll go through the parts I need individually.
>> Distribution top level ? [none]  

To which I answer

So dselect observes:

>> `/cd1-iso/debian/dists/stable/main/binary-hurd-i386' does not
>> contain any *.deb packages.  Hmmpf.

which is true, but confuses me.
/cd1-iso/debian/dists/stable/main/binary-hurd-i386 does exist, and includes
a Packages.gz, which then points to .deb files like
which exist also. 

I have played various tunes with answers to the subsequent questions,
but without success. Ultimately dselect gives me a list of packages to
choose from, but they are packages installed by the original baseHurd.tgz.

So my questions are:

1. Should I be able to use dselect to install compilers and other
   useful things? Have I got a wrong dselect? 

2. Can anyone offer a hint on the next step forward? My hurd is yet to speak
   Ethernet, so cannot yet be pointed directly at Ftp sites.

I admit to being a very new to the whole debian world, though have
been a modest user of Linux for several years.

John Smith

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