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KDE3 gives "knotify: cannot connect to X server :0"

Does that error ring a bell with anybody?
Here's the situation: I've got a pretty fresh installation of Debian. I installed it from a 2.2r3 CD and then upgraded to "unstable". I also pointed apt to the geniussystems site and got KDE3.
The problem is that I can't get KDE come up completely. X starts fine, then I get the KDE splash screen with the half-dozen startup icons along the bottom of the splash. It gets to the third one (the mouse), and then I get dumped back to the console (error message follows). Right before X terminates, I catch a brief glimpse of some kind of alert window that pops up in the middle of the screen over the splash screen. It seems to have just one button and it also has a checkbox... but that's all I'm able to make out before the screen switches back to the text console.
The system works fine with Fvwm95, twm, and WindowMaker. If I start up with one of those WM's and then try to *switch* to KDE, I get the same result. Also, this happens if I'm root or a plain user.
Anybody have any ideas before I try to completely purge and re-install?
------------------- Included portion of error message -------------
(**) Generic Mouse: ZAxisMapping: buttons 4 and 5
(II) XINPUT: Adding extended input device "Generic Mouse" (type: MOUSE)
(II) XINPUT: Adding extended input device "Configured Mouse" (type: MOUSE)
DCOPServer up and running.
Fatal server error:
Caught signal 11.  Server aborting

When reporting a problem related to a server crash, please send
the full server output, not just the last messages.
This can be found in the log file "/var/log/XFree86.0.log".
Please report problems to submit@bugs.debian.org.
xinit:  connection to X server lost.
knotify: cannot connect to X server :0
DCOP aborting call from 'anonymous-6967' to 'knotify'
ERROR: KUniqueApplication: DCOP communication error!
---------------------------- End include ---------------------------------
- Joe

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