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ACK! Blew up my KDE and need help in San Francisco!

To sum up:
Newbie with Woody 3.0 installed and running kernel 2.4.18 on IBM Thinkpad770 (256MB RAM, 20GB HD) Downloaded KDE 3.1 .debs from KDE.org, including packages.gz, created similar directory structure on local HD. Ran deselect, changed to mounted filesystem, got it to identify directory for KDE 3.1. Attempted to install all available packeages in directory; crashed KDE 2.2 (yes, like an idiot I was trying to upgrade KDE while running KDE 2.2). Crashed the window manager, relogged into GNOME, attempted to continue, but dselect returns an error message when trying to install brokenly-installed packages. Cannot figure out how to update /etc/apt/sources.list to include the directory I created on the HD
Cannot get dselect to install single packages without it returning an error.
Cannot get online using Mozilla in GNOME; don't even know how to diagnose failure (ifconfig shows eth0 working correctly, pon dsl-provider seems to work)

I have tried every workaround I know, and I have run out of time to hunt-and-peck at manpages, HOWTOs, and more wepages in the hope of finding an answer at random. Rather than risk more damage to my system (I have had to reinstall from scratch 9 times so far), I would like to find someone in the San Francisco bay area who knows Debian GNU/Linux and KDE well enough to give me an overview of what the hell I did wrong and how I can fix it.

If anyone is available in the SF Bay Area, I will bring my laptop to you at anytime, anyplace you choose. Please respond directly to this email (I am unsubscribed from this list) or call (415) 994-1810

Thanks in advance,

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