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Help installing debian "Other" packages

Hi all,

I have installed the Debian linux system on my system but am now having
problems installing "other" packages.  I can download these packages
from the internet from my windows '95 machine and then transfer them
to the Linux system using a diskette.   When I try to run dpkg on
these files I get errors.  For example, I have transferred the
gzip-1_2_4-10.deb file to the Debian Linux system and now want to
install it.  
I can issue the following command line:
dpkg --install gzip-1_2_4-10.deb

I then get the following error:
dpkg-deb: 'gzip-1_2_4-10.deb' is not a debian format archive
dpkg: error processing dpkg_1_2_11elf.deb (--install):
 subprocess dpkg-deb --control returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:

I am pretty sure that it is a valid binary file because I have
downloaded other binary files the same way and have had no problems
with them.
I have also tried installing a number of other debian packages and get
the same error.  Is there anything special that I need to do with these
debian packages before I try to install them?

What am I doing wrong?


P.S. I am pretty new to this "UNIX" game (coming from "wintel"
programming), so I would appreciate it if you could detail your

Wayne Richardson
Advanced Software Engineer
3M Health Information Systems
"Life is not a spectator sport..."

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