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I'm so lost

Hi guys. I'm sure you get sick of fielding questions from people that 
must seem braindead but I need some suggestions. 

I have made the big leap for me and installed Debian. I had a few 
problems (once it crashed during install) but I'm there, I'm at bash 
and I don't know what to do. I thought that installing the 
home/stand alone package would get me to something a little more 
familier than bash (like some sort of GUI) but I was wrong. I am 
trying to understand the book that I bought, but I fear it was 
intended for someone a little more advanced then me. (The book is 
Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 Unleashed-From Knowledge to Mastery) My 
goal would be to get something like GNOME installed along with 
some user applications. I simply do not know where to start. 
Currently I am not logged in as root and I do not even know how to 
shut down the system. One other problem I noticed during install 
and in bash is that the keyboard is a little trigger happy. When 
trying to press one character, I would press multiples, which 
caused a lot of frustration when trying to come up with a root 

My system is:
AMD Thunderbird Athlon 700mhz
256 mb ram
6.4 gig hd (all Debian)
internal modem that was not found when installing some automatic 
Sony rewritable drive on primary/slave
installation was from the cd contained in the book

I'm sorry to burden the list, but I need someone to speak real slow 
and use little words.

Thank you for taking the time to look at this message! -Jeff H

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