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.deb packages from outside debian/dists/ ?

I want to install some software that I downloaded as a .deb file, but it
did not come from a Debian mirror. Instead it came from a ftp download
from a developer's web site. The only way I have ever used dselect, dpkg, or
apt-get have been to get stuff from a Debian mirror and then unpack and 
install it. This happened all automatically. Now I have a file in my home
directory. Where do I put it? What commands and options do I use?

And most important - where are the answers to these questions in the 


Paul E Condon            

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