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Eaugh. Connection problems.

Okay, so I went through the twelve-hour download and install without significant hitches.  (A few files had to be retried because my modem connection dropped a few times during the download.)  My problem now is that, having restarted, I can't seem to get a working modem connection again.  At first, I thought it was a password problem, as the password in pppconfig had been inexplicably overwritten, but even when I fixed that, I was able to connect, but not actually do anything with the connection.  (Pings and the like just went to Mars or something.)  I'm using the stable release, and I installed the first four tasks and the C task.  What did I mess up, and how do I fix it?

Also, KDE was installed as part of one of the tasks.  How do I get it, or indeed any window manager, to actually go, preferably at bootup?  I don't particularly care for text mode... 

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