Step one was to install Linux; I use Debian more for historical reasons than anything else, but it works. This time, I didn't manage to accidentally corrupt the Windows' NTFS tree thereby requiring a reinstallation, nor did I try to netinstall off of a wireless connection. However, wireless has proved as daunting a task to solve as it did the last time I tried to do it. After much finessing and going everywhere for information, the irksome driver finally worked under ndiswrapper randomly today. Still requires a lot of manual intervention, but at least I know how to get it to work.
Also fixed today were two irksome problems. My resolution is now back up at the comfortable 1280x800 instead of an annoyingly fat 1024x768. The mouse is now configured to give me a middle click when I click both left and right buttons, a boon for the touchpad. Finally, the most irksome of my problems was the inability to use <Alt>-# to switch screens in irssi; even that's been fixed.
I don't think I did too badly on those two exams I took today that I should have been studying for instead of setting up my laptop, so that's reassuring. Mozilla's building fine right now (I'm waiting for libgklayout.so to link so I can laugh in its face!); scp'ing my data from my old machine seems to be progressing smoothly.
That said, I've still got things to do. I'm planning on finally getting around to requesting CVS privs today. fluxbox still demands some configuration, and laying down on the carpet for lack of desk space is beginning to aggravate my elbows. Hey, libgklayout.so finished building, and I didn't even notice it. There's also the Vista thing of sides to shore up. So far, the only good thing about Vista that I can find is that it comes with better games than XP. I haven't tested the games I've actually paid for yet, though...