Sorry about your network card. It's always a pain when that happens. I have a spare WIFI card here because the chipset changed from what I thought it would be and therefore I no longer had a driver for it. Hardware developers are slowly 'getting it' and either producing Linux drivers or even contributing to the kernel drivers.
Just to fill you in (and it sounds like it might be too late) You wont need all of those CDs.
Debian is by far one of the biggest free software distributions around (I'm sure someone will now correct me on that one
) and includes a lot of software packages that you'll probably never need. To help organise all those packages many users participate in the popularity contest
. It's a small piece of software that periodically submits a list of what official packages people have installed (this is all open and voluntary). Packages are then arranged on the CDs in order of how likely there are to be installed.
The first few CD's will have nearly all of what you want and as you get toward the last few CDs you start finding rare and odd packages that only a few people ever use. The upshot of this is if you're still burning CDs you can probably stop now unless you really need that obscure 1978 scripting language.
The KDE and XFCE ones are simply CD1 but install those desktop environments instead of GNOME if you ask for a GUI during the install. Netinst is just a small version of CD1 (you can use the normal CD1 for a net install) and businesscard is a _very_ small net install disk for small CDs (32mb).
The update disks you could ignore if you're not online at the moment as they're security updates since the initial release of Etch last June. Once you get online you can just download the updates for the packages you have installed.
If you want extra reading don't forget to look through the documentation
and the installation guide
, they will explain a lot of whats going on. Debian Administration
has a good collection of howtos and the Debian forums
along with the Debian User
mailing list already have a lot of answers to common questions.
Of course the obvous place to start is LQ's own Debian Forum