It went pretty much OK except that it didn't work with X. It complained about frame buffers.
Despite the fact that it was running the 2.2.20 kernel (Why would Debian run such an old kernel in their latest release?) I downloaded the 2.4.24 kernel. It built just fine and X started working.
(of course now I have to figure out what runlevel to set in /etc/inittab so that I get a text login). The problem is that now when I try to connect to the network, it just flat doesn't work.
Is this because I'm trying to run debian with the 2.4 kernel rather than the 2.2?