Problem: No Debian CDs or boot floppies will work.
Solution: (as reported by numerous people on the net) Upgrade the machine's BIOS and the RAID card's firmware.
Goal: Upgrade the machine's BIOS.
Problem: Dell's BIOS flasher requires Windows to write the floppy images. Why couldn't they have just provided *.raw files?
Problem: My Windows machine has no floppy.
Solution: My laptop (Dell, as it is) has a removable floppy. Reboot into Windows, make images.
Goal: Update RAID card's firmware.
Problem: Dell's RAID flasher only comes as Redhat 7.1 RPMs.
Problem: I have no Redhat 7.1 system.
Solution: At OSCON I picked up a few dozen CDs. One of them was a Redhat 7.1 CD. Install Redhat 7.1 on Poweredge. (works flawlessly ... 2.4 megaraid driver just works, even with old firmware.)
In retrospect, I could've made some 2.4 debian boot-floppies or something, but fuck it... that's one more thing to learn and I'm tired.
I fucking hate computers.
I wish there was somebody to do this all for me. But then I'd have to pay them, which isn't a big problem, but since stuff like this usually blocks my projects anyway, I'd still be doing nothing, and I can do it faster usually than other people would be able to get to it, unless it was their full time job, in which case I'd be paying them more than the sub-minimium-wage I pay myself.
Now to go install some RPMs to flash my RAID firmware.