HD Install :: How to make DSL a Desktop-Linux?

I've just installed DamnSmallLinux to Harddrive on my old Computer (Pentium 233Mhz, 64MB RAM) and I'm surprised how easy it was to install and how good it works. I'm not very experienced with Linux, I'm just using Ubuntu on my new Computer a few times to try Linux. Now I want to use my old Computer for normal work like writting a letter or surfing in the Internet. The reason why I'm so surprised is, because DSL even works better than Win98SE on this PC.
But I've got some questions:
To use DSL as a Desktop-Linux I must know how to update old packages and how to install new software. (Ubuntu uses Synaptic and it easily works)
I know that DSL is not supposed to be installed on harddisk, but I also know it is based on Debian. So there should be a possibility to use apt-get to update the system and install new software, but I just don't know how to make it.
The reason why I want DSL as Desktop-Linux instead of the "real" Debian, is that it is easier for a Linux-Newbie and a lot of good and_small_ applications are already installed.
So please help me building up DSL to a up-to-date and costumized Distribution for my own need.

greety Snake

Synaptic and apt-get are available for DSL...check your menu.  They can be installed from myDSL packages.

DSL is based on Debian only in the sense that Knoppix was based on Debian, and DSL was based on a stripped-down version of Knoppix.  However, there are several applications that were added to DSL which are not debian packages, so upgrading through the Debian repositories will be a hit-or-miss adventure at best.  This does not mean that you cannot install debian packages, of course...it's just that some apps will need to be replaced rather than upgraded.  If you can accomplish this, I assume you'll then be able to keep those packages upgraded through Synaptic.

I found Synaptic, but I cannot use it for updating my system or installing new programs. When I start Synaptic I get this Error-Messsage:
Code Sample
Calling the dpkg restore script...
Grabbing the compressed dpkg database and programs...
Connection to www.ibiblio.org[]:80
wget: server returned error 404: HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Download error!
Press Enter to continue...
An error occured while trying to restore the apt programs
press return to continue...  :

What to do know?
How to install new Software? I need an ICQ-Messanger like GAIM, for example.

Ibiblio is flaky, and often is not available.  Try again in a little while, or change the DSL mirror ("Select Mirror" from the control panel). There is a mirror list on the downloads page of damnsmalllinux.org
Yeah, now it works fine.
I just had to activate apt-get and change the mirror.
But I've got one question left: Is it possible and advisable to make an upgrage like "apt-get upgrade" or should I better use an alternative distribution to DSL, that uses current packages? If so, what alternatives do you suggest?

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