I've got a cold that's been kicking my butt for a week now, but the upside is that since I was sick I was home when the DSL installers came out (for the 8th or 9th time) and finally got my DSL setup working at a tolerable, if suboptimal, bitrate (924 kbps).
I've got to take a second to give major props to the folks at SpeakEasy.net. They have provided the best technical support I've ever experienced throughout this process. The techs and the installers from Covad have actually listened to me and treated me like a technically knowlegable human being, which is almost unheard of in the tech support world. When the problems they've encountered have gone beyond my knowledge, they explained the details of the loop circuitry to me so that I could interact with their onsite techs better. It's been amazing. Moreover, since they weren't able to delivier the full 1.5 Mbit service, they've given me a bit of a break on my static IPs to make up for it.
I ran across some awesome FAQ-type pages for C today, as well, on c declarations and the ANSI C standard.
Note to self: possible option for X login for the laptop:
Set shell to /usr/X11R6/bin/startx (may need to add /usr/X11R6/bin/startx to /etc/shells in order for this to work.)