BTW, is there anyway to use apt-get to install something to the ramdisk temporarily while running off the KNOPPIX CD, maybe to tmp? Apparently you can install some things that way, look at fabianx's nvidia installer script which works for cdd and hdd installs. I suppose it would depend on what files need to be installed and updated so it would be application specific, right?

My kid at college has an old Gateway desktop in his dorm room that runs fine with the CD but the hdd is dead. Well, he's too cheap to get a new hdd, so he'd like to install the nvidia drivers and bzflag this way. Can this be done?

Why don't you just type apt-get install and press <Tab>?
It will list everything available to install.
BTW, I can't get this to work. Does this work? The best I can do to see available apps to install is apt-cache search xxxx - is that all I can do?