One Saturday night while chatting at IRC (what else could we be doing on saturday night ??) we had an inspiration, why not install Debian remotely, without taking the server home. More here
Even if everything got eventually borked it couldn’t get any worse than going there, taking the server home and fixing it, just like we would do any way. So we gathered on a new IRC channel with some more friends that are really good with Debian and started the conversion progress.