1. How do I install ppm packages if I don't have a correctly functioning ppm utility ?

  Use PAR::Dist::InstallPPD from CPAN.
  Note that it doesn't automatically install prerequisite ppm packages, nor does it automatically run post install scripts.
  For an example of usage see the PdlInstall script. (Be sure to read the opening comments in that file.)
  NOTE: If you prefer to use PPM, grab the version provided by the current Strawberry Perl.

2. What are libgcc_*.dll, cpp++*.dll, libstdc_*.dll (included in the ppm packages) ?

  These are small libgcc dll's needed by many (though not all) of the sisyphusion ppm packages.
  The dll is placed into the blib/script folder in the ppm package, from where it will be installed into
  the location specified by $Config{sitebin} thus ensuring that it will be found and loaded as necessary.
  Note that the folder into which it is installed needs to be (and probably already is) in your path.
  You need to add that folder to your path if it isn't already there. You can find out which directory that
  is by running perl -V:sitebin
  No other app that you have should rely on a dll by the same name - and it should therefore not clash or
  interfere in any way with any other packages or apps.

3. Why do I need to use --force to install via ppm ?

  This is generally necessary because most of the sisyphusion ppm packages contain at least one of the dll's
  mentioned in question 2.
  The problem is that recent versions of ppm won't overwrite a file that has been installed as part of another
  ppm package - instead they just die with an explanatory message that tells one to use '--force'.
  Therefore, if you've already installed a module that has installed the dll, attempting to install another
  module that wants to install the same dll into the same location will fail (with aforementioned explanatory
  message) unless '--force' is used.

4. Strawberry Perl's version of PPM won't automatically install pre-requisites. How do I deal with this shortcoming ?

  Download and run the ppm_req perl script.. Run the script as:
      perl ppm_req Module::Name
  If no PPM package for Module::Name exists on the sisyphusion repo for the specified module, the script will
  tell you so. Otherwise it will list out the PPM pre-requisites for Module::Name, and also list the ppm
  commands you need to run in order to install Module::Name and its dependencies.
  Just copy'n'paste that block of commands to your cmd.exe console. (Note that --force is unnecessary with
  the version of PPM that ships with Strawberry Perl.)