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suddenly having serious problems with testing and unstable

Hello.  Over the weekend I needed to install tetex and friends on an
unstable box.  I did the apt-get install for all of the packages needed,
and it started off like normal.  Partway through the installation of
tetex-bin (I believe) it says something like "ed exited with error code
4" and apt quits on error.  

At this point, the package system on my machine is totally dead - I can't
use apt to finish configuring the packages it was installing; I can't use
"dpkg --configure --pending" to finish either.  It continually complains
about missing files and not being able to update the status of whatever
it's working on.  An strace of what happens when "dpkg --configure
--pending" is attached.

I believe it's noteworthy that I can reproduce this problem on both testing
and unstable, when upgrading from a format/reinstall of Debian 2.2r3.  I
get the same error in tetex-bin and then it comes to a screeching halt.
Apt and dpkg are then both permanently broken.

Also, I'm running kernel 2.4.11 in all cases - even during the upgrading
from 2.2r3...  My /boot partition is separate from my / partition and I'm
keeping it between reinstalls (and I'm booting with grub from an image on
that partition.)  I'm going to see about moving up to 2.4.13 in case this
is somehow a kernel issue.

Please Cc me any replies - I'm not currently subscribed to this list.

Dale E. Martin, Clifton Labs, Inc.
Senior Computer Engineer
pgp key available

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