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apt offline

Been playing with the Hurd to get accustomed and tried to use the apt offline guide to update packages. My system is a pentium II with a 6 Gb hd0 and 40 Gb hd1. I've put the GNU/Hurd on hd0s1, hd0s2 is the swap, and hd0s3 and s4 are Hurd partitions. The second drive is dedicated to Sid (out of my depth but its OK so far) again in 4 slices. So the download from Sid to hda4 (hd0s4 on Hurd) goes OK but on the last command to upgrade the packages in the Hurd I get an error:

apt-get --no-d -o dir::state::status=/var/lib/dpkg/status upgrade

error around line 1 in /var/lib/dpkg/available
Package ` ' must be followed by a colon

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