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apt 0.5.4: preferences file

I put in a lot of effort yesterday studying the man pages for apt and 
apt_preferences as well as the APT HOWTO which is buried deep 
in the Debian website.

To no avail. apt turned up its nose at my feeble attempt to write a 
preferences file. I usually beat my head against the brick wall until I 
figure out obscure documentation but on this one, the patience isn't 

Rather than ask help, if someone has a smoothly functioning 
/etc/apt/preferences file which they would be willing to share, 
please e-mail it to me (bruce.miller@ottawa.com) and I will use it 
to figure out where I went wrong on the concepts.

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