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dselect doesn't work on 8Meg machine anymore?

My brother is trying to upgrade debian from slink to potato on his
8Meg RAM machine.  He has about 20Meg swap as well.  Dselect is very
very slow --- lots of swapping.  And try to install stuff, and it
bombs out with not enough memory!

Now his machine has always been a bit slow, but we've always been able
to use dselect before.  What's changed?  Too many packages?  And what
can be done about it?  (We are used the apt method to install.)



P.S. Please cc replies directly to me as I read the list via the
archives, and there is a several day delay.

        "They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them!" 

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