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broken apt-get or dependency in slink?

The Background:

I originally installed my slink base system from the net and added some extras using the dselect front-end to apt-get via ftp. This worked fine, but a little too slowly for my liking over a 33k modem, so I picked up a CD set.

Vaguely remembered reading something about how to make apt-get aware of CD-ROMs, but couldn't find the reference at the right time. Over time, I installed a slew of stuff using dselect's multi-cd method instead - during which period, at some point, apt-get seems to have broken.

Now, trying to return to the one-true-way, I get this...

The Problem:

proli:/# apt-get install foo
Reading package lists... Error!
E: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/dpkg/status (1)
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

The package list seems to download OK whether fetched from CD or from a remote site. In neither case however can we use it when it arrives.

Anyone know what goes on here?
 /  \         Ross Hamilton
/ |) \        _____________
\ |\ /
 \  /     rossh@netspace.net.au

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