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RE: blatent self promotion: apt/dpkg beginner guide

  location of the package maintainer scripts (postinst, prerm, etc) as well as
  other pieces of packaging data like md5sums, conffile lists, etc.

  useful tool, play with it and document it here

your data on dpkg --set-selections is wrong:
sudo dpkg --set-selections hold foo
dpkg: --set-selections does not take any argument

proper call is:
dpkg --set-selections<enter>
foo hold<enter>

or maybe echo "foo hold" | dpkg --set-selections.

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