>
> > Hello,
>
> > ruby 1.8.4, gems 1.0.1
>
> That version of gems is really old. The version on my box is 1.3.1. I
> think there are some backwards incompatibilities between the newer and
> older versions which can cause issues such as what you describe. See
> if upgrading to a newer gems version helps.

Thanks for that.

Is there a way of upgrading without the memory problems?  I've tried
gem install <url to 1.3.1>

but it still insists on "Bulk updating..." and dies.