I can't reproduce your error on my machine, so I'll have to make some educated guesses:
1) Check which version of pear you are using by running "pear -V". If it's not 1.1, please try upgrading using "pear upgrade pear"
2) PHP 4.2.2 is very old. (Like over a year.) Try upgrading to a newer version, like 4.3.2. (This may also upgrade pear for you as part of the install process.)
If neither of these work, or you really can't do this for some reason, let me know. I have an old Redhat 8.x box I can try and boot up to see if it's some Linux problem. (I'm using Mac OS X.) That seems unlikely, but possible.