WordPress version 2.8.2 came out very soon after 2.8.1, and might have been done so hastily in order to address some security settings. It seems a new problem has been pretty common with the automatic upgrade feature of WordPress 2.8.1.
When trying to automatically upgrade a blog from 2.8.1 to 2.8.2 it wouldn’t work and I saw an error message similar to this: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted. It seems the error is pretty common and I found the solutions on the WordPress.org support forums. In my case, it was an active plugin causing the problem. I started deactivated one plugin at a time and trying the automatic upgrade after each one. It wasn’t until the 8th deactivated plugin, Contact Form, that the automatic upgrade worked.
So if you are getting the same type of error you most likely have an offending plugin or group of plugins and I suggest deactivating all plugins before the upgrade. You can also try what I did and see what plugin is causing the problem. Keep in mind it might not be just the last deactivated plugin but the combination of two or more plugins.
Another solution that I didn’t try but others have had success with is increasing the WordPress memory limit. To increase the memory limit add this bit of code in the wp-config.php file right after the opening PHP statement:
If you don’t know how to edit a core WordPress file, ask me below in the comments and i will try to help you out.