Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Abandoned by Corel, Linux users find their own solution for MS Word conversions.

Back in September (2001), a posting on the Corel WordPerfect/Linux news group indicated that a user was unable to open MS Word files with WordPerfect 8. The Filtrix file conversion utility that Corel includes with WordPerfect 8 had a bug (the One Billion Second bug) that deactivated the utility and, therefore, the ability to convert MS Word documents.

Various users notified Corel of the problem, but their only response was: "At this point, the corporation is not prepared to make any comment."

Blueberry Software, makers of the Filtrix utility, were contacted as well, and replied that they were working on a fix. They ended up passing that job on to Corel, and it was never done. In the meantime, a Corel WP8-Linux list member from the Netherlands came up with a fix. The patch came almost two months after WP8 Linux users were left without the ability to translate MS Word documents.

Below is the fix, as taken from a posting to the newsgroup and forwarded to me by group member Leon Goldstein, who suspects that Corel's silence may indicate some kind of confidential agreement with Microsoft to abandon all Linux activity, as a condition for their bail-out. Finally, users of Corel on Linux can convert once again!

On September 9, 2001, the Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux file-conversion utility ceased functioning. The Filtrix program licensed by Corel was affected by the UNIX One Billion Second bug, and reverted to a trial mode. WP8 users were unable to convert Microsoft Word documents. Instead, Filtrix generated a temporary file with numerous errors that required hand editing. WP8 users were then "invited" to order a paid license key from Blueberry Software, the originators of the Filtrix file-conversion utility. After waiting more than six weeks for Corel to provide a fix to this problem, an enterprising computer consultant in Amsterdam, The Netherlands compiled a small patch that restores full functionality to the WP8 file conversion utility.

The patch can be downloaded as a 10.2KB tarfile.

Copy the tar.gz file to a temporary directory, then run tar -zvxf wp8filtrixfix.tar.gz.

cd into the new directory, cd wp8fix.

Then read and follow the installation instructions:

more READMEmore INSTALL

You also can use your own favorite text reader.

The author of the patch is Valentijn Sessink, a consultant working at OpenOffice, a Netherlands company that supports Linux on the desktop. He writes:

About OpenOffice: We are a small company that supports Linux on the desktop. Our first installation was (back in) 1999, a small law firm (15 desktops) here in Amsterdam. Sun Microsystems has started a project with the same name. We are not affiliated with Sun in any way. That said, we are very much pro-open source, and we like the open sourcing of StarOffice. About me: Linux user since 1997; author of the alsa-sound-driver-HOWTO, to be found at any LDP mirror--and in the need of a rewrite. You can link to the actual wp8fix page I already sent you. This is our high volume web site. The company web site is www.openoffice.nl.

Additional details about the WP8 Filtrix Fix: the patch was possible only because WordPerfect actually uses three different programs for the filtering and actually calls those programs. So my patch consists of three parts:

  1. I renamed the original programs to fxwpf.orig, inww6.orig and outww6.orig.

  2. I made three small scripts with these program names (WordPerfect is oblivious to this and will gladly call my scripts).

  3. My scripts call the original programs, but first they load a small wrapper library that says "the time is 915145293".

The difficulty lies in the fact that both WordPerfect and the Filtrix filters use the time to calculate a certain license key, and Filtrix cannot calculate one later than 1,000,000,000 seconds after January 1, 1970. So besides sending a different time, I needed to find out the correct license key for this time, which you will find in my scripts.

______________________

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Re: Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Anonymous's picture

Also forgot to mention that, Corel did indeed publish this key on their site before they took the download down. They used to require you to register to get a key, but eventually they just put up a free one so this isn't a "warez" thing.

Lastly you can go here at last check to download the needed files to get WP 8 up and running on RH 8 or Mandrake 9.

http://padresoftware.com/home.html

You really just need these two old files. And No they will NOT conflict with anything on your system.

libc-5.3.12-31.i386.rpm

ld.so-1.9.5-11.i386.rpm

Cheers

Re: Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Anonymous's picture

Here's a comment that no one will read!!!!!!

I decided to get WP8 back up and running after a few years. Thanks to this site I was able to fix the word 97 import part. I didn't "really" need this functionality since I have OpenOffice, but still it was nice to find.

BTW if anyone comes across this and is trying to find a license key for the now defunct and no longer distributed WordPerfect 8 for Linux here it is.

LW8XW-nEqIHnZrcH

Re: Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Anonymous's picture

Really, really nice

easy and effective

many thanks!

Re: Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Anonymous's picture

Your patch worked fine and was easy to install.

I am astounded at the underhandedness of this affair. Thank God for the open source movement. May it prosper!

ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE

Anonymous's picture

This is another great example of why Linux and Linux applications are far superior to Microsoft's product line. You never hear of an independent fixing a bug related to Microsoft, probably because you can't since everything at Microsoft is locked up in a vault.

Thanks for the fix and for keeping the Linux tradition alive!

Re: You never hear of an independ ... I did!

Anonymous's picture

I did hear about an independant fix for a bug in MS software: Foxpro 2.6 fix

Foxpro 2.6 apps seemed to work well on 486 and early pentium systems. From PII systems on it gave a "devide by zero" error on startup.

Although you could just skip the error, it horrified users and didn't look good at all for an appliction to start.

Microsoft never made a patch available (as far as I know) - they probably just wanted you to upgrade Foxpro. Since the in-house develloped applications just worked fine we didn't want to.

An independant software developer wrote a patch, and set it free. I downloaded it and it works fine.

Our company started to use FoxPro, at that time cross-platform Mac - pcWin database and programming tool.

Short after MS acquired (former Foxbase), they gave up support for Mac, and pushed Foxpro 2.6 developers towards the "Visual" programming tools.

Re: Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

Anonymous's picture

Thank you. It does indeed fix a problem I have yet to encounter. But at least when I encounter it, your fix has been applied.

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