Finally, Free Fix to Filtrix for WordPerfect 8 Linux Users

by Richard Vernon

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:


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

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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