Monday, September 8, 2014

Kingsoft Office on Linux

LibreOffice has always had a special place in my heart. I have been using it since OpenOffice was at version 1 and I have seen the project advance in leaps and bounds over the years.

Since then they branched off and now I use LibreOffice. Now they have some competition. I have been using Kingsoft Office (WPS) on my phone and tablet for a a few months now. Time to test their Linux version and see how it compares with LibreOffice. Know that this is an alpha release, meaning that it has not yet reached the beta testing phase - meaning that it is still very much in development. 

First, go to and download the .deb file and fonts .deb file under it. 

To install, double click on the .deb file you just downloaded. Then click on the Install Package button, in the top right corner of the window. Installation was not difficult or complicated. 

The interface looks similar to Microsoft Office, ie. The Ribbon. While LibreOffice still looks basically the same as Office 2003 (even after all this time). I will not break off into a discussion of whether the interface should have been left the way it was, the whole leave well enough alone vs update the interface to something more current as that is a very long story. 

Well, looks like you can choose your interface, which I think is cool:

I decided to open a document created in LibreOffice, to see how WPS office would render it. Well, it was not pretty. 

(this is after I set the paragraph spacing to single) Can I fault it for not being able to open a document created by a rival? No, after all this is an alpha release and just being able to create documents and export them to PDF is enough for a reasonable person.

The ribbon interface is pleasant and easy to use, I am not going to do an in depth test here as I don't have the time. But I am going to be using WPS Office regularly over the next few weeks I hope to have a follow up post or two mentioning my progress and any issues I have encountered.

Post your opinion in the comments below.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Suggestions please

Hi everyone, I have not opened the floor to suggestions so far. I thought this might be a good time to do so now.

So please post in the comments if you are looking for a certain app, or you need to do something specific or just on Linux in general and if I can work it out I will post it soon.

I have a lot of people reading my blog with a minimal amount of interaction. I want to say thanks for reading and this is one way that I can do so.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You might have noticed that the frequency of my blog posts has slowed down considerably.

This normally happens once I have gotten my system up and running with a fresh install, the kinks are worked out (meaning that my wifi driver is installed), I have my favourite apps installed and I am basically almost out of material.

Don't despair however, as I recently discovered (a suggestion someone made on a forum for a discussion of what to do now that Ubuntu One has closed down). I am interested in because of the initial 15 GB you get when you join and for the additional 5 GB you get for every referral (up to 5 referrals) and the rest you pay for. I am a long term Dropbox user, and they have been very good to me. During the time that I did computer training I installed Dropbox on a lot of computers and I was able to get my storage up to 13 GB free space.

Although, I normally don't use more than about 1 GB of space in my Dropbox account - I considered because of the benefits it has for people I know. I know a lot of people who have a free 2 GB Dropbox account which is nearly full, and migrating over to a new service makes a lot of sense if you get more space.

Caution, rant follows >>>

My max upload speed is about 50 kb per second at the moment (the joys of adsl in South Africa, where our maximum Internet lines in my area are 10 Mbps for R399 (USD 38) per month, with an additional R399 (USD 38) per month fee for Uncapped Internet. So I have a slow entry level line, which means that it will take days (maybe even a week) to fill my account.

Internet access in South Africa is expensive by my standards. 3G data is very expensive as well, but I am getting totally off track now.

<<<<<< rant ended

My point is that I was only able to really get into Linux when I had a "decent" Internet connection. Downloading a 700 MB file over 3G can easily cost R200 (USD 19) and I am sure that a lot more people would be using Linux in South Africa if our Internet fees were lower.

Getting back to the matter at hand, comes to the rescue of folks everywhere who want more free space than what Dropbox is willing to offer them.

Go to and create a free account. Here is my referral code: if you like, you can post your code in the comments section and I will try to rotate them from time to time.

To install in Linux, you can do it the hard way (on their website you can download the tarball) or check for a great tutorial on how to set up everything. I will highlight the important part now:

  • Open a Terminal window (click Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal)
  • Type in:
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:paolorotolo/copy
  • Press <ENTER>
  • Type in your sudo password, press <ENTER>
  • Type in:
  • sudo apt-get update
  • press <ENTER>
  • Type in:
  • sudo apt-get install copy
  • Press <ENTER>

If does not run automatically after this, click on Menu >> Accessories >> Copy and sign in with your username and password.

The future is definitely in cloud computing, something that Peppermint Linux does very well. For me, being able to use a hybrid OS, where I have LibreOffice downloaded for when I need to work offline as well as all the Cloudy goodness that comes baked into the OS is perfect.