I use tkremind constantly. As the screen for each day is rather small, I use it in combination with wyrd. This is necessary in my configuration as I generally have too many events to show on the tkremind screen. The combination of tkremind and wyrd, both of which use remind, does about the same thing as google calendar. However, its nice to be able to fully use the calendar when not online and I don't know how to do that with google calendar. Plus, practically speaking, tkremind is faster than google calendar for my purposes.
Its been a while so I don't recall what I did to get tkremind up and running. If I did it, it can't be very complicated. I see in my source files that I apparently use remind 03.01.05, which is the same as the gslapt version. However, that might mean that remind had to be loaded from source. I also seem to recall that I had to install some dependencies (perhaps only one) that were not on gslapt.