Monthly Archives: March 2016

Utter Pie issue 1

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|___ Issue 1 _________________________ March 2016 ___|

###  UTTER PIE ###

###  the newsletter  ### 

###  Issue 1 ----- March 2016

Dear customers, friends, computer re-puters and neighbours,

Here is the first issue of "Utter Pie", the monthly newsletter of the project. Based in Durham, UK, provides green, reliable, affordable laptops, Linux conversions and related services. Every month, we'll write to update you about what's happening in the world of green computing and the free software that it relies on. Also we'll inform you of any news about the computers we've sold, recommended updates, hints and tips.
Subscription / unsubscription information is at the bottom of this message.


* Review process and feedback
* New website
* in the News
* Getting Video to Work in Skype
* Changes to support club
* Associates with Transition Durham
* Dates for your diary

Review Process

Thanks very much to all of you who've given feedback after the first three months of It seemed like an important thing to do because there haven't been as many sales of laptops as expected, yet people have been asking for other things, e.g. getting Linux installed on their own laptops. So it was time to take stock and think about the next steps for the project. Here are a few of the highlights - 

 - People are highly satisfied with Thinkpads and Mint
 - The support club is seen as a very high value service
 - There are some great opportunities for development, including;
   - to be more inclusive of younger people, schools and colleges
   - to make more links with other local groups
   - to produce more media (web, email, social media) about the project
 - Review needs to be a continuous process, so more feedback is always welcome

New Website

Following on from the idea of producing more media, you're already reading a newsletter which is the first of several developments. Next, you'll notice some changes being made to the website at, which at first will just be a change in appearance, but over time you'll see new features being added. There'll be a blog, more details about different products & services, hints & tips for green computing and more.

Also, has a facebook presence [1] because that seems to be the best way to reach some people, however we don't encourage people to use facebook so we promise that anything that we put on there will be available through other channels, i.e. this monthly newsletter or the website. Any offers of contributions on relevant topics are welcome - just reply to this email to discuss. in the News

Since launching, we've been featured in Cross Quarterly (Neville's Cross community newsletter), Durham Times [2] and the award-winning blog Tracing Green [3]. Thanks to all three for providing their own unique angle on the project.

Getting Video to Work in Skype

Skype is owned by Microsoft, so it's no surprise that since they acquired it, support for Linux has been getting worse. Some of you may have noticed that in Linux Mint, certain webcams don't just work when you plug them in.

If this effects you, we'd recommend this procedure:

 - firstly, make sure you're in the 'video' group (menu > administration > users and groups > manage groups) then log off and on again

 - if it still doesn't work, try typing this at the command line:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ skype

 - if it still doesn't work, let Mark know and he'll try to find a solution for you

Changes to Support Club

Although the support club is highly valued by those who attend, there's plenty of space for more people to come and benefit. It would be good to see more potential customers there, getting an idea of what's on offer before they buy a laptop, so please invite any friends who might be considering buying a new computer or feeling unsure whether they can manage the change to Linux (hopefully we can inspire confidence in the majority for whom it is appropriate, without misleading the few for whom it isn't).

In order to make the support club more decentralised, we'll be introducing a new format in which customers & other Linux users are encouraged to "show and tell", which could mean bringing a project to discuss, or just sharing what you learnt about your computer or used it for in the last month.

Also note that we'll be hiring the room for two hours rather than three for the time being, with an option to increase back up to three hours or even longer if we get busy. Associates with Transition Durham

Transition Town Initiatives aim to to support and encourage local action on peak oil, climate change and community resilience. On March 30th, joined several other local groups in becoming an Associated Organisation of Transition Durham. Anyone who wants to get a broader idea about local campaigning for a sustainable future would do well to look at their great website [4].

Dates for your Diary

2nd April 2016 (Saturday), 11 AM - 1 PM, and the 1st Saturday each month computer support club
Room 2, Alington House Community Association, 4 North Bailey, Durham

Bring a Linux-related project, a support question, a friend or just yourself!
Cafe will be open

19th April 2016 (Tuesday), 7.30 PM - 10.30(ish), and the 3rd Tuesday each month
Durham Linux User Group
Bar, Durham Amateur Rowing Club, Green Lane, Durham

Informal meeting open to anyone interested in Linux
Bar will be open

22nd May 2016 (Sunday), 1 PM - 3 PM
CryptoParty Newcastle [5]
The former creche room, Level 2, Newcastle Library, Newbridge Street, Newcastle

Learn how to protect your privacy on-line using simple cryptographic tools
There will be cake

And Finally ...

Green computing is only one small part of what it'll take to save the world - we think that personal, social and environmental well-being requires balance. So don't spend all your hours looking at a screen. It's a good time to be sowing some broad beans, getting your bicycle out, ending extractivism [6] or just enjoying a stroll in the woods.

Best wishes from


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