Yeesh. I rebuilt my ThinkPad yesterday, moving from Fedora :fedora: to Zorin :zorin:, and got around to my Mycroft :mycroft: configuration sometime around 1:30 in the morning today. Could NOT get things working with the AWS Polly TTS. I spent at LEAST 90 minutes today going back and fixing what my sleep deprived brain screwed up last night. It turns out I'm not in my 20s anymore, and my brain doesn't work as well as it used to in the wee hours of the morning.

@submariner I've been really liking it. My cousin suggested it. He has a tendency to try out distros that are a little farther afield than the vanilla stuff I try, and he really likes it too. I fired it up in a VM for a while, and liked it there, but it was a little sluggish (In a VM? Who could have guessed?). I fired it up on a Live stick on my laptop and it was really responsive and the UI is inline with my personal preferences. Short story long, big fan so far.

@mike Well, I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. Thank you, sir.

@mike I'm still recovering from a late night deployment this past Tuesday.

@sbanwart I've been using Fedora for the last two versions, but before that I almost always was some kind of Ubuntu based system. That includes Mint and other derivatives. The latest Fedoras have been really nice.

@mike I locked myself out of the management interface of my ESXi host the night before last and I was moments away from reinstalling the OS. I went to sleep instead and fixed it the next day within seconds because oh yeah, there's this thing called the console ya dummy.

@mike I tried Zorin on the previous version, I think I actually bought it too. It’s a great distro that doesn’t get enough air time IMO.

@kev @mike As an experiment I switched from elementary to Zorin a couple of weeks ago too. Rather liking it, think it's a keeper.

@ianmjones @kev Yea, I agree. When I first looked at it, I thought it looked very "Elementary-y", but I feel like it gives me more control over the environment than does, which scratches my itch of making the environment more mine.

@mike @ianmjones really? I wouldn’t say zorin looks like elementary, personally.

I think it looks like Windows and tron had a baby. 😊

@kev @ianmjones Tron? That sounds more like :garuda: than Zorin :zorin:.

I haven't had a lot of time to fully customize everything to my liking, but this is my current desktop.

@mike @kev I too don't think Zorin looks like elementary, but it has that same vibe of clean, well thought out UI and attention to detail.
Although the GNOME vertical workspaces feel weird to me on Zorin, I'm enjoying having a system tray, multi source software centre, a little more control, and the more charcoal dark mode UI is much more to my liking and fits with my preference for Nord colours.
The one thing I really miss from elementary is the Super-F floating window, a better YouTube popup!

@ianmjones @kev Yea, after being on Gnome 40+ in Fedora for the last couple releases, going back to the old vertical virtual desktops does feel weird.

@mike @ianmjones ah, looks like they’ve changed the UI in this release and got rid off the electric blue.

I see what you’re saying now - looks more like Win11 IMO though.

@kev @ianmjones They offer several different layout options that you can choose from as part of the initial configuration, and I chose the Win11ish one. Even had the centered task bar when it started, but I moved stuff around to be a little bit more traditional. I like the way the app menu worked the best for that configuration.

@mike out of interest, what do you use the Polly TTS for? An assistant to read long documents to you?

@simon I use it for the voice output. MycroftAI has made some pretty good advancements in the last 5ish years that I've been supporting them, but their voices are pretty sad. They have the original AP voice, which I still use on my Mark I, they have a "newer" American voice, and the Google Voice is an option. Even the Google voice isn't actually from their assistant, it's what reads out from their translation site. AWS Polly has been the easiest alternative to get running.

@simon Even though it's the easiest though, I'd don't feel super great about using an AWS product with my Mycroft installations. I'd much rather have something less proprietary. Mozilla's TTS is an option, and you can use your own instance for , but I haven't ever gotten around to getting it setup. It's on my "One Of These Days" list, and eventually I WILL get around to it.

@mike @simon - Mike when you get around to using #mozillaTTS can you give me a bell and let me know how you go? I agree #Mycroft's default voice is not #superamazing. (But #cudos to them for what they have achieved .. ) I'm going to spend today just turning the Living Room lights on and off and on and off and on and. .

@mike i installed it this morning after i tested on a vm yesterday. looks good. nice assistants. asks for my email and nextcloud accounts after installation. now testing to get my games running. i bet if you give 100 normal pc users a cd and a blank device, 60% will switch from windows. maybe it's really time to kick windows out. it the pro worth the money disregarding(? not native english) of supporting the project?

@DigitalInfinity Hard to say. I have the pro version, but I really went back and forth on whether or not to get it. For me, it really came down to the additional layout options. The rest of the Pro offerings probably wouldn't have swayed me. Normally the desktop layout options wouldn't have either, but I really like the distro, and all it took was a bare minimum to get me to support them with a couple extra bucks.

@mike i found a problem that more distros have. flatpack, snapd. i don't understand why this exists. f.e. i use keepassxc and chromium browser but on ubuntu there is chromium as flatpack or snapd only. both won't work with keepassxc browser plugins so i ended up in adding a repository for chromium browser. i'm experienced so i made this but why is there another ecosystem for packages and another and another? every time i come in touch with such things i think: please stop making good things bad

@DigitalInfinity I think they're trying to improve things, but they start using it before it's ready and it ends up not working like they wanted. Personally, I try to avoid snaps and flatpack as much as possible for just the reasons you mention. It just adds another layer of complexity on something that SHOULD be easy. So, short story long, I don't think you're wrong. You might be getting old, but if you are I'm right there with you.

@mike i have to admit, i switched to debian now... No flatpack, no snapd, keepassxc and chromium work fine together. Back to basics ;)

@mike I just transitioned a local school to zorin 16 and they love it. So far only 15 machines but plan on 20 more this year. I switched my daily driver from pop_os to zorin. I actually like the w11 esq layout and it is easy to create with core in the taskbar settings panel. I also love that flatland and snaps are si smoothly integrated and updated.

Just need to figure out how to pass admin password for unattended updates for security stuff on the student machines.

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