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User-friendly Operating System based on Linux, striving for consistency and control. We're putting the power back into the users hands. Read more

Short Hills, NJ Software
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User-friendly Operating System based on Linux, striving for consistency and control. We're putting the power back into the users hands.

Short Hills, NJ Software
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About this project

Introducing Operating System U

Overview

Are you tired of being forced to upgrade your Operating System regularly? What about the unnecessary changes that end up being made, changes that you don’t even want, much less need? How would you like to pick and choose what aspects of your operating system you want upgraded, and leave the ones you know, love, and are accustomed to how they are?

The Answer: Operating System U.

You are fully in control of how your computer functions, and you no longer have to settle for updates that do little aside from set you back. Even those with average level knowledge of computer functionality know all too well the inconvenience of trying to get into a new flow using a completely new and unfamiliar setup. Sometimes, you end up finally getting used to it, and then they slap you with another unnecessary update! Save time and give your patience a break, because there’s a new kid on the block: Operating System U.

The Inner Workings

Familiar Setup:

We use a Start-like menu you will recognize immediately to get you cooking right away, and will be implementing Xapian bindings, allowing users to index through the system quickly and easily using a search bar. It most closely resembles Apple’s Spotlight, and we’re really excited about how much easier it makes finding something on your laptop.

Open Source:

Operating System U is open source software, meaning that the source code is available to all of our users. Sure, this means that it’s free, but it also means that users can contribute to its functionality and code. They can make modifications to the OS and pass along the improvements, making the software a collaborative effort! OS u is based off Linux, the most well known open source software period. We've always loved what linux brings to the table in terms of both community and technology.

Limited Threat of Viruses:

One of the best parts about OS u is the fact that we based it off of a Linux derivative. This means that you do not have to worry about getting any viruses. In fact, you don’t even need antivirus or antispyware programs!

Fully Customizable:

Instead of creating an operating system and saying, “Here you go, everyone gets the same one,” we make it possible for each of our users to have their own, unique operating system. With OS u, we’re talking about a setup that can vastly increase productivity, comfort, ease of use, and matches your preferences, tastes, and style to a tee. From changing the cursor theme to adding an entire dock, everything between, and beyond, we make it possible for everyone to have an ideal system with seamless functionality. That’s why we like to say it’s not our operating system, it’s yours.

Absolutely Free

The Whole Package:

Operating System U is free. There’s no hidden fees or blocked features, and there’s no trial period. Whether you are utilizing our laptop (Ubook Go) with OS u preinstalled, or downloading it onto your existing computer, the program is free, the (optional) upgrades are free, and the necessary bug fixes are, of course, free. You get the whole package with no cost to you whatsoever.

Free Apps:

On top of that, every app necessity you can think of is available through Operating System U, and the vast majority are completely free. Word processors, photo editors, Internet browsers, and so, so much more are available and easily downloaded, with more being developed regularly.

The Inspiration

The biggest inspiration for OS u came from the people over at Microsoft. We were huge fans of Windows 7's traditional look and feel. We got used to how it worked, became comfortable and productive with it, and then, suddenly, it was gone. In its place came Windows 8, and all of the things we loved about the previous operating system disappeared. It was almost like our desktops became unfamiliar. 

Then it clicked. Why not create an operating system that only updates aspects that you want to update, and keeps functions that you love the way they are? As they say, “Why fix it if it ain’t broken?” Well, we thought that the idea of being forced to upgrade the entire OS was a broken system, so we came out with OS u, a program we believe changes computing for the better.

We chose to base it off of Linux because we love the capabilities it offers and the fact that it’s open-source. We look forward to continuously contributing back to the project we are based off of (Manjaro Linux), as well as the Linux community as a whole.

Looking Towards the Future (Planned Features)

Some of the things OS u will be doing are mainly centered in the (DE) xfce4, making various modifications to increase its cohesion and user-friendliness. Some of these changes include replacing the default compositor in xfwm to a modified version of compton, which is just as lightweight but does a variety of things better, such as tearing. We also plan to integrate PCManFM as a replacement of Thunar. This will require some working on xfdesktop (which is now Udesktop) to remove Thunar dependencies and replace them with ufm (PCManFM) dependencies. Then we plan to allow for free-form dragging in Udesktop. Previously you were limited to dragging and dropping into squared areas that are on the entire desktop. No more of that. Now you can place items anywhere on the desktop. Work will also be done to fix bugs. A lot of work. Also, a more dedicated dock creation feature will be added to the xfce4-panel (now Upanel). This will be similar to Cairo-Dock in its allowed effects and customizations, but it will use compton to composite the effects.  We also plan to add a few more effects to compton. Additionally, we plan to implement StartLight, which is Whisker Menu but with a GUI for theming, as well as the addition of Xapian for use in indexing the entire system with the search bar (which is similar to Apple's Spotlight). As well we’ll be working on the dynamic rollback feature mentioned previously as well as creating a graphical software manager and front end for pacman. With that you have the ability to easily install many third party and user created apps.

 Also, on the back burner and dependent on funding is URconnect, which is similar in nature to KDEconnect and iCloud. You can see more of the plans for this in its GitHub repository. You can also see all the plans and stages for which they will be executed in our GitHub organization and within the repositories of each of them.

Looking Forward In Layman’s Terms

Some of the work being done on OS u centers around its desktop environment. The desktop environment is essentially just a collection of programs, like a file manager, panel, session manager, window manager, etc. Though those terms may seem foreign to you, we’ll be making tweaks and fixes that will really improve the way you interact with and customize your OS. One such change is with the desktop, known as Udesktop. Udesktop is one of these apps that make up the desktop environment. Its job is handling icons on the desktop and shortcuts creation on the desktop, among other things. Another program that makes up the desktop environment that we will be working on is Upanel, which has the job of managing and creating panels and launchers. What we plan to add is a more dedicated dock creation tool, enabling you to create a Mac like dock anywhere on your screen. Additions will also make it possible for you to glitz up the dock with some cool effects for both launching and actively running apps. Then, for our start-like system menu we call Startlight, we will enable indexing the contents of your computer with a search bar.

Comparisons

Operating System U vs. Windows 8
Operating System U vs. Windows 8
Operating System U vs. Ubuntu
Operating System U vs. Ubuntu
     

                            Ubook Go

Ultra Portable

When you put it up next to the competition, Ubook Go is incredibly portable. We’re talking about a mere two pounds of weight and an 11.6-inch display. It’s a laptop, so it’s made for portability. We want our customers to be able to enjoy this high quality product on the go or from the comfort of home. It is made of a highly durable material, great for travel, and its four hours of active display battery life makes it great for those long waits at the airport or in the passenger seat of a car. No matter where you go, you don’t have to ever be without your Ubook Go.

High-Quality Performance

Despite the laptop costing only $185, making it one of the most affordable new laptops on the market, it has a performance quality that is as user friendly as it gets. It operates using Operating System U, an OS that includes all the features one would need and expect from a laptop with thousands of Apps, most of which are completely free. We will regularly provide updates, but you get to choose which new features that you want, if any, during an update with no loss of quality. That is one of the OS u staples, as is the rarity in which our users get viruses. You don’t even need to download anti-virus software!

Plenty of Ports

With two USB 2.0 ports, a Mini-HDMI port, a Micro-SD card slot, and an Ethernet port, the Ubook Go has the external plug-in options that allow our users to plug in multiple external devices at once. This laptop also has more ports than the majority of the competition, and they are located conveniently on the side of the base. Did we mention the headphone jack? That was just a no-brainer. But a micro HDMI and two USB 2.0 ports as well? Good luck finding those on a laptop in the Ubook Go’s form factor and price point.

Specifications

Processor: Intel Celeron N2807

Display: 11.6'' 1366*768

Graphics: Gen7 DX11, OGL 3.0 HD Graphics

RAM: 2GB

Storage: 64GB SSD

Networking: 10/100Mbps Ethernet

Wireless: 802.11b/g/n

Ports: 1x Headphone Jack, 2x USB 2.0, 1xDC-In Jack, 1x mini HDMI, 1x Micro SD 

Camera: 1.3Mp

Battery: 3500mAh

Battery Life: 4-6 hours

OS: Operating System U

Dimensions: 292*198*17.5mm

Weight: 2.2 pounds

ScreenShot

The Team

Click to see each team member's short bio/about them page
Click to see each team member's short bio/about them page
  

Risks and challenges

Some of the challenges we face lie in innovating while still keeping a consistent interface, as well as dealing with third party and upstream changes and upgrades to apps. The latter will be addressed through a feature called dynamic rollback. This leverages Pacman's (the software management program OS u uses, not the game) downgrading feature to allow users to downgrade and rollback apps to previous version, easily and though a GUI. You then can also blacklist the app so Pacman knows not to update it anymore. To address the first issue, we simply won't force you to use the updates. Any changes and updates that radically change the user interface simply won't be automatically installed. They'll be made available to easily download, but it will all be optional. You have the control, though you can set it to automatically include these in updates and can even set it to automatically update your entire system.

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    3 backers

    TIPS AND TRICKS: With this reward, you are added to my personal (email) mailing list. This will only ever be available to backers and will include a video every month with a screencast of my favorite tips and tricks of the month for OS u. The emails you get before the launch will just be updates, as you will not have the system yet to exercise any tips or tricks. Every other reward will also get access to this.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $3 reward

    1 backer

    FOREVER A CONTRIBUTOR: Your name will be etched on our site as a contributor for Operating System U’s lifetime. You will also receive Tips and Tricks reward. All rewards to follow will also be Forever A Contributor.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5 reward

    3 backers

    You will have access to the Operating System U documentation and support for two years after its release. After the campaign, this will cost $20 and will only be available to backers at this reward.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $12 reward

    12 backers

    USB flash drive with an early edition of Operating System U! This will cost $15 once it’s released. This model also has a special logo on the back signifying that you were an early backer that the normal USB drives at release won’t have. You’ll also get a year of access to documentation and support for OS u.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $15 reward

    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    LET’S HANGOUT: Get on my personal emailing list and we’ll set up a 10 minute chat session with my full attention on your choice of service, whether Google Hangouts or Skype. You’ll be able to ask or talk about whatever you want! Whether you have suggestions for the project or just want to chat about the latest technology, I’m all ears. You'll also get a USB drive with OS u on it (USB arrives March 2015).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $20 reward

    0 backers

    SPECIAL EARLY ADOPTER T-SHIRT: An Operating System U t-shirt that will only be available to backers of our Kickstarter campaign! Shipping is free in the US and shipping is $5 outside of the US. You’ll also get a year of access to documentation and support for OS u.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    0 backers Limited (300 left of 300)

    EARLY BIRD THANK YOU: Only available for the first 300 backers, I will personally call and thank you for your backing of OS u. No voicemail, if I don't catch you, I'm going to keep calling back! You'll also get a live USB with OS u on it (USBs arrive around March 2015). You'll also get a years worth of access to Operating System U's support and documentation.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    2 backers

    U FOR LIFE: Lifetime membership to Operating System U which gives you lifetime access to documentation and support. This normally would cost $10 per year! This will only be available for backers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $185 reward

    6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Help get us started and get a Ubook Go! A Ubook Go is a laptop with OS u preinstalled! This is the lowest price you’ll ever find for buying a Ubook Go, as it is our flagship. For this reason, only the first 100 backers at this level can ever get a Ubook Go at this price. Shipping in the US is FREE, and $15 more for people outside of the US. Not only that, but they will have a Special Early Adopters Logo, specific only to these 100 laptops. Ubook Go will retail for about $235! For the Ubook Go’s specs and photos, check out the Kickstarter description. Get ready for a personal thank you phone call from me as well, and four years of access to OS U’s support and documentation.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $300 reward

    0 backers

    Dinner in Rostov with Den Ivanov (CTO of Operating System U)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $400 reward

    1 backer

    EARLY ADOPTER CUSTOM UBOOK: A Ubook Go with a custom made logo similar to the Operating System U logo on it. You think of the logo design (or we will, your choice), we’ll make it and put it on your new laptop! This will never be available to anyone besides backers in this level. You’ll also get six years of access to OS U’s support and documentation, and a thank you phone call from me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $800 reward

    0 backers

    Dinner in Moscow with Den Ivanov and a Ubook Go!!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,500 reward

    0 backers

    LIMITED EDITION MY SPLASH UBOOK: You’ll get a Ubook Go, but when you boot it up for the first time, you’ll see a custom made boot splash theme, thought up by you and designed by us. Not sure what the boot screen and process look like? See this image: http://0.tqn.com/d/pcsupport/1/S/3/0/-/-/safemode1.jpg. You’ll also get six years of access to Operating System U’s support and documentation and a thank you phone call from me!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $3,000 reward

    0 backers

    COMPUTER MADE BY ME: I’ll hand build you a computer. Specifics of the computer are not available now since I’ll be using the highest end Intel processor available early next year. It will most likely have a Nvidia GTX 800 series GPU, depending on if it’s released on time, which is should be according to rumors. This also depends on the state of the Linux drivers, which will also play a role. It will come with Operating System U preinstalled, and you’ll get a thank you phone call from me, as well as a custom boot splash and logo as described in earlier rewards. With this, you also get a lifetime access to the documentation and support for Operating System U.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    Dinner with me in NYC and a personal one on one Operating System U tips and tricks session! On top of the trip to New York, dinner, and the support session, you also get a Ubook Go laptop and lifetime access to support and documentation. (We will cover only airfare and dinner)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)