This project's funding goal was not reached on September 21, 2014.
About this project
Introducing Operating System U
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Processor: Intel Celeron N2807
Display: 11.6'' 1366*768
Graphics: Gen7 DX11, OGL 3.0 HD Graphics
Storage: 64GB SSD
Networking: 10/100Mbps Ethernet
Ports: 1x Headphone Jack, 2x USB 2.0, 1xDC-In Jack, 1x mini HDMI, 1x Micro SD
Battery Life: 4-6 hours
OS: Operating System U
Weight: 2.2 pounds
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (30 days)