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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)