Saturday, October 8, 2011

Carbyn: A Complete Overview

*Note: To enlarge screenshots, click on their captions.

Welcome to the complete written overview of Carbyn! This tour will show you all of the ins and outs of Carbyn and all of those cool features you've been hearing about all around internet. Let's get Started!

 To start, I'd like to say that my experience with Carbyn has been quite pleasant so far. Since this is a new kind of platform, I can't really say what I expected and didn't expect from it, but in terms of being an OS, it has everything I needed. It performed rather well for an entire OS that runs in your browser(also note it is still in early beta stage). Now, on the the more Specific parts.

User Interface
As soon as you login to Carbyn, you can see that the User Interface is very straight forward. Your home screen is populated with default apps and background image. At the top, there is a menu bar that serves multiple different purposes, including buttons to bring up the app menu, bring up the clock, change user preferences and switch between apps.

Carbyn home screen, customized with my favorite apps and wallpaper.
Menu Bar
Carbyn's menu bar is an essential part of navigating through the OS. The left hand side of the menu bar contains the Carbyn button, which will give you a comprehensive overview of all the apps in your Carbyn account. On the right hand side there are multiple different buttons. First is the time, which when clicked, will bring up the clock. Next to that is the user menu, which will bring up a little context menu giving you options to change your system preferences, check for updates, logout, restart, etc. Finally, on the far right, is the switcher button, which will bring up a menu to change between running apps. Also, when you are in an app, a minus and exit button will show up to minimize or close the app.

App Menu
Clicking the Carbyn button will bring up the applications menu. This is a pretty simple screen, showing you your running apps, favorite apps, and all apps. You can launch any app from this menu, and you also can drag apps from All Apps to Favorites to add an app to your home screen. 
This is my app screen, showing me all of my apps.
As you can see, I have no running Applications.
Here, I am adding the New YorkTimes app to my favorites, also adding it to my home screen.
Multitasking menu in Carbyn.
You have the option to run apps in Carbyn in fullscreen mode or in windowed mode. In windowed mode, you can drag an app around and make it bigger or smaller, and in fullscreen mode an app will fill the entire screen(except for the menu bar, of course.) For a quick way to see what apps are running and to switch between them, you either press the Alt+Tab or press the switcher button in the menu bar. This will bring up a box in the center of your screen that will show you which apps you have open. You can click an app and it will switch to that app, keeping your previous apps open as well. Switching between apps includes a nice swapping animation, and minimizing an app will make it look like it fades into the distance. After minimizing, Carbyn will switch you over to your last previously used app.

Carbyn's Calculator app running in windowed mode.
Core Apps
Carbyn comes with many highly integrated apps that give its operating system aspect. There are many apps to look at, so we'll just run through a few apps to give you an idea of how Carbyn works.

Carbyn has a very simple but versatile filesystem, which is managed using an app called Files. Files incorporates the many basic features you'd find in a file manage, including copying, cutting, pasting and creating new files and folders. It also allows you to upload your own files to Carbyn, whether it be from a local directory on your computer or from another source on the web. You have base directories for organizing your files, including but not limited to Documents, Movies, and Movies. Double clicking a file in Files will launch the appropriate app to display the file, some examples being Exstream media player to play a music file, or TextEditor to edit a text file.

Also, Files expects to get a complete redesign by the time Carbyn reaches its public phases, so expect to see even more features (and most likely a name change.)

Developer Center
Developing apps in Carbyn is very straight forward, with Developer Center making the entire process a piece of cake. Developer center includes a complete application sandbox, making the change between code and testing your app very fast. When you create a new app, Developer Center will automatically create the necessary files to get you started. Developer Center also includes a console that is integrated with Carbyn's application API making debugging a breeze.
Developer Center right after creating a new app.
App Store
Carbyn's App Store is the place to go when you want to get new apps for Carbyn. It has a very simple design, with applications categories on the left, some features apps playing in a slideshow at the top, and more featured apps on the bottom right. When you find an app that you like, you can just click install and seconds later the app will be in your applications list. You will then be given the option to launch the app right after you install it.

The home page of the Carbyn Apps Store
As you've probably heard, Carbyn will run on a desktop as well as most tablets and smart phones. Since Carbyn is completely optimized for mobile devices, everything you do will feel completely natural and not like some random, poorly adapted mobile site. Scrolling and animations are also just as smooth as they are on a desktop. Carbyn also has offline support, so once you use Carbyn on your mobile device you will then be able to use it again when you are not connected to Wi-Fi or have no 3G signal.
Carbyn running on an iPod Touch.

So thats about all I can show of Carbyn for now, but there are many other unforeseen features! So go to and sign up for a beta invite, or if your a developer go to to get updates on Carbyn's API. After you sign up for an invite, you will get a referral link. The more people you get to sign up under your referral link, the higher priority you will have on the Carbyn invite list! 

There will also be a video tour of Carbyn coming soon, so stay tuned and follow this blog! :D

Sunday, October 2, 2011


So, you heard about Carbyn, it looks cool, sounds cool, might just be cool, but how great really is it? The better question might be to ask, what is it? Well, all this plus more shall be answered in the following paragraphs.

What is it?
Simply, Carbyn is an online operating system written in HTML5 and JavaScript. Some people might argue this point, stating that an operating system can not be online nor can it be written in a language such as JavaScript. I suppose that can be left to opinion, but is outside the scope of this blog post. The point though is that Carbyn can be accessed anywhere a web browser is available, and contains all of the  aspects of an operating system such as a file manager and a windowing system. Its entirely touch friendly and can be used on mobile devices.

So, how did Carbyn come to be? Well, it is built off of amoebaOS, the online OS we all know and love. Carbyn is owned and developed by Sensidea, a great web development company. Carbyn was first demoed at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco in September 2011, and since then has gained quite some attention. Carbyn was featured on the TechCrunch homepage and numerous other websites and blogs. Beta invites for Carbyn should start be sent out soon, so make sure you sign up at to secure your invite.

So you want to see more of Carbyn, don't you? Well, lucky for me, I already got an invite! So watch this blog over the next couple of days for a full overview of Carbyn, with full screenshot and video tour glory :D.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Features and Apps Roundup: April 2011

First off, its great to see that development for amoebaOS has been progressing greatly these past couple weeks. Many people have been given beta codes and the user base is also slowly growing stronger. If you want a beta code but haven't gotten one, head over to the forum, introduce yourself, and you'll gladly be given a beta code. But anyway, here's the features, fixes and apps for amoebaOS this month.

Startup Sounds
amoebaOS contributor tonynoname has created an application to give startup sounds to amoebaOS. This is not included in amoebaOS by default for the time being, so you can just follow his tutorial over at the forum for instructions to enable startup sounds:

If you don't feel like reading the post, you can just add this app to your startup items:
And a video tutorial made by developIT to do that is here:

App Center
Officially released by still in development is the App Center, also created by tonynoname. This is a great source to find apps for amoebaOS of all different categories. The official forum post is here:
You can find the app in tonynoname's community folder under "App Center".

Updates to System Preferences & Menubar 
Many new updates have been added to System Preferences and Menubar. Menubar will now show your username, and if either the time or your username is clicked, then you will be taken to that panel in System Preferences. The clock panel in System Preferences will now show the full date and time and the wallpaper panel has been fixed up. Full forum post and screenshots can be found at the official forum post:

Other Features & Fixes
Other fixes in amoebaOS include:
     - Developers can now add their own panels to System Preferences for their apps, making custom app settings a lot easier. Instructions for this will be posted on the forum soon.
     - The full screen bug has been fixed. Resizing your browser window while running an invisible full screen app like Widgeted will no longer crash amoebaOS.
     -amoebaOS will now use much less memory due to cleaning up of certain classes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

amoebaOS On AIR Source Code Posted

The source code for the app that lets you run amoebaOS in Adobe Air has been posted to This app is written in Adobe Flex, so it would be nice to see some Flex developers out there improve and manipulate it.

amoebaOS on air was created by funstuff234, a beta tester and active forum member of amoebaOS.

Friday, October 22, 2010

amoebaOS and Security

Well developIT posted some information today on the forum, and I thought I would post it here since I think it is good to know, and also shows some things no one else has done. If you are a security freak, you must read:

"Regarding security, there are a number of things being addressed on this front. Right now, I'm working on improving security within the OS, which is being done by running applications in a sandbox. There are still more areas to cover, but things are already looking good.

One of the most important problems you run into when developing an online OS is the fact that all applications are inherently using the same presentation layer (the DOM) on the same page (even frames would be on the same domain, so direct DOM access to a parent page is trivial). So, everything must be abstracted. That means applications using addEventListener and createElement are actually using secured facades built on top of the browser's real DOM functions. I believe we are the only online Operating Systems that is even attempting to solve this important security issue.

So, I would say that as far as online Operating Systems go, amoebaOS is secure. It certainly is in terms of web applications, but strictly speaking of web OSes, I believe we are the furthest along in this area.

The amoebaOS filesystem does not currently have user-configurable file permissions. However, we use an onion-like filesystem that overlays various levels of the filesystem using preset permissions. That means your personal files (not just your home directory - 100% of your files) are kept separate from the read-only system files (root files), other users' files, and shared files. This type of architecture is not like that of a desktop filesystem, because we have the ability to work with files and their locations at a very high level of abstraction. We can do things like represent the same file with as multiple different locations, and even generate unique one-time public URLs with read and write access for any file in your account. The current filesystem is one of the newer parts of amoebaOS, and as such it is quite flexible."

-Jason Miller, developIT

Friday, October 15, 2010

Community - File Sharing inside amoebaOS

Today, a new feature was released in amoebaOS called Community. Once files are put into your shared folder, anyone can access them using the community tab. You can even run applications right from someone's community folder, great for easy application distribution and having people test your apps. Video soon to come.

So get on over to and tell us about yourself, and you will probably get a beta code since we are in need of more testers.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Videos of amoebaOS

Here are some videos of amoebaOS created by forum member tonynoname, also a great tester and active forum participant.


Well, this at least needs a proper introduction since I probably can't write for my life but I'll try my best. This is a blog to document the progress of amoebaOS, an online operating system written in JavaScript(how many times have I typed that phrase =P). I am a beta tester and an active participator on the amoeba forums: I test all of the cool new features of this revolutionary software, and we encourage you to sign up on the forum. If your a developer, we especially encourage you to come and check out the API to write applications for amoeba, as it is very easy to do.

Who made it?
amoebaOS was made by devlopit: They have some pretty cool apps, web apps as well. Best of all you can talk directly to them if you sign up on the forum (username is admin). We also encourage you to make feature requests, because that's what we really need right now, along with patience to finishing this for public beta.

Now what?
Well, if your reading this then your probable wondering more about amoebaOS. The OS itself is located at: and the informative website is Let me tell you something though. You might have already used a cloud OS before, noticing how they are very slow, laggy and unproductive(Not to name any names *cough*icloud*cough*). amoebaOS is NOT like that. The OS feels so smooth, that once you run it in full-screen, you'll think your using a native desktop OS.

Well, there will be more to come, including tutorials, app highlights, new features and just plain amoebaOS awesomeness. Also, please don't come to the forum begging for a beta code just to try it once and then leave. If that's the case wait for the public beta. If your serious enough, stop by and say Hi and let us get to know you =)