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  1. mp3Car Forums Recognition Award - you won

    by , 04-30-2009 at 10:51 AM
    Thanks to Seagate - mp3Car had 3 EE25.2 80GB ST980817AM hard drives to hand out to forum members for their contributions to the mp3Car community. It was a hard decision, but the mp3Car forum moderators selected Malcom 2073 for his work on creating a Fusion Brain driver for Linux and DarquePervert for his valuable contributions across the forums.

    Other members in the running for awards were:

    Civic Modz for his creation of the EyeR

    Clockwork for Open source FE Driveline

    Chunkyks for OBDII GPS logger for OS X and Linux so thanks for your contributions!

    Also - there was an open contest on the forums, for whomever could do something cool to support the community. GizmoQ plans to attend 2-3 meets per month this spring and summer - so look out for him at your local meet, he already made his way via plane to one here in DC.

    There will be more forum recognitions to come so the mods are on the look out for contributions - not quite up to giving away a car yet, but just maybe someday we will get there.

    And if you have any suggestions for who deserves an mp3Car recognition award in the future - let one of the moderators know.

    Updated 10-20-2009 at 06:00 PM by Heather

    mp3Car News
  2. Best of Mp3Car - volume 2, 4.21.09

    by , 04-21-2009 at 10:10 AM

    Community development

    IBUS interpreter - Community member Wanted has written a plug-in for Ride Runner that interprets BMW steering wheel button commands and relays them to your car PC. The plug-in is an attempt to improve on some of the issues he's experienced with the IBUSCOMM plug-in. It runs as a Windows service and allows the user to switch screens using the R/T key press. Support for up to 255 screens is available.
    Don't own an I-BUS equipped BMW? You can build an IBUS-2-COMport adaptor! Read post #8 for discussion and a link to how-to.
    Mac front end. The duo from down under, New Zealand brothers Stephen and Kevin Ramsay, have released ICE3 version 2.1, a front end for Mac that has quickly gained popularity on the OSX platform. Version 2.1 brings improvements to coverflow, native use of iTunes library, better video controls, among other improvements. The next version will begin to incorporate non-media functionality such as XM and OBDII. Read about it here.
    One-click web cam recording. Want to know how to record from a web cam while on the go? Capture! is a one-click web cam application by community member Prefect. Currently, members are working on adding the ability to overlay information on the recorded video. (See a similiar project in OBDII, below) Read about it in a loooong running thread since 2005!
    DVR capability for radio. Member Extide is working on a C# proof of concept application that allows DVR capability for radio or nearly any line-in source like XM Direct. He's targeting the SiLabs tuner, since that's what he owns. This is a work in progress, but head over and see what he's done so far.

    OBDII gauges - Member malcolm 2073 has released a GaugeDisplay application here. GaugeDisplay is a standalone app that provides gauges for frontends that may not have support for it but that do support external program embedding - like Ride Runner. Users can configure GaugeDisplay to display numerous values by editing the XML file.

    Overlay driving information on video - New member dirtysanchez from Poland scores on his very first post with an application that combines data from a VAG-COM OBDII cable and a webcam to record the RPMs, Throttle position, and speed over the video stream, allowing it to be played back at a later date. Check it out here.


    New member lanceam24 is getting some tips on how to smooth out his fiberglas sub boxes over in the fabrication forum. Want to know how to get a smooth appearance without wavy lines? Check it out here.
    Wanna get rid of the fan noise? Watercool it. Member WuNgUn is 95% complete with his water-cooled system and custom fab job on his front bezel. Beautiful job and a nice, clean install. Check it out here.
    New forums

    Congratulations to Robby BMW! His long running thread on a Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS) is a great example of the community coming together to bring a hack to product status. The TPMS version 2.0 is available soon. The TPMS system is a wireless tire pressure monitoring system that integrates into Ride Runner via a USB receiver and plug-in, displaying pressures on the PC. This device was developed by the community first as a project and now as a product for the community.
    Here's a photo of version 1 and 2 side by side.

    Driveline - open source front end. User ClockWork has released a functional frontend in VB6 with source code. It uses 2005 and Win32API's. No external components except Windows Medial Player. A new forum has been created to allow bug reports, testing, news and notes.
    OBDII GPS logger.

    Member chunkyks has developed an OBDII GPS logger for Mac OS X and Linux. This is the first community developed and released software for OS X OBDII. A forum has been created for bug reports and testing of the software.
    The Unexpected

    Proving that the car pc scene is indeed global, check out user mpower86's install in a Mitsubishi Pajero 2004. The install is quite nice with double screens but the location is rather more unexpected - Iraq. As far as we know, this is the first Iraqi install of a car PC. mpower86 says he struggled to find all the parts he needed, but using an inverter and a Compaq Presario 2500 laptop, managed to make it work. Well done!

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:14 PM by optikalefx

    mp3Car News
  3. Gesture features in windows 7

    by , 04-14-2009 at 02:06 PM
    Check out this Microsoft video of touch features in windows 7. It will be interesting to see how many car computer developers and touch screen fleet users implement these new features in their applications. The video certianly makes it look easy. More details are on the "Touching Windows 7" blog.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:15 PM by optikalefx

    mp3Car News
  4. IPhone Car Navigation - The Death of your PND

    by , 04-14-2009 at 10:32 AM

    Here is the transcript to those two videos:

    Hi. My nameís Rob Wray from MP3 Car. Weíre doing this video blog today to give you some news. The PND, the Personal Navigation Device, itís dying. Itís dying fast. I mean Garmin, Tom-Tom, Dash Ė say your final prayers. Even our beloved car computer has numbered days.

    Whatís killing them? A deadly virus? No. Itís an infestation. An infestation of millions of cheap globally-available connected devices. Never heard of such a device? Well, I bet you have. You have one in your pocket. This device, your mobile phone, combined with new hardware and software innovations, are allowing you to connect your mobile phone to your car and kill your Tom-Tom. Letís go take a look.

    So Iím sitting in a standard Toyota Scion. This happens to be a fancy aftermarket car stereo, but this could just as easily have been your standard display that came with your Prius or Range Rover or other luxury car. It also could have been a host of aftermarket radios and displays that have built-in video inputs.

    Alright, so now that weíre in the car, letís go through the process. Youíve got a couple steps here, some of which are already done. You take the video cable that you get from the Apple store and you plug that into the video input in the back of your screen. Again, this can happen in any car with a screen. You can go out and get an accessory adapter that takes this video input. So get the cable, plug it into your iPhone. Hack your iPhone which is about a thirty-minute process. Thereís tons of websites that explain how you do it, and lots of developers have gotten together and made nice apps that make it really easy to do this

    So hack your iPhone. Then you want to install an apps called Screen Splitter, which Iíll link below. Install Screen Splitter. That allows you to duplicate the content of this screen onto this screen. And then you install the app of your choice.

    Weíre going to do our drive test now with a little app called X-GPS. So both of these apps are in their infancy. They have a few flaws, but theyíre really great in showing off this concept of why your Tom-Tom is going to die.

    Letís go for a drive. Iím going to run my Screen Splitter application. So now Iím sharing the video from my iPhone down to the car. Iím going to go ahead and run this little app here called X-GPS. Itís going to automatically tilt because it knows I have the screen in horizontal mode, which is then going to match the mode of the display down below. Iím going to go ahead and turn on my GPS signal. Aaah, I have to use the iPhone touch screen, and Iím going to go ahead and turn on my GPS signal, and off we go.

    Letís go for a drive. You think the most logical choice of applications would be Google maps. Itís built into the iPhone. The problem with Google maps though is that it doesnít realign itself based on the horizontal position of the iPhone. So you can see that Iíve got maps running up here on top, but itís displaying in a horizontal format down here. So letís go take a look at some other apps that work well in the car.

    So maybe your next thought is to use Google Earth. Well, Google Earth would be a great option except it crashes when you use it with Screen Splitter. So Iím not quite sure if itís just thereís too much CPU load and Google Earth shuts off, but donít use Google Earth. Try an app from a company called Earthscape. Earthscapeís app works great. It loads, it has the follow-me option, and itís a great overview of where you are, give you some great side imagery while youíre driving around.

    So letís take a quick look at that. They have two modes. They have a pan mode and a follow-up mode which is perfect for driving. Letís go for a drive.

    Another great app I love to use in the car is Pandora. Letís check this out. So weíve got some Dave Matthews playing. [Music] Youíve got album art down here. All the Pandora controls on top here. The audio input comes through my device so I can control the audio levels right here on the device. The skip tracks. All these things that you can do with Pandora normally you can do and have it all amplified right here on the big screen.

    So YouTube? Yep, that works, too. [Music] So any movie you have on your iPhone can also be played here, too.

    Let me guess. You want to know how to get started. Okay. Weíre going to need a couple of things. Youíre going to need a cell phone that has video output. I happen to have an iPhone 3G, and you can buy this little cable over at the Apple store. Itís a little bit expensive, but it does some nifty things. It takes audio and video out, so this plugs into your iPhone, and this plugs into the audio and video input source in the back of your car.

    So then your question is, how do you get audio and video into your car? Well, thereís a ton of aftermarket devices like this one here thatís made by Paq, but almost every car with a video screen has a device like this that you can install in your car and it has video and audio inputs to quickly allow any screen in your car to take the output from your cell phone. So get a cell phone with video output, get a cable, and get one of these adapters, and then you can get video in your car.

    Now that we know that the PND is dying, you may ask what is the future of products in your car? Well, to answer that itís going to be mesh-ups of existing consumer electronics hardware. In my right hand here I have a very simple wireless Bluetooth mouse from Apple. This is one piece of the future. In this hand I have a 7Ē touch screen, and this is just basically a four-wire resistive touch screen. And so what I think weíre going to see is weíre going to see hardware mesh-ups where electrical engineers and industrial designers mesh these two products together.

    So we take the serial output of this touch screen display and we mesh it in with some Bluetooth wireless technology, and now we have a really quick instant aftermarket touch screen modification for your cell phone.

    So now you can throw this guy, your cell phone, in your glove box with your video output device and then instead of even touching your cell phone, now you can control you cell phone with this wireless touch screen, so you can take it in and out between cars. Itíll be different sizes of screens manufactured based on what size screen that you have. Eventually multi-touch technology will be implemented in these aftermarket screen accessories. And that is just the beginning of the future.

    Mark my word. Your cell phone will kill your Personal Navigation Device. It might take a year or two, but itís going to happen. There are a million technologists and hackers that are visiting our website monthly that are getting technology like this into their cars.

    Join them and help them kill your Tom-Tom and your Personal Navigation Device. This is exciting stuff. Thanks for watching our blog.

    Updated 12-07-2009 at 03:01 PM by Heather

    How To Videos , mp3Car News
  5. How to Intall a Remote Power Button on your Mac Mini

    by , 04-09-2009 at 11:42 AM
    This document outlines the way to install a remote on/off button for your Mac Mini. This is a perfect fix for someone needing to install a Mac Mini inside a secure enclosure or a tight space, where limited access to the back panel is available.

    Purchase this product here.