My name is Robert Wray. AKA Fiberoptic on our forums. This nic goes way back to the original days of MP3Car when I had a super speedy uncapped 10mb cable modem in 1996 and nobody else was on the Comcast pipe. For the last 4 years MP3Car has consumed an average of 70-80 hours a week of my time. Before MP3Car became my life I worked at a small technology consulting company. I scoured the net for travel bargains, toured the United States and 12 other countries. I sailed on friend’s boats, rock climbed, and enjoyed the outdoors.
Most of my work days at MP3Car consist of reading and replying to sales questions, reading the forums, testing new products and filling in where ever the rest of the team needs help. Currently we have two lab cars that we test things in. The original Toyota Highlander Hybrid which we used with Intel @ CES 2006 and a 2006 Scion TC(prototype dash photo below). My desk is also normally an explosion of technical parts, paperwork, projects, test equipment and ideas in progress.
Recent public reviews of products I have tested are the SIIG , M4 ATX software and the Garmin Mobile PC.
Expect more of these reviews on a regular on a basis as part of our blog.
Many of you may have noticed that MP3Car has been undergoing changes over the last 6 months. One of the biggest changes here is the separation from our StreetDeck product which occurred in mid July. This separation will allow us to support all software efforts as well as redirect resources towards the growth of the community which has grown to 1.1 million posts and 101,000 global users.
We hope to roll out several community upgrades before the end of the year. I believe one of the most important things we are doing is creating this new blog. A blog is the first of many infrastructure improvements that will allow us to more openly share information about the growth of MP3Car and exciting new things happening in mobile computing.
All of the MP3Car team will be contributing to the blog on a regular basis as well as an occasional guest blogger. If you any ideas that you think should go on the blog, please send me an e-mail.
Discussion about the MP3Car Blog will occur in this new forum which has been created here.
Updated 09-17-2009 at 02:45 PM by ecog
Intel notes that the versatility of the SwitchBack-PC is nearly “boundless,” and the modularity of the Black Diamond solution creates a lot of optionsvfor the design of the chopper. “Instead of a computerized dashboard affixed permanently to the bike we can use the BackPack technology to make it portable,” explains Intel’s Reed. “So theSwitchBack-PC not only controls and monitors the chopper, and integrates with its electronic subsystems, but it also functions as an Ultra Mobile PC, allowing the user to surf the Internet, do email, write reports, and so forth. You can snap it off and take it with you, preventing any unauthorized person from operating the vehicle.”
But it’s not just a snap-on PC either. “Everything on the bike is integrated with the computing system, and vice versa,” explains Justin Dyster, president of Black Diamond. What that means is that the ignition system is controlled by fingerprint recognition software. The sunlight viewable digital dashboard displays all of the traditional vehicle indicators like speedometer, tachometer, fuel and oil gauges, battery life, and turn signals. Black Diamond used StreetDeck* infotainment software to integrate audio and video applications like GPS navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity for quick updates on traffic and web-surfing, and touch-screen access to the radio and MP3 files, all of which are also integrated with the handlebars and headset in the helmet. Rear-mounted USB cameras replace standard rear-view mirrors to display rear-view images on the digital dashboard. This “dashboard” is also a fully functional PC, complete with QWERTY keyboard that can be disconnected from the vehicle and taken with you, to create, edit and view presentations, spreadsheets, do email, and so forth.
Dyster also notes that the SwitchBack-PC used on the Intel Chopper is just like the off-the-shelf version that Black Diamond makes for other applications, with a few minor differences. “We used a custom paint scheme, and we increased the performance of the SwitchBack with the new Intel® Core™ Duo processor to allow for more features.” Battery life of the SwitchBack-PC has been extended in several ways. Besides the engineering efficiencies that give the device a long battery life to begin with, hot swap capabilities allows the user to replace the battery on the go. Plus, the SwitchBack-PC battery will be recharged while the bike is operating. So the user will always start with a fully charged battery when the UMPC is detached from the vehicle.
Updated 09-17-2009 at 02:14 PM by ecog