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KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places

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  • KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places

    Hi Everybody!

    My name is KRS Juan and this is my 2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe

    This will be my first Car PC but Im not exactly a newbie. Im an Apple certified tech and have run an independent Apple store for 7 years.
    I fix Macs all day, and do about 150 a month, everything from logic board replacements to data recovery, on everything from a Mac 512k to an 8 core MacPro.

    I have also installed stereo's in a few cars including amps and subs. VW thing, 89 Ford Bronco, 96 Accord (like 6 times, this things was super easy to break into and I lived in the hood), but never a luxury car (it's luxury to me!).

    I have gathered about 90% of what I think I need, the last few items are delayed slightly. Im waiting on to get more Carnetix P1900 MacPac's before ordering the 1900 and kit (should be end of this month).
    I have not decided on a screen (Lilliput vs Xenarc) and will have to wait on that for budget reasons anyway.
    I still have to buy the audio adapter that plugs into the G35's satellite input for audio.

    Blah blah blah, enough with the chit chat, show us the goods!


    WTF you say? Am I seeing double??? Did I take too much vicodin last night? NOPE!!! There's 2 MacMini's.

    On the left, duller (in finish, not personality) and slightly yellowed from sunlight is my trusty G4 MacMini with all the fixins. It's a 1.33 with 1gb ram and a brand new 120gb drive. Superdrive, Airport, and bluetooth. It was going to be a media center in my living room, but my hacked xBox with XMBMC was simply better, and rather than risk an affair and the inevitable messy fallout, the Mini was loaded with OS X Server and forced to server a few million webpages against it's will. Sometimes tough love is the only route, and it was harder on me than it was on it. It will understand when it grows up, be it through therapy or liquor.

    On the right is an absolute virgin Macmini Intel (yes I checked). This little guy is a 1.66 with 2gbs of ram, a 120gb drive, combo drive, airport, and bluetooth.

    I have not decided which Mini will go into the G35 but we can get into that later, back to the goodies.

    If I do go with the PowerPc MacMini Im going to need IR (actually I really don't NEED it, but it's still kinda cool)
    This is an old Keyspan one, if I end up using it I will take it apart and mount the bare components on behind the console somewhere.

    Im adding a lot more AC powered items than the Carnetix can run (I think???) so I picked this giant thing off Woot (
    600w continuos 1200w peak surge I think it will do the job, but it's huge so it has to go in the trunk.

    We live in a video world and you never know when some stupid recording might make you a bazillionaire.
    With a little paint this tiny cam can be hidden easily and it's adjustable mount gives me some ideas. I think I can set it up to record in the cabin or get flipped over to see the road ahead.

    Look how small this thing is compared to an iSight! It's USB and doesn't do audio, but who cares?

    Im a TV whore, literally. Being a Mac Tech in LA, a huge amount of my paycheck comes from TV and film companies. To keep these smarmy self-centered bastards happy I have watch their shows and pretend to like them.
    And besides, HDTV in my *****ING CAR! Anyone know of a small HDTV antenna? Or maybe one to take apart and hide in say the A pillar or door molding?

    It's cheap and old, but this MacAlly controller is one of my favorites. It works great with emulators which is the most likely thing me and my passengers will be playing on a 7 inch screen.

    I've got lots of USB crap, so a good quality powered USB hub is a must. This ones a Dr Bott 4 port, but Im actually going to use a 7 port. The dr Botts are nice and small.
    This hub will be for permanently connected USB items and will most likely be behind my dash.

    This odd hub was another Woot score

    It has both USB and Firewire and it's slim profile will make it good for my glovebox. All the temporary use devices will plug into this.

    The ubiquitous Griffin Powermate. As you can see from the yellowing cable I have had this for a long time. Im excited to finally have a good use for it.

    The Belkin Nostromo. Originally designed for first person shooters, it's quickbuttons and thumb based directional pad begged me to put them in my car. Its kinda big and designed for the left hand but was less than $10.
    There's a newer version that looks much smaller and might be a better choice.
    KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places

  • #2

    This little devices makes me wonder if i'm brilliant or retarded. It's from Addonics ( and it turns 2 compact flash cards into a 2.5 ATA (laptop or PowerPC MacMini) hard drive.
    I don't have any large CF cards yet, but I pulled a 4gb microdrive from a dead iPod Mini and installed a bare-bones Tiger on it for ****s and giggles. It works but is pretty slow, and even a basic Tiger install leaves little room for caching or VM space.

    Anyone know if those "fast" CF cards are much faster than a Microdrive?

    I could take two 4gb or 8gb CF cards and RAID stripe them to make a decent boot drive.

    My theory is that since they are solid state they will wont be effected by driving over LA's streets and wont generate as much heat as a normal drive.
    This is one of the biggest reasons I want to use the PowerPC MacMini.

    A LaCie 100gb firewire drive. This will be used to transfer movies and music from other sources and will have an emergency boot partition for repairs as well (I did mention I was a Mac Tech right?).

    YAWS (Yet Another Woot Score) is this Gyration Mini Keyboard and Mouse. Im 90% sure i wont use the mouse especially since it needs to be recharged in it's cradle and that has to be plugged into AC power. The RF reciever runs off USB power
    and the keyboard uses AAA batteries.

    Here we have a Motorola Boost i455 running Mologogo. Following the threads on I got the phone working as a slow modem, and a ghetto Lojack using Mologogo and Google maps.

    There's also a US Globalsat BU-535 Waterproof USB GPS. All of you know the current state of Mac GPS software, and it aint pretty. I've been playing with GPS2gex/Google earth on my 12" powerbook G4 and the Boost phone as a modem and it doesn't seem that bad. I kind of like Roadnav x as well, but then again I don't need turn-by-turn. I have a very good sense of direction so as long as it can show me where I am and what's near by I will be happy. Routebuddy's demo is a joke as it comes with no maps and has the ABSOLUTE WORST PROGRAM RUINING WATERMARK EVER USED!!!! I cant seen to find file that might possibly start with a T, end in T, and has orren in the middle.

    That brings us back to the PowerPC vs Intel issue, sure I can run parallels or bootcamp and some windows apps but that defeats a lot of the reasons to use a mac for me.
    I really want all my apps to use Growl (
    I want all my apps to use the Mac OS X speech engine and I have some really cool voices from Cepstral ( with accents!
    Tiger has some very cool voice control features that tied with Applescript studio can do some awesome stuff.
    None of these work with windows apps. Im not a windows guy, im a mac guy. the thought of using windows anything on a regular basis gives me the chills and makes my 11th toe tingle.

    Bluephone Elite will do the handsfree thing as well as caller ID and addressbook stuff. The Bluetooth proximity script will be used to secure the GUI using the phone. Right now the phone is a lame Razr V3 but thats just keeping me mobile
    until the iPhone comes out (yes i'm steve jobs' *****).

    Some of the other stuff thats not pictured that I plan to at least play with in the Carputer but are not part of the master plan:

    Nintendo Wiimote - A cool bluetooth input device that has mac drivers and I have an extra one.
    Griffin Radioshark - Don't really need another radio in the car and I do use it to record at home, but the new HD one has my interest.
    Backup camera - get another Pico cam and use it for a backup camera

    So there you have it folks! What did I forget? What isn't a good idea? What's pure genius? Pure madman? Should I shut the hell up and go away?
    Questions? Answers? Hate mail?

    -KRS Juan-
    KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places


    • #3
      Looks great I would go with the g35 Xenarc housing they sell at store unless you have the stock navi system. Also I would use the faster intel based PC


      • #4
        Welcome, and hello.

        Looks like you are going to have fun fitting that lot. Lol

        As for the screen, i had the same dillema with choosing, and as i'm over in the UK the choice was even harder to make, being that xenarc isn't available direct from any supplier over here. But having read the forum for a while, when it came to doing my install, i ended up coosing the more expensive option of actually buying direct from xenarc in the states and paying more for what is definately a far superior screen.

        And no problems with the touch screen and set up either.... Made it defiantely worth doing for me.

        Good luck, and keep us upto date with how it is going.
        CLICK ME

        Smart Car due for completion beginning of march....

        Log with pictures to go online shortly after.


        • #5
          Use the wiimote. I love that thing. Used in Conjunction with an app called remote buddy the possibilities are endless. If u use that u probably won't need the fps controller thing. Good Luck


          • #6
            Thread moved to worklog forum.
            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
            Want to:
            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


            • #7
              Enigma: I am leaning toward the Xenarc simply for it's multi-inputs and autoswitching features, but the mp3car G35 housing is WAAAAAAAAAAY out of my price range. I will probably go ghetto and build something out of Lego Mindstorms cause Im a cheap *****. The speed difference between the 2 mini's in not huge and doesnt sway me one way or the the other. Thanks for checkin my setup out!

              Workingcars: Thanks for the advice, I will most likely get the screen from ebay/craigslist/used section here to save some skrilla.

              Onepuff: I love the Wiimote and remote buddy is pretty cool, but have you used it in your car? I've used it with big screens and it's great but a 7" scares me a little.

              -KRS Juan-
              KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places


              • #8
                I'm still trying to gather my items, you have tons... @ of each items almost... The screen option is my main issue also, I am trying to do things on a reasonable budget.


                • #9
                  heey throw me that mac mini g4 lol.... : p. I want to dual-boot my car with a mac mini and another screen. I was originally going to get one but it was out of my price range at like $400.

                  Which mac store do you own in LA??? I go out there once a year.

                  1996 Accord Ex Carputer

                  Soon to come 2008 WRX 5-door Mac-carputer.


                  • #10
                    G_Ryda: If the dust and yellowing didnt make it obvious I have had most of those items for a while and for other uses, a lot of them were NFR's that companies sent me for demo and such. Budget is why I dont have the PSU, screen, or audio adapter.

                    AznRida: Ive seen G4 MacMini's sell for less than $300 on craigslist and the like, your not getting mine though. If it doesnt go in the car it goes back into my closet as a DVR for my home security system and basic Apache web server.

                    I dont OWN the store, just run it, private msg me for the name.

                    -KRS Juan-
                    KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places


                    • #11
                      I have been using the wiimote in the car for a month or so. Really great for most of the input needed in the car. I use it at home on my 42" plasma and the car. Works great for both. I have the mini mounted in the trunk so the bluetooth is a great feature. I broke the glass for my touchscreen, so the wiimote has been my main source for input. There is a new update for remote buddy with a bunch of great new features too.


                      • #12
                        the g35 housing is expensive!!! I bought it anyways and it costed me about 1/3 of my total carputer turned out well. I'm still working on getting pics up on my post. I'll get them up by tonight and you can check them out.

                        Now that I look back at it I could have ghetto rigged the screen to look like a factory install. I could of saved alot of cheese, ohh well i cant live in the past.
                        2003 Infiniti G35


                        • #13
                          If you've got any questions, let me know; I've redone my G35 install about 3 times now. Also, I would really recommend not going the inverter route. It WILL introduce noise into your system, along with some extra heat.

                          Anyways, good luck!

                          2005 Infiniti G35 6MT Coupe Black/Black
                          Core Duo CarPC
                          CarDomain page


                          • #14
                            onepuff: Thanks! Based on your recommendation I picked up an extra Wiimote exclusively for in-car use.

                            villybhakta: The Mp3Car housing is a total ripoff in my opinion, especially after I saw the animation of how you have to pull it up each time, i think even a ghetto lego setup would look better.

                            Caelric: Thanks! Ive read through your thread a few times, and I'm sure I will have tons of questions once I pull my dash open. Want to come to LA and help?
                            KRS Juan's G35 MacMini Worklog Thread for Interweb Forum Places


                            • #15
                              No sweat, I'll do my best to answer your questions, although the 2003-2004 dash is different than my 2005.

                              As for the housing, you'd be suprised; it looks really nice, opened, and is completely stealth closed. I never close it, though, only when I park my G in a bad area. Most of the time it stays open. Anyways, it's all a matter of personal taste.

                              2005 Infiniti G35 6MT Coupe Black/Black
                              Core Duo CarPC
                              CarDomain page