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has anyone used an x-box?

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  • has anyone used an x-box?

    Has anyone considered using an X-box as their in-car computer?

    $200USD for the x-box, $50 for the solder-free mod-chip that allows you to boot linux and change the hard drive in it.

    So you have analog video output, sound output, 4 USB ports, ethernet, 8GB hd built in, and a DVD drive. PIII/733, 64MB (if you're hardcore you can solder on another 64MB) and a beefin video card. Add on an inverter (a 150W one will do nicely if you're not going to play games on it, 300W otherwise) for another $30-$50 and you're looking at an in-car solution that is very small for $300. Additionally you can get a cheap analog LCD display for like $100 as the head of it, and since you have USB you can add on com ports, keyboard, mouse, and just about anything else that you'd want to use. You also get 1 controller that you can use to control the system if you don't want to hack up the ports to change them to normal USB ports.

    Even with only 5GB for mp3 storage that's still over 1,200 songs. Use the ethernet to hook it up to your home computer to put on your best songs and you're ready to rock.

    And you also get the use of the x-box when you're not driving. sounds like a great plan to me... ?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  • #2
    well first of all the X-box does not have USB ports, they are like USD but not in the same shape. I have seen a hacked keyboard workin with the ports but was still very buggy. Also do you have a site that tells you how to solder an extra 64MB ram into the box? would love to see that be done, Video is onboard video so there is no chance in "beefin" that up any.

    My thoughts would be a bad idea for car use becuase you cant do what you want IE have a VFD display or even have a keyboard/mouse hooked up into it. also you dont know if the DVD can take a bump really good or not, might screw the **** outta yer box.


    just my .02

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    • #3
      a) yes, the connectors *are* USB, they just look different. You can splice normal USB connectors into them without much difficulty.

      b) I've heard about doing the extra 64MB, and if you look onto the board itself there are open surface mounts for them, but I haven't found a site yet. This is not important anyway, because 64MB is plenty for doing things like playing music or even DVDs under linux. There are 8 solder pads for DDR SDRAM chips, only 4 are populated.

      c) when I said "beefin" I meant "beefy". The onboard video is VERY good. You wouldn't need to beef that up at all.

      d) VFD display? It has analog video out, which many people are using already. The TV LCDs are much cheaper than digital ones, and they don't look that much worse than digital. Many people are content with their TV LCDs. Additionally you can buy an adapter to pump the output to a VGA output so that you can use an actual VGA LCD.

      e) Even if the DVD can't take a bump, you can replace the DVD drive since it uses IDE for both the DVD and the hard drive itself.

      The point of all of this is that for $300 you can have an in-car computer up and running that is small, add $100 for the display and maybe another $20 for a USB keyboard/mouse and you practically have a full computer in there. Pretty cheap for what you get.

      check out http://xbox-linux.sourceforge.net/
      or this for the usb or here for an actual USB cable converter. Do a search on google for "xbox usb keyboard" and you'll get plenty of hits as well.
      IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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      • #4
        thats a good idea, if one could learn linux
        -
        My cars
        -

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        • #5
          its a great idea if you can do it. I'm sure it can be done too. Every xbox M$ sells they don't even come close to breaking even, they make all their money in the games them and other companies put out for the xbox. Thats the main reason why MS is trying to sue all these companies making mod chips so you can run linux on them.
          '98 Explorer Sport
          http://mp3car.zcentric.com (down atm)
          AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
          80% done

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          • #6
            Sounds like the xbox may be a good bet.

            I have a mod chip for sale if anyone is interested in trying this. I dont have time to mess with it . Shoot me a PM if you are interested. Sorry for the off subject post.
            DigitalDub
            1200 mhz duron/ 384m pc133/ 6.4 gig for OS / 75 gig storage/ 32 meg Nvidia Geforce2 wit TV out / onboard sound / GPRS / 7" digitallww flip out / X10 Mouseremote / 255w inverter (temp)

            Audio
            Nakamichi CD-45Z HU / Monsoon amp and 8 speakers

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            • #7
              About 3 weeks ago (or so) M$ released a different xbox, which has a different BIOS setup, which makes it harder to hack into.

              People have since beat it, and have got linux running on it again, but old mod chips wont work on new xboxes.

              So you just need to make sure what version of the xbox you have, before you get a mod chip.
              Project AutoBoxen: Coming along, almost ready to hook up in the car.
              Celeron 500, 192mb ram, 8gb hdd, other stuff.
              '91 Mazda 626: Its free, so ill use it.

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              • #8
                if you can upgrade the DVD...

                If you can upgrade the DVD player via IDE, can you install a larger HDD?

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                • #9
                  as long as you have the mod chip, you can install any IDE device that you want to, including a larger HDD.

                  You can even install the larger HDD and still be able to use it as a real x-box system too. It's great because with the replacement DVD (which is way faster) and the replacement HDD (which is way faster) anything requiring storage access is greatly sped up.
                  IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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                  • #10
                    What about running Windows on a Xbox? Has anyone been able to do that? I would use linux, but I just paid a pretty penny for Copilot 2002 and I wanna be able to use it
                    sv24, 733mhz celeron, 80gig hd, 5.6" MA Audio tft, x10 remote, RF Keyboard.

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                    • #11
                      Yep, its also possible, and i think its quite a bit easier then linux, since its a M$ product.
                      Project AutoBoxen: Coming along, almost ready to hook up in the car.
                      Celeron 500, 192mb ram, 8gb hdd, other stuff.
                      '91 Mazda 626: Its free, so ill use it.

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                      • #12
                        does anyone here have a url of how to install windows on a xbox? I can't find anything anywhere
                        sv24, 733mhz celeron, 80gig hd, 5.6" MA Audio tft, x10 remote, RF Keyboard.

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                        • #13
                          Umm, the short answer is that you can't.

                          you can install Linux with a little difficulty, but the only way to get windows to run on that is to use VMWare under linux. It'll work fine, provided that you don't care at all about speed.

                          It's not that windows won't work (the x-box OS is actually a stripped down version of windows 2000), it's that there is no installer available for it. You can get a custom installer for linux (http://xbox-linux.sourceforge.net/ Mandrake 9 is available), but nobody has bothered to make one for windows 2000. Considering how most people doing this are trying to hack it and are anti-ms it will probably be a while before it happens. There might be an issue with drivers as well, but there is no reason why it couldn't be done.

                          So if you want to use an x-box you're pretty much stuck with linux for now.
                          IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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                          • #14
                            I considered using an XBOX way back when I got a modchip for it, but at the time the linux and windows installs hadn't been built yet and so I would have been stuck programming in DirectX and compiling for the XBOX. Now though you can run Linux and YES you can install/run Windows 95 and 98, but it is not fast.

                            The graphics card on the XBOX is really really good, comparable to Geforce2s and 3s in terms of raw power.

                            The big issue for me was that I couldn't rationalize having all that power and not using more than a tenth of it. Wouldn't you feel bad running that CPU hot and the GPU cold?

                            Don't hook up a power inverter to the XBOX - it is a standard PC... so hook up a DC-DC power supply directly inside.

                            It is very very very easy to replace the hard drive, and almost easy to replace the DVD drive.

                            Modchips exist now that require no soldering and can be updated by software. The XBOX hacking scene has come really far and it is definitely the console to get now.

                            Forget all those ricers with their PS2 on a low-res 5" TV screen ... the xbox has VGA adapters - run your whole carputer off of a hacked XBOX and get nice crisp 640x480 on a VGA screen. Plus think of all the software you can run on an XBOX now that you have Linux and Windows available as OSes.

                            Check out www.xbox-scene.com for all your xbox needs.

                            No I don't work for MS, but I wish I did.

                            Thanks,
                            Jad
                            2003 supercharged cop car - dual core Atom, Xenarc 705TSV, ampie +M2-ATX - done

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                            • #15
                              Ive read that the GPU in the xbox is basically a GeForce4 Ti4600.

                              I know ive seen a picture of an xbox booting win2k well before it was anounced that linux was hacked on to it, but i dont know how easy it is, or if it was maybe a fake.
                              Project AutoBoxen: Coming along, almost ready to hook up in the car.
                              Celeron 500, 192mb ram, 8gb hdd, other stuff.
                              '91 Mazda 626: Its free, so ill use it.

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