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Mac OS X/Linux/WindowsXP ... Pros/Cons of each?

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  • Mac OS X/Linux/WindowsXP ... Pros/Cons of each?

    What OS do you guys recommend? I am looking at starting a carputer project in my 2004 4Runner Sport, and I think this is the first question to answer. I am leaning toward the Mac Mini. I love Mac, and that seems to be a perfect sized computer to put into a car. I guess with a car my size, the computer size isn't as important. What are the pros/cons of each OS?

    Which has the most/best applications to run in a car?
    What is the most customizable?
    What is the easiest to manage overall, specifically for a car?

    And feel free to interject any other questions/solutions that you know of.

    I have experience with all three OSes, I am just looking for what you guys have learned to work best from your experience in carputers.


  • #2
    Search for rando's install. He's got a new generation 4runner. He put the computer in a storage compartment in the trunk (or whatever you call it). Its practically invisible!
    He uses a VIA EPIA and an m1-atx power supply. This is one of the most common setups available today.

    I HIGHLY advice against a MAC. Its a MAC. It doesn't have good carpc software like navigation.
    PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
    GammaControl v2.4
    SKINbedder v3

    1995 Lexus SC300


    • #3

      Alright you lost me...can you elaborate on what the VIA EPIA and the M1ATX? Thanks



      • #4
        thats tech talk for dont get a mac


        • #5
          You can't do anything with a mac on the desktop, i dont see while people keep thinking theyll have better luck in the car!

          - Cobelli


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cobelli
            You can't do anything with a mac on the desktop, i dont see while people keep thinking theyll have better luck in the car!

            - Cobelli
            perhaps you havent looked at a mac in a while, i know i hadnt and i was very supprised, i'm saving for one
            Signature: [==||========] 20% complete


            • #7
              Originally posted by ScottN
              Alright you lost me...can you elaborate on what the VIA EPIA and the M1ATX?
              You, n00b, need to do some reading in these forums.
              I'd suggest checking out the Show Off Your Project forum and getting ideas. Most people list the hardware their using.

              VIA EPIA is a line of motherboards that are low-power, low-heat.
              M1ATX is a DC-DC power supply.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?

              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


              • #8
                The vast majority of people who put computers in their car use a PC. Of that, I'd wager that the majority run XP.

                The most expandable, most customizable OS for the car is PC based, probably XP. The hardware bits are ubiquitous and there's just tons more web material on things people have done with the PC.

                It may sound like I'm recommending XP. My car PC DOES run XP, in fact. However, I'm in the process of installing a Mini to replace/supplement it.

                Because the Mac Mini is so new and is reallly the first viable option to put in a car, you won't find much software for the Mac in the car. In addition, the GPS navigation software is poor. You'll have to figure out all kinds of stuff like how to handle things that use the serial port, etc.

                I'm doing it for the challenge. I largely solved the problems of my XP install but I want to take the whole concept of the car PC much further and I'm going to do it on my Mac.

                Linux is perhaps farther behind the pack, but I'll leave that to the Linux folks to discuss.
                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


                • #9
                  For car use the OS is somewhat less important than the supporting softwares. If you can find all the software you need for the OS you are using and comfortable with the OS go for that one.
                  2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                  89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
                  Y2K Accord Dell GX150
                  RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
                  EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER


                  • #10
                    Linux and CarPC

                    I've been reading some of the posts and thought I'd add my $.02. I started putting together my system about 6 months ago and am almost finished. I only found this site about a week ago, so it's good to see other people wondering the same things.

                    I decided Linux would be the only way to go, since I am able to embed the kernel, make an initrd (ramdisk distribution), and mount the HD readonly. This makes bootup from cold very fast (< 30 seconds), and no need to manage the power down (readonly filesystem is not possible in XP), I just turn it off. Adding new files, one must reboot to readwrite, copy stuff, and go. But I'm not adding stuff every day, so it's not so bad.

                    Linux worked extrememly well for me, and I'm wondering if OSX would be adaptable to some of the same things I was doing. There were some hurdles, since I wanted Dolby Digital decoding with SPDIF, but I solved those in code. My only stumbling point now is how to mount the computer in my 4runner (the system is a little too long for dash mounting). Everything works, GPS, MP3, DVD, Dolby Digital, Ripping, Burning, USB memory sticks, networking, etc.

                    I used a cappuccino PC SlimPro, RH9.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by afd100
                      Everything works, GPS, MP3, DVD, Dolby Digital, Ripping, Burning, USB memory sticks, networking, etc.
                      What are you using for navigation and music playing?
                      System status: in progress


                      • #12
                        MythTV for Music, Delorme Street Atlas for GPS navigation, WineHQ to run Delrome, Xine with DVDCSS for DVD.

                        MythTV for Ripping DVDs and CDs, Viewing recorded TV shows from my system hooked to DirecTV, and all the gui glue.

                        Redhat 9 for the distribution, and various authors as well as my own contribution for drivers. XFree86 of course, but no need for window manager.

                        I'm working on more info here...

                        I hacked a Pocket CoPilot GPS I had laying around.
                        I've also solved the problems I had with DD using a DSP and external AMP. The system is running, I just need to mount it and it is finished.


                        • #13
                          I think you're the first on these boards to try and succeed using WINE for a GPS-app, well done!

                          The GPS is really the only thing witholding me from linux atm...
                          List of front-ends/usefull apps
                          XTroniC | XTroniC Direct


                          • #14
                            Wine is definitely developed enough, and seems stable. The only difficulty is getting the Database engines to work properly. It really exposed how incredibly complicated MS made databases on Windows. MySQL was much nicer to work with, setup, and embed.

                            I only wish Delorme did not go with .NET


                            • #15
                              Well, nice work!
                              List of front-ends/usefull apps
                              XTroniC | XTroniC Direct