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Kid's Car PC

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  • Kid's Car PC

    I'm thinking about building my first Car PC. I'd like to run the concept by you and get your thoughts on what hardware I should use.

    Unlike most of the Car PC's spec'd here, which seem to be for the drivers, I want mine for the kids. It'll go in a minivan (2003 Honda Odyssey), probably under one of the second row seats. The kids are 8 and 6, both boys. Here is what I want the Car PC to do:

    1) Play videos from the hard disk. These will be DIVX of XVID compressed, low resolution videos.
    2) Play MAME games.
    3) Play basic kid's games on the computer (no need for high powered 3D graphics yet).

    If I can, I'd like to add these features:
    4) Play Webkinz and other online web based games using my wife's Blackberry for online access.
    5) Play videos from our home DVR and HTPC via Slingbox (or equivalent).

    For a display, I was thinking about a 7" headrest touchscreen monitor for each kid. They currently have non-touchscreen lowres video monitors for watching DVDs, but I'd like to upgrade for better PC compatibility. I also want the ability to play composite video sources on the new monitors so that they can play the Wii or watch DVD's from the indash DVD player (both of which they can already do via a 4x4 AV switch).

    I'd like to start with one Car PC to prove the concept and let them share displays. Eventually, I'd like to go to two Car PCs and network them together to share the Internet connection, share files, and play multi-system games.

    Is the concept workable? For the initial system, what would you recommend for a case (VoomPC2?), motherboard/CPU, memory, and touch screen? Any other advice?

    One more consideration - I'd like my wife and kids to be able to use and manage the system without my having to always be in the van. In other words, I want it to be relatively stable and simple.

  • #2
    Good idea. I dont think any of the front ends are built for games. The video options would be easy to manage. You would want a good internet cell phone for viewing slingbox video.

    ...That said. you could use the available front ends and build the skins to support games and the slingbox interface. Mame has several touch screen friendly aplications out there that would work. A small keyboard and mouse/trackball might be good for the kids. Specially if you running online games like webkins.

    Not sure what multiplayer games you would play. Sounds like fun though. Definatly need more Power for two pc's. maybe higher amp altenator and another battery?

    My inlaws have that car in a 07. plenty of room for a couple carputers.

    Not that there aren't other front ends (i have to say that) but RoadRunner would probably be a good Front End starting point to see if you could get the aplications to run inside of it.

    Also, I did see a front end that managed games only. Emulators to be specific. You would get a list of all the games in a folder and you could select it and depending on what the extension was it would start the matching emulator for it. Like NES, SNES, Sega, etc. <-- mobile impaact has nes emulator plugin. <-- another touch screen nes front end. I dont see the program link but im sure you could search on the name. <-- another thread talking about embedding games. <-- and another <-- Here you go this is the one i was talking about. All in one game front end. This might be a good thing to get for starters. Maybe embed this into roadrunner or any of the other carputer front ends. Here is his website since the thread link is not working

    hope this helps a little. Good luck and posts some pics. I just got a big suv so ill be doing the same thing real soon.
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