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some questions for a newbie

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  • some questions for a newbie

    ive done some searches and have been doing a lot of reading but i cant seem to find what im looking for.

    as far as i can tell theres probably two ways to do this, one would be to actually build a minicomputer the same way you would put together a desktop, the second is to buy a minicomputer from something like idot.com.

    is one way better than the other?

    Also, for those with dvd-roms, where is the actual rom? Is it external? Because i imagine most of you mount the actual PC in the trunk or something. How would you put a cd in?


    Sorry if these questions are stupid. Im very new to this.

  • #2
    Not quite sure what you mean about the different options for the computers. Most people use one of two options, either they build themselves a really small pc using a mini-itx board (www.via.com.tw) or they just use an old system they have lying around the house. Both choices have advantages and disadvantages (mainly cost and space required).

    From what I've read most people don't worry too much about the DVD-ROM drive, generally if you get a big enough hard disk you can store most of the movies you want in Divx format. I think a couple of people have extended the length of an IDE cable using some CAT-5 (not 100% on that) thus allowing them to mount the DVD drive in the dash. Generally if you opt for the mini-itx option then you can mount the system somewhere up the front of the car, either the glove box or under the passenger seat etc. This allows the DVD drive to be accessed from the drivers seat. Basically you need to have a little inginuity when planning where to mount your system.

    What car are you planning on mounting it in?

    Anyway, hopefully this helps you out.

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    • #3
      grahamrb - IDE is only good up to about 3 feet. Most people use a Firewire/USB2.0 case for it, and run Firewire/USB2.0 to their dash.
      1993 BMW 325is - 15.2sec

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      • #4
        Ive been reading and reading these forums for hours and still dont know what is going on.

        If i were to buy one of those minicomputers such as the cappuccino tx3 would i need anything else besides a screen? Would i need a power supply?

        If i were to assemble one myself, i intend to run windows XP on it and it will be used mostly for mp3s, dvds, and GPS. What parts would i need and what specifications? Ive been reading about the EPIA, ITX, ATX motherboards and dont know what the differences are. It looks like all i need is a case, PSU, motherboard, HD, memory, and DVD player. Is this correct? For my application which type of motherboard would be best? Will the OPUS powersupply work for all types? becuase on the site it says its designd for ATX mobos.

        The space i have to put this in is about 14"x5"x6". Its behind a seat in a second generation MR2 if anybody knows what thats like.

        And could somebody direct me to a site where i can find prices for everything? Ive looked around on mini-itx.com but those are just for the itx motherboards. Ive also read the faqs and cant seem to find too much information about these things.

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        • #5
          Well, let me tell you this, if it will affect what you purchase: A Mini-ITX motherboard will fit with less than a half inch to spare in that behind-the-seat compartment in a second generation MR2. As a matter of fact, that is where my custom computer is. I choose to use the compartment that most people don't even know exists behind the drivers seat:


          Go check out my post in the show off forum here

          Or my website: http://mp3.telekineticfool.com/

          If you want more info. Or email/pm me, whichever.

          I'm using MiniITX and Opus power supply, btw.
          MP3 MR2 (click here for details)
          Hardware: EPIA M10000, 512Meg Ram, 5.6"TFT, Opus 150watt DC-DC PSU
          Software: Windows 2000, Media Engine 2.0

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          • #6
            The specs on IDE cables limit them to 1 meter. Any longer then that and latancy gets far to high for decent transfer rates, assuming that the data can even get to the other end of the cable.
            A digital mind lost in an analog world.

            Learn to ask smart questions!
            http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

            My car PC: The Lost Cause!

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            • #7
              If you know how to build a computer, then the sky is the limit for you, just go as fast as you can afford.

              If on the otherhand, you know nothing about building computers, then you would probably be much happier with an off the shelf type item...There are quite a few out there.

              But you will need to research dc-dc and inverters.
              current projects

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