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CarPC.Net (Under-development, Name unofficial)

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  • CarPC.Net (Under-development, Name unofficial)

    (This is my first post, Hello everyone. )

    I have recently decided to install a computer into my daily driver. (1991 Chevrolet Blazer) It's not flashy, fast, or powerful in any way.

    I simply want a media center integrated into my dash.

    To make my dreams come true, I put together a computer with some fairly low-specs. A 600mhz Celeron, with 128 Mb SDRAM and a 15Gb HDD.

    I looked into front-ends for this setup, because I'm not investing in a touch-screen just yet, as I would be leaving that till after I found a software package to run. Then again, this post wouldn't be here unless I hadn't found one.

    You see, I tried a lot of different FE's, and of the ones that worked at all, they really didn't offer what I wanted, or were too bloated for my tastes.

    Enter CarPC.Net, name unofficial, of course.

    It's a custom FE being coded in whole by myself, using the .NET framework (VB.NET for those who care) There are those who think the .NET framework is too slow for older computers, but I must say, they're very wrong.

    But I'm sure you all don't really care about that, you just want some screenshots, right?

    Please keep in mind, however, that a lot of these graphics weren't made by me, and the ones that were, aren't very good. I'm open for custom graphics submissions, if anyone feels willing. Skinning is very simple in it's implementaion.

    Main Menu

    Music Menu

    Other menus are incomplete.

    Updates to come!

    Comments are extremely appreciated.

  • #2
    I have started developing a project called Car.NET in VB.NET, maybe it's worth collaborating and merging ideas once we are both a bit more ahead in development. So far mine has inbuilt VLC support, Sirius, GPS using the Garmin program, and others when I get around to adding it. I am adding support for using an XBOX 360 controller for controlling the program and also touch screen support. Another thing on my list to do is iPod support.


    • #3
      looks like a good start. I am looking at creating my own frontend also (and VB.Net is going to be my language of choice also)

      I haven't done anything with skins before in VB.Net (only done just standard windows applications for work) so i was wondering if you would be able to point me to a good tutorial or some example source code?

      Also what are you using for your media playback? I have seen a few methods, including bass.dll, winamp, wmp and directx...


      • #4
        By all means please add Iguidance support.


        • #5
          WMP comes with all Windows PC's.

          Considering the .NET environment is for just that demographic of PC's, it makes sense to use it to drive all media playback. (I thought about using VLC, but I'm using XP-Embedded in my system, and I didn't feel like having any more software loading up on startup than I needed. Boot time is at about 30 seconds with my celeron 600mhz)

          As for skins: they're not created in any special way with this front-end.

          I'm only using the built-in controls that .NET provides me. I suppose I just utilize them differently. All of the images are just PNG's on top of buttons using Button.BackgroundImage. It supports alpha-transparency, thanks to GDI+.

          I'll post how I have every button configured in a later post, as it seems to be (in my opinion) the quickest and easiest way to produce a clean-looking UI without the plain-old XP style.

          I'll have some more updates sooner or later. Still trying to work out a more efficient way to navigate through folders.

          Also: Iguidance? I assume it's a navigational software. I'm not really worried about stuff like that, but I'll definitely look into it.
          Edit: Iguidance doesn't have an SDK, nor are they developing one. Implementing support for something like that is asking for the impossible.


          • #6
            I figured it was about time for an update.

            The button locations are not correct due to some coding problems... I'm not good at math.

            I redid all the icons/buttons by hand with photoshop, with the exception of the internet icon, which i just stole a silhouette of IE's icon. It suits for now.

            Currently plays music/video and displays images. (Thanks WMP) The file types which it plays are determined by your installed codecs. ffdshow is open-source, so I figure I'll be installing that onto the target machine.

            Radio and GPS support will probably never make the final cut. I'll implement support for dynamic icon repositioning based on enabled devices... or whatever. Then again, I might get some extra cash and buy some of these devices just so I can add them in.

            Current TODO list is mostly UI changes because people are shallow and they don't give a flying **** if the program actually works, they just want it to look good not doing anything. (Not mad at anyone in particular, just the current outlook from some of my real-life acquaintances)

            I'm also removing the taskbar, as it's easier to just add a scrolling marquee at the top/bottom that displays current media, and other icons, such as a WIFI strength meter, volume, and a clock...

            Any suggestions for a new BG would be appreciated. I can't think of a single thing that would look halfway decent.


            • #7
              Been any more work on this?