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Distro and Hardware

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  • Distro and Hardware

    I know this is somewhat like asking everyone's favourite pie, but I'm looking at starting my carputer project and am about to buy hardware.

    I have some things in mind, notably is compiz and having the cube show my different screens.

    I'm familiar with myth, and plan on using that.

    I have IG3 working on CX already on my laptop.

    I'm undecided as to what distro I should start with. I'm an old hat with Redhat, and am most comfortable with that. I was thinking that maybe CentOS5 might be the way to go, and was wondering if I could slim that down enough for a carputer. I would like to get compiz working, and really want something with a taskbar/button bar along the bottom to have the different apps pop up. Pressing these would roll the cube to give you what you pressed.

    So far I would like to get GPS, Video, Audio to start, and then integrate XMRadio (I have the XMPC usb one), and then ODB-II.

    I especially like the mythvideo, as I have a rather good system running at home with 2TB of stuff recorded that I would like to be able to wirelessly pull from my in house master backend.

    For my system, I would like to have 2 screens in the headrests of the back seats. This will let each of the kids watch a program on their own screen.
    Up front I plan to have 1 touchscreen and one output screen. The touchscreen will be the mail screen, and the other output screen will strictly show GPS.
    I would think this would be doable with a dual output monitor, and using SVIDEO outputs to the back two screens. They could run off a Y adapter.

    I don't mind putting a little money into this, and would like a bit of power, but I know there will be a cutoff where the powersupply won't be able to drive too much all at once.

    Looking for feedback.



  • #2
    What kind of hardware are you planning on using? Are you going for a small compact form-factor pc?
    To my understanding, centos 5 is very similar to red hat, is that why you chose this particular distro? I have been very excited for the hardy heron release - everything is becoming more easily compatible and they cleaned it up a little. I have been brainstorming ideas very similar to yours, concerning functionality towards Car Computing. using a panel to switch desktops for different operations. I always thought of the idea of a "Live" desktop. Using desklets to monitor speed, gps directions, and music information, while layering the background as an app - like ig
    I think myth would be perfect, especially for as much video you have. seems very touch screen friendly.
    your monitor situation seems a little complex in my opinion, though well thought out. i have never tried rotating a cube with multiple monitors. I am curious to what video card you are considering.

    this seems like a good project, i would like to see what progress you make with it.


    • #3
      I thought I had replied to this earlier, but either I didn't get finished typing it or it didn't save.

      At any rate, I had planned on using an nvidia card for my two front screens. That would give me the compiz and opengl power to do the rotating cube. The two rear screens I plan on just connecting up with svideo and having X pump the video file to them.

      I have ig working with crossover office. I am pretty confident that I can get myth to perform the way I want. I chose centos specifically because it is a clone of redhat, and I'm very comfortable with it.