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  • Mac Mini on Windows XP

    Hey so I am looking to put a Carputer in my Mazdaspeed6 GT. I am thinking that the mac mini is the way to go because of a couple of reasons:

    1) No matter what the set up I am going to be using this screen:
    http://www.mpegcar.com/acatalog/Display_Monitor.html
    It is a touch screen unit that also seems to work pretty well, will not need an external power supply, and will "bolt" right in.

    2) Size... It will fit in the center armrest/console. I know I can build my own small computer but the mini sure is slick.

    3) The Mac is also great because of its easy integration with the P1900. If I get the MACpac my wiring would be so simplistic this would be a breeze.

    4) My car came with a Bose sound system that I am going to keep... BUT it doesn't have an aux. input. So I could get a FM-transmitter (ew) or something like this "Car2PC" adapter. http://indashpc.org/new/adapters/car2pc-maz.html. This will work as a simple aux. in, but has added plug-ins for windows media player and winamp. There for if I use winamp, I can use my steering wheel controls for next and previous song as well as volume.

    So the input plus the fact that there is no outstanding support for navigation leads me to think that I would be better of in windows. But should I ditch the Mac mini idea? I haven't fully priced out a computer yet but I am thinking a similarly priced machine is going to cost about the same. So are people having horrible issues running only windows on there Macs?

  • #2
    Go for it. The Mini is a great computer for a carputer. It's really sad to read people's worklogs and see how much time they spend building a small computer. They don't end up saving any money over the cost of a Mini and they usually spend more. You're going to have lots of other problems to solve besides building the computer. Leave that to Apple and focus your efforts on customizing it to your needs.

    Also, think of resale value. If you ever decide to do something different a Mac Mini will sell faster and for a whole lot more on eBay than some hacked together box.

    Also, check out the Carnetix P2140 instead of the 1900.
    How to bring a laptop out of standby with WOL features

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mdd5148 View Post
      So are people having horrible issues running only windows on there Macs?
      I've been running XP on a Mini for 5 months now without a hiccup. You'll get OSX 10.5 (aka Leopard) with the Mini and it has the XP drivers on the disc. You don't even have to install OSX at all if you don't want to.

      And the mini is a really nice piece of hardware, I've gotten it to boot at 6 degrees F.

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      • #4
        The best option out there right now must be the Mac-Mini. Powerful, compact, and lots of support.

        As mentioned, go for the 2140 Carnetix, it allows you to monitor (and adjust) PSU settings in Windows.

        I know there are a lot of very nice Via boards around, but, none as powerful - a lot of people will tell you you don't need the power, a few people will need the extra vooma the MacMini will give you.

        If you need TPMS/OBD-II, FrontEnd, MP3's/DVD, multitasking, and some extra's, then you need the MacMini.

        Enjoy.
        F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

        Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

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        • #5
          Ditto. The Mini is a great piece of hardware for an in car computer. You probably could save a little money building it yourself, but you'd have a very hard time beating the size of the enclosure, and it comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, DVD all built in. Hooking it up to the P1900 or 2140 is dead simple. It's a good choice for Windows, OSX, or the occasional Unix jaunt.
          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

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          • #6
            Great to hear, thanks for all the prompt responses.

            As far as using a carnetix 2140 (~$145) vs. P1900 (~$99) is it really justified to spend the extra $$? Additionally, it looks like the "MacPac" Power Cable kit only works with the P1900 (not necessary, but would be a nice luxury). If the mini works fine on the P1900 what settings will I need to view/adjust?

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            • #7
              The MacPac works on both the P1900 and the P2140.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mdd5148 View Post
                Great to hear, thanks for all the prompt responses.

                As far as using a carnetix 2140 (~$145) vs. P1900 (~$99) is it really justified to spend the extra $$? Additionally, it looks like the "MacPac" Power Cable kit only works with the P1900 (not necessary, but would be a nice luxury). If the mini works fine on the P1900 what settings will I need to view/adjust?
                Yes, it's worth it IMHO. Being able to monitor all the various settings with software was a God-send.
                How to bring a laptop out of standby with WOL features

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                • #9
                  Well its ordered. Mac Mini 1.83 dual core with 2 gigs of ram and 120 gig hard drive off of ebay. (overkill but it was a deal... Also in the next round of upgrades I would like to do some digital gauges )

                  The Screen: Mazda 6 OEMish thing mentioned earlier

                  And the Carnetix P2140. Guess it didn't take that much convincing, lol. I haven't purchased any of the cables or stuff like a usb hub as I think it will be cheaper to go and pick this up at Wallmart. Also haven't purchased a GPS reciever yet and might have to hold off for a while as I just spent a lot.

                  Edit: I also picked up the aux. input thing "Car2PC" adapter. should be ready to "plug and play"

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                  • #10
                    How much did your mac mini cost you on eBay, if you don't mind me asking?
                    Mazda RX-8 . Mac Mini 1.83 Core 2 Duo . Centrafuse 3.1 . Carnetix P2140 . Xenarc TSV7

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                    • #11
                      This is what i'm planning to run also a MiniMAC
                      CarPC: Mini-MAC Coming Soon!

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                      • #12
                        Mac mini was ~550 once shipped. There are other 1.83 dual cores for like 475 + 25 shipping that only had 512mb of ram which isn't too bad of a deal considering they are 599 on apple's site.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Machinehead View Post
                          You'll get OSX 10.5 (aka Leopard) with the Mini and it has the XP drivers on the disc. You don't even have to install OSX at all if you don't want to.
                          I have been contemplating the mini as a carputer since its launch. Dual boot into XP made it even better as XP FEs and Nav apps are more prolific. Now it appears you dont even need OS X, so it has to be the best out of the box computer option.

                          Is there any documentation on the XP only install out there somewhere ?
                          Is the only requirement for Leopard for the XP drivers ?
                          If that is the case would a borrowed copy of Leopard do, and no legal issues as you arent installing the os ?

                          Thanks,

                          Wayne

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by coffee_mogul View Post
                            Is there any documentation on the XP only install out there somewhere ?
                            Is the only requirement for Leopard for the XP drivers ?
                            If that is the case would a borrowed copy of Leopard do, and no legal issues as you arent installing the os ?
                            http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/bootcamp.html
                            From apple site ->'Boot Camp includes a PDF setup guide, so you can refer to it as you go.'

                            It looks like the newest version of leopard has most of the bootcamp kinks worked out, granted I haven't tried it yet.

                            I believe that bootcamp enables "dual-booting" on the mac rather than replacing the osx os with windows. So thinking about it there might be legal issues with using a "borrowed" leopard disk... if you get caught. The computer I have came with tiger so I might try a friends copy first, I'll let you know how it works.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by coffee_mogul View Post
                              Is there any documentation on the XP only install out there somewhere ?
                              The install is dead simple. You launch Bootcamp assistant, which comes installed with Leopard. You tell it how big a partition to make for Windows, then it prompts you to burn a CD with the drivers you'll need. You pop in your Windows CD and it restarts. Bam, you are in the Windows setup and proceed accordingly.

                              Is the only requirement for Leopard for the XP drivers ?
                              No.

                              If that is the case would a borrowed copy of Leopard do, and no legal issues as you arent installing the os ?
                              In order to work properly, Leopard has to be installed, so you have to purchase it. It's obviously designed as a secondary piece to OS X and can't be set up to run standalone. (Well...maybe it can but you'll have to prowl the hacker sites to see if it can be done).

                              Still, this shouldn't be a problem for you. All Macs come with the OS already installed, so if you have the hardware, you'll already have the software. If you have an older Mac without Leopard, I ran Bootcamp and Tiger (10.4) just fine with Windows and had very few problems.

                              Biggest issue for me was my Windows CD. It's a pre-SP2 version. You can't just download SP2 and run it. I forget the exact reason why but it has to do with restarting the computer as a Windows-only box. I had to slipstream SP2 into the version I had before I could get SP2 on it.
                              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

                              Comment

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