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  • Why Mac?

    Let me preface this by saying I love macs for general computing. But I'm trying to understand why a mac would be preferable as a car computer?

    Mac's have a great UI, but that doesn't seem relevent here because the front end hides that. And if you really do want mac-like UI elements you can get that with some skins for XP-based front-ends like RoadRunner.

    Is it the OS itself? Because that seems pretty hidden as well.

    It can't be application support, because there is a lot less of that on the Mac than on PC. And some of the key apps, like iTunes, are available on the PC as well.

    Is it hardware? The mini is a nice box, but you can get the equivalent PC easily with just a mini-itx mobo, proc, and a stick of memory, for significantly less money. Or you can get pre-built systems that are even more compact then the mini and specifically designed for car computing (built in automotive power supply).

    Or is it just that the thought of Windows makes you feel all icky inside?
    My setup: Hummer H3, iBase MB899, Intel Core Duo, RR, iGv3, DSATX, Mechatroniks chassis, 41Hz AMP3

  • #2
    Originally posted by jeffw View Post
    Or is it just that the thought of Windows makes you feel all icky inside?
    Yes.

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    • #3
      Cocoa

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      • #4
        lol yes the ickyness is a part of it.

        the minis IR port is a huge deal to me as I will be using apples IR remote in conjunction with my own FE. My FE being the 2nd big reason as It won't run under windows.

        Also I dont buy the whole less money argument for building your own. once you factor In time and shipping and buying a windows license building your own turns pricy. Maybe I'm wrong.
        check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jirka Jirout View Post
          Cocoa
          Can you explain this one more? What is it about Cocoa that is an advantage for car computers? How does it effect the car computer... is it just the development of it or does it affect the end result?
          My setup: Hummer H3, iBase MB899, Intel Core Duo, RR, iGv3, DSATX, Mechatroniks chassis, 41Hz AMP3

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jeffw View Post
            But I'm trying to understand why a mac would be preferable as a car computer?
            First and foremost it has to be a love for the platform. Most of the things you point out are true and valid which, in my mind, would not make it a good platform unless you have a vested interest in it.

            Mac's have a great UI, but that doesn't seem relevent here because the front end hides that. And if you really do want mac-like UI elements you can get that with some skins for XP-based front-ends like RoadRunner.
            Well that is a bit of a contentious point around here. I personally believe that the FE should express the OS that it runs on rather than hide it.

            As far as skinning a Win FE to look like a Mac. Just cause it looks like a duck, doesn't mean it quacks like one. The Mac UI is much more than just a look. Instead it goes down into the basic architecture for how things are put together and oriented. Skinning can change the look, but it can rarely change how the app functions.

            Is it the OS itself? Because that seems pretty hidden as well.
            Again, I don't believe that the OS should be entirely hidden. But no you won't be using Finder, etc..

            I think the OS is still critical though. If for nothing else, I believe you should only use the OS that you are most comfortable with in your car. You will have problems with the computer in your car at some point, so you might as well make life easy on your self and pick the platform that YOU can best support. I haven't used Windows since 98 SP1 so it would be a poor choice for me to try to support at this point.

            It can't be application support, because there is a lot less of that on the Mac than on PC. And some of the key apps, like iTunes, are available on the PC as well.
            FrontRow isn't available for the PC, and there are more than a few people that are happy using it. While iTunes is on the PC, it is not as easy to script and control as it is on the Mac. But yes in general there is less support as we are a smaller group.

            Is it hardware? The mini is a nice box, but you can get the equivalent PC easily with just a mini-itx mobo, proc, and a stick of memory, for significantly less money. Or you can get pre-built systems that are even more compact then the mini and specifically designed for car computing (built in automotive power supply).
            This is where I think you fall down a bit. The pre-built Mini-like systems (the Pandora seems to be the most popular) actually comes out to be about the same price when you kit it out like the Mini (RAM, BT, Wireless, HDD) and they both use the same power supply (CarNetix).

            -dave
            My pathetic worklog.
            CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jeffw View Post
              Can you explain this one more? What is it about Cocoa that is an advantage for car computers? How does it effect the car computer... is it just the development of it or does it affect the end result?
              Despite some of Apple's "improvements" Cocoa is in my opinion still by far the best OO framework out there (and I have seen and used quite a few). Although it lacks some functionality (i.e. db connectivity), this fortunately does not affect car use.

              It does affect the end result quite a lot. It is so much easier to work with than other frameworks/environments (with .NET coming rather close, but still not quite there), so you can really focus on what you are doing, instead of fighting hardware, OS etc.. Because of this, you can also develop many things yourself and do not have to try to glue together stuff made by others.

              As for the other advantages of the platform, the hardware has very good price/performance ratio and is extremely reliable. I do not have time and nerves to build my own hardware that I can buy. I have enough to do with the hardware we cannot buy and have to make.

              Originally posted by iamgnat
              First and foremost it has to be a love for the platform.
              Come on, it is just a computer. If any other platform offered me what Mac does, I would not have any problems switching... Currently however there is no such platform.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jirka Jirout View Post
                Come on, it is just a computer. If any other platform offered me what Mac does, I would not have any problems switching... Currently however there is no such platform.
                It is, I would too, and I agree. And that is why I love the platform so much.

                I'm in no way suggesting that Apple doesn't have it's own faults, just that it is the best of breed right now and I respect it as such.

                -dave
                My pathetic worklog.
                CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffw View Post
                  Is it hardware? The mini is a nice box, but you can get the equivalent PC easily with just a mini-itx mobo, proc, and a stick of memory, for significantly less money. Or you can get pre-built systems that are even more compact then the mini and specifically designed for car computing (built in automotive power supply).
                  Not true. Take a Mini and spec out an identical Pandora system. The Mini offers more for less.

                  That doesn't matter to most folks around here because they build their own system. If you decide to build your own and don't need the same form factor, you can build a PC system for a lot less.

                  I think the Intel Mini is a great choice because you can experiment around with a Windows install if you want, try out Front Row if you want, whatever. If you want to experiment around with all aspects of the hobby, the Mini is a good choice. If you want a cheap Windows box, it's not for you.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
                    Not true. Take a Mini and spec out an identical Pandora system. The Mini offers more for less.

                    That doesn't matter to most folks around here because they build their own system. If you decide to build your own and don't need the same form factor, you can build a PC system for a lot less.

                    I think the Intel Mini is a great choice because you can experiment around with a Windows install if you want, try out Front Row if you want, whatever. If you want to experiment around with all aspects of the hobby, the Mini is a good choice. If you want a cheap Windows box, it's not for you.
                    I wont get into another mac vs. pc, but I think the PC is the obvious choice for the Car and I will leave it at that.

                    Just want to say that for those who want to expirement with every frontend, you can install XP on a mac, or you can install OSX on a pc (I triple boot my desktop OSX/XP/Vista). So you dont have to buy a mac to try it out and see if you can stand it.
                    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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                    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                    • #11


                      MACOSX can run on intel boards now.

                      I dont have a mac and never really used one. Once I was forced to write a database app in college using pascal lite for the mac. And most of the programming i did in dos and converted over. That was 10 years ago

                      So yes the front end hides the OS...But...There are more front ends for the PC then there are for the MAC. There are more games, better games, for the pc then the MAC, at least they come out for the pc months before the MAC. And overall there is way more help on the internet for the PC then the MAC. Some people just want to be different for the sake of being different
                      Um, I guess this is where you put something witty.WITTY

                      My Web site, in the design stage. http://home.comcast.net/~cstrachn

                      Modified RRSkinEditor http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=65723

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pRoFiT View Post
                        There are more front ends for the PC then there are for the MAC.
                        There are more VWs or Toyotas than Bentleys or RRs ;-)

                        There are more games, better games, for the pc then the MAC, at least they come out for the pc months before the MAC.
                        True, but last time I checked, this was not a gamers forum...

                        And overall there is way more help on the internet for the PC then the MAC.
                        True, because Mac simply works and work and works... ;-)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jirka Jirout View Post
                          True, because Mac simply works and work and works... ;-)
                          Stop spreading lies mac people!!!!

                          I have had more freezups on a mac mac (those shiny coloured CRT all-in-ones) than the now 6 year old PC I built myself... Maybe 5 years old, I cant remember anymore!

                          This is just like the lilliput and m2-atx. Great products, more people buy them, more people have issues. Simple math. I dont care what you use for your computing, but my dislike for the apple brand has only grown since the mac vs. pc ads on tv that do just as you did, make false claims.

                          I know a mac can be stable. I know a mac can be unstable.
                          I know a pc can be stable. I know a pc can be unstable.

                          It has nothing to do with the hardware or OS.
                          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                            know a mac can be stable. I know a mac can be unstable.
                            I know a pc can be stable. I know a pc can be unstable.

                            It has nothing to do with the hardware or OS.
                            Well it has quite a lot to do with the hardware and the OS, but generally I agree. For me however, the "works and works and works" is true for both common and in-car use (and I have had a Mac in my car for 5 years now).

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                            • #15
                              I have heard reports from PC owners that claim that their plug and play systems work fine, and the installers auto-detect, auto-download, and run without a hitch. It is true, however, that if something goes wrong on a PC install, it often goes horribly wrong, requiring manual jumper setting changes on the motherboard, wiping the drive, and reinstallation of everything from Windows to all device drivers and so on.
                              -------------------------------------
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