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  • Intuitive in-car laptop ideas?

    Hey everybody, this is my first post and hopefully my first step in having my own setup one day!

    I was wondering if/how people have integraded a laptop (In this case a 12" PowerBook G4) into their car. I was thinking about just mounting the laptop on a stand in front of the glove box for easy setup/removal, but after finding this great site my mind won't stop turning with different ideas.

    One question I have: Would it be possible to connect a small touch-screen monitor to my (hidden away) laptop? Of course the screen would have to be shut for it to be hidden somewhere, so I would have to connect a mouse and keyboard I think. Has anybody seen a setup like this?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    PowerBook in your car...

    Nope, I haven't seen a solution like this either! But I'm going to build it this summer!
    I already bought a 12" PB for this project and I'm currently ordering the rest I'd like to use: 2nd car batt, Isolator, InDash-Screen, power supply, wireless keyboard, Amplifier, Powermater etc...

    I'm favouring the PowerBooks because of their battery, ruggedness for mobile use and the possibility to take them out and use in a hotel room e.g.

    If you have questions regarding PowerBooks and iBooks, feel free to ask. I'm an Apple Service Technician. (But new to the 12V-environment...)

    Let's put our PowerBooks to truly mobile use!
    Regards, Bodi

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    • #3
      Well, I'm not too sure about Macs, but what I used to do with my laptop was put it in a docking station. The docking station I had for my laptop was actually called a port replicator.
      It gave me all the common ports available on a desktop - like VGA, RCA out, firewire, USB, sound, etc....
      You may be able to find a port replicator or similar smaller docking station for your Macs.

      Something like this would be ideal for you, because you can leave all your wires plugged into the replicator/docking station, and dock and undock your laptop without having to constantly unplug everything each time.

      In terms of power - I'd just use an inverter, so you don't have to modify the laptop to work off 12 volt. That would further simplify being able to remove the laptop to use in hotels and stuff. Most people use the 12 volt power supplies and stuff for more 'permanent' setups.

      I use an inverter with a smaller desktop computer called the Ice Cube. I use it the same way you are talking about - I can just pull it out of the car quick and bring it in the house for any maintenance, cleaning, etc...
      Pictures are on my site if interested in seeing more of my setup - Ford Aspire.
      www.mobile-effects.com

      Free file hosting, picture gallery hosting for installs, PM me.

      Internet's first Front End Skin browser, featured installs, downloads, links, informative articles - all free to registered users.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SnyperBob

        In terms of power - I'd just use an inverter, so you don't have to modify the laptop to work off 12 volt. That would further simplify being able to remove the laptop to use in hotels and stuff. Most people use the 12 volt power supplies and stuff for more 'permanent' setups.
        Don't really need to modify anything, just buy a belkin or kensington car power adapter.
        I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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        • #5
          I have had a mac laptop in my car for years. Starting with a 2400c "Comet" machine and now there's is a G4 laptop in there. I have been able to use it very well with an ELO 10" touch screen although the only driver available for it is almost $250!! (It was purchased for other reasons, but came in handy). The system is great, rock solid, turns itself off when I shut the power down to the power supply (by hand) and comes right up when I apply power again. I can run VirtualPC (a pc emulator for mac) and connect to a globalsat bluetooth gps. With this setup I can have iTunes playing music and virtual pc running Co-Pilot, Destinator or any of the other PC nav systems, including voice prompts.

          I highly recommend using a laptop because of the sleep thing. I also have an infrared USB keyboard mounted on my visor and it comes in handy occasionally.

          I also have it set up with Salling clicker, a program that runs iTunes whenever my cell phone comes near the laptop and stops iTunes when the phone rings.

          All around great setup.

          You can see some pictures of my setup (kind of old, but still apply) at:

          http://www.upstairsefx.com/mactahoe/carputer2.jpg

          or search the forum for my posts (might still be around).

          The 12" powerbook tends to run really hot and it does not behave very well with the lid closed so be careful. I fried one.

          W.

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          • #6
            Bookendz Powerbook & Xenarc 7"

            I just ordered two Bookendz docking stations for my 15" TiBook just for this purpose. I plan on mounting them in the trunk area with "perminant" connections up to the cockpit for stereo and Xenarc touchscreen connections. I've picked up the cig. lighter power adapter to hack apart as well. My garage tests look good.

            I'm a VJ/DJ/KJ and use Megaseg DJ software at my shows on a 17" powerbook. My 15" TiBook is my backup DJ rig. Megaseg looks VERY cool on the 7" touchscreen, and it's buttons are quite usable. The end result is my complete 15k DJ song catalog in combination with my 25k karaoke catalog using kTunes all sitting in my car. Or at least that was the idea...

            Navigation is a "hot button" for me, and Route 66 isn't quite up to my expectations. Although I'll be using my TiBook in my Mercedes Benz convertable for extended tunes... my daily driver VW Passat will be encumbered by a PC with all the interesting software available there. I'll miss MegaSeg, but I'd miss navigation more if I stuck to the TiBook...
            Car: 1997 VW Passat TDI moving to
            1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D
            CPU: HP ePC 1gig/256meg/250 gig
            Status: Ghetto Install w/Inverter,
            Xenarc & GPS & RadioShark
            ToGo: DC-to-DC conversion, Grease conversion

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            • #7
              article

              Hi,

              Came across this article which lays out various choices, pros and cons
              of mounting a laptop (for gps purposes etc.) in a car very well:

              http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/laptop-car-mount.html

              Cheers,
              Jmp

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by angusn
                  I just ordered two Bookendz docking stations for my 15" TiBook just for this purpose. I plan on mounting them in the trunk area with "perminant" connections up to the cockpit for stereo and Xenarc touchscreen connections. I've picked up the cig. lighter power adapter to hack apart as well. My garage tests look good.

                  I'm a VJ/DJ/KJ and use Megaseg DJ software at my shows on a 17" powerbook. My 15" TiBook is my backup DJ rig. Megaseg looks VERY cool on the 7" touchscreen, and it's buttons are quite usable. The end result is my complete 15k DJ song catalog in combination with my 25k karaoke catalog using kTunes all sitting in my car. Or at least that was the idea...

                  Navigation is a "hot button" for me, and Route 66 isn't quite up to my expectations. Although I'll be using my TiBook in my Mercedes Benz convertable for extended tunes... my daily driver VW Passat will be encumbered by a PC with all the interesting software available there. I'll miss MegaSeg, but I'd miss navigation more if I stuck to the TiBook...
                  I USE MEGASEG TOO!!!!!
                  dude did you upgrade to 10.4.5? megaseg works so much better now. also there's an announcement on their site to turn off the IAC midi driver in "Audio midi setup" for even more stability.
                  Dude i wish there was a megaseg forum.
                  for those of you that do not know what megaseg is, it's a dj automation software. I'm a mobile dj by profession. I would not recomend buying megaseg strictly for carputer. But if u wanna dj,it certainly pays it's self off after your first big gig.
                  Falcon cr53 w/ via epia m10000. Nokia 3650 blutooth phone.
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