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And the ball begins to roll...

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  • And the ball begins to roll...

    /**********************************************
    * Update Monday, April 25th, 2005
    **********************************************/
    Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I would like to give an update on the current status of the project. Right now I have a working music player, minus all the bells and whistles, but it works. I will possibly be able to release a beta in within 3-4 weeks as my school work grinds down to a halt. 3-4 weeks because I wouldn’t feel comfortable releasing something that I know wasn’t up to par; so please be patient.

    The beta release will include a functional front end for music which reads your current iTunes xml file. In future releases the system will not depend on that file, you will be able to seamlessly combine the iTunes library with the C-Car library system.

    The entire reason for this first beta release is to get a stamp of approval on the application flow. I want to make sure that it works in a clear and simplistic manor. Essentially, if you ever get “lost” it is my fault not yours.

    I am spending roughly 70 percent of my time creating a simple, clear, concise, readable, useable, and organized interface. Being limited to designing an interface that is strictly designed for touch screen use has proved rather challenging. It really is quite amazing how “different” you have to layout an application like this as opposed to a standard computer application. Not to mention the limited space you have to work with. In short, an elegant design and application flow are the key elements to this projects success.


    /**********************************************
    * Old Post Starts
    **********************************************/
    I am working on the programing framework now, but I have been a little frustrated with that so I decided to put together my idea of what the gui should look like. Keep in mind that this is going to be open source, so you can download the nib files and then re-skin to you hearts content. I am trying to avoid doing programatic drawing just so that you can swap images out for you own design.

    I would say a developers preview well be available in about 2 - 4 months. Incase you are wondering why that long, well its a lot of work. If you are interesting in helping me develop this then pm me and I shall give you a task.

    If anyone wants the photoshop files just leave a message and I'll put them up on the site. If anyone wants to use the design for there own player feel free, as long as your software is under the GPL license there will be no issues.

    Let the bs fly, images here: http://www.ccarproject.net


    BenjaminS
    http://www.ccarproject.net
    BenjaminS
    Powered by Imagination
    http://www.ccarproject.net/

  • #2
    Ah yes, the hugely popular htttp protocol..

    (too many t's)
    Paul

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lakin
      Ah yes, the hugely popular htttp protocol..

      (too many t's)
      hahahah

      so i am retarted :P
      BenjaminS
      Powered by Imagination
      http://www.ccarproject.net/

      Comment


      • #4
        That GUI does look very good though. I dont yet have a 8" tft to try it on, but the key things look large enough to use while driving (while still looking cute). Can you give any hints on how your core will work yet?

        I think its great to see a few different projects for the mac mini. So far, most of the them are focusing on slightly different targets, so should give a nice choice. I too would like to get working on one, but think i will wait for one of the big ones to start releasing code and ill offer my input then (+ im a bit busy with exams atm, so its for the best anyway..).

        Good luck with this!
        Paul

        Comment


        • #5
          The core of this system is writing in Objective-C and C. I choose these because it is the underlying system of OS X. I feel that any additional framework such as 4d or real basic are excessive overhead, even though they both have advantages such as database integration and portability; the Cocoa and Carbon APIs are all I need.

          The music database use's the iTunes Library xml file. I decided to do this for a few reasons, one is that I use iTunes for everything. Two it makes syncing two computer very simple, fetch the remote xml, compare, and retrieve.

          All music. movies, images, and whatever else i decide to put into this system will use a similar Library/Playlist system. It works very well for me, and I think that it is the best way to organize your media. If someone has a better way and can provide a proof of concept for me then i will be glad to switch organizational methods.

          All codecs will be handled via Quicktime APIs. I am not sure about this( haven't crossed that path yet), but i believe that you can install other codecs into the quicktime framework, such as OOG. I Personally don't ever use them so its not top priority.

          Each view is laid out in its own window in Interface Builder. After a stable release is created I will go through each custom view and create an Interface Builder Palette for them. This allows you to change images, text, and layout of all views in Interface Builder with out having to muck around in the code to change strings.

          The main goals of the first release is to have a working media library and player, which includes all of those screen shots on the site.

          Just another note, I am developing this strictly for the 1.25ghz 256mb ram mac mini. Those will be the minimum supported requirements (I may bump it min ram up to 512). I do have an 12 power book(883mhz? 512mb?) kicking around and i will see if i can make sure it runs smoothly on that, but no promises. Keep in mind, that once this project is done(ha, it will never be done) it will be like running iTunes, iPhoto and iMoviePlayerThingy, iSync, iHaveRunOutOfIs all bundled into on nice little app.
          BenjaminS
          Powered by Imagination
          http://www.ccarproject.net/

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds awesome. I cant wait, a good open source OSX native app for me to gut and frankenstein into my own creation for my personal tastes.

            Well done. Or shall I say, well doing?
            (All done)
            iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sdashiki
              Sounds awesome. I cant wait, a good open source OSX native app for me to gut and frankenstein into my own creation for my personal tastes.
              Well hopefully I just might create something you like, but hey I am the same way, nothing ever suits me till i play with it, or break it which ever comes first :P

              Originally posted by sdashiki
              Well done. Or shall I say, well doing?
              yes doing.... slaving... going half blind and insane, somebody please email me some caffeine.
              BenjaminS
              Powered by Imagination
              http://www.ccarproject.net/

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              • #8
                Well i may want to include phidgets to control various analog things. Like ODBII stuff should be on the backburner because it is a VITAL component of a carputer i think. Being able to see the workings of your car.

                id love to help, but i dled CodeWarrior back under AOL 2.7 and never got into it, i played video games instead.
                (All done)
                iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

                Comment


                • #9
                  very nice! glad to here there are other people going forth in their own front ends for the Mac OS X:-) when you get to an alpha stage with at least music playing, I can add you to the list of frontends.
                  "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                  Strive for ethical wardriving: http://faq.wardrive.net/

                  My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                  Mp3Car Meets: http://detrimental.org/eyecandy/MP3CarMeets

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    sorry a shameless bump
                    BenjaminS
                    Powered by Imagination
                    http://www.ccarproject.net/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cool stuff! What about Touch Screen driver and Navigation software for Mac?

                      I've installed sooo many versions of Windoze and Linux it would be great to have OS/X in my car.

                      But so far I haven't even found a touch screen driver for MacOS/X, and I consider touch screen input critical for any car PC. Does this exist? Is
                      there a "touchpad" version of OS/X like Windows has? How well does it
                      work?

                      And what about navigation software/maps for Mac OS/X? The only thing
                      I could find with some surfing was Route 66 USA/Europe. But it looks about
                      as sophisticated as the software that I had with my first laptop/GPS (I
                      think it was a Garmin GPS-heavy handheld unit) about 8 years ago.

                      Am I just not good at finding Mac software, or is there a lot more that needs
                      to be put in place for proper Mac Mini carputers than a cool front end?

                      Cheers,

                      Bruce

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boston6MT
                        I've installed sooo many versions of Windoze and Linux it would be great to have OS/X in my car.

                        But so far I haven't even found a touch screen driver for MacOS/X, and I consider touch screen input critical for any car PC. Does this exist? Is
                        there a "touchpad" version of OS/X like Windows has? How well does it
                        work?

                        And what about navigation software/maps for Mac OS/X? The only thing
                        I could find with some surfing was Route 66 USA/Europe. But it looks about
                        as sophisticated as the software that I had with my first laptop/GPS (I
                        think it was a Garmin GPS-heavy handheld unit) about 8 years ago.

                        Am I just not good at finding Mac software, or is there a lot more that needs
                        to be put in place for proper Mac Mini carputers than a cool front end?

                        Cheers,

                        Bruce
                        While there is a lot more than frontends to do, its not that bad. There are touchscreen drivers for mac. If you buy a lilliput or zenarc they come on the cd. My mac mini did not need drivers for TS, and it works flawlessly. Check out the other threads in the mac forum... there is much hope for nav software for OSX this year. Mac GPS and Route 66 are all there is for now, and they are not very good.
                        It is the work of this fine person and others that are making the mac more and more suitable for carputer use. I applaud and thank him.
                        Carputer status: [-*---------]
                        Im thinking laptop...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also, several users have reported that using Virtual PC and the PC nav programs works fine on the Mini. Not an ideal solution...after all, you want to install a Mac, not emulate a PC. But let's face it, GPS on the PC is more advanced and if you gotta have it, you can get it until something decent that is native Mac appears.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shizzle
                            It is the work of this fine person and others that are making the mac more and more suitable for carputer use. I applaud and thank him.

                            Well I am quite flattered to hear that, but this is simply a project that is guided purely by those that have entered into this hobby full force but have been disappointed with what is currently out there.

                            Bruce - I am well aware of the current situation facing software gps or it would probably be best to say lack there of. For now I want to focus on the things that matter most for me, such as music, videos, and photos. Once I have those completed and stable then I will start building on my existing framework.

                            I have not yet been spoiled by a gps system so I don’t know really have an attachment to it, but I do realize it will probably be the deciding factor for most when they set out to buy a carputer. There also seems to be rumors circulating this forum about software makers porting their products into os x. This is by far great news for the navigation aspect, but one thing still plagues me is whether or not I would be able to tightly integrate it into my software. If worst comes to worst I will either have to write it from scratch, which would probably be the most time consuming and error prone method as well as an incredible learning experience, or port it from another gpl licensed project.

                            At the moment I have not been doing my research into what is out there, but if anyone has any links for navigation software that is open source regardless of operating system please post it here so that I can refer back to it when the time comes.

                            Sdashiki – “phidgets and various other analog thing” will come in due time. I am sure that once I have this project rolling and useable I will find a niche for my own bank of hardware necessities.

                            ODBII would be a concrete sell for an open source project such as this, but that is something that I will need to spend a fair amount of time researching before I write a single line of code. But yes that both of these will always be on the back burner, simply for the fact of “Being able to see the workings of your car.” not only interests me beyond belief, but I want to see what else I can make it do.
                            BenjaminS
                            Powered by Imagination
                            http://www.ccarproject.net/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the replies,...

                              And thanks for not taking my original request as flame-bait.

                              (I just re-read it and really didn't intend it to be so harsh.)

                              Anyway, I too am glad to see progress in all areas here. But
                              I guess GPS Nav is the key area I want (Movies are nice for
                              car shows, but my 92" front projector + 6.1 stereo 2000+ AMP
                              (including 2 subwoofers & 3 bass shakers) audio system at home
                              so completely blow away movies in a car I consider that more
                              of a cool demo item than a necessity). And I already have
                              4.2 GB easily changeable MP3 access on my OEM CD
                              changer, though a prettier interface and more feature rich
                              playlist setup (in addition to more space) would be nice.

                              I'm glad to hear touchscreen works well with Mac Mini...so I
                              guess if I beefed the mini up for wireless/bluetooth, used a
                              touchscreen,... I could pretty easily get a basic carputer
                              going. If I can't live with route 66 and don't see really good
                              Mac Nav software soon enough on the horizon, maybe the
                              Mac Mini will then migrate back into the house and I'll buy
                              a VIA "Luke" micro - ATX system that should be smaller
                              than Mac Mini and run the better Nav software once those
                              start to come out.

                              BTW, as far as gpl Nav software, there is some on
                              sourceforge.net called "RoadMap" that runs on PDAs
                              and Linux/X11 so should be portable to OS/X without
                              too much trouble and is free. Unfortunately, US census
                              data doesn't have information on one way streets and is
                              often inaccurate. This could probably be converted to
                              a really cool OpenGL 3D viewer, but will not be a good
                              point-to-point route generator without someone getting
                              better map data for it. Hmmm... use google or mapquest
                              through wireless link while parked in garage for point-to-point
                              directions, then use that in conjunction with Census data?


                              Although, that said, the Clarion N.I.C.E. does Nav *and*
                              MP3 *and* satellite ... if it had OBDII display as well, I'd
                              probably opt for that instead of any kind of carputer (is
                              everyone else here drawn irrationally to the concept of
                              a carputer because of Kit from "Night Rider"? Need that
                              sexy female voice as an option to the front end!)

                              Cheers,

                              Bruce

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