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  • Shutting Down the Mac Mini

    I'm hoping this won't be stepping on anyone's toes. I'm speaking mainly about Mike here. I understand Mike has done a huge amount of work on the power supply for the Mac and it is just the shutdown issue that remains.

    Basically I have found a solution, or at least someone who is able to give us a solution. The answer came from a bit of investigation into how the UPS manufacturers solve this problem. Essentially the software has to run root privileges in order to do what we want. So ... it IS a software issue as someone pointed out a long time ago.

    Given that using a UPS isn't something I really want to do, the guy I spoke to says he can take a signal from a shutdown controller and then tell his software to shutdown in 'X' amount of time. Theoretically if we could rig up a circuit that would monitor battery voltage and 'tell' the software when our car battery was getting low, we could even tell it to shutdown when battery voltage falls below a certain critical level. Personally however, I think the first option is more than sufficient and that for the vast majority of us leaving the 'time to shutdown' somewhere between 36 and 48 hours would be ideal.

    I imagine this software is patented, so I don't think there is any way unfortunately we can pass this onto Mike when it's done. I will be doing this for my car and so I'll be getting a power supply from Mike soon to get the integration stuff sorted out. Once that's done and we have confirmed it works I'll post some more.

    On a side note, Mike if you are reading this, the guy is just as unfamiliar with shutdown controllers (and how to get a signal from the ignition to the software program to let it know the car has been switched off), as you are about OS X programming. If you think it is worth you contacting this guy and seeing if you can negotiate a deal with him to work together for a seamlessly integrated project, then PM me and I'll give you his details.

    Paul.

  • #2
    While Paul and I discuss the merits of this 3rd party software, let me pose a question to the Macommunity....

    What if I put a default countdown timer in the P1900 that, unless it was reset by restarting the car occasionally, would time out after 36-48 hours and kill the power being applied to the Mac mini? This way you could continue to enjoy the fast startup times of "sleep" mode if you use the car regularly, but would also have peace of mind that, if you let your car sit for "an exteneded period of time" it would turn off completely. Remember, the P1900 already has a low battery detection capability that will kill the "keep alive" power to the mini if the battery voltage dips below about 10.5 volts during sleep.

    Would this feature be helpful?
    MikeH

    Comment


    • #3
      Although I can see the use for the countdown of say 36-48 hours I also think that the low bat monitor does most of the job for us. It really depends on how much work it would be. If it wouldnt take much it would be a nice safety. However, is it really worth it if it is going to be a big hassel. Just my two cents. Thanks guys for all of your help. Oh and if you get a software solution that is command line let me know and Ill try to integrate it into iKarr.
      JDKARR01
      Mac Mini(80 Gb/512Mb mem/Airport/Bluetooth)
      GPS(Route 66-hopefully something better soon)
      DWW-700M
      Progress[still buying stuff]

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      • #4
        Yes

        Hi Mike

        Yes, that would be useful. This way u would not have to wait for the 'low bat' to kick in and have a controllable default AND you could have the 'low bat' as a backup

        Plus some cars may not like 10.5v to play with.

        Thanks
        __________
        rgds, raceer

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        • #5
          I think this is a nice feature IF there is no software solution.
          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
            I'm not sure if this will help, but here are my thoughts. I'm in the process of researching what to do for my car, and having this mini sitting here seems like a decent option for me instead of buying a small pc.

            The down side to using the mini: I prefer not to cut my power supply wire, if the carputer route doesn't work out, I'll most likely sell the mac and having a cut/spliced cable isn't going to help much.

            The other item that I'm having difficulty in finding a solution to is the automated shutdown. The closest method I could think of was to use a UPS with data cable that has software installed on the machine, and it shuts down when the UPS loses power. I haven't gone far enough in locating a ups model and software for the mac yet.

            -adrian

            Comment


            • #7
              Guys,
              There is no real secret to this. All that I have essentially found is a third party piece of OEM software which has already been built for use with a number of UPS devices. The point is that at present to use it you need one of the UPS devices that are currently compatible. All that I have done so far is to try to get Mike to come in on the discussions I have already had with the software programmer. He has already agreed with me to take a small hardware cable with an electronic relay that can sense an input from the P1900 and communicate with the Mac to instantly shut it down or tell it to turn off after 'X' minutes/hours etc. In fact, if the P1900 already has a voltage detection circuit to tell it when battery voltage reaches 10.5 volts, I am pretty sure the output from the P1900 could be rewired to signal the input to the relay to shut down the Mac Mini properly rather than just cutting the power when the battery voltage gets too low. I have no doubt that this is feasible, and I will definately be following through and doing this. The only thing I think you guys have to consider is if you would be willing to pay the $20 USD for the software. I personally think it is a small price to pay for the perfect shutdown solution.

              Paul.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just to let everyone know. I went out of town for 1 1/2 weeks. Left my mini on sleep. Absolutely no problem at all. It was right where i left it. Started up just fine too.

                I have only had 2 awkward re-boots since installing the mini in my car apx 2-3 months ago. This is better than I can say for my daily desktop Dual G5.

                I doubted the sleep process at first, but now question why anyone WOULDN'T sleep their mini.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow. I would have thought you'd return and it would have been shut down. Very nice to know.
                  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


                  • #10
                    I'm thinking about setting my p1900 to the sleep mode to enjoy faster startups. How many people are doing this and has anyone experienced the low battery problem yet?

                    Thanks,
                    Mike
                    05 MINI Cooper Cabrio "Mac MINI"
                    progress 95%- Mac Mini, Lilliput 7" , usb-wifi, Rayming GPS, Route 66,easy cat touch pad, CCAR front end"skinned",P1900 power supply

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      See post 8. BTW I saw your Mini in Macworld. Cool!
                      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


                      • #12
                        No problems at all here. I wouldn't do it any other way. I was a doubter but am no longer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Actually, Mac OS 10.3.3 and onward have had UPS software integrated into the operating system:-)

                          You can read up here for the evidence:
                          - 10.3.3 update under "Other enhancements"
                          A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) panel is available in Energy Saver preferences, as well as a UPS menu bar item, when a UPS power management system is connected to the computer. Overall support for UPS systems is improved.

                          http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25711
                          And see screenshots here:
                          http://www.xvsxp.com/power/

                          From what I have googled, i believe this is its location on Mac OS X 10.3 / 10.4 (my Mac is at work..):

                          /usr/libexec/upsshutdown

                          If you are ultra anal and wish to montior your UPS, then there is this software available:
                          http://www.dragonsoftware.co.uk/sleepmonitor/index.html

                          Now we just have to figure out how to trick OS X in thinking the P1900 is a UPS somehow:-)
                          "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

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                          • #14
                            I just decided to scrap my mini-itx plans (anyone want to buy a travla c134/epia-m?) and im going with my mac mini. I love my mac, and i cant turn back. ive already started writing my python app to interact with the steering wheel of my bmw. i have been reading up on the power/sleep conversation, and i think i have something to throw into the mix. there is an app called sleepwatcher, which can do some amazing things (run a script on sleep, scheduled wake from sleep, etc).
                            i will test it when i get a chance, but here is the link:
                            http://www.bernhard-baehr.de/
                            Mac Mini BMW -- Done! (but always in progress) -- TOTALLED -- Damn lady didn't "see" the redlight

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looks promising! Don't have time to check it out tonight but I'll take a look when I get a chance.
                              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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