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Macbook w/USB & VGA extensions

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  • Macbook w/USB & VGA extensions

    Is anybody doing this with their Mac notebooks... Have some sort of a mount in the trunk and run extensions to the dash for the screen and USB for keyboard/mouse?

    I'm planning a vehicle install that includes several remote-mount two-way radios, strobes & arrowstick, and an inverter that sits in the trunk. That'll be an electronics bay, so naturally I'm thinking that (an eventual) Macbook Pro will sit snugly in a mount there with power fed to it. Extension cables will be run to the front of the car for a 7" Xenarc and USB ports. I have a MacAlly keyboard with a power switch, so hopefully the Intel Macs still recognizes the power switch on a USB keyboard!

    This is so that I can take the Macbook out into the field outside the car, and bring it home indoors when I'm not in the car. I'd love to be able to buy a separate computer for the car, but alas, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fails to see me as a charitable cause.

  • #2
    I have a Macbook Pro and I've been thinking about that as well. If anyone has suggestions, post.

    I'll see if I can "fabricate" a special case for a mac but it will be tough because I want to keep it clean and safe at the same time.

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    • #3
      It's hard because you have to keep the notebook secured somehow, but also allow for airflow for cooling.

      The only thing I can really think of right now is a formed "U" holder that holds the front half of the notebook when vertical, so the power, audio out & USB on the left and the DVI/VGA ports are still accessible on the right. Maybe some sort of a velcro strap to hold it down over bumps.

      I won't be getting the Macbook until Photoshop comes out in universal and probably a few bug revisions of Final Cut Studio. But that'll be after the radio install, so I'd prefer to route cables once instead of ripping everything out twice.

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      • #4
        I know, if I do make a "contraption" for the Mac, then it would be more expensive and hard to keep in the car. I'd rather have a cheaper Mac Mini sitting in the car than my 2000 macbook pro.. so, I really don't know if this is a good idea unless I get a better mac but i have a really good one right now. Too many different variables, especially airflow because the laptops heat up really fast. Especially if there isn't airflow to it.

        Mac Mini's aren't too expensive right now so I think it would be a better plan to go forward with.

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        • #5
          I agree... that being said, I hate the process of sync'ing up two computers. It never really works the way I want it to. I work with both Mac and PC, I simply use the platform that best suits what I want to do. The MacBook Pro really eliminates my Mac Mini and Thinkpad!

          Navigation? I like Microsoft Mappoint, Windows only. Plus I work with proprietary radio software that only works on Windows, with older stuff running DOS (dual-boot, not full screen Windows prompt!) Everything else I do on a Mac because I love how it looks and how well it works. I love FrontRow and I can see that working well in a car.

          I'm just thinking that I can always bring everything with me, including email and all that. I guess that's utopia. Right now I have a PocketPC that sorta does what I want it to do, I have webmail and web-calendaring that I sync to... but what if I work on only one machine, never having to sync!


          Edit: What i clearly don't want is a laptop mount at the front that screams "I HAVE A LAPTOP!!!" My company car is a rolling billboard so it's fairly identifiable if stolen, plus it has a solid-steel cage at the back that protects over $100K in video gear, so that's where the Macbook would go. But up front, I want to have a near-stock look without too many electronic doodads.

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          • #6
            same. I don't want to leave my laptop vulnerable to a theif because it will be easy to steal. When a Mac Mini install + Touchscreen would take time and effort which they wouldn't bother doing because they wouldn't get much value from it.

            Right now, I'm saving up for a Mac Mini system. I just hope I can push through with it before this christmas..

            What car do you plan on setting this all up in?

            Me, either the Tahoe or if we get a Civic.. Either way, I'm planning on doing it already.

            Since I got my Macbook, my windows PC isn't being used.. You think just buying a case for it and setting it up inside the car would be better or just get a Mac mini...

            I like the OS X set up and its easier but windows has sooo many more apps and functions right now. So maybe, I can convert my old PC and use it as the PC in the car for now, until they develop more software for the mac mini and I could possibly save up for a better model next year.. Is that a better idea?

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