Waiting on the 80GB version, Toshiba has announced ETA March 2008.
2008 350z GT Installed since April 22nd 2011 - Worklog
2000 Protege Installed Since April 2, 2005 - Intel D201GLY|Fusion Brain|ODBPros ODBII|Engenius|GPS Rikaline|Powermate|Motorized Lilli
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
Leonardo Da Vinci
How about a thermostatically controlled CCTV Camera Heater? Maplin has one - turns on at 5c, off at 16c, I think. Draw is 13w while it's heating. If the heater is left to cycle constantly then the device temp never gets low enough to worry about thermal shock form sudden rewarming.
Or how about... Adding a thermostaically controlled relay that will turn on your CarPC when the temp gets to the bottom end of the operating temp, then off again when the CarPC naturally warms itself up.
I'm experimenting with this for the DVR in for my Dashcam - the DVR will keep itself warm while it's running, but it has a built-in cold-protection that will not try to spin up the HD below 0c (even if you have a HD rated for -30 ). The DVR has a home-made power controller that is triggered by the ignition turning on, something bumping the car or someone opening a door/hood/trunk. I can easily add a thermostat that turns on at --1C and off at +3C, for example. The plan is that DVR will them fire up and warm itself up again and then shut down.
Tmep never really gets below 10F here - usually high teens is the coldest we get.
Try one of these. http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/I...D:100000220256 They are used to defrost windshields when the car heater is not yet warm due to cold weather conditions. It might do the trick and I am sure they can easily be hacked to be run remotely. And they are dirt cheap.
That heater from J.C. Whitney is exactly what I was thinking for you cold weather folks. I live in Northern Indiana, so I understand the whole cold weather thing. It seems like the real solution is to buy a heater and install a second deep cycle battery with a isolator. Connect the heater (and your car PC if you like) to the deep cycle and put the heater in your trunk with a thermostat. All you would need to do is keep your trunk at 20-30 degrees. Insulating your trunk lid and walls would definitely help as well. Just a thought...
Maybe I'm stating the obvious here, but why not just use a laptop?
I've driven transport a bit, and worn out (newbie) trucks jump around as much as or MORE than riding a horse (from bumps-I can shift). Before these 'toughbooks' and whatnot came out the thinkpads were the only ones that got old enough that the keyboard letters wore off...just a thought...
To maintain seamless integration, run cables from dash-mounted input/peripheral plugs to the docking station that's PERMANANTLY mounted in the trunk (or wherever)...
(Usb cables crap out over 15-25ft depending on the peripheral current draw.)
Then ya can just take it out on extreme weather days (or in seedy neigbourhoods) rather than KILL IT warming and cooling, or loose it with the car...
PLUS you can REMOVE it & hook it up to OTHER computers (mp3players? PVR's?).
(without a 50 foot cat-5 cable from yer car to the server that is, although those are good for fer car-to-car network sharing; make a break-away connector, haha)
In a taxi, you'd want the usb plugs and stuff UNDER the dash, OUT OF SIGHT, so there's no indication of high-value electronics to the criminals ya may commonly drive around...maybe invest in a secondary monochrome screen, haha...
[Keep in mind I'm broke, with a rusty 1994 car, a beat up Thinkpad, a soldering iron and a box of parts...I've got my cell tethered to my laptop, strapped under the dash of a car (or wherever really... internet in a tent always freaks people out, haha) with a mismatched drivetrain and a 'dollar-store bucket' air ram so I can afford to drive it...(36mpg) anyone else usin tethered cell internet, peer-to-peer internet or lan on the road? if we met up to share files imagine the RIAA would send the swat team after us but experiments like wi-fi relaying & stuff would be cool...sorry for the long message it's my first post just wanted to mention what info I might be good for.]
BTW ya need to hack a bit to get decent speed from cell-net.(hosts file, cached/no images, firewall, registry hacks to firewall for stupid auto update etc...)
Well, my impression was that greatwhite's system actually worked in the cold before his upgrade to the bigger drive. It seems like such a hassle to have to unplug/plug a laptop from the trunk at the end/start of a day. So greatwhite, maybe you can go back to your old system with your old drive as the master? You can always put the new drive in a usb external enclosure and simply take that drive with you indoors when the weather gets cold.
Another thought I had was using a compact flash to IDE adapter with your OS and some MP3s on it. It would give you startup in any weather, and something to listen to until the rest of your computer (hard drive) wakes up. All in all I think the best thing is just to find components that work and stick with them. Maybe we can post a "cold weather parts" sticky of components that are cold weather tried and tested...