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Thread: Mac OS X/Linux/WindowsXP ... Pros/Cons of each?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Mac OS X/Linux/WindowsXP ... Pros/Cons of each?

    What OS do you guys recommend? I am looking at starting a carputer project in my 2004 4Runner Sport, and I think this is the first question to answer. I am leaning toward the Mac Mini. I love Mac, and that seems to be a perfect sized computer to put into a car. I guess with a car my size, the computer size isn't as important. What are the pros/cons of each OS?

    Which has the most/best applications to run in a car?
    What is the most customizable?
    What is the easiest to manage overall, specifically for a car?

    And feel free to interject any other questions/solutions that you know of.

    I have experience with all three OSes, I am just looking for what you guys have learned to work best from your experience in carputers.


  2. #2
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Search for rando's install. He's got a new generation 4runner. He put the computer in a storage compartment in the trunk (or whatever you call it). Its practically invisible!
    He uses a VIA EPIA and an m1-atx power supply. This is one of the most common setups available today.

    I HIGHLY advice against a MAC. Its a MAC. It doesn't have good carpc software like navigation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Alright you lost me...can you elaborate on what the VIA EPIA and the M1ATX? Thanks


  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate fuctup's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    thats tech talk for dont get a mac

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Cobelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    You can't do anything with a mac on the desktop, i dont see while people keep thinking theyll have better luck in the car!

    - Cobelli

  6. #6
    Nic is offline
    FLAC Nic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobelli
    You can't do anything with a mac on the desktop, i dont see while people keep thinking theyll have better luck in the car!

    - Cobelli
    perhaps you havent looked at a mac in a while, i know i hadnt and i was very supprised, i'm saving for one
    Signature: [==||========] 20% complete

  7. #7
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottN
    Alright you lost me...can you elaborate on what the VIA EPIA and the M1ATX?
    You, n00b, need to do some reading in these forums.
    I'd suggest checking out the Show Off Your Project forum and getting ideas. Most people list the hardware their using.

    VIA EPIA is a line of motherboards that are low-power, low-heat.
    M1ATX is a DC-DC power supply.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  8. #8
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
    Blog Entries
    The vast majority of people who put computers in their car use a PC. Of that, I'd wager that the majority run XP.

    The most expandable, most customizable OS for the car is PC based, probably XP. The hardware bits are ubiquitous and there's just tons more web material on things people have done with the PC.

    It may sound like I'm recommending XP. My car PC DOES run XP, in fact. However, I'm in the process of installing a Mini to replace/supplement it.

    Because the Mac Mini is so new and is reallly the first viable option to put in a car, you won't find much software for the Mac in the car. In addition, the GPS navigation software is poor. You'll have to figure out all kinds of stuff like how to handle things that use the serial port, etc.

    I'm doing it for the challenge. I largely solved the problems of my XP install but I want to take the whole concept of the car PC much further and I'm going to do it on my Mac.

    Linux is perhaps farther behind the pack, but I'll leave that to the Linux folks to discuss.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    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

  9. #9
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Beach City, Socal
    For car use the OS is somewhat less important than the supporting softwares. If you can find all the software you need for the OS you are using and comfortable with the OS go for that one.
    2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
    89 Supra Turbo P3 600E@750/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
    Y2K Accord Dell GX150
    RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
    EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Linux and CarPC

    I've been reading some of the posts and thought I'd add my $.02. I started putting together my system about 6 months ago and am almost finished. I only found this site about a week ago, so it's good to see other people wondering the same things.

    I decided Linux would be the only way to go, since I am able to embed the kernel, make an initrd (ramdisk distribution), and mount the HD readonly. This makes bootup from cold very fast (< 30 seconds), and no need to manage the power down (readonly filesystem is not possible in XP), I just turn it off. Adding new files, one must reboot to readwrite, copy stuff, and go. But I'm not adding stuff every day, so it's not so bad.

    Linux worked extrememly well for me, and I'm wondering if OSX would be adaptable to some of the same things I was doing. There were some hurdles, since I wanted Dolby Digital decoding with SPDIF, but I solved those in code. My only stumbling point now is how to mount the computer in my 4runner (the system is a little too long for dash mounting). Everything works, GPS, MP3, DVD, Dolby Digital, Ripping, Burning, USB memory sticks, networking, etc.

    I used a cappuccino PC SlimPro, RH9.

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