View Poll Results: What do you think

59. You may not vote on this poll
  • The future is in smart phones

    6 10.17%
  • The future is in carputers

    18 30.51%
  • My carputer causes me more trouble than fun, so my future is in my phone

    3 5.08%
  • I love my carputer and I dont care what the future holds...

    24 40.68%
  • The future is in tablets

    3 5.08%
  • Other - not listed above

    5 8.47%
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Thread: What's the point to this carputer thing anyway...?

  1. #41
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Budapest, Hungary
    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    A viable solution for a sunlight readable screen has not been made affordable yet. The Lilliput transflective screen is close, but still not great.
    Check sniiki's project. Or mine. Cheap, sunlight readable, capacitive touchscreen. 9" not 3".
    It can be done. Also I cannot read a street name on a 3" screen while driving, even on the
    best light conditions. Not to mention the area covered on a 9" vs a 3".

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    Carpc's should be as mobile as anything, they need to be able to with stand harsher environments than any media device or PC you use. Bumpy roads, spills in the car if installed under a seat(it happens), power fluctuations, etc...
    Mobile doesnt mean removable, it means tolerant of multiple environments under conditions other than ideal using an efficient amount of power. Carpc's should be mobile.
    PC's were meant to be built to stay in one place. Not jarred, shaken or vibrated (damages hard drives), Not frozen then thawed using a blast of hot air (damages your CPU and ram or other internal components), Not introduced to fluctuating or poorly regulated automotive voltages (even the best carpc power supplies occasionally slip up with a hiccup of poor power control, but of course most users here are not using the best).
    I dunno, I destroyed more phones, than PCs (and I have about 100+ PCs to work on)
    Anyway, as I said, SSD, solid-state capacitors, and a well-designed box, cooling and shielding for the PC will do the job.
    They even put PCs in heavy tanks for god's sake!

    Believe it or not, I have more stable 12V in my car with my DC-DC,
    than on my desktop's power supply. (I tested it, played with wipers and heating).
    Yes, if you use crap, you get crap, but if you use a reliable DC-DC converter,
    then it will be fine.

    Yes, you can spill your drink. Once a 2l bottle of cola exploded in my trunk area. A good
    waterproof design helps. But nothing helps the android if someone calls you while peeing,
    and before you realize it, your $500 phone is bathing in the toilet.
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  2. #42
    One Sharp Cheddar ThunderStick's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    West Allis, WI
    FInd me a good SSD hard drive and I will switch back. They are either dirt *** slow or super expensive. Pick one.. Either way not a good solution.

    Try recieving a call on your carpc... No wait, you cant do it....
    New Age Garmin - Skin for RR
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  3. #43
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
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    tripzero's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    16.40618, 120.61106
    Quote Originally Posted by btilford View Post
    Why not just put Android on your CarPC?

    Theres a few wifi OBD scanners that work with Android as well. Someone here is making one iirc.
    because android is broken on x86, there are no drivers available, and the interface isn't designed with the car in mind. see the following threads:


    specifically, Tidder put it really well:

    Android may work for some, but it's not a very good solution for everyone. How is it in terms of startup/shutdown? It can't run all the time like a phone does. How is it's USB support? I don't want to run out and buy bluetooth versions of all the neat USB hardware I already have. What about media support? FLAC, AAC, MP3, M4A, WMA... I can't even get a standard MPEG file to play on my Moto Droid... What about video? MKV sucks on the android platform, alot of my AVIs won't play either. Will it support my USB backup camera? Can I plug a thumb drive into it that's NTFS formatted and transfer to my CarPC running android? What about my iPod? Can it allow me to use my carPC as a bluetooth gateway to my phone? Last I checked those neat BT profiles weren't implemented yet. What all hardware does it support? The Android-x86 team are using eeePCs to dev on, which means that most atom hardware based on intel chipsets will maybe work. What about us Ion platform users? What about us nForce users? Via CPU users? I mean, talk about reinventing the wheel... again.
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  4. #44
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    Try recieving a call on your carpc... No wait, you cant do it....
    HAHAHAHA. Of course I can, through skype (via seperate 3G card). Also hands free via tethering. So I actually have 2 ways to make a call. Nice try though.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
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    1x Win 7 PC

  5. #45
    Raw Wave
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Lets take the well designed thing in a better direction....
    whats cheaper one carPC with 5 touch screens or 5 mobile smartphones? Can those five phones access a single music/video collection? Can those 5 phones connect to hdradio? Or each other all at once?

    And a few more thoughts to ponder:
    If you enjoy good audio quality how do you accomplish it with a phone?
    How do you store an entire music collection (i've got 40,000 songs on my mp3player alone 100K on my PC)?
    How do you select from a large media collection on a 3" screen?
    How do you pull down a notifications shade to view a text while traveling at 80mph safely?

    You can get a 32GB SSD thats faster then a 7200rpm drive for <$100 and there only getting cheaper.

  6. #46
    Low Bitrate RonsRed88's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Western Washington State
    Great thread, thanks Thunder!

    For me the CarPC is more to see if I can do it and to enjoy testing my skills and learning new ones. The catalyst was when my CD player and amps in my car died. My options came down to replace my CD player and amps (bose system), buy a cool new motorized touch screen system with GPS and DVD and replace my amps, or push myself and see if I could do something I'd be proud to say, "look what I made". The geek in me obviously won out. But most other people I know think I'm crazy and wouldn't even begin to think about taking on a project like this. Not only that, they surely wouldn't want to deal with the inevitable maintenance that will be required as all PCs do. They want something easy to use, reliable, and headache free. Should I go to sell my car some day, I'm sure I'll have to put everything back to stock in order to get some buyers. Luckily, I plan on being buried in my vette with my CarPC blaring!


  7. #47
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    I just got a Moto Droid a few weeks ago, and had the same kind of thought process for a couple of days of "replacing" the carPC in my next vehicle. Since I am in the market for a 2005 Escalade very soon (probably with sucky factory NAV), I wanted to weigh all the alternatives, pros cons etc.

    I settled on having 2 carPC's for some stuff and the phone for other stuff!!! I just love a good challenge!

    In all fairness, aside from the small screen, I could see how you could use the Droid for many carPC functions, maybe not all.

    GL Thunderstick. Keep us posted.

  8. #48
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    thunderstick, i think that this thread overall has brought up a lot of great points on both sides(i tend to agree that a carputer is not a 'end-all' solution, or the best solution for everyone, but at the same time, it is a great hobby).

    to add my own experience--i liked my aftermarket head unit, and it worked decent when i dind;t expect much from it, but, when i wanted to push the envelope on my audio system, i quickly learned that prebuilt audio processing controllers from the big names aren't cheap--at the time, the audison bitone looked to be the best option for me, and was about to hit the market with a estimated price of $700.

    Then i realized that all of the audio processing solutions would require a mobile computer to program(because you can't just pull the unit out to program in the house..), so that would have been another $500-1,000...

    the first couple weeks, i screwed up the carputer pushing what the software i had could do, and installed a second input to use my ipod to keep the voices out of my head, and to this day, i keep the secondary input to my amps that is completley separate of the computer as a backup plan.

  9. #49
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    the first couple weeks, i screwed up the carputer pushing what the software i had could do, and installed a second input to use my ipod to keep the voices out of my head, and to this day, i keep the secondary input to my amps that is completley separate of the computer as a backup plan.
    I too kept my head unit in case I don't feel like firing up the CarPC, like on short trips around town where I don't really need all the extra features it offers, and as a backup audio source (knock on wood)... Plus this just shows that a good ol' headunit (or ipod directly to amps as in the post above) is still quite useful, even in our uber-functional vehicles.

    Right now, even though my Blackberry can do many of the things that my CarPC can, I wouldn't ever think about using it to replace the CarPC for many of the reasons listed in this thread. In the future when I upgrade to an android or iphone, I'll likely try to integrate it more than my BB is now, but I don't think I'll ever ditch the CarPC completely (at least not until I get a new car)

  10. #50
    Variable Bitrate mayhembdm666's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Adelaide, Australia

    After reading this while alseep

    Okay guys after reading over the posts that appeared over night... hot thread...
    Now mind you i just woke up and scanned over the latest posts and still am very a sleep, So there maybe a few missed words or something that other people have already said... but thank god for a large pc screen to help me here
    So please note this is just my and only my view on things...

    First of other peoples points:
    Maltz = Emulators.. I have to agree here on the level that there is nothing better then when you are taking a long road trip around australia or a simple baby sitting of kids for a drive from one place to another and the way to entertain them is with games. Currently the front end i am building has support for a few emulators. By simply using an emulator that supports commandline execution and allows for a hot key exit i can basically have a massive array of games in my car. For young and old and can host them to separate screens with separate audio streams for each along with an array of usb controllers with profiles assigned for each game or category.

    Trader = Cell phone bans.. Here in australia it is an offense to be using a mobile phone while the car is on the road or to even be using a hands free device. The only people allowed at the moment to use them is a couriers and taxi drivers and as such... By having a mobile phone in a docking station that is on top of the dash in a decent sight, Even then i and my friends have had troubles from the police as to it... Due to things like in a accident it can be come dislodged and cause an injury during the accident and this is why things like GPS units and other non fixed items like gauges are an issue to the police here. So to me anything that is dock able is a bad choice.

    JustChat = Phones+Addons aint a phone... Well by simply having just a phone in your car does give you a few options to an extend. When you start adding additions to the setup like OBD2 and audio interfaces along with external screens and control devices... You in the process of building a car computer that the engine of the system is simply not that of a motherboard/cpu/desktop setup anymore.. But it is still a carpc.. Or carphone which ever you would call it.

    ....Now for some things that i just want to rant about....

    Premade Double Din Units:
    There is a ever growing market of premade DBL DIN units that simply slide straight in and connect to your speakers/amps and are virtually the basis of a carpc. They allow GPS,Internet,DVD,Mp3,Phone support.. Im not to sure about OBD2 & security tho.. But give it time and im sure they will be additions if not already. Now these systems are stable of course have a pretty fast boot time. I forgot my original point here but i have heard so many people up here talk about these the same as my carpc and are quiet happy with these solutions... Now with a "Select" range of features and solutions that these offer, They are stable and quick to install... 30 Minutes to 2 hours and your good to go.

    Dirty Mobiles:
    One issue i have had up here with mobile phones (Darwin, North Australia) is the dust/dirt and heat then the humidity. I see so many phones die from a single or combination of these.. For example i have had two SE k850i units die due to the heat cooking the screen from being exposed to the sun for no more then 1hr each day and not even direct sunlight. One of my concerns would be the life time in these conditions if your phone has to be easy to access and viewable. I have seen alot of screens take a fair good deal of treatment and stand up to it. Maybe a quick clean of dust to remove and thats about it. This leads to my next point.

    Dead Phones:
    If your phone does die for some reason or is stolen or any number of reasons as to why it is no longer docked/connected to your car... Your life is gone and driving is almost unbearable due to the bored setting in.. With a car pc if it is installed right and everything is double checked... There is little chance of any damage happening to the setup as everything is protected and secured correctly including tamper switches. If something does break on your car pc... Simply take a detour to your local pc shop or supplier, By the new but and pop the boot and install it and your back up and running in a matter or minutes. Unless your a pretty good tech and have all the tools and replacements on hand, Your waiting on a replacement phone... And this leads into the cost of replacements.. A good carpc setup with the basic features that a phone will offer come to around the same costs. lets say a ball park figure of $1000 AUD.

    Borrowed phones:
    Just a quick one about when someone in your car needs to borrow you phone while you are needing GPS directions. For some less tech savvy people, They dont want to use a hands free and prefer to have the handset against their head with out loudspeaker on.. so if someone wants to borrow you phone to make a phone call for a number of reasons this may mean you need to stop the over process of your car pc or at least your audio/video stream while they make the phone call.

    Large Companies Are Doing It:
    I am not just starting to see myself a few larger companies supporting the idea of the carpc. I believe one of these setups is the MyFord Touch with is a join venture from Ford/Microsoft... Tho this is a quick article on it MyFord Touch i am not to sure on the base hardware. I know there are also a few other car manufactures out there who are building cars now with the carpc system and not just a simple phone docking. As pc standards are backwards compatible compared to phones which are slowling coming to a standard.

    Well i dont understand this one..... LOL.
    I have seen many phones crash due to a simple user input or for many other reasons including bad software/apps or many other reasons like even heat or cold due to being held in the hand or in a room/environment.
    There are so many systems out there that are stable or as stable as any pc of hardware/software setup can be. Even a windows system can be made somewhat stable with the right precautions for the just incases... After all computers is the IT market and have many setups. If the defense networks use a computer for out top most security... then its good enuff for my car.

    Now remember, this is my rant... I maybe wrong or right on some things...
    2004 Holden WL Caprice Auto GENIII
    Base System = Raspberry Pi
    Everything else is pending for now as switched from a Mini-ITX setup

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