So where do I start ?
I've been running Linux for the last 5 years. Servers, desktops. Fedora and Ubuntu. I'm somewhat of a C/C++/Java programmer as well.
I want to implement an in truck PC system using one of the 10.4 inch touchscreens discussed in the other forums. (http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/lcd-...lcd-215-a.html) I've ordered it, it should be here this week. I haven't bought anything else other than the touchscreen.
I want the system for the mp3 playing, navigation and rear view camera. I want to ditch my current radio/CDplayer, but I want/need AM/FM radio, etc. TV reception would be an advantage. Eventually I will hook up rear LCD displays and want to play DVDs for passengers, while navigating.
So... where do I start hardware wise ? What motherboards are recommended ? I have a lot of room under the center console, so I could go with a slimline desktop case if I wanted to.
What power supply should I use ? Are people shutting down the PCs when parked or putting them into sleep mode ? How is this working in Linux ?
I'd go with any epia board. I personally use the epia m10000 with the m1-atx PSU. I hope to put LinuxBIOS on it soon. As for shutdown/suspend I plan on implementing a LinuxBIOS+Grub-Fast-Boot+Tuxonice resume from hibernate. This should be a very fast boot up system.
I really want to experiment around with the pico-itx boards by via. Yeah, I know that via+Linux support isn't that great, and I hope they open their eyes soon to Linux. If we make our voices loud enough, I'm sure they'll listen.
Could you provide a link to these boards ? What would be wrong with running a garden variety AMD or Intel board ? I have lots of room for the case...
this looked cool but isn't available yet:
if you have the room for a full sized mb you could surely do it. You'll probably end up with a lot of unused potential though.
Hmmm... unused potential doesn't seem wasted to me. Could be used to accommodate unforeseen future needs. I'll keep your mb recommendation in mind.
I'd recommend staying away from the Pico-ITX, unless you can get your needs fulfilled without the aid of PCI/PCIe. But if you deem it worthy for your truck, I'd also recommend waiting for this board's market to mature before looking too deeply into it, as I have yet to see for sale the addon module that allows for onboard audio-in/out (it did come with the developers version of the board, but the current slew of retail boards have it omitted). It might be available early Q1 next year with the new Pico-ITX cases that are coming out.
I am planning to set up my CarPC around this board myself due to space constraints, but would personally go with a Mini-ITX if I could, as even just one PCI expansion slot is better than none at all.
I can't help you any more as I'm of about the same level of knowledge as you. But this sub-fora should be of help and the wiki should answer some more of your questions.
I picked up one of the intel D201GLY2 boards for its low power consumption.
Would love to hear of your progress w Fedora - I'm starting up that road, but its a steep climb for me. i.e. Chemist, not Programmer.