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Thread: Is Linux better off than OS X for in car support?

  1. #1
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Is Linux better off than OS X for in car support?

    I've read through a few threads here and believe I already know my answer, but i'll ask anyway.

    I really want to put a computer in my car and specifically I want it to be a Mac. The problem is that there is little/no selection for pre-built frontends for the Mac yet. While i'm a long time programmer, i've never been able to focus on doing things "just because" so I haven't been able to get very far with doing something myself either.

    So now i'm toying with the idea of using a PC instead, but there is no way I will use any form of Windows (on priciple if nothing else) which leaves me with Linux.

    I've been using Unix for a long time now and have used various flavors of Linux since the mid-90's, so that isn't an issue for me.

    The big question is what is out there for Linux? Are you guys better off than OS X for having a good front-end? How is the support for things like touch screens (I have a Lilli 7")?

    Thanks,
    -dave

    To give you an idea of what i'm looking for:

    Must have to start -
    Functionality over "bling" is important (take me back to the days when web-pages were grey backgrounds, black text, and no graphics ).
    Music player that is easy to load (i.e. scripts) additional music and playlists too and is straight forward to use on a smaller touchscreen.
    Sleep mode ala-Mac vs complete power-off (this is more an OS/hardware issue I guess, but i've been out of the "Intel" market for too long)
    Color customization (I know what I said above ) so that I can make it somewhat match my existing interior lighting.

    Will need in the short term (i.e. after the initial stage of getting it all running) -
    A way to add external custom controls (i.e. a steering wheel remote for audio control, etc..) as I would like to ditch the touch screen interface at some point.
    ODB-II and CAN interfaces (both for reading and writing to the networks)
    GPS/Nav

    Longer term:
    Expandability/Customization (i.e. i'd like to wire my radar detector into the system, and would need to have somewhere (preferably visable on all screens) to display it's information) both for existing functionality as well as adding my own items.

  2. #2
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    Biggest hurdle will be any form of Turn by Turn GPS solution. Mainly because there isnt one for nix
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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate
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    Please STOP telling there are NO GPS turn by turn solutions for *nix.
    There is not free solution that's right but it still exists at least one native commercial solution.

    here in this forum and
    This would avoid you posting funny things like "there isn't one for nix"

  4. #4
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by null_byte
    Biggest hurdle will be any form of Turn by Turn GPS solution. Mainly because there isnt one for nix
    That's not a big issue for me to start. I've never bothered with a Nav system before, so it's no loss not having it now. At least to start i'm more interested in the GPS side to track speed and hook it up with my radar detector to auto mute signals in locations where I know it's not real radar (i.e. shopping centers with automatic doors, etc..). I'm also more interested in the post processing of the data rather than the real time "this is where i'm going/are right now" type of thing.

    -dave

  5. #5
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    The truth is that Linux car players are still young (on this forum at least). I haven't looked for prebuilt frontends because I am developing my own. I seem to remember a project called DashPC. Also, OBDII support is supposedly included in the FreeDiag package although I have never tried it. However, I can answer one of your questions. Sleep mode does exist in Linux and it is called "software suspend". Installation varies from distro to distro but I believe the official site for swsusp2 is at suspend2.net and it involves you patching your kernel etc. I know Gentoo provides a pre-patched kernel if you choose to install it; again different distros vary.

  6. #6
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLlama
    The truth is that Linux car players are still young (on this forum at least).
    That's kinda of what I gathered, but asked anyway as the obvious can sometimes evade me The Linux and Mac groups seem to be in similar positions right now, so i'll stay with Macs since I love them so much.

    Thanks,
    -dave

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