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Thread: Why not linux?

  1. #1
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    Why not linux?

    I use linux exclusively, usually ubuntu with gnome, on my personal computer and am very fond of it. I however have always used windows xp on my carputer so that I can use my favorite frontend centrafuse. But I know that it would be advantageous to use linux for its customibility, low memory usage, quick startup times, free software.. etc, but it seems like its not popular. Maybe I haven't looked around enough, but is there not a working frontend like centrafuse that will work with most hardware (i.e. silverwolf doesn't count.) Or is there one in the works that is worth the wait? If not, whats the hold up?

  2. #2
    FLAC XC-C30's Avatar
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    good suitable GPS software is a big holdup for as far as i know at the moment.
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    Maximum Bitrate psyrex's Avatar
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    I'm a UNIX Admin (mainly FreeBSD) and I while I swear by it, I still use winxp for my carpc exactly for what IC-C30 says: "good suitable GPS software". Sure you can run emulation under WINE, but that's just inefficient. Also, one of the reasons why WinXP is so bloated/slow is because they try to support so much hardware out of the box. Use nLite or something similar to strip it down to the bare minimum (you know exactly what hardware you have and it won't change), and you have decent running machine anyways. Memory is cheap so footprint is not an issue, and with standby and hibernation, startup times is minimal.
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    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Peebles View Post
    I use linux exclusively...
    Linux is the ideal system for car pcs IMHO. I don't use GPS though, so Windows doesn't have me here. You can check out the "Codename: Llamabox" thread if you want details about my project.

    But why is Windows so popular here? I will tell you why Take a look around the forums. Especially the ones with fewer than 5-6 responses. You will quickly get an idea of the general level of expertise on this forum. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of very talented individuals who frequent this forum, but the bulk of the users, in general, want a CarPC and don't know anything beyond that. Even the more savvy users don't have any/much Linux experience.

    Now, imagine that we had Linux frontends for the most part. The Linux frontend would obviously kick the Windows ones' asses All the noobs want to use the latest and greatest software. I don't think I need to explain what happens from there. We are going to have questions on everything from installation, kernel compiles, bash and gcc errors, /dev issues, sound issues, Xorg configs, Touchscreen config, distro wars, etc... it goes on and on. Our users primarily feel comfortable with Windows. Building a computer and installing it is taxing enough to these people.

    Who wants to spend the time building a frontend from scratch when you know that it is either going to be unused or misused, and cause a tremendous amount of stress for the developer to support Linux-noobs. I can speak from experience. I developed a kernel module to drive the HQCT radio. (You can search the forums for this beauty as well). So what happened? I released it, it is on the forum. It's been several months and I only know of one user. Unfortunately, he fell of the face of the earth so I don't even know if it worked. I haven't been able to test the software outside of my build.

    So that is my take on Linux Frontends. Someday? I'm sure. But it has got to be worth the author's trouble. We had to fight for this (under used) Linux forum, the frontend is next. Fortunately Intuition is on the right track with SilverWolf and it, or its forks, may eventually be the premier frontend. Me? I'll spend the little bit of development sparetime I have on my software and various OSS projects.

    EDIT: BTW, What part of Knoxville are you from? I'm from Farragut.

  5. #5
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    roadnav seems to be promising project, I 've been testing this for 1 week now, so far so good, it calculates route, which is good, but sometimes fails (on calculations of interstate routes). Anyway, it's worth trying.

    Modified Ubuntu with windowmaker is a really quick platform for it, I tried that with knoppix, but it had speed issues.

    for sound and video just xine....

  6. #6
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    Frontends are more developed for windows.

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    Llama, I attend school at UT. One more year left in electrical and computer engineering, so I'd be game for some work on a open source frontend if there was one available. I'm not interested in GPS either, kinda hard to get lost in Knoxville. How's that HQCT work? and where can i get one.

    With Ubuntu being so user friendly (I haven't heard of an install yet that didn't pick up on all the hardware), having a streamlined live cd with whatever frontend included and already set up to automatically run in a session, it'd be easier than windows. Not to mention much more pleasing to the eye if it tapped into compiz transparencies and the works.

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    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0l33l View Post
    Frontends are more developed for windows.
    I think the OP knows this and was wondering "why?".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Peebles View Post
    Llama, I attend school at UT. One more year left in electrical and computer engineering, so I'd be game for some work on a open source frontend if there was one available. I'm not interested in GPS either, kinda hard to get lost in Knoxville. How's that HQCT work? and where can i get one.

    With Ubuntu being so user friendly (I haven't heard of an install yet that didn't pick up on all the hardware), having a streamlined live cd with whatever frontend included and already set up to automatically run in a session, it'd be easier than windows. Not to mention much more pleasing to the eye if it tapped into compiz transparencies and the works.
    That is true. The frontend could even be written to use OpenGL or something like that. I don't know if I'd be able to actually work on a full frontend, I was just trying to see if I know you.

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    I agree with Mr_Peebles, with ubuntu's ability to pretty much have everything up and running (wifi and all) from the setup, Linux is keen for this type of application. I only know of 2 actively developed frontends (nanix ghost and silverwolf) the others I think are dead. I'm not sure why the others lost interest and stopped developing. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what becomes of Linux and car computing. I personally believe that it has a good looking future because of it's customizability. It just needs more backing some influential people to start it rolling.

  10. #10
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    I'm still working on my front end actually, but I think it has some different goals, and I don't think there would be very much interest.

    The goal of my frontend is vehicle integration using Phidgets. So like.... fuel level, throttle position, wheel speed, tire pressure, shock dampening. Media is kind of a side bar.. but I have recently made some headway there.

    If there is any interest.. some screen shots can be found here...
    http://strandtc.littleblueroom.com/m...view_album.php

    There are some early photos towards the front.. the last 4 are most recent.. written in Qt4

    -Chris

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