Newbie Set on Mac Install
I am probably being a bit premature with this posting; however, I've been researching the possibility of installing a CarPC in my car:
I have a computer savvy buddy who says he can have a car pc installed in my car for less than $800 sans the screen. However, some past projects with him did not go as well as expected. Also, as a disclaimer, I am not computer savvy. Any install I do will have to be with lots of help.
As most of you already know, the PC is no stranger to software issues. To be blunt, if airplanes ran on windows software only, and not the basic physics of "lift" and "thrust", the would be lots of "Crashes". I'm looking to make the switch to Macs. Though, when I noticed that the Mac Mini is the perfect match for a Car PC I was sold.
My research has uncovered the obvious positives of using the Mac Mini in the, now on to the negatives, along with some queries:
- The Mac Mini doesn't have a great front end or limited numbers of front ends.
~ I've already seen that several front ends have been created from users such as Iamgnat for example. A fellow nsx owner sent me a very sleek looking skin that he designed for his acura. He said he slightly modified another skin to get the look here http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showt...ighlight=carpc
I would like to get a similar look for my skin; however, if it cannot be done then I'll live with it for now.
- The Mac Mini does not have decent Nav support.
~Yes, I've read about the inadequacies of route buddy and such; however, isn't the new software on Macs able to run windows? So therefore, if need be, I can install a windows based Nav and switch to windows to use it? Better yet, I read that Garmin started writing some of there software to be compatible with Mac . Garmin's goal was to have all their software Mac compatible by the end of '07. So there would be no need to switch to windows yes? I should be able to install Garmin Software to my Mac to run on my Touch screen.
Well, off-hand, those are the only main issues I remember with going with a Mac Mini install. They seem rather trivial.
I've also seen another user recommend that a PC user not use a Mac for their car computer without any previous experience. It is therefore my plan to have the Mac Mini installed in my glove box with easy removal to bring into my house. I need to upgrade my computer anyways, so I can gain my Mac experience points both in and out of the home.
My List thus far:
Mac Mini (going with base model $599, adequate power?)
Carnetixs power supply (going with model above CNX-P1900)
Macpac wire kit
Xenarc Touchscreen (can I run two screens with powerkit?)
Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (is there a track mouse that I could use and install in my cointray area?)
My stock head unit is crap, and worse, my system is Bose. Therefore, I will have to find a way to get the computer system to work with the bose system, or remove the stock head unit, upgrade the speakers (the bose system has amps for each speaker), and buy a separate amp. Any advice on what to do with the audio route?
The main things I wish to attain from my carputer is:
GPS touchscreen navigation from Garmin (I have a portable garmin unit and garmin is what I'm used to and prefer)
Ability to play music from the touch screen (the Front Row program looks nice, will that work with a touch screen though?). I know that the new Mac Mini provides a six button remote, so that's a nice plus. I just never liked the idea of using a remote in a car when the controls are easily within arms reach. I love Itunes and couldn't be happier with the way it works.
Sometimes down the line (maybe another year if a good skin is available to customize a button for it), I would like to do an aem tune upgrade and have access to pre-set tunes, i.e. valet, high performance, or just cruise settings via the aem computer. I don't know if software is available for this.
Of course, playing DVD's and Video from the HD will be nice.
Lastly, the ability to go online and surf the web is a natural feature to look forward to.
I estimate that all the hardware alone will cost me nearly $1500. I'm hoping to get lucky and score a refurb Mini at some point, and find a great deal on my screen. As you can see, I already have a screen in my "Nav Pod" in the nsx; however my aforementioned project buddy broke the touch screen during install. So, I have an extra VGA Hi-Res screen that I may remove and install where my stock head unit is (it's large enough to be a double-din). I will place the xenarc in the Nav Pod.
I could have a buddy install this for me localy, though I prefer to have a friend that works at a local high end installation store to it for me. He isn't cheap, but his work is absolutely perfect. Simply put, he is the best around and and does show car professional work. I don't want to cut any corners with this.
Well, I apologize for this post being so long. I cannot afford to engage in this project until uncle sam returns some of the money he swindled from me over the past year, lol, and even then, I don't know if I will be willing to spend it all in one sitting. Simply put, I may not see fruition of this plan until summer or fall or next year. Which is why I'm a bit embarressed to start a new post bringing this up so soon. I just wanted some guidance, along the way.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. Have a safe and happy new year.