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Thread: Mac Mini on Windows XP

  1. #1
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    Mac Mini on Windows XP

    Hey so I am looking to put a Carputer in my Mazdaspeed6 GT. I am thinking that the mac mini is the way to go because of a couple of reasons:

    1) No matter what the set up I am going to be using this screen:
    http://www.mpegcar.com/acatalog/Display_Monitor.html
    It is a touch screen unit that also seems to work pretty well, will not need an external power supply, and will "bolt" right in.

    2) Size... It will fit in the center armrest/console. I know I can build my own small computer but the mini sure is slick.

    3) The Mac is also great because of its easy integration with the P1900. If I get the MACpac my wiring would be so simplistic this would be a breeze.

    4) My car came with a Bose sound system that I am going to keep... BUT it doesn't have an aux. input. So I could get a FM-transmitter (ew) or something like this "Car2PC" adapter. http://indashpc.org/new/adapters/car2pc-maz.html. This will work as a simple aux. in, but has added plug-ins for windows media player and winamp. There for if I use winamp, I can use my steering wheel controls for next and previous song as well as volume.

    So the input plus the fact that there is no outstanding support for navigation leads me to think that I would be better of in windows. But should I ditch the Mac mini idea? I haven't fully priced out a computer yet but I am thinking a similarly priced machine is going to cost about the same. So are people having horrible issues running only windows on there Macs?

  2. #2
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    Go for it. The Mini is a great computer for a carputer. It's really sad to read people's worklogs and see how much time they spend building a small computer. They don't end up saving any money over the cost of a Mini and they usually spend more. You're going to have lots of other problems to solve besides building the computer. Leave that to Apple and focus your efforts on customizing it to your needs.

    Also, think of resale value. If you ever decide to do something different a Mac Mini will sell faster and for a whole lot more on eBay than some hacked together box.

    Also, check out the Carnetix P2140 instead of the 1900.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdd5148 View Post
    So are people having horrible issues running only windows on there Macs?
    I've been running XP on a Mini for 5 months now without a hiccup. You'll get OSX 10.5 (aka Leopard) with the Mini and it has the XP drivers on the disc. You don't even have to install OSX at all if you don't want to.

    And the mini is a really nice piece of hardware, I've gotten it to boot at 6 degrees F.

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    The best option out there right now must be the Mac-Mini. Powerful, compact, and lots of support.

    As mentioned, go for the 2140 Carnetix, it allows you to monitor (and adjust) PSU settings in Windows.

    I know there are a lot of very nice Via boards around, but, none as powerful - a lot of people will tell you you don't need the power, a few people will need the extra vooma the MacMini will give you.

    If you need TPMS/OBD-II, FrontEnd, MP3's/DVD, multitasking, and some extra's, then you need the MacMini.

    Enjoy.
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    Ditto. The Mini is a great piece of hardware for an in car computer. You probably could save a little money building it yourself, but you'd have a very hard time beating the size of the enclosure, and it comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, DVD all built in. Hooking it up to the P1900 or 2140 is dead simple. It's a good choice for Windows, OSX, or the occasional Unix jaunt.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    Great to hear, thanks for all the prompt responses.

    As far as using a carnetix 2140 (~$145) vs. P1900 (~$99) is it really justified to spend the extra $$? Additionally, it looks like the "MacPac" Power Cable kit only works with the P1900 (not necessary, but would be a nice luxury). If the mini works fine on the P1900 what settings will I need to view/adjust?

  7. #7
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    The MacPac works on both the P1900 and the P2140.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdd5148 View Post
    Great to hear, thanks for all the prompt responses.

    As far as using a carnetix 2140 (~$145) vs. P1900 (~$99) is it really justified to spend the extra $$? Additionally, it looks like the "MacPac" Power Cable kit only works with the P1900 (not necessary, but would be a nice luxury). If the mini works fine on the P1900 what settings will I need to view/adjust?
    Yes, it's worth it IMHO. Being able to monitor all the various settings with software was a God-send.

  9. #9
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    Well its ordered. Mac Mini 1.83 dual core with 2 gigs of ram and 120 gig hard drive off of ebay. (overkill but it was a deal... Also in the next round of upgrades I would like to do some digital gauges )

    The Screen: Mazda 6 OEMish thing mentioned earlier

    And the Carnetix P2140. Guess it didn't take that much convincing, lol. I haven't purchased any of the cables or stuff like a usb hub as I think it will be cheaper to go and pick this up at Wallmart. Also haven't purchased a GPS reciever yet and might have to hold off for a while as I just spent a lot.

    Edit: I also picked up the aux. input thing "Car2PC" adapter. should be ready to "plug and play"

  10. #10
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    How much did your mac mini cost you on eBay, if you don't mind me asking?

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