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Thread: My proposed system- input/help?

  1. #1
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    My proposed system- input/help?

    I originally posted this in the technical discussions, but I was redirected to post it here where more Mac-centric folks dwell...

    I have been researching this for years and I'm finally getting a car I will be proud enough to put a CarPC in. I'm a Mac user so (for better or for worse) I have decided to go OSX. I'll be installing into the double-din of a 2005 Jetta GLI and I want it to look clean... no pop-out displays, no extraneous modifications to the car.

    Now, this is what I've decided on so far:

    *Xenarc 700 or 705 TSV
    *Apple 12" late model powerbook OR early macbook (possibly with broken display for less $)
    *A PCMIA or ExpressCard sound card (for better than than 2-channel output)
    *Keyspan RF remote if PB, Apple remote if MB.
    *Bluetooth keyboard/mouse
    *GPS antenna
    *HD radio antenna (i wouldn't ever use satellite...)
    *Naturally, a power supply, but I would tie it to the ignition.

    Essentially, I want a full featured mac running at bare bones for speed, Front Row, access to iTunes and GPS applications, access to HD radio. The advantage for me in using a laptop is 1) slim form factor and 2) power management.

    I would want the car-pc in an always-on or always-ready state to keep from having boot times before I can play music. I want to be able to "go into Starbucks" and jump right back into music playing when I get back. Therefore, the power supply would power off with the ignition, but the laptop would run on battery. When the laptop detects that the power supply isn't supplying, it waits one minute and then puts on the screen saver. Five minutes later, it powers off the screen. Thirty minutes later, laptop goes into sleep mode. When the battery is close to death, it hibernates.

    The other advantage to a late 2006 or newer Apple laptop is the hard disk protection... it senses the laptop's sudden accelerations and removes the needle from the HDD, something that I think would help reliability over speedbumps. A laptop is built more for movement and would be able to fit in a smaller space (provided I ventilate it)

    I know that HDD stability hasn't seemed to be an issue, but it's peace of mind for me... that and the battery are what have swayed me against a Mac Mini (Sorry!)

    Ideally, I would use the touchscreen to navigate the computer and Front Row. I would also want to use the keyspan/apple remote. I would probably run the laptop normally but in 800x600 vga resolution. There are no front-end systems that I can see myself using for the mac (yeah, a drawback to OSX). On the plus side, I can wirelessly back up my system to a Time Capsule at home when I park.

    So, what do you think? Do you see any problems or issues that I haven't thought of? questions?

    For those of you with Xenarcs, does your finger work as well as a stylus, or do you need the 5-wire sensitivity for that?

    Oh, and the install would have everything but the touchscreen hidden from sight and access... I'll use a software app if possible to bring up an onscreen keyboard, etc.

    All this of course until the iPhone/iPod interface is stolen for CarPC's. Until this is built, I'll be using my Touch with the DLO Ventmount @ http://www.dlo.com

    Thanks, look forward to working with the community...

  2. #2
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Think simpler with the screen. Wire the screen to your car accessory switch and have it turn on and off with the key. Why waste power and attract onlookers with the screen on in the car while you are away from it?

    Which HD radio interface are you using? The only one I know that works for the Mac is the RadioShark, and that's not HD.

    Also, I think you can use your iPhone as a remote for the PB using RemoteBuddy.
    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:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  3. #3
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    12" Powerbooks and Macbooks do not have any PCMCIA/Express Card slots.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Think simpler with the screen. Wire the screen to your car accessory switch and have it turn on and off with the key. Why waste power and attract onlookers with the screen on in the car while you are away from it?
    Point. I'm getting too fancy in my enthusiasm. I have to remember that it's a DRIVING car before it's a show car. Then I revise to the SCREEN turns off with the ignition, but the laptop remains ready to run. I only hope the issue that others are having with "USB keyboard disconnected" on hard power-offs of the touchscreen will either be fixed or not an issue for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Which HD radio interface are you using? The only one I know that works for the Mac is the RadioShark, and that's not HD. Also, I think you can use your iPhone as a remote for the PB using RemoteBuddy.
    I love RemoteBuddy! As for HD radio, I casually assumed I would find an HD radio dongle for the Mac... a quick internet search reveals that you are correct. I will probably use a RadioShark2 with a modified antenna (read that in another forum). ACTUALLY, if I'm really brave, I'll see about modding the RS2 with this HD reciever http://www.hdradio.com/buyers_guide....uideController

    BTW, nice to make your acquaintance. You were specifically mentioned as a very knowledgeable and helpful guy by the poster that directed me to this forum.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTeuer View Post
    12" Powerbooks and Macbooks do not have any PCMCIA/Express Card slots.
    Very true. I will either suffer with 2-channel or use a USB dongle then. I'll research that in the other forums. Thanks for the heads-up!

    I love this community. I'm the type that feels I need to be absolutely certain before I commit, and then change my ideas mid-process. Your helpfulness is completely awesome!

  6. #6
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    I just got done with my MacBook setup and posted some information. Not sure what information might be of help, but here is the link:

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/macc...-complete.html

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