The Mac OS (10.3/4) AS a carputer frontend...
To start, this is my first post here on your lovely forums. Thanks to one and all for sharing your experiences and knowledge to all us wannabes! I have been lurking here and about but have been steadily building up the interest in building my own carputer sometime in the next year.
I decided to post this particular thread due to the interesting developments from Apple computer in the past 24 hours. The new MacMini has taken my mind in another direction as at heart I am an admitted Mac fan. The first time I saw the new Mac I immediately thought of its application as a carputer (probably because that is what my brain has been chewing on lately as it is).
Hopefully this will not turn into a PC/Mac, us vs. them argument (as another thread seems to have a bit). I see the Mac operating system itself as having great potential as a media desktop in either the car or home (I use MythTV as my HTPC myself). Why? So very glad you asked:
1) It's icons and text scale beautifully with drop shadows intact, making the desktop itself suitable as a app launcher
2) While we talk about launchers, the Dock could be well-suited for finger-touch launching with little or no adjustment. Konfabulator (or Tiger's Dashboard) would make it easy to customize the desktop and provide all the feedback nessecary to drive a carputer (like the pun? "drive"? get it?!).
3) It's file management system is just another app. A brand-new replacement (like Path Finder)could sit right on top of the OS for total integration (I thought something like this might be implemented yesterday at the MacWorld to compete with Windows Media Center).
4) The back-end is chock-full-o-goodness in the form of Unix tools and servers.
The negatives are as I see it, drivers and software (esp. mapping and GPS). A few days ago I would have said price. Now that that has become a moot point, I think there is some real potential out there for a different take on carputing.
A few links:
A thread here on MP3Car about Mac issues as carputers
One guy's Mac carputer
Apple's next OS, Tiger. Look esp at Dashboard and the new Search.
Am I totally nuts? Just a Mac fan-boy? Perhaps. At the very least it would be something different with the potential for something great.
Go ahead and yell at me if you like, as long as I can yell back ;)