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Thread: The Mac OS (10.3/4) AS a carputer frontend...

  1. #1
    Newbie meatwad's Avatar
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    Cool 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

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate AlienEclipse's Avatar
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    Well if anyone can code for mac then why not. With the release of the new iMac Mini it would make things a lot easier hardware wise.
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    Mac Car Moderator kandyman676's Avatar
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    that's what this all really boils down to: WHO will code for us?

    I may be able to do it, but it will take time to learn the apple language. I already have some VB/C/C++ experience, but I have not used it in a while. someone that is familar with the Cocca and other Apple langages would be perferred.
    "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

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    Newbie meatwad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kandyman676
    that's what this all really boils down to: WHO will code for us?

    I may be able to do it, but it will take time to learn the apple language. I already have some VB/C/C++ experience, but I have not used it in a while. someone that is familar with the Cocca and other Apple langages would be perferred.
    Since I know absolutely NO programming I may be speaking out of line here, but something like Konfabultor MAY be easier to start work on. From what I understand it's widgets are standard Java/XML.

    You are correct, and there have been a few attempts at this that I have seen around. However, the idea of Mac as a carputer is spreading FAST with that Mini on the way...

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    To people interested in making a front-end, you should try out Runtime Revolution. It's object-oriented like VB. Also it's cross-compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate DocNupe's Avatar
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    That is the major problem, most coders wont touch mac with a 10 foot pole because it is not a "real computer"

  7. #7
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    I want to do it, but I have a busy schedule and no readily available Mac... which is funny because I maintain a dozen of them at work.

  8. #8
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    Well, I was in the process of learning VB so I could voice control XP and iTunes but now it looks like that may be a moot point. I may as well try to learn Coccoa.

    Has anyone here ever used, seen, or learned Coccoa?

    I'm no professional but I have taken courses in Basic, C, and Fortran eons ago. I've taught myself VB and coded quite a bit in VBA for Access. It can't be that difficult. Maybe tedious, maybe time consuming but it isn't like putting a man on the moon. It's just that there's not too many folks out there with coding experience on this platform.

    But I know somebody's coding for it....I've got all of these apps on my Mac!
    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.
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    Mac Car Moderator kandyman676's Avatar
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    Cocco is complete object oriented. Its kind of like VB, but not quite. I read through some of the tutorials. You will definitely need to understand C++ (which is objects, classes, and structs)

    I also took a look at Runtime Revolution (http://www.runrev.com/). It is possible, but again have to cough out some $$. It is confusing: Dreamcard is like the non-programmers suite to create programs like VB, then has a scripting language behind it that is the same for all platforms, and then Revolution is for the full blown development that offers more crap.

    Both use Quicktime for the media access and playing since Quicktime is offered on Win, Linux, and Mac. There are also trials of the software that can be downloaded and used (but only for 10 hours). However, they all require Dreamcard their player to be able to run on the platforms.

    Its $99 for dreamcard, then $299 for the revolution studio. we may be able to get by with just dreamcard :-)
    "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

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    The problem as I see it is: building a front end to GPS/routing applications. All the information is stored in files - but the processing and logic of giving turn by turn destinations is quite a bit of work.


    Depending on how the Darwine project progresses, simple GPS applications written for windows will be able to run on OS X.

    At this stage the Darwine project can run Windows 32 applications that are compiled on a mac. Running precompiled .exe files is a while away though.

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