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Thread: New Bee.. thing i want to do using mac mini in my car

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    New Bee.. thing i want to do using mac mini in my car

    Hi guys I am a new bee to the car pc idea, I have done research about the power issue, sound issue etc.. so dont worry I wont but you guys again for that. but there are some feature that i would like which are key for me to deside if i should spend $1200 plus or just $300 and just get another headunit.

    Reason for a computer in my car. wanted something different from everyone, and on top of all my headunit just stoped working.

    Things I want with this setup.

    I want to be able to use voice command. I know mac os has a built in feature.
    but how good is it? couple of guys told me its ****. but when i asked what type of microphone they used it was a cheap $10 one. So you think if I get the sony microphone (one used my most sony md enthus.. for recording in live concert etc its like $50-100) it will work right.??????

    I also want to use mac mini to dial and receive phone calls via bluetooth? any one tried it? I want it setup so that if I say dial, it mutes all sound and then when i say the name/number it dials it. or if i get a call it mute should display/says how the caller is and if i say "receive" or "call" it will answer the phone if I say ignore it just ignores the call and continues on with the music/what ever it was doing before. (BluePhoneElite is a apple plugin that will probably do most of this but has anyone test it in a car env.. can some one test it..)

    I want is setup so that when i enter the car / or some else with the bluetooth phone in the car it loads the phone book, and based on something in the phone book or some other way it will recognize who just entered the door and have a welcome greeting I know what you are thinging but I think it would just be very very cool I could do this.

    I want gps/navigation? i read about a navipc which is used in europe as a navi system for a car and it works just like an actuall car navi would with voice command and other thing... any one know about a software for Mac?

    Skins and custom control command. I see that most of you use custom skin/font end to play thing with just one click instead of having a desktop. I am assuming using apple script. I am a programmer myself but I have never used apple script or wrote an os level program. And seem like the features above and other thing that I will think off will require some custom programming I am willing to put the time and effort and make it public but can someone point me where i get some examples/tutorial on how you guys have created you front end?

    I know its a long post for a new bee.. but if you guys could help me out that would be great.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    On the beach
    There has been an app for the mac released today, link below:

    Mobile Media Center on Mac --> iMeedia

  3. #3
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
    Blog Entries
    Most of the stuff you're asking about would require some custom programming.

    The Mac Mini has spurred a lot of folks to work on software but I only have seen one or two actual installs and they don't do what you're asking. I like some of the Bluetooth ideas and there are some ways tha one could theoretically make that happen but I'm not aware of anything that does that right now.

    I've heard that the speech recognition is good on the Mac but I've only tried it once or twice. I intend to use it when I install my Mac Mini but right now am focused on making the basics work with a front end, etc.

    Sooo....if you're interested in a a multi-month programming odyssey I'd say that yes, the Mac Mini is for you. If not, I'd go for the new head unit.
    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

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Fairfield County, CT
    Speech rec on mac is decent, provided that you're using a relatively good mic. From the bluetooth authentication system point of view: you'd have to have an always-on system, since the mac mini takes about 30 secs to startup. If you're really knowledgeable about the bluetooth spec, you should use a bluetooth gumstix (, since they're really low-power (chips designed for a pda), and write some authentication software in linux.

    Address book stuff can be handled through iSync easily: have sync occur automatically upon login. I'm pretty sure that we can tap into the os x address book and do some voice rec.

    Tutorials on making your own modules will be coming soon, so after that we should be set.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    -Speech rec.
    on mac I have found is pretty good. Obviously it depends on the input you are giving it. I will say that it does much better without much background noise, which makes me a little suspicious as to how well it will do in-car. BTW, speech on mac works just fine.

    there are several b/t phone dialers for os x. Check for the latest. As you may know, Salling Clicker is the reigning champ when it comes to BT interfacing with the Mac.

    It looks like Route 66 is the best bet so far for Mac. I think the jury is still out on that, but I think it is the only one that is both road-atlas oriented and OS X native. Doesn't look natively apple-scriptable, but we will be able to do GUI scripting for it.(more of a pain, but hopefully same results)

    i want to do this too. I would never trust a computer tied into my main car battery, so I want to get some sort of aux power supply going. Again, Salling Clicker can activate on BT proximity and execute applescripts (which means doing anything pretty much). Apparently it can wake a mac from sleep too.

    i am a ways away from actually starting this project (saving up the $$) but for now I'm going to work on some of the software, since it doesn't cost anything.

  6. #6
    Raw Wave RoyN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    São Paulo, Brazil
    All or most of what you want can be ahieved easily on pc-based carpcs, just as a caveat...

    Also, shouldnt the politically correct term be changed to Carputer as we now have CarPCs and CarMacs? heehhe

    Finally, what headunit would give you all this functionality for 300?!?!?!?!?!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    out of curiosity.... has anyone tested a battery power supply in sleep mode to see how long it will last in sleep mode?

    'cause if it lasts a crud load (weeks or more) then there seems to be little worry about using the normal battery as long as you set the mac to go to sleep when power is removed from it (i.e. like the car being turned off thinks the power is out (almost like a UPS)). When the car is turned on, then it thinks power is restored, (like bypassing a UPS). In fact if the ups has a decent battery, you could run the machine off UPS when power has left the UPS (in sleep mode) and wake up when power is returned.

    Any thoughts on that? Anyone tried?

    If I can find my dang powre invertor... then I will test it out on a standing battery in the house in sleep mode and see how long it stays up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Hey there, I'm another newbie to the site, first post here actually, but I've been lurking in the Mac section for a few weeks now. Just wanted to add a couple of personal experiences for your consideration:

    1) I have Salling Clicker on my laptop at home. I use it to control my iTunes which is Airported to my main stereo. It works awesome. So as others have said it is definitely the thing to get. It pauses and resumes songs when a call comes in, I can control the play of songs, it just keeps going. The thing I've been wondering is if you can use SC with something like BluePhone Elite for dialing. I don't know, haven't tried that yet.

    2) I have that Sony mic you're talking about. It was about $60, uses one AA battery, and has 90º and 120º modes. I use it with my iPod to do interviews and notes (I'm a photojournalism student). With podzilla's Mic-level recording feature I have hung the mic from the sun visor in front of me while driving and made amazingly crisp recordings - this includes little to no wind noise (windows closed of course). So, based on that I would imagine that it would be a wonderful mic for voice commands. The only consideration would be the size of the mic - you might have a difficult time getting it placed inconspicuously, but that's secondary I guess. I'll do a little testing this afternoon to see if it works w/ voice commands on my laptop.

    I hope this helps a little.

    EDIT: Well I played around some for the first time with speakable commands and my Sony microphone. (For those interested it's the ECM-MS907) I had okay results but had to talk fairly loud to get anything to happen. I have a feeling that the gain just isn't enough on the line in port, even with a battery powered mic. My guess is that something like the iMic or a small mic pre-amp would help immensely in this regaurd. I think I'll go pick up an iMic just out of curiousity and test it.

    On a side note, I'm bummed that Apple has yet to impliment voice dialing via Address Book even though it's possible by clicking a menu option. Maybe it could be done via Make This Speakable, but I'll have to dig into the Help to find out.

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