Ok, so I think I've done all my research and am ready to stary buying the items needed to build my computer. I'm naming the project: WinMacCarPuter.
Below I've listed the various items I will be using for this project. I'm really not a big Mac fan, but rhought I'd give it a try since everyone here says it's the easiest way to go. I will be installing Windows on it just because that's what I'm used to.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions on other items to purchase. I will be placing the orders for these items by Friday and then the work begins.
MacPac Power Cable Kit
Looks like you've got a pretty good shopping list. Does the radioshark have windows drivers? Haven't really looked into it.
Failure is not an option....
It's installed by default on every version of Windows.
what keyboard it that?
You should give Mac OSX a shot. I was a forever windows user but now i love OSX. Startup and shutdown is so quick with OSX. Resuming from sleep when you restart your car is almost instantaneous. Plus I never could get XP to output to 800x480 which looks the best on the lilliput 7". I posted the settings for the lilliput using DiplayConfigX.
800 X 480 on Mac Mini with Lilliput 7" touchscreen
You may just end up falling in love with OSX especially now that there is a good front end AMP. I have ended up bringing my mac mini in the house everynight and my pc just collects dust. I dont know about GPS but everything else runs so smooth and without problems like I had with XP. But if anything the mac mini is a great solution for the car. I can sit with the engine off for quite a while before it shuts down.
Good luck with your project
Here's something else you might like to use if you want to incorporate some extra buttons. It works for pc or mac. Just get some momentary switches or buttons and you can simulate key presses. I use it to control music functions.
Parallels does work pretty well for me. I use it for the ECU tuning program I use in my Integra. USB to serial adaptor works fine with it. Again I don't know about the gps receiver though.
thanks for the comments and tips. I have a copy of Windows XP somewhere so I'm not that worried about the extra cost. Since I've always been a Windows guy, this project will give me a chance to learn more about Macs.
I'm thinking about getting my Mac Mini from Circuit City. Every few weeks they have a 10% off online coupon on any purchases so that should save me some money.