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Thread: A Noob's G4 Review

  1. #1
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    A Noob's G4 Review

    Hi All,

    So many posts on the G4 seem to be by folks that have already done the carpc thing before. I thought it may be useful to provide some information from the viewpoint of a carpc newbie.

    As you now know, the G4 is my first carputer. To generalize, so far I love with the G4. In addition, I've never used a skinning interface program like StreetDeck, but I have to say that I'm a SD fan now.

    I started the installation process myself--which was both a pro and a con. Since I mounted the G4 into a 2001 F150, which has a double din opening that shrinks to a din-and-a-half in the rear. That was probably the worst part of the install--nothing like cutting into your dash with a Dremel to commit to a project. Final fitting was tough to get enough clearance for smooth opening and closing.

    My biggest complaints with the G4 itself are:
    - harddisk size (I bought one of the earlier ones without an upgrade option). At some point I suppose I'll have to risk upgrading it.
    - Memory. Same problem as above
    - LED colors--I need to change these to match everything else as well
    - Inability to dim the LEDs with the stock dimmer switch
    - Lack of clear documentation. For example, knowing that if once connects the 'illumination' wire to the 'illumination' wire on a harness for a vehicle that has a dimmer, then the G4 will not respond well when it goes into 'night' mode.
    - I'd like a powered USB line (a plug for powering a USB hub) without having to create something separate.

    My biggest complaints with SD are:
    - I don't like the fact that the modules restrict what the user can do when the vehicle is in motion. I know why it does this, but one of the advantages of using a pc vs. a proprietary solution is the flexibility. Any information regarding ways of 'unlocking' the standard modules would be appreciated. I'll deal with Johnny Law.
    - Again, on documentation. For SD, it's mostly an issue of documenting the various disparate pieces of information. For example, documenting how to get 3rd party DigitalMods, how/where to get updates, etc. I have found most of this, but only by searching and reading everything here. Documenting everything in one spot would be very valuable and make adoption of SD more likely by non-hardcore hobbyists.
    - How do I 'customize' the Milkdrop? I have already created a custom skin--it was quite simple to get up and moving with SD on this.

    Only things left to do are the backup camera, a good forward-looking nightvision camera, and then get started with some cool custom stuff. I'm looking forward to HD radio and the SD-compatible BT module. Get those out ASAP guys!

    Carputers rock.

    Rip

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate JasonMK's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat, the G4 being my first. Although technically, it hasn't arrived yet so it isn't really my first yet, but you get the point. But already I can speak from experince, post documentation suggestions in the thread for the manual.

    Infill G4 Manual

    It does get read and I've already seen a number of suggestions make it into the rolling updates, although I can in no way speak for the company and promise anything.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Meatballman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipNRun View Post
    - I don't like the fact that the modules restrict what the user can do when the vehicle is in motion. I know why it does this, but one of the advantages of using a pc vs. a proprietary solution is the flexibility. Any information regarding ways of 'unlocking' the standard modules would be appreciated. I'll deal with Johnny Law.

    Rip
    Try editing your startup parameters to start with the -testmode option. This is NOT recommended blah blah blah. You'll have to click on an acknowlegement at startup, but after that, you'll have full use of SD.

  4. #4
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    You can find the StreetDeck manual here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/stre...ck-manual.html

    That manual was made well before I started working for Mp3Car/StreetDeck.

    Perhaps I should take a look at it and consider updating it some. This will be something that I will have to work into my schedule though so please be patient.

    I hope this helps.

    I have also pushed to have the StreetDeck manual perminately made a part of the G4 image (along with Adobe Acrobat reader as well) for this very reason. I believe this is going to be implemented with the restore DVD release.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Nice Mini Review

    Quote Originally Posted by RipNRun View Post

    For SD, it's mostly an issue of documenting the various disparate pieces of information. For example, documenting how to get 3rd party DigitalMods, how/where to get updates, etc. I have found most of this, but only by searching and reading everything here. Documenting everything in one spot would be very valuable and make adoption of SD more likely by non-hardcore hobbyists.
    - How do I 'customize' the Milkdrop? I have already created a custom skin--it was quite simple to get up and moving with SD on this.

    Rip
    So now that you have figured some of this stuff out, will you post your finds? I would be interested to see what you have come up with (ie DigitalMods, etc.)...

    Thanks,

    Kage

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate JasonMK's Avatar
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    Along these lines, when you order a G4 direct from mp3car.com with options (specifically the wifi usb adapter) are the drivers already loaded or will one need to run the setup CD for them?

  7. #7
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    When you order the G4, it comes with the OS already configured and everything loaded.

    Customers do not need to install anything.

    There is also a restore DVD that is avaliable if a user has an issue and needs to reinstall.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate JasonMK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the prompt reply, I didn't expect many people to be up and posting for simple questions Then again, just because mp3car.com & I are in Baltimore I'm sure there are many, many others around the world. Who knows, you might be eating breakfast while I am getting ready to go to bed. But I digress, thanks.

  9. #9
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    I'm in Dallas.

    My husband is out of town on business, I'm up watching Shooter and surfing.

    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kagenryu View Post
    So now that you have figured some of this stuff out, will you post your finds? I would be interested to see what you have come up with (ie DigitalMods, etc.)...

    Thanks,

    Kage
    Hi Kage,

    First, let me say that I"m sorry for the slow reply--been working out of town. Now that I've had some time with the G4, I have to say I like it even more.

    I haven't really had a chance to work with any new DigitalMods yet, although I've spent some time on the weekends running around and have a few ideas. As I come up with interesting stuff, I'll report on it.

    The big thing to be aware of is you should surf the StreetDeck forum and check out all of the older posts, surf the Wiki, and spend some time playing with the skinning. It's not bad at all to get up and running. I custom designed a skin before I even had the G4.

    Next stop, DigitalMods...

    I still want more RAM and a bigger HD, though!!!

    --Rip

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