hello and thank you in advance for your ideas! i have been reading about carputers for some time now(but im still a nooB), and im about ready to purchase some parts to get started... but ive got some questions, especially since i am on a slim budget. (yeah i got no home and live in an RV so cheap is critical)

ok. what im looking to do is have a system which can run and download torrents all day, be able to surf the internet and watch video on the larger screen, use GPS, and also run my music off this system through a usb soundcard which i already have. so low power usage is very important to me(i have a 60 watt solar setup now and really only can put about 25-40 watts towards this computer). i would like to have enough capability to be able to run video and some basic games, burn cds , run GPS, and also have usb 2.0 so i can power a 1 watt usb wifi card, and a usb harddrive for extended data storage, as well as power a usb cd burner(which i already have) .

(i was thinking pentium m chip because it steps down power usage when it can?)


im looking to have a screen in the rear(15 inch max so it consumes less power and im figuring i can run this off the dc-dc power supply as well). and also have a small screen in the front for when im driving so i can change songs and run gps.(even a 3 or 4 inch screen is fine if its cheap... as it would then also be rather hidden which is important to thwart theives)

so... should i rip apart a laptop and go that route with extending the lcd screen wires? (partsexpress.com has a automotive power supply for computers for about 30 dollars, i dont want to use an inverter because it wastes too much power to heat) .. any suggestions as to specific laptop models i should seek out? then im figuring i can run the front monitor off of usb when i run the front usb hub?? (auto shutdown is not important to me as this thing will run most of the time)

or should i put together a system from loose parts? (im figuring i can make my own enclosure to save money as i am good with 12 volt systems and building with my hands, but specific parts such as which motherboard to use with which processor i dont really know about).

any suggestions are appreciated... !!

i already have a copy of windows xp so im planning on using that... and i already have a couple hard drives i can use for this application... and i already have a usb powered cd burner... and a usb powered audio card

thanks for the ideas, i really appreciate it!

-Jon