Is this setup possible - New dude.
This looks like a great community with a lot of very knowledgable people in it. I had never heard of such systems (PCs in cars) until I did some searches and found this. I sort of had similar ideas when I figured I might be able to build my own small pc and install it...I had no idea how many people were doing this!
Anyway, to my question. I'm wondering if the setup I want is possible. Here are the things I want in my system:
Car: 2003 Alfa Romeo 147 GTA - It's a small 2 door car with no space under the hood (full of engine - in other words, no space for another battery, if that's needed.) The trunk is very small also, but it's a hatchback. (I never thought I'd buy one!).
-Play a few hundred/thousand MP3s and MPEG files.
-Play CDs, DVDs, VCDs
-Allow me to surf the web (no huge downloads - just to book movie tickets and other simple stuff)
-No games required
-It has to start when my car does and turn off when my car does
-Report engine status like RPM, speed
-Report whatever the current 'computer' does (open door, bulb burned out, mileage, temp., trip, etc)
Act as an extension to my mobile phone
-Display any phone calls as they come in on the screen
-Display any received SMS as it comes in on the screen
-Display any email as it comes in on my phone on the screen
-Act as an interface to my mobile phone so I can make calls/write messages through the system
-Provide a hands-free phone call environment, through my speakers and a mic somewhere
-I have some small space under the front seats
-I have some trunk space
-My existing phone is a Pocket PC (O2 XDAII) and runs on windows with GPRS/bluetooth
-I kind of don't want a keyboard but may need it
-Voice activation would be cool
-Accept SD flash cards
-Hard drive should be 80GB or bigger
-Processor need not kick ***. Almost anything will do. (right?)
-RAM shouldn't be a big deal 256. will do. (right?)
-I could build the PC myself
-I could design the interface (or have someone else do it for me - could I use HTML or Flash?)
-I know a fair bit about GPRS/Bluetooth/networking
-I could NOT install anything myself - not even a stereo
-Never tried to solder (at least not since 7th grade)
-I'm no electrician
-I'm no mechanic
-But I'm pretty mechanically-inclined/potentially able
Budget-If all of this is possible I'd spend about US $2,000
-Here in Singapore all PC parts are dirt friggin cheap (RAM, processor, power supplies, HDs, USB crap, Bluetooth stuff, etc) A PC with average RAM/processor/CD ROM/power/USB would go for about US$300 or less here.
-Obviously, the money will be the screen (I think) and custom junk like casings and more than anything, the installation!
The whole thing must be flush and VERY CLEAN. No wires, no crap. My car comes with a pretty 'tall' headunit, and below it are equally-big cupholder and compartment 'drawers' that come out when pressed. I could get rid of them and the HU to make room for the screen.
I don't really want a screen that stands up in front of my dash.
I hope I provided enough info to answer this. And sorry if I couldn't find the answers within this forum, but my needs are kind of precise.
Here's a picture of my dash, and one of a side profile to give you an idea of trunk space. It begins above the rear axle more or less. Am I asking too much? Is this possible? Alfas, like most Italian cars, are very hard to work on....Thanks a lot.
Oh, yeah - GPS would be cool.