Its about time I got back into some electronics, and I've been wanting to do something like this since reading an article in Linux Journal a few years ago.

I took the plunge and ordered a Xenarc from yesterday, still deciding on whether to go with a mini-itx + CF machine for straight dc power simplicity and less noise or another possibly less expensive but more clunky hardware route, possibly an Xbox with a modchip and Linux which I have laying around somewhere.

Deciding between mounting the LCD on a flex arm or whether to take the time and install it in the dash somewhere.

The install is going into a Zetec Focus R which has an easily accessible OBD-II interface. Reading through the OBD section on this forum I came across several virtual dash projects which brought an idea to mind: its a bit of a wank really and im not too well versed on graphics programming to be able to make it a reality anytime soon but a tacho/speedo whose needle changes colour while in a certain rev range. ie from 0-2500rpm needle is white; 2500-5000 needle is purple; 5000-few hundred rpm below redline needle is orange and above that would obviously be a red needle.

GPS and associated hookups: still looking into available hardware and pc interfacing. There are some great looking open source projects around this forum that Ill be running through the gauntlet. How long until these options compete 1:1 with the Pioneer X1? ;-)

Some ideas I havent seen mentioned for the OS layer side of things, MS Media Centre looks nicely polished, also Meedio have done a nice job of copying the MS interface and making it their own. Theres a nice port to PC of the Xbox Media Centre out there too.

An XM reciever would be nice, but I havent read or heard of any stations in Australia currently broadcast in XM.

So if youve read this far, I suppose all I can tell you is Ill keep progress posted here ;-)