Seriously, n00b, you need to build one for your desk first. Get all the components, load an operating system and then actually test it. If you're lucky, something won't work, and you'll have to troubleshoot it. It's a skill you're going to rely on.Originally Posted by lominono
Make sure you configure all the parts that you want attached to the computer when it goes into your car, including any/all of the following: external CD or DVD drive, GPS receiver, wireless networking, cellphone interface, soundcard (internal or external), character-based LCD display, touchscreen, etc. You'll gain valuable skill in setting up hardware components, loading & configuring software and yes, more troubleshooting.
Next, install some advanced car stereo equipment, including an amplifier. Tweak it for sound quality as you desire. Get a fundamental idea of how the components all fit together. Again, if you're lucky, something won't work right and you'll learn about troubleshooting this phase of it.
Now you're pretty much ready to build a computer for your car. The only missing piece is power from the vehicle. There's quite a few solutions for that, but you're not ready until you know how to do the first two above.
Read the forums A LOT. Daily, if at all possible. Get ideas and information from the threads pertaining to functionality you want your carputer to have.