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Thread: Old PC as carpc (AMD 650, 128MB SDRAM)

  1. #1
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    Question Old PC as carpc (AMD 650, 128MB SDRAM)

    Hi,

    After years of dreaming of a carpc, I have finally found an excellent excuse to actually have one: I bought a new pc for home usage and I have no use for the old one.

    This is the system:
    - AMD Athlon 650MHz
    - 128MB SDRAM (I might add some more if I find it, but I want it to be able to run with what I have)
    - 60GB 3.5" HDD (will become a more shock-proof 2.5" HDD if I get the rest working)
    - 10Mbps network card (will be deleted, I can always put data on it with CD-RW's or USB sticks)
    - Old Creative SoundBlaster sound card
    - nVidia Riva TNT Maxi Gamer Cougar 32MB AGP graphics card
    - ATI Radeon 7000 series PCI 64MB graphics card (will be deleted)

    I want to use this system for mp3's and navigation (in Europe)

    When I was using this pc as home computer, I ran Windows 2000 Professional on it, but boot-time is a little slow, so my first tought was using Linux.
    I tried Debian with the GNOME environment: too slow + weird black pixels on grey and white surfaces
    I tried Puppy: same black pixels and not my kind of environment
    I tried VectorLinux Light Edition: works fast, but... still those black pixels on grey and white surfaces (menu bars, windows...)

    I asked about that black-pixel-problem on a few forums and I searched, but I couldn't find a solution for it, so I guess that system just doesn't like Linux.

    Now I was wondering, when I bought that pc back in the days, it was delivered with Windows 98 and I was wondering if it's possible to get what I want (mp3 playback + navigation trough a nice front-end that's usable on a 7" touch screen while driving) with a Win98 based system?

    greetings,
    Isabelle

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    The black pixels with linux could be fixable. Which graphics card were you using? Having both an ATI and an Nvidia card gives you the option to try linux with drivers from both the major manufactures. I'd say try just using whatever card you didn't use. Then also, did you try any of the proprietary drivers from the graphics card's manufactures?

    Linux is probably going to be your best bet, windows 98 will be a pain as barely anyone writes drivers for it anymore. An ultra-tweeked copy of xp may get you somewhere as well. There is a carpc specific linux distribution called LinuxICE. The member here, kev000, can tell you all about it as he is the primary developer.
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  3. #3
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    All Linux distro's I tested so far gave me only 1 graphics output: the VGA output of the ATI card.
    When I was trying Debian+GNOME, I deleted the ATI card, so the nVidia one became active, which gave the same bug...

    I didn't try to install drivers. I did look around on the ATI website, but I couldn't find a Linux driver for my Radeon 7000 series card. While googleing around, I also read Linux + ATI cards can be a PITA.
    I won't use the ATI card in the car, so I think I'll delete it and try to get the system work like it should with only the nVidia card, but I'm afraid my lack of Linux-knowledge will cause failure... That's why I want to know if a Win9x system (from which I know I can get it working properly) can work as a carpc...

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    Lets see...
    BU-353 gps dongle does seem to work on win 98
    You already have the drivers for all the computer's built in hardware
    Riderunner is thinking about dropping win 98 support, but it looks like you will definitely be able to run a recent version of it... theres your mp3 palyer
    Looks like iguidance also supports windows 98... theres your nav.

    So theoretically this could work. I wouldn't expect to keep getting software updates for too long though.
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  5. #5
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    I'm gonna try a little more to get things work with Linux (people tell me Debian+KDE should work better on this system than Debian+GNOME, so I'll give that a shot).
    It's good to know I can fall back on Win98 if necessary. With a little more RAM, I should be able to run XP(lite), so I think I'm safe for a couple of years without huge costs (complete new carpc)?

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    For linux in a car, check out linuxice. It is designed from the ground up for car use. It can be found here: http://wiki.openice.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  7. #7
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    I encourage you to try LinuxICE as well. I've got it running well on an old Pentium 4. Still a bit newer than your system, but it is definitely worth a try, and is likely to be actively supported a lot longer than trying to maintain a W98 system.

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate billmee's Avatar
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    If boot times are your only issue with Win 2000 why not use hibernation.

    My Celeron 800mhz resumes from hibernate in about 10 seconds.

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