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Thread: What I want in a front-end

  1. #11
    cheap custom title JC-S60's Avatar
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    @Intella

    You've got a very good point. There is source available from RR for example, but is still are lone programmers that need to put a complete software together, while not having a commercial platform to run it on (sorry, but I don't know af many carpc solutions that are up to the task of facing your average consumer).

    With our hardware-platform, I hope to be able to sell some complete solutions in bigger numbers (the limo stuff is cool to do with custom stuff, but if you need to equip 150 service vehicles, you better have an easy to install basis), which will make it worth while for companies to invest in programming good software, or for people to start a company if they believe in it...

  2. #12
    Variable Bitrate 12Vsystems's Avatar
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    @JC-S60
    We often have to lock down the user interface when we are installing systems that are used by the general public but any personal user will want to be able to access Windows XP to install their own 3rd party apps.

    Lots of people see the huge potential here. With the price of hardware always falling these systems are only going to become more attractive. We are flooded with request to add custom features and services like GPS Tracking. Having one system that can play movies DVD,Music,GPS,Tracking and go online offers huge cost savings for most companies. There is no need to replace lost remote controls, one system replaces 3-4 different peices of hardware and is supported by one manufacture.

    Open Source VS Commercial is tough. I am a big supporter of open source but at the same time have to make a living selling and installing systems. It would be nice if we call all agree on way to talk to our front ends. That way people on these forums could develop plugins like the calander you were talking about and they would be usable on any interface.
    Spent all my money on carputers now I have to work a real job.
    http://www.858graphics.com

  3. #13
    cheap custom title JC-S60's Avatar
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    I like the idea of the universal plugins very much! I only hope that someone will stand up and deliver what I want, and I don't think that is the whole world

    I've seen some very skilled people here, and some very nice work... just need that one touch and I feel it's going to come from one of the known coders on here... at least I hope so!

    J.

  4. #14
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    JC:
    I have a list of what I want from a carputer (as someone who can't tweak it very well myself since I don't know any programming) before I'm willing to pay (and I am willing to pay if it's worth it). My list almost exactly matches yours. I agree with you about pretty much all of your requirements and reasoning for them. A few things I would add/stress: some focus on really good audio and complete control (of amps, subs, balance, etc.). Also (as you said), really good GPS. I would recommend (if you have the means) finding and convincing someone to make a job out of writing a GREAT program using google maps, maybe using google's information/database on CD's divided into states (since they have way too much info to fit much more than that). I recommend google maps because of their phonebook "feature", basically unlimited POI's, hopefully easy integration, and their two great views. Yeah a 3D view is cool, but google has one very simple, easy street view, and the satellite view would be awesome to have as GPS once you get to a more focused are. (Say the view automatically switches to sat. and zooms in when you get within .5 miles of your destination.) Just a thought.

  5. #15
    cheap custom title JC-S60's Avatar
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    @dazuck

    Well, the sound has to be really good, that's beyond doubt, but that is mainly a case of hardware and a good equalizer (with balance/fader and a separate volume control for the sub, that would be nice) in software.

    About google maps, I can say very little as I live in europe and it's not available here yet...

    I hear a lot of nice things about them, but don't know the product very well... isn't it an on-line thing only?

    Thanks for your input!

  6. #16
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    JC:
    As of now google maps are online maps (with a view like a gps would give you, for navigation, and another satellite view that allows you to see the bulidings on each block). You can either use general maps, get directions from one place (or adress) to another, or do a "local search" where you can search for a genre, topic, or specific name. That feature returns several results (indicated on the map as pins correstponding to info on the side) listed in distnace from you. It gives you the name, adress, phone number, and distance to/from each point. Here is a link to an example, I searched for Chinese food in my zip code. (If you used gps you would have it automatically use the zip u were in): http://maps.google.com/maps?q=CHines...CA+94028&hl=en
    play around with the sat. feature and zoom in.

  7. #17
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    Frodocomm

    Quote Originally Posted by JC-S60
    I like the idea of the universal plugins very much! I only hope that someone will stand up and deliver what I want, and I don't think that is the whole world
    The "universal plugin" is already here, know as Frodocomm & Frodocomm Services Host. I beleive this is what Frodoplayer T4 will be running on

    check out the frodocomm sub-forum under frodoplayer forums

    Zorro explained its the best.....
    Quote Originally Posted by zorro
    For all of you who need a kind of vision what this could mean for developers and users likewise, just look at the picture.

    Every box you see there is a module on the FrodoComm network. They all may communicate with each other, but they don't have to.

    Advantage for the developer:
    You'll have neat, lean modules that are easy to manage and support.

    Advantage for the user:
    You can build your own system by integrating new modules.


    Before you ask, no, they are not available yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #18
    Variable Bitrate 12Vsystems's Avatar
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    Thanks for the lnfo

    When I said universal plugin I meant something similar to FrodoComm

    Are there any other media players support FrodoComm plugins? I think to make this work we would need all of us to agree on some sort of standard. If you leave it upto one group they will produce standards for plugins that are best suited to them giving them an unfair advantage making other developers/companies less likely to join.

    I can't promote this idea I have a vested interests in our software. It would have to come from the community.
    Spent all my money on carputers now I have to work a real job.
    http://www.858graphics.com

  9. #19
    Variable Bitrate 12Vsystems's Avatar
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    As I was looking through the forums today I found this


    http://www.filetrial.com/MOBILedit-review721.html

    It sounds like the contact manager/calander app you guys were looking for.
    Spent all my money on carputers now I have to work a real job.
    http://www.858graphics.com

  10. #20
    Banned RPM_VR4's Avatar
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    For a professional install, I really think a lot of this should be done in hardware...

    -music + EQ
    We definatly need a good music interface that allows people to get to anysong quickly WITHOUT looking at the screen. Using a remote control and text-to-speach voice feedback, I should be able to get to any Album/Artist/Genre and then Song within 20 clicks of the remote (worst case). As for EQ, that is the job of a good head-unit, not the CarPC.

    -dvd + divx + EQ
    Personally, I don't even have a CD-ROM drive in my CarPC, but I do understand why a lot of people still cling to removable media. DiVX/XVid support is definatly a must, but every front-end does that. Once again, no EQ.

    -status-screen (mem/hdd-usage/temp etc)
    Ok... that would be kinda cool.

    -phone integration (bt AND serial)
    Do any of the USB cables allow hands-free speaker phone, or is that only BlueTooth? I would really like this feature, but I am stuck with an incompatible SamSung USB cable because Sprint doesn't really have anything better. My cell bill is $60/mo for 2 phones with way more minuites than I use and unlimited internet access though, so I'm not switching carriers. Anyway, though you miss out on contact dialing, phone -to- head-unit hardware interfaces is an alternative (though definatly not as good if you are lucky enough to have a software compatible phone).

    -radio (the USB-tuner project)
    Useless (even SAT radio)! A good sounding system has to have a head-unit. 99.9% of the time I am listining to MP3s and the other .1% is music-videos/movies. Why would I ever want the radio? ...and if for some strange reason I did, I can just source the head-unit to FM (or SAT) instead of CarPC (AUX/CD-Changer).

    -integrated navigation (preferably better than D3), for EUROPE
    iG is awesome, but I'm in the US. Google-Maps / MSN Maps will be the future I believe (once they do a bit more dev and more poeple have constant internet in their cars)

    -calendar, mail and contacts (sync with exchange/imap/pop3)
    Yep. We definatly need to bring PIM apps to the 7" touch-screen.

    -rearview-cam, switched on the serial port
    This is a job for hardware. Attach the rear-view cam to the video input on the 7" LCD. Make a microcontroller program that sends IR to the LCD to switch to video source when in reverse, and to VGA source when not in reverse. The PC with an IR blaster (or talking to the microcontroller) could also control the LCD source (like maybe the LCD shows rear-view until the CarPC fully boots, and then the PC auto-sends IR to change to VGA).

    -integration of everything (for ex: select a contact and press navigate/call/sms/email as you wish)
    Yep.

    -supports 1 relay on the serial port to activate amp+screen(s) when booted/resumed to FULLY WORKING STATE and disactivate them BEFORE shutting down/hibernating
    Dude, you just need a good startup/shutdown controller. My Carnetix will wait for 2 seconds after crank, start the PC, wait one more second, start the monitor/head-unit/amps. When the key is out, it kills the monitor/head-unit/amps one second later and begins PC shutdown 10 seconds later. Works great. You could program a microcontroller to work it anyway you need.

    -all skinnable and menu-driven, so it is very touch-screen friendly
    Yep. And don't forget remote friendly too.

    -runs smooth (and I mean SMOOOOOOOTHHHH) on an epia mII 12k with 256mb of ram, preferably as nlighted as possible
    I have a P3 1.0gig and CF definatly runs way too slow.

    -still runs smooth when an audigy 2nx is added to the mix
    Why? On-board sound plugged in to a head-units line-in sounds great. I wouldn't waste the money on a sound-card. With a good head-unit for tuning, you will never hear the differance. We really need the CarPC to appear to the head-unit as a CD-Changer so you can just use the head-unit controls/remote to navigate the frontend.

    OPTIONAL:
    -multi-screen
    -multi-zone (multi-sound+multi screen)
    -relay-card support
    -vehicle tracking
    -DAB
    -voice-recognition

    Relay's should be controled by a microcontroller that talks to the PC, not the PC directly. Someone should come up with a unified microcontroller board -to- frontend protocall. My SiLabs micro board will eventually emulate a Pioneer CD-Changer, send & recieve IR, and talk to my steering wheel controls, alarm, and On-Star mirror.

    Vehicle tracking is a must. Actually, full car activity logging is what I am looking for. If I give you a time/date, I want to know where I was, where I was coming from, where I was going to, what speed I was going, what direction, what song I was listening too, cabin temp, outside temp, M/B tempatures, M/B fan speeds, M/B voltages, car voltage, OBD info (RPMs, injector pulse-width, o2 levels, knock, throttle position, etc.), and be able to tell it to save audio/video to the log at will.

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