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Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #201
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    XP or Linux?

    Before I pull the trigger and do the XP install, I've been doing what I promised: playing with the Linux installation on the EeePC. I'm impressed: it's fast, easy, light. Common sense says Linux is on the way -- Google's upcoming Android operating system is based on Linux, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on an Android phone.

    I'd be silly to think Linux isn't going to be stronger in the future, so having a deeper knowledge of it makes very good sense to me. I know nothing about the inner workings of Linux, and the last time I did much at the command line was back in the days before Windows95.

    But even after just a little experience with Linux, I'm reluctant to blow away the installation. I don't want to have to choose between XP and Linux; I want both.

    How About XP and Linux?
    The ideal would be to have a Linux virtual machine running on XP so I could flip over into it anytime I want, but I think that may be asking a bit much of the little EeePC. Maybe it's a good time to consider dual-booting this machine.

    Reading about the experience of others with the EeePC tells me that I don't even have to install Linux on the internal drives.The EeePC will boot from its 20GB of SSD, or it will boot from removable devices, including an SD card up to 8GB, an SDHC card up to 32GB, or even USB devices including sticks and an external CD/DVD unit. An SDHC card of only 8GB would be plenty of space for Linux (the original EeePC ran it in 4GB), and it might be kind of fun to have a little Linux tutor with me for downtime.

    It occurs to me that I can do a sort of cobbled dual-boot by setting the SDHC card (called Removable Device in BIOS) as the first boot device, and the internal SSDs (Called HDD in BIOS) as the second device. If the Linux SDHC card is in its slot, it would boot Linux. Normal boot would be with no bootable SDHC card (and no bootable USB devices) inserted, so it would go on to the SSDs and boot XP.

    I can try installing Linus on an SDHC card before I blow away the Linux installation on the SSDs. I wonder if I can install Linux from the disks Asus provided, but onto the SDHC card, or if they'll automatically install to the SSDs. Hmmmm . . .

    If I'm going to do this, I'd better order an 8GB SDHC card, or a 16GB SDHC card, or this 16GB SDHC card.
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    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
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  2. #202
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    XP Disks!

    Well, a funny thing happened. I had told a good friend I was getting the EeePC 901; just after I got it last week, I took it along to lunch and showed it off. She worked with it, liked it, and said it would fit right in her purse. I explained that a bigger model, the EeePC 1000H, would still fit in her purse, but it comes with a bigger screen, 80GB hard disk, and XP installed, and it costs $50 less. I said I'd have gotten that one if it would fit in my car. She said the bigger screen sounded good . . .

    Last night she announced that she'd gone home, considered it for a day, and ordered the EeePC 1000H. It will be here in two days. These little guys really do sell themselves.

    I can hardly wait to see the larger version. I bet I'll have a serious case of screen envy.

    And yes, I can borrow her XP install disk. Woohoo!
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  3. #203
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    XP installation info

    I have an EeePC 701 which came out before Asus started shipping Eees with Windows. The manual for the 701 has very clear instructions on how to install XP. You should be able to download it from the support section of the main Asus website. Of course, if the CD for the 1000H works, it will be much simpler and less time consuming.

    BTW, dropping the Eee in the dash looks awesome...can't wait to see it with the bezel. It's too bad there's no cheap and easy way to add a touchscreen.

  4. #204
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miruka View Post
    I have an EeePC 701 which came out before Asus started shipping Eees with Windows. The manual for the 701 has very clear instructions on how to install XP. You should be able to download it from the support section of the main Asus website. Of course, if the CD for the 1000H works, it will be much simpler and less time consuming.
    That's a good idea, and I appreciate the tip. I downloaded the EeePC 4G Linux manual (the file is named e3605_EeePC4G-web.pdf), and the information on installing XP is there; it provides a clear picture of what's needed. One pertinent quote: "Delete any existing partitions."

    I think the 1000H CD should do the trick, but I like to read everything I can before I jump into it, and this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by miruka View Post
    BTW, dropping the Eee in the dash looks awesome...can't wait to see it with the bezel. It's too bad there's no cheap and easy way to add a touchscreen.
    Thanks! The EeePC solves a whole bunch of issues in a very small package.

    Adding a touchscreen isn't cheap or easy, but it's not outrageous -- under $100 plus careful self-installation. I've been reading about it -- and about all sorts of other additions -- on the Asus EeePC forums and other EeePC-specific sites. After I get everything figured out, I'll post the information on what I'll use and provide a list of useful forums and resources. And then I'll add pictures as I do the installations.

    The EeePC 701 uses a smaller and even-less-expensive touchscreen than the 901; seems to me I saw one for about $70 (self-installed from a kit), and the reviewer was pretty happy with it. Check eBay for vendors. If you read around, there are a few special considerations and techniques for adding a glass touchpanel and accounting for the slight additional thickness without breaking the glass; several people did it wrong and broke their new panels, so it does take attention to detail. There's a whole wiki on the 700-series EeePC here. The writer added so much stuff to his little EeePC that it's amazing -- it's fun reading.

    By the way, there are lots of YouTube videos on adding the touchscreens and on other EeePC tricks; search "Eee" or "Eee touchscreen" on YouTube.

    P.S. I see this is your first post. It's a good start -- welcome aboard, and thanks again.

    EDIT: Here's a link to the EeePC 701 touchscreen kit that requires no soldering. It's $50 shipped, and the eBay vendor, Fidodido999, has solid feedback.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #205
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Upgrading the EeePC

    Now the EeePC 901 needs some new pieces.

    Memory
    There's only one memory slot on the EeePC 901. To replace the 1GB SODIMM of DDR2-5300 memory with a 2GB stick will cost $43 shipped from Crucial; I can probably sell the 1GB stick for $15 to $20 (or more). That sure makes it a low-cost upgrade. Yes, I can get cheaper memory -- Buy.com had some value-priced memory as low as $25. But cheap chips sometimes fail; I don't want to be out in the hinterlands depending on my GPS when the memory gets flaky. I've never had Crucial memory go bad on me, so I trust it.

    As with most laptops, the memory swap can be done without cracking open the case; there's a door on the bottom for just such actions.

    Touchscreen
    I'll order the touchscreen kit in a few days. Several kits are available; the one that seems to make the most people happy is this no-solder system for $89 shipped. The eBay vendor, fido-dido999, gets good reviews on other sites, and has over 99% positive feedback on 4500 sales since 2002.

    Once I have the touchscreen parts, I'll have to disassemble the EeePC and get the pieces installed. The process of adding it is described in a 46-minute video from jkkmobile, and there's a good supplemental article on adding a touchscreen (and a hard drive, too) here.

    But No 3G in There
    I had also thought I might want to install an internal 3G unit. It turns out that this requires soldering on the motherboard, and I'm reluctant to do that, given my limited experience soldering at the fine detail level. I think an external 3G device will be fine.

    Bye-Bye, Warranty?
    Asus originally put placards on these machines stating that even opening the memory door will void the warranty, but they've since issued a press release assuring their customers that such is not the case, and that reasonable changes will be accommodated without voiding the warranty.

    I'll take my chances.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  6. #206
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Building the EeePC Bay

    The first step in building this installation is to figure out how I'm going to make the space in the dash more EeePC-friendly. I also want it more visually appealing. That will happen when I cover up the pieces that aren't supposed to be exposed -- mostly the climate control system -- and weld all the pieces back together. I had originally thought I'd build the bay as a separate section that fastens to the dash so the bezel fits around it, because that would be a simpler approach. But I reconsidered, and now I expect to make the bay a part of the bezel; that would let me add a lot of strength to make up for parts of the bezel I've cut away.

    There will be just four parts to the new bay: back, bottom and two sides, and I'm hoping to make them all flat panels. There's an excellent fastening point at the top of the bay to make up for the loss of the two top clips that held the complete OEM bezel in place.

    The fit is going to be tight in the area between the climate control ducts; when the EeePC in in place, they bracket the screen. There's only about 0.1 inch (2.5mm) of extra width there, so it'll be a bit of a trick to get it so the EeePC slides into place without scratching up the dash or the PC. Maybe I need Teflon-coated sides on the bay.

    My first thought was to reshape the ducts in that area, and reshape the part of the bezel that connects inside them, thus opening up the space between them. But that means I'd disable the round vanes in the ducts that let me redirect the airflow. It looks like I'll only be able add a small amount to that space -- about 1/8" (3mm) total. I suspect that snug fit is just fine: it will make the EeePC more stable when it's held in the dash only by the grippy surface I put it on.

    Right now, the EeePC is just sitting on top of a cushiony black mouse pad, and that pad is resting on the climate control structure. Luckily, the EeePC seems very, very stable in the dash, even though I haven't done anything to make it fit. I think I could just fire it up and run this as soon as I get the XP + software installation completed. I thought I'd have to add a little more temporary padding material to keep the EeePC from moving around as I drive, but it's stable as is.

    What About the Empty Bay?
    I need to figure out how I can keep the dash so it looks relatively OEM when the EeePC isn't there. I think it may be interesting to use one or more of the ideas that came out of my screen cover panel work (posts #173-192). It would be especially nice if I can devise a system that can provide some additional support for the bottom of the PC -- the part that extends a few inches out of the dash. There seems to be no tendency to wobble in the space, but I'd like to provide more seating area for it.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #207
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    EeePC 1000H, Up Close

    My friend who ordered the EeePC 1000H brought it to lunch yesterday, and I got to play with it. It's absolutely awesome. As predicted, I have a serious case of screen envy (and her screen is so much brighter I almost wonder if mine is flawed). I also have hard drive envy.

    Otherwise, the two units are very similar, but the 1000H is over an inch wider, so I just can't get it into my dash. Curses.

    Here's the bottom line: If the EeePC 1000H fits your application, it's a dynamite little machine for $450. There's no touchscreen kit available yet, but I'm sure it's on the way; with 7-inch touchscreens at $50 and 8.9-inch screens at $89, it will probably go for $125 or so.

    While we were at lunch playing with the two machines side-by-side, the people in the next booth struck up a conversation with us, asking about the machines. They were very interested, and we handed the 1000H over for them to check out.

    One of them asked, "How big is the hard drive?"

    I said, "80GB."

    "Hell," said the other one, "that's what I have in my iPod."

    To which his lunchmate said, "I think it would be hard to see XP on a 3-inch screen."

    She asked the price, and, when we told her, she said she's going to go online and order. As I said before, once you see them, these little guys really do sell themselves.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #208
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    More on Building the EeePC Bay

    Back when I thought a 10.4-inch screen was going into the dash, I wanted to keep the original bezel intact in case I decided to return the vehicle to stock some day. I bought a used bezel on eBay for a decent price:



    . . . and then cut it apart in preparation for making major changes to its shape; see posts #14, 22 and 55. I cut the middle out, split the sides so I could make them deeper, and cut off the duct areas so I could make the bezel sides longer. It was nice, careful work, but I chopped that thing apart like a butchered hog.

    The EeePC eliminates the need for most of the modifications I was doing. Unfortunately, if I want to use that butchered bezel, I have to reassemble almost all of the pieces I cut apart. Repairing it all -- and getting it to look good -- will mean hours and hours of plastic welding, sanding, filling, and sanding. That's a lot of work just to get it back to what I started with. I think If I can find another bezel at a decent price, I'll just scrap this dismembered piece and do the much-smaller amount of trimming needed on the new one.

    If I start with an OEM bezel, only the top portion -- where the headunit was -- needs modification. All the material between the side panels -- almost all of the ring that forms the head unit hole -- gets cut out to be replaced by the EeePC bay.

    One other area needs a change. Down at the bottom, where the head unit has replaced the cubbyhole, I'll fabricate a faceplate to replace the part of the cubbyhole substructure that mated with the bezel. It's possible that the cubbyhole insert itself could be the donor for that faceplate. I don't expect I'll have to make any changes to the bezel in that area.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  9. #209
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Protecting the EeePC's Skin -- EDITED

    I'm considering casing the EeePC in some sort of a protective leather sleeve like the one shown below, and leaving that on it when it sits in the dash.

    I see some advantages:
    • it will eliminate any glare from the very shiny "Fine Ebony" surface in front of the keyboard;
    • it will make it even more ready to pop out and carry around with me;
    • it will stabilize it laterally in the bay;
    • it might save the Eee's life if I drop it.

    I don't plan to drop the Eee. But I've never planned to drop my phones, either, and they seem to jump out of my hand once in a while. I dropped my early Palm Treo straight from my ear to the concrete; it hit so hard it did invisible internal damage, and the extended warranty replaced it. But I didn't buy an extended warranty for the Eee, and I need to keep it safe if I'm going to cart it around with me.

    Actually, I have a case, but it's just too big for the little EeePC 901. I need to find one that fits. There are several vendors making sleeves that cover EeePCs, and I'll be looking for the one that offers the most protection while leaving the ports accessible. The PDair seems to be the classiest, and several others appear to be PDair knockoffs. None of the cases I've seen protect the left hinge corner, and the tops are just flaps over the system; they don't protect the screen corners at all. I consider those serious shortcomings; I want padding at all the corners for impact protection. I'll keep looking.

    One option -- and certainly one I'd consider -- is to make my own. Some heavy tooling leather would be excellent for the outside, and the inside panels could be lighter. I'd hand-stitch the seams, or find a local leatherworker with a leather sewing machine. Every sleeve I've seen has tight, finely done corners, like a purse. I want the corners heavy, like a briefcase, so they extend far enough to protect the Eee if I manage to do a drop test. I want it to look good, but I'm after protection more than loveliness.

    I don't think I've done any leatherwork since I was a Scout, when I made a wallet for my Dad. On that project, the most time-consuming part was tooling his initials into it. I'll skip the tooling.

    Still, if I can find a good one to buy, I'd rather do that. The leatherwork would be a distraction, and I have a lot of plastic welding to do on my dash bezel.

    EDIT: *** Just got off the phone; the case may get a somewhat lower priority. My friend who just bought the EeePC 1000H offered to swap cases: she has one that's that's small for the 1000H, and I have the one I mentioned that's too big for the 901. We may both come out in good shape. While this is just a carry case, not the protective sleeve I'd rather have, I'll see how good a job it does, and what potential there may be for adding protective modifications.***

    EDIT#2 *** I made the case swap. It isn't a perfect fit, but this case does have some space for extra padding, and I'll see what I can do with it. It's actually a leather book cover with a zipper opening, and not a laptop case. But a quick look on the web shows that there are other similar book cases that might fit nicely -- we're looking for something that fits 9" x 6.5" x 1.5". A good example is this Bible case on Amazon; the Regular size is 9" x 6.5" x 2", for $14.95; it might allow up to 1/4" of heavy foam to be inserted in the lining on each side for added impact resistance. ***
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    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  10. #210
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Re-Adapting -- EDITED & EXPANDED

    Because I've switched from using a modified desktop PC to using the EeePC, I need to reconfigure the DVD unit and the USB ports I've already installed in the dash.

    Doubling Up on DVD Units
    The existing DVD unit is standard slimline (laptop IDE). I was going to get this Slim Line CD to USB Adapter for $9, because it can run on either USB power or separate 5V power, and I want it to run on power from the vehicle. Then I realized the same site has this USB 2.0 External Slim Line Enclosure -- which is that same adapter plus an enclosure -- for $3 more.

    I figured I'd buy one of each, for a total of $21. That would give me the adapter for the dash-mounted unit and, by adding a second slimline DVD I already own, I'd also have a thinline portable unit to use when I have the EeePC out of the vehicle.

    Then I noticed a volume purchase deal: buy two enclosures and get them for $11 each, so I did that. It got me the same equipment plus a replacement case for $1 extra.

    I'll use one of the units to install XP.

    EDIT: *** The units came in today, and they include the USB cable plus a USB power cable. The quality looks good, and I'm happy with what I got. Shipping time was excellent: they were sent via FedEx Ground the same day I ordered them, and took four days to get from California to south Florida. Shipping cost was $7.98.***

    USB Conversion
    The USB ports I installed in the dash are the type that plug into the motherboard. I could adapt the cable ends to plug into a powered hub, which would require other (possibly shielded?) adapters I haven't located yet. Or I could solder them directly into the hub. Right now, soldering them in seems the best way to go.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

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