There are two threads under LCD/Display that discuss auto-on codes:
Lilliput Programing Guide - Auto Power On
Lilliput Programming Guide, More Reset Codes
These are not specifically for the Model 1042, and I don't know if they apply. I haven't tried them.
Screen Button Location
I like the idea of keeping the buttons. I see three options that seem workable:
(1) Lengthen the ribbon cable and build the button strip vertically into the side of the dash bezel that will slip over the screen. This is the original bezel, but you'll get the idea; buttons would go in the silver part:
Click image to enlarge.
If I can locate a second button strip, I may look at using it on the opposite side to control the PC and PSU functions. If I were to do this, button strip installations would be secondary after I have everything up and running; I'd just hide them at first and use the remote.
(2) Lengthen the ribbon cable and build the button strip into the face of the bezel below the climate control panel, between the DVD player and the head unit. This would be a simpler option than the first idea.
(3) Raise the top of the bezel about 3/8" and put the button strip right above the screen. This is the simplest of all -- it wouldn't even require lengthening the cable.