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Thread: Help Bugbyte kill his car PC with an iTouch/iPhone install

  1. #121
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    SlingPlayer for iPhone/Touch submitted (finally!) their app and is awaiting iTunes store approval. "Boom" That'll be nice to have running on the screen.

  2. #122
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    Good News! I'm iPhone equipped, thanks to Mp3Car.com!

    Mp3Car.com management has been following my worklog and offered to spot me an iPhone at their expense to encourage the project along! Thanks very much to Heather, Rob, and Goce at Mp3Car for their generosity.

    The phone arrived Friday and I've already jailbroken it (it's much easier after doing it a couple of times) and installed the following essential mobile apps:


    1. ScreenSplitr - for output to the video screen in the dash
    2. TVOut - to control at the application level, which apps output to the screen
    3. ]Backgrounder - An ESSENTIAL app that allows you to run an app like Pandora streaming radio in the background while using other apps
    4. xGPS - Turn by turn directions for the iPhone including moving map
    5. Winterboard - to customize the iPhone look and feel
    6. GPS Tracker - relays your position, speed, and altitude to instamapper.com live
    7. Pandora radio - streams radio live over the 3G network to the car.



    So far, I've got the majority of the functionality of my car PC in my iPhone. It's certainly not as perfect as I'd like it, but it is approaching the capabilities I spent years on with the computer system.

    I'm hoping to find a way to use the 3.0 SDK to generate solutions for interfacing the phones with the outside world and environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  3. #123
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    Great! I'm going to have to read over this whole thread again. I'm confused as to where you're at right now. Do you have any recent pics/vids of where you're at now?

  4. #124
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    My only problem with all this is that I'd have to have an external screen. The look of the dash is very important to me as well as good quality sound/control. Maybe I just don't get the 'vision' in my head yet because I'm ignorant.

    So bug, there was something I've been wondering about and I see someone brought it up.... Apple sells a Composite AND Component version of the cable. Would using the component version be better in some way? And if the Component cable can morph to VGA - wouldn't that be visually better? Sounds like a big issue is display quality for apps and I hope there's a way out of that.

    Bug - Some food for thought for the potential future. Wouldn't this be nice? http://shipsoftwareontime.com/2008/0...ur-pocket-299/ You know there are fairly recent Apple patents showing this concept. I guess a better version than their miniDisplay port on Macbooks to work with the dedicated 24" LED monitor.

  5. #125
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    That patent is very interesting and the link to the iPhone desktop is precisely what is going to happen in the near future.

    What we are dealing with right now, today, are only the first steps towards this future product. I am trying to alert the community to a disruption in technology that is taking place right under its nose. I can't think of a better group of people to work on the problems.

    Here's where I am RIGHT now.

    1. I effectively have a mobile computer with full 3G internet access that travels in my pocket and connects to my car. This is the first device I've ever had that allows me to consider a 'mobile experience' that exists both inside and outside the car. Current car PC installations (mine included) focus on using a device to solve certain problems that one would like solved in the car. The iPhone (or the Android or any smart phone, for that matter) allows me to focus on the experience of using a digital companion *wherever* I am - in the car, in my living room, in a restaurant, etc.

    2. Video. It connects to my video screen in the car and displays the iPhone screen on a larger screen. Basically, it mirrors the iPhone's display through a sub-standard and non-optimum composite video connector that causes the output to look a little fuzzy and washed out.

    I *could* use the component video cable with a screen, but my screen does not accept component video as an input. It only accepts composite. Potentially, a component cable and a scan converter would allow me to display it in VGA, but I have suspicions that it would still be a bit fuzzy.

    The best option for video quality is one I've already seen - Using VNC via ScreenSplitr, the iPhone's screen is relayed to a computer with VGA output and rendered in Flash on my browser window. The colors are bright, the detail is sharp.

    And it requires a COMPUTER, which is what I want to replace.

    In addition, the aspect ratio of the iPhone is not the same as the video screen in my car. There's lots of black space on either side of the screen, or there's distortion from scaling the image up by my monitor. I'm fairly sure this is going to be a limitation of the current generation of hardware. The video card in the iPhone is simply not intended for use with a VGA display. Someday, future generations of these devices will be but not today.

    Note - the netbooks don't have this problem. You can output them to a VGA monitor (if they have an output) and be done with it. I understand this, but want to make one more jump ahead to the smart devices like the iPhone.

    3. Control. I can't control my iPhone except from its tiny screen. This is dangerous when driving. I am currently focusing on ways to control the iPhone via a bluetooth device.

    However, there ought to be other ways to do this as well. I am looking at so-called plug-top computers like the Sheeva.


    This is a $99 Linux server in a teeny tiny package. It has USB ports and ethernet jack on it. Combined with a wireless router (like I have sitting in my closet gathering dust), I don't see why the Sheeva couldn't act as a web server in my car. My iPhone could connect to and also a touchscreen device could connect to it and report information when it has been touched. An application on the iPhone could query and react to this information and perhaps make the iPhone respond to it.

    4. Multithreaded applications. The iPhone has one of the fastest mobile processors (ARM) ever made. The fact that it doesn't multi-task is a crime. When you run Pandora and switch to xGPS, Pandora quits. Using the Backgrounder app from the Cydia store, I have overcome this limitation. I ran a test today where I streamed Pandora music to the phone while using xGPS for navigation and running GPS tracker in the background to report my position live on the web. All ran just fine. While displaying the results on my dash screen.

    Where am I on this project? I've found a few solutions to some of the issues of putting an iPhone in the car but there are plenty of issues to go. Right now, if you look in my car, you will see a cable that connects the iPhone to my stereo head unit and my video screen. That's it. All control still resides on the phone.

    I need to figure out how to interact with the phone and control it from external devices like touchscreens or rotary selectors.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  6. #126
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    Bug I'd have to do a little more research but I'm pretty sure that you can go from component source to VGA monitor. It's the other way around that requires a converter. I'll give it a shot. There is a cable on amazon for it and I'll buy the apple component cable.

  7. #127
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    http://www.macdailynews.com/index.ph...omments/20501/

    The 'Tablet' is SO coming. And read the last line. I guess it would be perfect if it was just a not so big gorgeous glass multi-touch THIN dummy monitor intended to talk to the iPhone (for better gaming, etc.) but maybe that's asking too much. I really hope it's not the rumored 10" size though. Rumors almost every day at this point.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdub24 View Post
    Bug I'd have to do a little more research but I'm pretty sure that you can go from component source to VGA monitor. It's the other way around that requires a converter. I'll give it a shot. There is a cable on amazon for it and I'll buy the apple component cable.
    Awesome! I must have been mixing up my inputs and outputs. When you get this working, post up some pics here and let us all know what you find out. Component would be preferrable to composite.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #129
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    Has anyone gotten voice directions from xgps to work. I can't get anything audio

  10. #130
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    Yes and it works pretty great. I've not heard of problems with the voice. You have it turned on in settings under 'driving directions' I assume. Maybe reload it.

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