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

  1. #191
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    I haven't watched it yet. I'll do that when I get a spare 40 minutes but I'll tell you that I'm less interested in features than functionality. The mobile experience is about so much more than a feature rich set of hardware and software. I'm ready to move beyond that and try to use location + connectivity to make the experience more useful.

    The current car PC's and software are really excellent in terms of possibility but ultimately fall a bit short in terms of ease of configuration and genuine usefulness. While most people who do this for a hobby have a goal of getting a system installed and running, I am never 'there' with my install. I seem to keep trying to explore the edges of possibility.

    That's what is so exciting about the new mobile devices. They present a sea change of both possibility and ease of use. That's the frontier I'm trying to explore -and so should you! Post up some stuff in a thread to help spur some ideas, or head over to the Windows Mobile device forum and help those folks solve some of their problems.

    It sounds like you have quite a bit to contribute.
    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

  2. #192
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    I don't want to be seen as carrying on the brief argument (or maybe heated discussion is better) but it did make me think about something that I think is important to this thread...

    When I was younger, I was into hi-fi and would sneer at anyone not trying to get the absolute best for their money. As I got older, I realised I spent more time worrying about the sound (and fiddling with things) than actually listening to it. I made a conscious decision to move away from that... To buy something that looked nice sitting in my room (rather than a tower of different manufacturers components and massive speakers), sounded decent enough and wasn't too expensive. The same thing happened with home automation and computers (I buy Apple mostly now because they are pretty, pleasant enough to use and I don't feel obliged to tweak and modify them to achieve some idea of computing perfection).

    So, to my point... With all these things I enjoyed the hobby of it all, but ultimately I reached a point where the hobby wasn't what I wanted... I just wanted something that worked right out of the box and did the job without me poking, tweaking or beating it. I have a car pc now (in my Mk1 Audi TT) and it still feels like it's too much at the hobby stage. I enjoy that, but I know eventually I'll want something simpler, prettier and more useable, even if that means it's less configurable and has less features.

    The reason this thread made me think of that is that I've used WinMo a lot in the past and I now have an iPhone. I know the iPhone is in many ways a lesser phone, but in all the ways I describe above it's so much better. I can totally understand why the iPhone prompted you to try to change the way you see the carputer. I'm not totally convinced it's the solution, but I'm curious to see how this turns out.

    (If anyone else is trying to stick a pc in an Audi TT, feel free to PM me questions or tips. I'll try to put some photos up sometime soon)

  3. #193
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    Bugbyte, your responses to this were as clear and calm and focused as anyone could ask. Nice job.
    .
    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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  4. #194
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    bugbyte, i look forward to more details about this project.

  5. #195
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    This project is not dead by a long shot, folks. The Sheeva plug is back-ordered but I expect it to be here in due time. Then I'll start trying to figure out how to interface with it.

    In the meantime, this weekend (tomorrow) at 1pm, I'll be using the iPhone and the QIK application to broadcast the Rochester, NY meetup.

    If you want to watch live, or check it out afterwords, more info on this thread.
    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. #196
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    I got an email from Marvell telling me the Sheeva plug shipped today. Should be here soon - then I'll have to learn a WHOLE new set of Unix-tacity!
    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

  7. #197
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    Grip - GROWL for iPhone, is being developed. They say to expect a beta on Cydia soon. This is the type of interapplication messaging system that we need to tie apps together.
    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

  8. #198
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    Grip - GROWL for iPhone, is being developed. They say to expect a beta on Cydia soon. This is the type of interapplication messaging system that we need to tie apps together.
    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. #199
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    @bug-i have installed grip (you have to do it manually as it's not on cydia yet) and it's a nice first implementation. however, it really only notifies for new emails and low memory states. it does not handle sms or calendar events.

  10. #200
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    The Sheeva plug arrived two days ago. I've been learning a bit of Ubuntu Linux to work with it. So far, I've been able to set up a web server on it, install php for handling scripting requests, and log into it from my iPhone using a terminal window.

    The Linux guys have been helping me out quite a bit over here, if you're interested in the gory details.

    You'll recall (or maybe you won't) that the purpose of the Sheeva is to allow me to connect regular USB devices like an OBDII cable or an XM Direct or a Fusion Brain to a web server, which will run on the Sheeva plug.

    The Sheeva plug is a tiny, inexpensive embedded computer that is running Linux. It has a total power draw of about 6 watts when running flat out, operates on just 5 volts, and has an ethernet and USB port on it.

    When combined with either a WiFi router or a WiFi USB dongle, it will present itself as a local hotspot in the car that I can communicate with on the iPhone. Since it is running a web server, I'll be able to access web pages on the Sheeva from my iPhone just like I access the worldwide web on the iPhone.

    By installing a php server on the Sheeva, I've enabled certain requests from my iPhone to trigger scripts written in php to run on the Sheeva. That means, for example, that I could tell the Sheeva to fetch the current snapshot of data from the OBDII cable and display it on my web browser screen. A php script written by me (ooph!) would reside on the Sheeva and respond to, say, a button press on a web page (also written by me) that I called up from the Sheeva. It would relay, say, the current rpms of the car.

    In addition, I can enable java to run on the Sheeva and write my programs in java, run them on the Sheeva and access them on my iPhone.

    In any case, the Sheeva gives me the flexibility to connect the iPhone to the physical world in an inexpensive way. It doesn't solve the problem of controlling the iPhone from a touchscreen, but again, I'm waiting to see what comes from the 3.0 SDK world on that front. In the meantime, I'm working on something that I know won't be developed for me!

    The Sheeva doesn't have a video output. You communicate with it via the command line. You use a terminal emulator to do that - in this case, that terminal emulator is running on my iPhone and I'm accessing the Sheeva across my WiFi network, just as I would if it were in my car.
    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

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