well, i just found out that i might be able to remove the radio and still have audio without a problem. there's an adapter that i can get. it's a GMOS-06. i'm checking with cadillacforums to see if it'll work on my vehicle. i might have to wire up a couple rca connectors for input though. but that's not a problem. if it'll work, i'll do it.
also, tried stripping Windows 7 to the bare minimum with media center function and it's impossible. smallest i could get was 1.9GB. looking at stripping xp down and using xbmc for windows...or possibly xbmc live if i can get it to recognize my alltel air card and get firefox working for internet browsing. will keep updating as i test using VirtualBox.