anyone got a carputer?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Nefarious1, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Nefarious1

    Nefarious1 Guest

    I've been researching them for a week now and have an interest in setting one up in my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. I have a dell inspiron 8100 with a dead HD that I would probably repair and use. I've been looking at lilliput 7" touch screens as well. For software I would run Win XP pro and use media engine for the interface.

    Anyone have a setup? I'd love some more info and ideas.
  2. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

    Mar 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Cleveland Ohio
    I have a friend that had gotten really into this. He was looking into the slimline form factors and then into the mini-PC (or is it micro-PC) form factors. With the size of these motherboards, you can build yourself a DIN sized computer that, in theory, could fit in your dash. The parts are out there.

    Before selecting an OS and software, here's some things to think about:

    boot time - how long can YOU wait for your box to do its thing before you can start driving?

    power - batteries are good, although plugging in would be better. I'll assume you have this figured out.

    interface - It seems minor at first - either a wireless keyboard and/or mouse would be a good start. But placement in a vehicle can be tricky. There's mini keyboards out there that are pretty handy.

    display - I'd go into this but it looks like you'll just use the notebook LCD

    The possibilities are endless. I had fiddled with this concept back in the day using a AMD K6 333Mhz machine w/Win98. The machine wasn't fast enough to handle music and GPS (to be fair, the GPS software was a tank and ran like crap anyways on the machine). For music, it was a pain in the @ss to select songs and skip forward or back. I had one of those touch pad mice things and you really had to concentrate on where the mouse was at and where you were driving (I would make changes at traffic lights and it was still a pain).

    If the usability doesn't stop you, the thought of thugs might. I NEVER kept my gear in my car because I knew thugs would grab it (even if it was pretty crappy - they had swiped 2 radios out of the car already). Hauling the gear in and out sucked. Although if you go with something that is already portable, then that helps. If its going to stay in the vehicle 24/7, then that's even better.

    For me, I run an portable MP3 player and when I need GPS, I'll load the notebook up in the passenger seat and go. Anything more than that distracts me from the enjoyment of driving.
  3. Nefarious1

    Nefarious1 Guest

    thanks for the response. If you are interested in more info on these setups, check out

    You'd be surprised at what the possibilites are now.

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