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2004 CL55
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1,525 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
just read in the 'audio and telematic' about fitting a Mac Mini as a car computer. i think it would be just great for the variety of reasons:

1. possibility to connect virtually anything to it

2. dvd, satnav, mp3, etc are all available immediately (couple more external dvd drives could be attached via usb or firewire)

3. mac mini can run xp at the same time (via parallels) or xp can be booted via bootcamp, so if tomorrow there is an application to connect phone via bluetooth to the pc, it can be done.

4. mini kb with mouse pad built in available today.

do you think it is a good idea to go for instead of enjoying a car audio with in dash screen? what are the possible drawbacks of such system?

tnx
alex
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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2,126 Posts
I dunno... If you install microsoft XP, your truck may crash several times a day.

Actually, it sounds worth looking into, especially if you are considering upgrading your sounds system.
 

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2004 CL55
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
lol all i want the computer to do is play movies, tv, music, serve as an office on long trips (like email, internet) and navigate.

office thing is possible if i connect my phone to it (via bluetooth).

digital tv tuners are available with applications and all (my wife is using one on her laptop and it is going to be pretty cool to try it in a car).

what i currently don't know but am sure it can be found on the net is how to connect display, speakers, etc AND manage music/video playback when the call comes in.. i guess the touch screen monitor with some custom written software can handle this.

btw had a look on ebay and ppl sell dell based computers with all those features so the good thing is it finally could be done. mac mini is just small and powerful, but apart from that any pc should work fine.
 

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ml320 2002
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388 Posts
i have a carputer in my ML. Its awesome! the only down thing is the lcd glare during daytime. Cant see much. They have the anti-glare lcd but the price is wayyyyyyyy too much for just a 7"
 

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ml320 2002
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388 Posts
sure, ill try to take some pics this week if i still remember. If you run into any problems with the carputer, just pm me. I try n walk you thru it.
 

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1997 W210 E320, 1999 W163 ML430, 2002 W203 C240
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761 Posts
soulsociety714 said:
i have a carputer in my ML. Its awesome! the only down thing is the lcd glare during daytime. Cant see much. They have the anti-glare lcd but the price is wayyyyyyyy too much for just a 7"
YES PICTURES PLEASE
 

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2000 ML320, 2000 Audi TT Quattro, 1996 Acura NSX-T
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234 Posts
I run one as well, it is an AOpen MiniPC- looks identical to a MacMini, just PC based. Run a 7" Lilliput Touch Screen. I run a dedicated DC-DC power supply made by Carnetix 1900 Rev 2.2. I have it all piped in audio wise to the AUX controller on my MCS.

Currently I use it for Music, DVD Video, Nav... I also am close to having it hooked into my cell phone over blue tooth for Internet, which will allow me to connect to weather, traffic cams, etc. All pretty fun stuff, check out mp3car.com | your source for mobile computing solutions.

I have been running this setup in my 2000 Audi TT for sometime, I just got around to installing the screen, powersupply, etc into my truck. The PC goes between both systems. I expect to have pics up in the next 2 weeks, so remind me. I am just working out the last kinks with my Interface and pruning my music- had somewhere upwards of 50GB which is just unusable. If you go to MyAOpen.Com (I think that is the address, otherwise do a search for MYAopen on Google) you can take a look at the stats of the MiniPC's. I have mine running on a P4 M 2.x chip (forgot the exact number), 2GB RAM, SuperDrive (DVD-RW), built in Ethernet and Bluetooth and have a 100GB hard drive in the machine. I have had the machine up and running on my desk for 4 weeks straight now testing the interface goodies, and getting as much packed into it and easy to use before I fit it in the car.

Hope that helps!
 

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2004 CL55
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1,525 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
great stuff, thanks for the info HACK! pls post pics of your set-up. ideally diagrams of how you connect the things and everything you find useful to do this project.
 

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ML430, LPG conversion, media center touch screen & headrest screens
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hi,just got some pc stuff for my ml,what i done was got a laptop off ebay that had a smashed screen but worked ok on external monitor,the good thing is with a laptop you can use it parked and it wont draw off the car battery but its own and soon as you start up it will charge again. Ive connected it to a flip out touch screen that will go into the ml spare din under the stereo, then if you get a usb powered transmitter (found on ebay) just tune the radio in and you dont have to mess about with the wiring on the bose unit! to finnish it off add a vga splitter and a vga to rgb converter and hey presto connect to headrest monitors!
the whole thing can tuck under a seat too, the laptop has 40gb of movies and music, no more messing with cd's etc, just take the entire music collection with you!
 

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2004 CL55
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Discussion Starter #14
kelland said:
hi,just got some pc stuff for my ml,what i done was got a laptop off ebay that had a smashed screen but worked ok on external monitor,the good thing is with a laptop you can use it parked and it wont draw off the car battery but its own and soon as you start up it will charge again. Ive connected it to a flip out touch screen that will go into the ml spare din under the stereo, then if you get a usb powered transmitter (found on ebay) just tune the radio in and you dont have to mess about with the wiring on the bose unit! to finnish it off add a vga splitter and a vga to rgb converter and hey presto connect to headrest monitors!
the whole thing can tuck under a seat too, the laptop has 40gb of movies and music, no more messing with cd's etc, just take the entire music collection with you!
great idea with a laptop. what resolution are you running on the touch screen? does windows support it or do you use linux?
 
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