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Discussion Starter #1
Just released by Apple: Mac mini

So, I'm thinking this will be a GREAT in car computer system. It's very small, runs off a external brick, so powering shouldn't be a problem. (Less than 85 Watts.)

I'm currently programming up a very slick application that will act as system controller. Nice big buttons, perfect for use with a 7" XGA Touchscreen. It will take advantage of Apple's built in Speech Recognition and TTS.

Anyway, should be a very nice and slick setup.

-Timothy
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, that would work actually.

I'm assuming the NavMan taps into the Xbox's S-Video or Composite. You can get an adapter from Apple that lets the Mac mini output to S-Video or Composite, so it shouldn't be a problem. The only issue would be the graphics wouldn't be as clear as on a native XGA display, but if you use the GUI I'm writing, that won't be a problem. (Read: I will be using nice large fonts and icons.)


-Timothy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting tidbit, I've decided on making a simple stepping power supply for this, that will be direct 12v-12/5v, it will also be able to filter the power to where the Mac will run even when starting the car. I've also decided on making an interface port on the power supply for an optional 90 Watt Solar Panel to run the unit when the car is off. I will also build a startup/shutdown monitor into the powersupply, and have it feed the information to the Mac.

The idea here is, that, instead of turning the Mac OFF when the car is off, just have it go into sleep mode, which will pull less than 1 Watt, giving you a very effective standby time off the car battery. (Weeks to Months.) This way, the Mac pops up INSTANTLY when the car is started and sleeps INSTANTLY when the car is turned off. Mac power management is VERY efficient and quick, not an afterthought like Windows.

-Timothy
 

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timb said:
I will be using nice large fonts and icons
Can your GUI also be used in a PC? I have a VIA based mobo with embedded video that has only one resolution at 800x600. My lilliput's native resoultion is 800x480 but my bios does not let me select it. I have no room to install a PCI video card. All front ends in MP3car.com are written for 800x480 so I can not use them. Is there any hope for me with yours? Thanks ;)
 

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timb said:
I've also decided on making an interface port on the power supply for an optional 90 Watt Solar Panel to run the unit when the car is off. I will also build a startup/shutdown monitor into the powersupply, and have it feed the information to the Mac.

The idea here is, that, instead of turning the Mac OFF when the car is off, just have it go into sleep mode, which will pull less than 1 Watt, giving you a very effective standby time off the car battery. (Weeks to Months.)
In addition, a SLA tank battery (charged with the solar panel?) can guarantee that the car battery never drops below 12volt (i.e when parked in the garage for a long time.)
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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zebelkhan Their is always hope for You! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
zebelkhan said:

Can your GUI also be used in a PC? I have a VIA based mobo with embedded video that has only one resolution at 800x600. My lilliput's native resoultion is 800x480 but my bios does not let me select it. I have no room to install a PCI video card. All front ends in MP3car.com are written for 800x480 so I can not use them. Is there any hope for me with yours? Thanks ;)
No, my GUI will be written on Cocoa, which is Objective-C with some special Apple hooks. I'm doing this to be able to get a REALLY smooth looking GUI using the Apple provided hardware acceleration.

However, as for your resolution problem, have you tried a program called Powerstrip? It should let you manually force the 800x480 resolution.

-Timothy
 

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timb said:
However, as for your resolution problem, have you tried a program called Powerstrip? It should let you manually force the 800x480 resolution.
I just downloaded the software and will try it. Hopefully it will work. Thank you so much! :)
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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zebelkhan, See what a little faith can do.! :D
 

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I'm using PowerStrip on a little mini-itx box with a GeForce 2 Ultra. Per generator the NAV display wants 15khz sync rate. I can get my card to put out 15khz but I'm still working out the details with generator as to wether it should be csync or vsync. I want to have my ducks in a row before I go cutting into the wires. What I want to do is splice a VGA connecter into the LCD connectors tha way I can just connect when I get ready.

This should work for a connector:
http://www.vpi.us/bnc.html
(cut the bnc's off)

I'm just starting to fiddle with it. I also would like to see if it would be possible to get generators NAV-Box with a DB9 instead of the xbox connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yup, there are several companies wanting to do this. Most will retrofit it right into the dashboard where your current audio receiver is. However, none of them have solved the elegant GUI problem... Yet. ;-)
 

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foaming at the mouth...I cant wait to see how this turns out...I may have to skip the XBOX and switch to MAC-in it in my MO.
 

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SNOW MO The Mini MAC sounds intriguing, However it's going to cost at least $500 to $600 more than the X-box. Plus there are some problems yet to be solved, particurarly for the MO and it's highly intergrated NAV Screen Sound system. ( I assume you want to use the NAV screen or you would get a note book cheaper and easy.

I am also interested lets keep following Timb here but i would not jump just yet (can you believe I said that?) :2:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ah yes, but wait until I throw the icing on the cake. What if I overlaid a digitizer on the MO's color nav screen, making it a touch screen? I have a source of cheap digitizers, so it would be nothing to retrofit it.

-Timothy
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Now I will definately wait. My MO doesn't tolerate finger prints very well. MoReen complains loudly. :p
 

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