[kwlug-disc] Hello World

Richard Bettridge rbettridge at rim.com
Wed Nov 17 17:02:57 EST 2010


I have a lengthily couple of emails out to coworkers about this about what I bought, the approach I took, and lessons learned after the fact. I also have photos and videos posted. But none of which is located anywhere accessible outside of work.

I'll spend some time to get them public appropriate, but in the mean time...

I purchased all of my hardware from mo-co-so.com. Out of all the sites like this, they had the products I wanted, had very good email support, the shipping was cheap, I liked the courier they used. And there were some problems with the product as it arrived, they had no issues with correcting the issue. (They shipped me the wrong lcd bezel, they shipped me the correct one with no hesitation)

Hardware is a zotac mini-itx atom dual-core board with an automotive power supply. Lilliput 629gl LCD (egalax touch screen) screen in a double-din mount (bybyte.com), so it looks stock.

Additional hardware, with no model specific info is:

GPS usb puck
OBD car diagnostic port usb dongle
Xbox 360 controller
Small MCE compatible remote
Reverse camera with IR lamps
OCZ vertex SSD

I was on the fence on whether to go with a desktop type of solution or to repurpose a laptop. I think this is a never ending debate, both have their pros and cons. After making a decision and purchasing/using the products, I'm still not sure if I made the right choice or not. I can discuss this further with you too. I think this zotac board is awesome for a home theatre pc too, so in the end if I decide that I would have rather gone laptop, I'll yank it, change the jumpers on the PSU to be in normal PSU mode, and repurpose it. Then throw a laptop in.

The desktop's PSU has some configurable logic about when to power up/power down, etc. Which was one of the major selling items. But with a laptop all of that can be controlled by software, the power up can be done by faking wake on lan, and it has it's own battery so you completely eliminate the chance of killing your car battery. However the desktop's PSU has built in protection against killing your car battery.  Doing the power management via software versus my current hardware method does allow for more customization which I'm now finding I wish I had.  It's a tough choice.

For the O/S, after a lot of consideration, I stuck with Ubuntu with a heavy amount of customization and scripting.  I toyed with android-x86, meego, and windows using centrafuse.  I have to say the most professional solution is windows with centrafuse. It is commercial software ($300), so there you go.  Android and Meego aren't ready for what I want yet. Over all I want the fun of doing it myself and I can trade off always running into new bugs, for control over how things are set up. So Ubuntu it is. It's just embarrassing when my non-tech friends see it act up and I'm like, don't worry, that's what I signed on for. And they're like, you paid almost $1000 for something that doesn't work right...  I can understand their objectivity.

My two biggest issues by choosing Linux over a commercial app are GPS/Maps and Bluetooth hands free.

More to come, no time right now.

Thanks,


Richard Bettridge
BIS-E SV&V Performance - Waterloo
________________________________
From: kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org [mailto:kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org] On Behalf Of Colin Mackay
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:52 PM
To: KWLUG discussion
Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] Hello World

Welcome to the LUG!

I had to respond, not just to be polite, but when you mentioned your CarPC.  I've been looking into this for a little while, but have yet taken the plunge.  What kind of H/W did you end up using?  What OS and software?

:)

Thanks.
On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net<mailto:cdfrey at foursquare.net>> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 03:01:06PM -0500, Richard Bettridge wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I recently signed up for this mailing list and wanted to introduce myself.
Welcome to KWLUG!  When you come out to the meetings, try to set
aside some time afterward for the restaurant after-meeting and feast,
if you can. :-)

- Chris


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