Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A computer in the car

An idea I've toyed with now and then is replacing my car stereo with a computer. The benefits are many and varied. It would be able to store a large music collection for listening on the go and wouldn't need any portable player dock or cables. It could still be made to pick up radio signals, but could also play (or rip) CDs, DVDs and TV. Playing video would, of course, be for passengers only. It could connect to the home network over a wireless link and provide internet access when in range. I'd also incorporate a GPS receiver and navigation software.

It would have to operate via a touch screen on the front, because a keyboard and mouse are ridiculous in this context. It would also have to be very power efficient to run off the car battery. Sound output would be through the existing car speakers, of course.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Any other ideas may be left in the comments.
PPS - This is, of course, just a dream so far.


Geoff said...

Mac mini. If you plug Mac mini + car computer into Google, you'll find several ready-made examples for your perusal.

John said...

That would probably work, but it would be a bit of a compromise on my open source principles. Still, a (nearly) ready-made car computer would cut down a lot of the work.

geoff said...

If you want all open source (beyond OS X's BSD underpinnings) you can install a PowerPC Linux distro on a (cheaper) old G4 mini, or nearly any x86 distro on the newer Intel Core minis.

John said...

So I guess my biggest concern now is the touch screen. I'm sure there's plenty of info on that aspect online too.