This is an update to the carputer project that I described in a recent blog entitled "Nokia N95 Carputer."
In this second part of the project, we will endeavor to use the Mac Mini 1.66 GHz as the nerve center of our carputer. From the outset, please take note that we have yet to finish the project due to some delays in the arrival of some components. As of yesterday, we have only received the items shown in the picture.
The items shown are the Mac Mini 1.66, Griffin Volume USB Controller, and the Lilliput 7" Touch screen LCD. Not shown are the 2 sticks of 1 gig RAM we ordered from Crucial. The two 256 mb sticks that came installed in the Mac Mini were already replaced with the 2 gig RAM from Crucial using the method as described in this article by Methodshop. I must say that after searching the web for the "how-to's" of upgrading RAM in a Mac Mini, this article was the most comprehensive and complete with pictures and videos.
With all the suggested tools (basically just a paint palette and Phillips screwdriver) on hand, the actual replacement of the memory stick was done in less than 30 minutes. With the new memory installed and using Superduper, I copied the entire HD of the Macbook 13" onto the Mac Mini's HD. This is just for the purpose of testing the system and saving us the initial hassle of installing all the needed software and configuring system preferences.
After an hour of copying all of the 42 gig contents of the Macbook, we then attached to the Mac Mini the 7" Lilliput Touch Screen LCD. Using a wireless mouse and keyboard, we ran Carputer 2 through its paces and we were very satisfied with the results. The system is very responsive and was running all the software that were installed in the Macbook to include even those in Windows XP under Parallels. Here is a picture of the Carputer 2 setup during our initial testing.
We will tinker with it some more to determine the most ideal resolution that will work using the touch screen interface alone minus the mouse and keyboard.
The only thing that is keeping us from installing in the vehicle is the arrival of the following items: Carnetix P1900 power regulator, Mac Mini power cable, and the Kicker amplifiers. We expect them to arrive in a week or so and will post here an update as soon as the project is complete.
Please stay tuned.