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Old 27th August 2007, 23:30   #16
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regarding internet connectivity: is WiFi/WiMax or whatever really an option wont you have to have a chain of hotspots to ensure you alwyas have a good singal, besides how do you ensure the IP address remains the same if you are zipping through 100s of these hotspots at 60kmph.

Why not use a Reliance/Tata/Airtel/Hutch card. I have used Tata (CDMA) and Htuch (GSM) PCMCIA cards in my laptop while on the road and it is quite satisfactory.
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Old 28th August 2007, 13:21   #17
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
regarding internet connectivity: is WiFi/WiMax or whatever really an option wont you have to have a chain of hotspots to ensure you alwyas have a good singal, besides how do you ensure the IP address remains the same if you are zipping through 100s of these hotspots at 60kmph.

Why not use a Reliance/Tata/Airtel/Hutch card. I have used Tata (CDMA) and Htuch (GSM) PCMCIA cards in my laptop while on the road and it is quite satisfactory.
* Public WiFi needs a chain of hot-spots, which means a definite connect / disconnect hassle, with possibly a new IP everytime if you are not given a static IP by the ISP
* WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access; no relation to the Wi in Wi-Fi) comparatively operates with a central anternna with a large (20Km radius typically) footprint, which means you don't lose connection as long as you are within the footprint. When hopping between footprints, WiMAX will smoothly hand you over to the next cell. WiMAX will cater to both static as well as dynamic IP
* CDMA / GPRS is based on cell-handover, even though the cells are small (1Km radius typically), so no hassle on mobility. As long as you stay connected, you have the same IP - based on your unique subscriber id. 3G is only slightly different in the way it maintains your session as an ISP

The main difference in these technologies from user p-o-v is the bandwidth:
- GPRS (GSM): theoretical maximum 140.8 kbps, typical rates closer to 56 kbps
- EDGE (Enhanced GPRS): typically 180Kbps
- CDMA (Reliance, Indicom): Somewhere in between the above 2, closer to GPRS than EDGE
- UMTS (3G): 14.0 Mbps in theory (with HSDPA), up to 384 kbit/s for current handsets (I have tested this in Japan with Nokia N70), and 3.6 Mbit/s for HSDPA handsets
- WIMAX: 1Mbps over 20Km range (urban), degrading with distance

Sure, the current GSM/CDMA-based access, though it cannot be called Broadband, suffices for e-mail and leisurely downloads. Anything heavier - real-time maps, video calls, DVB, on-line gaming - would require proper mobile broadband: UMTS or WiMAX.
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Old 30th August 2007, 13:14   #18
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WinXP (the DT or RT versions) is likely to be crawling on the Via C7.

The statement is too general, all depends on what you want it to do. My C7 is working great with XP and i have no issues of the system running too slow. For most of the normal tasks a car pc is used for, the C7/XP combo is no problem at all.

cheers.
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Old 1st September 2007, 02:16   #19
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Sorry was busy for a week so couldn't followup. Here we go again.

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Linux, with significantly lesser overheads (especially with lighter no-frills builds), would run significantly faster.
A stripped down Linux kernel should not be occupying much RAM (and disk space) and run faster. Probably I should fire up a fully loaded kernel, do a lspci, lsmod to check what are modules are loaded and if I really need them. For example the ethernet driver wouldn't be in use all the time so I'll make it a module but probably the sound driver I'll integrate with the kernel (and build only for the relevant chipset).

I just need to finalize the hardware config and order it. Unless that arrives I can't start hacking.

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Kousik: R and RW mounts at different times would be a severe over-kill and likely to be an operational pain. It won't prevent the HDD from crashing on a severe jolt, since the head will float whether you select R or RW mount, as long as the disk is spinning. That's why I wanted 1.8" disks, since the head is much lighter in those drives and far less likely to be influenced by vibrations and bumps. One can always gel-mount the HDD
Since I'd be using ext3, in case of a power off, running fsck afterwards would be a big problem. I don't know the RPMs of the small disks, but I guess it'd take forever to complete fsck. So in general I wanted to mount in readonly. But of course, hardware will crash the same way as you have mentioned when bumped.

1.8" disks may be available, only if I can find a IDE cable that'll plug it in the motherboard. Do you know what all I need to do a gel-mount? Any pointer to some online material will be helpful.

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Will it be possible to put a WiFi connection to iRide's box? Of course there are some USB-based adapters, but they aren't 11g grade. That way I could upload to the unit from my home PC or laptop without having to remove it from the car.
I have a USB wifi interface, but the driver is available only from windows. Secondly, my home wifi signal doesn't reach the basement so I do not have much motivation exploring it. I am planning to use ethernet and connect to my laptop back-to-back or copy music to a SD card -> plug into a reader -> connect to USB port and download to HDD.

For network connectivity on road I am hoping to use data cards from Tata Indicom/Reliance provided they work in Linux. I don't know yet, didn't give it a try. But something I'll need, either wifi (and locate free hotspots) or data-cards. Using my mobile as a EDGE modem might prove expensive. I may need to profile the usage on-road, and can use the last option if the usage is minimal.

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Old 10th September 2007, 01:11   #20
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So now that I almost decided on iPC-Lx, now to work on the software. I have seen successful reports on running Ubuntu Linux on VIA based motherboards, so I guess I too will use Ubuntu. More specifically xubuntu, without thrills & frills of GNOME desktop.

I researched a bit more, and hit LinuxICE at LinuxICE - In Car Entertainment They already do what I plan to, they have taken xubuntu, stripped off a lot, used matchbox as window manager (something I was thinking of trying anyway), and thrown in a front-end (nGhost: Welcome to the Frontpage). Moreover, their next plan is to move to embedded version of ubuntu, and I guess with a little push from my side, I can help them to get it done faster (which'll benefit me too).

If anyone has any experience running Linux on carPC, I'm all ears.

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Old 12th September 2007, 17:00   #21
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I was looking into the softwares I can hack to run in Linux based car pcs. I already mentioned about linuxICE, a lightweight distribution that'll run as the OS, it is time to search for a good frontend.

I downloaded and compiled nGHOST. Fixed a bug too :-) So here is nGHOST running on my desktop, next target is to install linuxICE in a disk partition and compile it there. The developers of these are very much debian oriented, but I didn't have much trouble running it in my FC6 box. The last image is "night mode" (can be set depending on time).

The next thing to search for was a OBD tool. I downloaded Carman, which is actually written for Nokia tablets, and though I had some python incompatibilities, I could run it in Fedora Core 6. Here it is running in simulator mode. I don't have a bluetooth OBD scantool yet, but hopefully it'll work with the one iRide selling.

So, that's going on software front. In Hardware, not much progress yet, I am yet to order the parts.

Kousik

(click on the thumbnails for a larger image (though that too resized to half))
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Old 12th September 2007, 22:40   #22
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Way to go, Kousik (aka getafix, if one may) Keep up the good work. This looks cool.
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Old 13th September 2007, 11:15   #23
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I am also planning to go for a CarPC from Iride. Any good installer in Pune who can install the complete package? I am not too much into DIY myself.

Also, If I buy the complete package from iRide, will I get Windows XP pre-installed. What about other stuff like Centrafuse. What software do we get with the package?
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Old 13th September 2007, 11:29   #24
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I am also planning to go for a CarPC from Iride. Any good installer in Pune who can install the complete package? I am not too much into DIY myself.
Well, since the carPC has diverse requirements, any such installation will require customization. Either you have to do it or convince someone else to do that as per your ideas. And the second part is difficult; to convey your ideas right and get them executed accurately. Said that, I am also in lookout of a good installer who'll be receptive to my ideas and lend their experience to get a neat job done.
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Also, If I buy the complete package from iRide, will I get Windows XP pre-installed. What about other stuff like Centrafuse. What software do we get with the package?
You'll get immediate replies from their info at iride dot in email address. They are really helpful this way and helping me to select right combination of parts.

HTH
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Old 13th September 2007, 12:17   #25
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How about using mac mini for a car PC ? You think you might not get applications you need.
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Old 13th September 2007, 13:42   #26
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How about using mac mini for a car PC ? You think you might not get applications you need.
I have seen a few successful deployments in internet. And from screenshots, they have sweet frontends too. I am sure all applications will be available, all we need a good front end to stitch them up. For example, google's code has one: mac-carfrontend - Google Code

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Old 13th September 2007, 13:51   #27
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How about using mac mini for a car PC ? You think you might not get applications you need.
Sure, why not? Just google "mac mini automotive" and check out the links. For example FAQ: Installing a Mac Mini in Your Car - MP3Car.com

The current Indian cost (about 30K) does not make it attractive, though.
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Old 13th September 2007, 15:39   #28
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You'll get immediate replies from their info at iride dot in email address. They are really helpful this way and helping me to select right combination of parts.

HTH
Kousik
Which is exactly what I did .. Attaching their response so that it will help others :

Quote:
1. Will I get any software as part of the package - Stuff like Windows XP, Centrafuse etc ?
Operating System & CarPC Software are not included with our systems. We could point you to a list of available frontends, both free and commercial for your reference if required.

2. Do you have any OBD scan tool that can be used on a Maruti Baleno?
The ELM 327 is reported to be incompaitable with the Baleno as it uses a different set of PID's. At the moment we don't have a PC based scantool for this vehicle.

3. If I drive down to Mumbai, can the install be done by iRide? How long does it take?
We currently do not carry out any installs as of now. The time taken varies as the accessories, customisation and fitments vary for each install based on the Vehicle itself and customer preferences. In this regard could you tell us the scope of your CarPC project, your current audio setup and what all are you looking to integrate with the CarPC system ?
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Old 13th September 2007, 21:07   #29
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Also Kousik, which screen are you planning to buy? I dont think the screen that comes with the iPC-Lx can be fitted without mods to the dash.

I was thinking of going for the IRV-700ID, 1 DIN, 7" Non-Motorised InDash one. Last thing I need is a nice big hole in the dash if and when I take out the carPC at a future date
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Old 14th September 2007, 10:54   #30
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Also Kousik, which screen are you planning to buy? I dont think the screen that comes with the iPC-Lx can be fitted without mods to the dash.
I understand that 7" screen that comes with iPC-Lx won't fit the dash even with 2-DIN space. So planning to buy a spare dash from Toyota service center (yet to confirm if they can get it) like Ankur did, and cut it to size. If I ever uninstall, I'll fit the stock dash back in place.

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