I have recently switched to a Mac a little more than a year ago, and since then I have been fascinated with Mac products. So far I own and iMac G4, Powerbook G4, iPod Photo 40 gig, iPod 20gig, an Airport Express, and now I am getting a mini to install in my car!
I however, am running into a few problems, as I am no expert yet!
Here are some of the functions that I want to include in the car.
- Navigation System (complete w/voice control)
Does anyone know of a good Mac GPS receiver and navigation software to go along with it? I would prefer a USB GPS receiver, as it will be the most easy to install on the mini! I am having a hard time finding Mac compatable receivers....
- Music/MP3 Player with visualizations (iTunes) - Complete with voice controls - Will Mac OSX's voice software work for what I want the system to do with voice controls?
- DVD Player via Apple's DVD player in OSX
- Touch Screen LCD and a customizable user interface. I was thinking that using some kind of widget program would work best for creating the interface, as the dock would be kind of hard to work with on a touchscreen LCD! Also, I want programs to be launched by voice control and voice commands also. --- anyone know of a good widescreen LCD 8" touchscreen with drivers for Mac OSX?
- Slideshows (iPhoto)
- Bluetooth cell phone connectivity for both GPRS internet and hands free cell phone conversation. Does anyone know if OS X will enable one to use the Mac's internal microphone and speakers for cell phone conversations via bluetooth?
-Backup battery or UPS? - This is perhaps my biggest hurdle. I was originally going to use a power inverter with a battery UPS backup attached, but I was told not to because it could harm the computer! I need some kind of UPS so that I can put the computer to sleep so I do not have to continually restart it everytime I get into my car. I do not know how much power sleep mode takes, but I know that my Powerbook can go days, maybe even weeks in sleep mode. I know the mini probably is not the same, but I am sure it can go more than a week on a battery UPS in sleep mode!
As for the power, how should I wire it to ensure proper voltage/wattage as to not harm any of my components? The Mac mini runs on 85 watts, and I am sure that an 8" widescreen touch LCD will run on much less than that! Keep in mind also, that I will have 4+ USB devices also connected to the mini (bluetooth module, GPS USB receiveer, touchscreen overlay, and maybe some other things)
I plan on making the system in my home and testing it in either a Ford F-150 or Mustang for 2 weeks. I do not want to permanantly install it untill I get my new car in the spring!
Please either reply to this message, or visit and bookmark the site where I will be posting all of my progress with pictures and details.
Any contributions are appreciated. I have many questions and am trying to do this project the right way!
the site... www.smartcar.nicolemacri.com