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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished getting my Mac mini functional in the Ridgeline. The install isn't entirely finished yet, but it is far enough that the computer is in and running!

The display is an in-dash 1 DIN sized fully motorized VGA touchscreen. I haven't played around with the touchscreen part yet. This screen also has a built-in TV tuner, but I don't have an antenna hooked up to it so its not working yet. I'll also have to pipe the audio to get that working.

The mini itself is sitting in the center console, the VGA and USB cables are routed through the dash and console much like the factory DVD player's wires are run. I'm going to be fabricating a padded mounting system to hold it securely in the console. The great thing about this is that with the lid closed you can't tell that its there. The only hint of something aftermarket is the retracted face of the display in the dash. I'm thinking of adding a lock to the center console to keep it closed, for added security.

Currently the mini is powered with a power inverter, but I'm going to be getting a P-1900 carputer power supply that will hardwire it into the battery so that it can run more efficiently and it'll be able to run even without the key in the ignition.

The other major component that is missing is the audio feed into the head unit, that's going to be an SNHOND3 most likely. I'll probably add a Griffin iMic to the mini to pipe the display's TV audio through and into the head unit.

My GPS unit is BlueTooth, the software that I'm using is Route 66 USA 2004. I'm hoping for an update to the software soon, as I've come across many roads over the past year that aren't in the maps (I've been using Route 66 on my PowerBook).

I have my entire iTunes music library on the mini, and using my cell phone as a BlueTooth modem I can get on the internet at any time, even on the road, and download more songs! I'm also going to rip a DVD or two to the hard drive so that we'll never be without a little entertainment. I currently have a Verizon broadband PC card for my PowerBook and I've heard rumors of a new USB 2.0 version coming out. If that happens I'll have broadband in my Ridgeline!

Once the mini installation is complete the next step is 7" headrest screens with a standalone DVD player for the rear. I'm waiting for the factory matched headrests to come out. Then the rear seat passengers will be able to watch a movie or play games (either with IR headphones or through the head unit) and the mini can do GPS up front, or chic flicks for my wife :D.
 

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The only word I can think of is Amazing!
The talents of our club members never cease to amaze me.
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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As a fellow Mac user I must congratulate you on a job well done. The mini is the perfect computer for this type of project.

How do you navigate the GUI? Is it via touchscreen?
 

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That's the kind of thing I daydream about but never do. VERY cool!

I wonder how I can mount my G5 in the trunk???

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not using the touchscreen yet. It came with a driver disk but its Windoze only. I was thinking about just plugging it in to see what happens, I wouldn't be surprised if it just worked, that's generally the way things happen with Macs. :)

Is there Mac-specific touchscreen software? I'm going to start looking around if just plugging it in doesn't work.
 

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Absolutely waaaaayyyy toooo coooool!!!!

I love it. Being a looonnngggg time mac user when I get my RL it will definitely have a mini in it (I guess the dealer is going to have to take another $500 off the price (-:). I hope you don't mind the rest of us ripping off your idea but you know what they say - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or something like that.

Something you could think about if you cannot get the Mac touch screen software is using PC Anywhere with the Mini for the touch screen part. I know, I know, I'd rather cut off one of my arms than use windows but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

I think the locking of the center console is a good idea - of course until the thief breaks in to steal your head unit and then finds all these cables going somewhere :p

PLEASE let us know all the details - you are definitely an inspiration. Can you tell us what brand and where you got the head unit/touch screen lcd?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the compliments!

I use VPC nearly every day for work, we've got software that is Windoze only and I hate it, but its a reality of the business world.

I don't have a copy of VPC for the mini, and I don't even want one. If I can't get the touchscreen working then I'll probably just stick to a small BT mouse or maybe a trackball (I'm thinking a trackball might be easier to use while driving).

The screen is from http://digitalww.com/DWW-700M.htm
 

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You know how one thing leads to another.

I have a 12" Powerbook as well as a 12" Sony (older one - pretty slow) that I have started to think about installing in my RL when I get it (a week or so). I dropped the Sony onto a carpeted floor and it cracked the screen - got another screen and put it in and it works great, just a bit on the slow side (Pent III chip) so have thought about remoting the screen and using one of those instead of buying a Mini. Problem with the Sony is that it does not have a DVD so would have to buy an external.

It would be easy enough I think to remote the screen by just splicing the screens ribbon cable. I'll see.

Definitely think the trackball would be the best bet.

See what you started Coolcat?? Trouble maker :D
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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I wonder if the company TrollTouch (http://www.trolltouch.com/) would be able to offer any assistance? I doubt that they woul dhave a hardware solution but maybe some software, perhaps?
 

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Coolcat: That's one great idea. We use an iBook to enter data. I hot wired the back plug in for my printer and all this works well for us. We can enter data in the field and print the information for our growers at that time.

Your works are just the best.

Tiger
 

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hey, coolCAT,

YOU ARE a coolcat in mac. The only thing I could have done do is get a powerbook hooked up to a cell phone and 120v converter.

Does mini mac have a fan? would it overheat in the console? We all would love to see it in person sometime.
 

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I am in heaven knowing that there are this many Mac users who own Ridges and post on this forum. Kudos to you for doing something so amazing with the wonder of the cute, little baby Mac. I call my SE my baby Mac, but this new one takes the cake. It's a reincarnation and rework of the cube, which I loved but never bought. This is truly a Mac for the masses. PC users, here's your chance to escape the clutches of the evil empire. . .
 

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I for one think all these driver distractions should be banned, including cell phones, but having said that I love hacks and this is a great hack!

Haven't fired-up any of my Macs in years, but I do have an old Powerbook 100 (the original Sony-built unit) that IIRC is an absolutely perfect color match for our Ridge! Gotta figure out something to do with it! :D :cool: :eek:
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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Grok,
I am using a very similar trackball that I bought at WalMart with my Powerbook. I like it a lot.
 
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