CS 4540 Project Website - Spring 2007

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I had to buy parts for the computer from a number of different locations. Here is the short list.

parts list
Item Model Status Cost From
FM modulator Audiovox FM modulator (FMM100A) Installed Gift Card Circuit City
USB GPS Unit Holux GR 213 Installed $50 Amazon.com
Motherboard Jetway Mini-ITX Motherboard with 1.5Ghz C7 CPU Installed $150 Ebay
Touchscreen Lilliput 7" Touchscreen VGA Installed $200 Ebay
512MB DDR2 Samsung DDR2 Installed $40 Ebay
Hard Drive 2.5" 80GB SATA Installed $55 Ebay
Wifi Unit DLINK DWL-G122 54M Purchased $30 Newegg.com
Webcam Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX Installed $10 Office Depot
Power supply M2-ATX DC-DC 160W ATX Power Obtained $70 Ebay
Car Interior Pieces Dashboard/radio pieces from junkyard Installed $15 Eagle Auto Parts
Computer Enclosure Designed by me, built by my dad Installed $50 Various

Next, we must install the necessary software and test it. Of course, a big part of this is determining what things need to be installed. Currently, we are planning on using a Gentoo-based Linux system because of it is very flexible and will allow us to highly optimize/customize the installation.

software goals
Goal Status Notes
Install Gentoo Done This was a stage 1 install, it went off without a hitch. Was actually faster than expected.
X server running Done After some google searching, it was determined that the OpenChrome drivers would be the best drivers to use. The latest drivers from their SVN trunk were downloaded and installed.
Touchscreen working correctly Done The touchscreen was really annoying to get working correctly. We had to install the evtouch driver to get it to work properly in X. The calibration was the most annoying part, but its finally working. The evtouch program comes with a buggy calibration program, but its a good start.
Accelerated X server running Yes/No We wanted to run Beryl on the machine for nice eye-candy... unfortunately, the OpenChrome drivers do not have full OpenGL support at this time.
GPS software working Done GPSD does not have native udev support at this time, so we had to hack a wrapper around the existing hotplug script, as we do NOT have hotplug installed. Turns out, udev is pretty awesome once you find its debugging tools. :) Have used RoadNav to download maps of Michigan using the TIGER/census data, and it works nicely.
Optimize system startup time Sorta I haven't gotten around to doing this yet, and its starting to become extremely annoying. It takes around 30-60 seconds to bootup to X. I'm sure theres lots of room for improvement.
Install neat Pontiac gensplash theme Done Found some cool photos online and integrated them with pontiac logos to make a nice bootup screen. Download gensplash_pontiac.tar.bz2 here, and copy it into your /etc/splash directory.
Kismet working Done The problem with kismet is that it seems to be designed to be used with a keyboard, which I'm trying to avoid.
Automated synchronization with home music collection - I found a program called Unison, which appeared that it might be useful to use. However, it doesn't seem to fit my needs. Another program that I'm currently considering is using lftp, which is surprisingly robust and capable for an ftp program.
Talking 'fortune' program at boot. Done This is a script that runs on startup, and displays a random fortune from the 'fortune' program on screen. Additionally, it reads the text out over the speakers, using the festival text-to-speech conversion software. Download talkingfortune.sh here. Requires Zenity and Festival to be installed. See the howto section for installation information.
After installing the software and hardware, then the setup must be integrated into the car and evaluated.
Goal Status Notes
FM modulator installed Done We took the console apart and found a good spot to place this, but could not figure out the best way to hook up the electrical power connections. A friend of Brian's works at Auto Analyst, and assisted us with the electrical portion of the install and showed us where things needed to be plugged in.
Touchscreen installed Installed Holes were drilled into interior pieces obtained from junkyards, and we were able to install the monitor nicely in the car. See the pictures section, it really looks quite nice!
Computer installed Installed A temporary enclosure was created out of cardboard. It looked like a bomb. :) However, the final enclosure looks very nice, and you should go to the pictures section to view it.

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