Mac in a Car?

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Joined: Dec 12 2005
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I need to know what is recommended for me to put a mac into a BMW... Looking to spend about 3,000$... i need to know the right type of screen to get and what program to download.... touchscreen is GREATLY prefered

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700
i work in car audio and video

i work in car audio and video, i must tell you that even with 3 grand its going to be hard to make it Look good in a nice BMW. so many things can make it more money when you own a BMW, granted the outcome would be Amazing. i have thought of putting a computer in my car, but i dont want the screen anywhere but in the dash, there isnt much room there either... the other thing is, it depends how clean you want it to look. there are some people who can do a great job at custom fiberglass and stuff like that but i dont think all of them should be touching computer parts as well. you may have to find a few different places to do the work. i am assuming you are going to use a Mac Mini because it would be alot easier to use then any other mac, even a laptop would be a pain. there are places out there that do touch screen, although i have no clue if they support mac osx. what are your over all goals to use the computer with in your car? for just movies and music you wouldnt need a keyboard, anything else you will need that for sure. you can do a wireless lan and it would work in hot spots but not very reliably. like i said before though, your car is going to suck up all of 3 grand to do this if you want it right.

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macg4's picture
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Joined: Jan 18 2005
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still sounds cool, go for it

still sounds cool, go for it

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iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
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It would probaly also help to know the kind of BMW

Is it an e36 3 series(92-98)? an e46 3 series (99-04)? an e38 7 series( (6-01)? an e39 5 series (97-03)? or is it an older bmw like a classic 2002, or an e30 3 series (84-91)? I used to have an 88 535i (e28 - 82-88 5 series), and it didn't look like a terribly friendly adaptation. Personally, i never saw much point to putting a computer into a car since the iPod came into existence. Then again, that's just me.

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mmphosis's picture
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Joined: Aug 18 2005
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carTunes

For the long trip up to Inuvik and back in the Suzuki, I put this together. It didn't sound as great as a $3000 system, but it worked...

- 12Volt DC to 110Volt AC converter, plugs into the cigarette lighter. Powers the iBook. $80 probably cheaper now.

- stereo jack and stereo jack extensions from reach the iBook to a "dummy" cassette. Insert the "dummy" cassette thingy into the old cassette player in the truck and press Play. $20 for the "dummy" cassette thingy, probably can be acquired for much less. I had extensions cords already.

- iBook kept in a bin with blankets to avoid damage and sudden jolts. iBook lid kept open so that it doesn't go to sleep (and stop playing the tunes.) $3000, a new iBook costs about the same but with newer better features. Hmmm, come to think of it this is a $3000 system! Wish they had iPod back in the day. And, does anyone know how to keep the iBook from going to sleep when you close the lid?

- Play iTunes with MP3 CDs (8 or 9 albums per CD) on random. Lots of MP3 CDs. Good to go.

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Joined: Dec 12 2005
Posts: 25
ITs a

Its a 2003 BMW 325i

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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If your goal is to play music

If your goal is to play music, get an iPod load t with tunes and get the proper adapter for your particular stereo setup. That will be vastly cheaper than any computer based solution, vastly smaller, and all the componenets were designed to support these purposes. Otherwise, the computer neccesitated goals of having it in your car will need to be pointed out. These days, using a computer just for in car music is a bad idea on nearly all fronts.

If it's movies, we'd need to know if you want (a) screen(s) in the back, front, both, etc. Who is going to control it, and what local laws are. In many places the driver cannot have a visible screen for any purpose other than information and navigation.

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Joined: Dec 12 2005
Posts: 25
Just want..

I just want a Mac in my car just because I could simply say, "I have a Mac in my car". Plus I could use it for navigation, music, etc.. it would be badass

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Vellos's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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What you're going to need to

What you're going to need to do is pretty straightforward:

A Mac mini, no doubts about it, is going to be your best bet. You could try to put something in the trunk, but it's going to be huge, and is going to need a DC to AC converter.

You're also going to need a DC-to-DC converter, to take a rail from one of your car's power sources (I think the cig is v12) and transform it into something that the mini's DC-to-DC PSU can take.

Once you've got power, you probably want to cut down on wires. That means a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which could stow away under one of the chairs, or perhaps into a bin in one of the doors. Batteries are nasty things to deal with in bluetooth keyboards, but it'll save you cables.

And finally, the screen. I've seen many screens that fold out of a standard car stereo bay, and I'm not sure if a Beamer would have that kind of equipment, considering the ones I've been in had their own displays and no bays. If your BMW already has a screen, try to figure out where the input is on it, and possibly rig it up with some kind of switch.

3000 bucks might be doable. A screen that would fit in a bay goes for about 800 bucks, a mini for about 800 bucks, decently loaded, a converter might run around 80 to 90 bucks, and bluetooth devices might run another 100. Modifications to your car though, I'm not sure what they'd run.

Good luck on that though, I know it's entirely possible. People have stuck entire Amigas in their cars before (when really, a C3-based Mini-ITX PC with an emulator would of done *FINE* ;P).

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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It's not a BMW, but it will g

It's not a BMW, but it will give you a rough idea of the work involved...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/37009071@N00/sets/1645157/

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Joined: Dec 12 2005
Posts: 25
Thanks

Thanks for the jeepintosh link... that will come in handy

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Joined: Sep 16 2004
Posts: 274
Also, for an incar computer,

Also, for an incar computer, I would use a pc. I looked into doing this for a few months, but the software for the mac just isn't there yet. Nav software and touchscreen friendly software on the pc really are much better. The only nav software for mac is route 66 which is a few years old and really has a terrible interface for incar use. With a pc you can just plug in a cheap laptop and buy microsoft streets and trips with the gps or the garmin gps 18 with software which will cost you about 130$, and the price of a laptop, and you're all set.

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Joined: Feb 5 2006
Posts: 36
LC 575

I saw a guy about ten years ago driving down the road with an LC 575 mounted in his passenger seat. On and working. No idea if it was for a map system or what, but there was indeed a working LC 575 in this guy's car.

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