I mean, some guys are saying "it's free", that is a little indigenous to say the least. Or it's "easy". That's showing some bias. The amount of people here who have installed a signal processor or head unit (so comparable to a MS-8 with a chassis, display, RCA inputs and outputs) is probably hovering in the 95% or more (and the other 5% are probably in the process of doing research). On the other hand, the number of people who have built a PC from scratch, buying all the parts, then figuring out how to integrate the touchscreen (again, I'm going to assume based on the number of builds I have seen at MP3Car that at least 80% go with a regular screen that they integrated into their car versus some sort of slide out or double DIN) is probably very low (I would venture to guess less than 10%).
So while some people are saying "I'm not sure why more people don't do a carputer", it seems that there are few things that might be your typical carputer guy that just happens to be a small part of the car audio population:
1. Comfortable building a PC from scratch, including setting up the OS, BIOS, etc.
2. Comfortable troubleshooting the above.
3. Possibly more money
4. Comfortable configuring multiple pieces of software (some shareware).
5. Comfortable doing fiberglass work, possible making permanent changes to the car.
6. Have time to tweak since things might change before, during and after the install.
7. Willing to run the chance the computer might decide to lock up at the most unfortunate time (competition, etc.).
8. Willing to modify items, voiding the warranty in the process, to get the best sound.
9. Searching for a replacement for a high end head unit (because they aren't a cost effective replacement for a lower end MP3/CD player.
It seems that lots of the people who have done CarPC have said "why not" and I think the question might be "why?" if you aren't willing to do the above.
Lets say this (and some of the worklogs at MP3 car seem to back this up) some people who have dived into the Carputer pool who didn't do their research (and don't fit the typical profile above) end up with some crazy messes. Not just unsafe (a tower bungee corded in the hatch of a hatchback car, 110 volt inverters with 110 volt wiring floating around the car, messy/nasty/unsafe wiring, etc.) but dangerous.
I did my homework, and wasn't comfortable with doing some of the stuff above so I walked away. I wanted to turn stuff on and have it work right without a ton of time of homework. What time I have to work on the car, I want it be working. I have a weekly allowance of free time for stuff when I'm not watching kids, working, etc. so I want to make it as productive as possible.
Sure - hibernation or standby will many times bring a computer back to life quicker than some nav units out there currently.
No - unless you are willing to use the Mp3Car forums.
I'm amazed at the number of people on this DIY forum who are so against doing a DIY project like this....strange.
If you want to follow the heard, go ahead, no one is telling you not to. However, looking down on people who have decided that they want to dedicated THEIR free time to such a project doesn't exactly make sense.
Just because it's not for you (you being any multiple of people in this instance) doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense for anyone.
All I'm seeing in this thread is a bunch of people trying to discredit the carpc based on THEIR views and what THEY view as important or not...doesn't seem to follow a normal DIY community train of thought.
There are those of us out there who found something that interests us. If no one had ever taken on this project, the CarPC wouldn't have gotten event to the point it is now...no smart PSUs for starters.
I say again, if you're more interested in going with the heard, have at it. A CarPC is NOT for everyone. However, if you like to be on the cutting edge of new ideas and new technology, then yes, a CarPC IS for you.
BTW - we've tried to make things as easy as possible for those unwilling or unable to spend the time to research which components to get to get a CarPC: http://store.mp3car.com/Stage_4_Comp..._p/ccc-126.htm