Ok so it wasn't night, and the day wasn't stormy either. Earlier this year i was able to bring together 2 of my interests, cars and computers. Well there was a third interest too, food was involved but that is involved anyway :). This time the food involved was the amazing Barra Kababs of the famed Khalsa dhaba, which is quite literally world famous in that part of delhi :) (west). Coming back to the other 2 interests, i installed a PC in my car. Many people said why and i didn't really have an answer, i guess there really isn't any way to justify it. Its just something i decided to do and i managed to do it. It took months of meticulous planning, procuring and most importantly finding the right team for installation. I was lucky to find some people who were just as detail oriented as i was and i was extremely happy to find someone who actually knew what they were doing. Most shops in Delhi are focussed on LOUD music and they have no clue about the various settings on an amplifier. The people who did the installation also installed a great sound system to complement, and i must admit it was an eye opening experience in itself. I felt the usual mass market brands like Sony, Pioneer etc were all we had in India but i was very wrong. India has a growing market for niche or high end audio products and i somehow managed to connect with the right people.
The PC is a regular windows xp computer except that its a small form factor. That is to make it fit in the small spaces within a car while keeping the heat level low and also utilizing less power. Procuring all the items for the system were indeed troublesome and almost everything had to be imported right down to the quick connect clips.
I wanted the look to be as factory finished as possible and not just something that seems stuck on the dash. This meant i would have to fabricate a custom dash, which i did on my own :). In the end the entire project was extremely satisfying. The interface is Centrafuse that operates like a high end media interface and with my custom skin it seems like it came with the car. The GPS works great and people cant believe its actually working here in India, well its all in the maps actually. What doesn't work is the guidance as the process of finding an address is very cumbersome. The software looks for a street address and in India we have colony or locality address and street addresses are very few. The audio video works great and thanks to my great sound system its a very nice experience. My phone is linked with it using bluetooth and works just fine. I also installed a rear view camera with sensors so it shows me obstacles at the back with the distance. Here are some pictures of the system in action.
This is only a snapshot of the full system, full details of the build can be seen in my thread on Team BHP the pictures start on page 7.