Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Project

I have a vision for the Hondat (our 2001 Honda Accord, yes I know, original name). I see a GPS guidance system, voice activated environmental controls, and engine stats. I see digital maintenance logs, gigabytes of media, and integrated hands-free over bluetooth. I see...a carputer.

I am starting down the long (and potentially expensive) path of designing, installing, and implementing a custom carputer.  I plan on using this blog not only to share my adventures, but to help organize all my ideas.  Thus begins the feature list:

  • 7" Touchscreen interface

  • Additional 4.5" LCD monitor

  • Micro-ATX form factor for the computer

  • Bluetooth

  • GPS integration

  • Media player (mp3, mpeg, jpeg, etc...)

  • Engine stats via OBDII

  • Engine diagnostics

  • Maintenance Log with reminders

  • Digital Environmental Controls

  • Voice activated controls

  • Trip logs

All this will be integrated into one slick interface.

Other low-priority possibilities include:

  • Door lock and trunk control

  • Bluetooth auto-unlocking from phone application

  • Window control

  • External sensors (ie. weather sensors, IR, tire pressure, etc...)

  • External Cameras, automatically engaged with reverse

  • Wifi

  • Car Alarm

  • Customized profiles based on driver with some sort of auto recognition (keyed fobs, voice recognition, something...)

I know there is software already out there that does all of this, but I'm looking at this as a learning tool and an exciting hobby.  I plan on using quite a bit of third party components, but I want to integrate them all myself.  I plan on this all being based off of a Linux OS.  Probably something like LFS so I am aware of every package installed on the system.

So here is the first draft of my carputer requirements.  I will most likely be editing this page as new ideas pop into my head, or initial ideas are refined.  I will also be using the tag system to expand on my adventures with each feature.  OBDII will be first up on that list, since I already have an OBDII to USB connector, compliments of Sean (thanks for the birthday present!).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Where the Pels go

So I have completed an entire week of work at Pelco and things appear to be going well.  I am amazed at how pleasant it is to work in a linux development environment.  I have already learned several new tricks on the command line, customized my gvim experience, and even learned some more reasons to hate IE.  Yes, it is quite an experience and I am looking forward to assuming my place in Fort Collins.

Speaking of Fort Collins, Kim and I are quite excited to get out there.  Move day is July 16 (our 3 year anniversary!) and every weekend between now and then is booked.  Including this past weekend and the weekend prior to that.  This means all of our packing is going to be happening in the copious amounts of free time we have during the week, ooof.  This makes the thought of being in Fort Collins even more appealing because that means our move will be complete.

As I mentioned in my last post, Kim and I moved a mere 4 months ago to the place we're presently occupying.  It is a one bedroom flat that has been very nice, but involved a fair amount of trimming down to fit in there.  This has actually been a blessing now that we are moving again.  So we continued the trend this past weekend by weeding out another 3 or 4 boxes of stuff.  Shedding oneslef of predominantly unused stuff is a very good feeling.

In other news, I have developed a strong desire to deck out our Honda with a carputer.  I am planning on using this blog as an organizational tool for my ideas, so plan on seeing several posts regarding the project as it develops.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Kimberly at the Moon Rocks

Hello all my faithful readers (read people who have me on their RSS readers)!

This will be my first substantive post in about 9 months.  Believe it or don't some things have happened in that time.  The first thing I will draw attention to is the new theme.  It has been heavily customized to suit my needs and features a photo that I took with my DSLR at Yosemite.

Kimberly has cut her hair really short and we have moved again since last time I blogged. One of the biggest changes however, is yet to come. I recently received and accepted an offer from Pelco that entails the two of us moving to Fort Collins, CO. So in as little as six weeks from now, we will no longer be Californians.  This job came about with many thanks (and a dinner!) to Sean for getting my foot in the door.  Without his recommendation my resume would not have made it past HR.

Hopefully more details will follow over the course of the next six weeks, but I won't make any promises given my current track record. Before I go I would also like to note that the gallery has also suffered a theme change.  This theme is still in its infancy, so be patient with it.  Eventually it is going to make a far superior viewing environment than anything flickr presently offers.

Until next time...