I’m sure most people that have built a CarPC are already familiar with shutdown controllers, but I think this hack is pretty clever. Computers don’t like being turned off suddenly so you need to figure out how to power down the PC safely. This circuit has a serial connector and appears to XP as a generic UPS. When the ignition is turned off it breaks the 5V line to COM pin 8. XP responds by hibernating. Once the computer shuts down the relay for the power inverter opens. When the ignition is switched on the inverter powers up and the computer turns on.
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UPDATE: I’ve solved my issues click the “Continue reading” link.
I’m sure you saw the news of Apple releasing the Windows bootloader Boot Camp yesterday. My current desktop machine is a Core Duo Mac mini so I figured I’d give it a shot (so I could run four folding threads, naturally). I downloaded the Boot Camp package and upgraded the mini’s firmware. The first thing the Boot Camp install assistant does is burn a driver disc for use after the XP install is complete. Once this is done it shrinks the HFS+ partition and creates an empty partition for Windows. It then asks you to insert the XP install disk (must have SP2). The Windows install proceeded normally and Windows booted. This is where my trouble began: the drivers didn’t apply cleanly. I could have retried but for one serious problem. To get the initial boot device selection screen to appear you have to hold down the “alt” key while the machine is starting. The only USB keyboard I have is a Gyration wireless one. The boot menu only showed up at best 1 in 10 attempts. Apple does provide software to choose which OS you want to boot by default, but since the Windows drivers didn’t install there was no guarantee I could flip the switch back to OS X once I was in XP. I decided the flaky “alt” key detection was probably my wireless keyboard not being fully initialized, so I made a late night run to the Megalomart to buy the cheapest wired USB keyboard they had. I plugged it in and tried to bring up the boot menu; it didn’t work a single time. So, my experiment is over for now since I don’t want to get trapped in XP. Hopefully they fix this public beta so that is has an actual boot menu, with a countdown, like every other bootloader. UNEASYsilence has a video of how this install should go.
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