back in the summer of 2000 i ran a (kinda) live “web cam”:http://allpodsgotoroswell.net/how_we_did_this/spacepod_cam.php in my vw bug as i drove from NC to NM.
i recall it was not easy to find ideas on the ‘net for how to do this. i really just knit together technologies that other people had created, though a fair amount of apple scripting was involved (ugh).
the following year, apparently there was still no more info on the ‘net about mobile computing because the fella on the left coast who decided to run a web cam during his ride to roswell basically mimicked my setup.
so tonight i am googling for things and what should i find but a guy who has “installed a mac mini”:http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=50583 in his 2001 vw beetle. which is very cool. had the mini existed in 2000, appealing though the form factor is, i probably wouldn’t have been able to use it because power is a problem. you can’t just plug a desktop computer into your car cigarette lighter. that’s one of the reasons i used a laptop; it’s made to be mobile, and good, reliable means of powering a laptop off of 12volt existed back then. with all the other stuff i was trying to figure out, discovering enough about electronics and power supplies to safely power a mini from my car without frying the computer in the process was out of the question.
the thing that just slays me is not that there’s now “a power supply specifically designed for installing a desktop computer in a car,”:http://www.carnetix.com/CNXP1900.htm (well, ok, that does slay me a little), but that they even sell a “mac pack”:http://www.carnetix.com/optional_cables.htm to make it easy to use with a mac.
so anyway, in 2007 some folks i know are leading a Route 66 caravan to roswell and i think spacepod and i are going to hit the road again for that trip. now on Route 66 I might not get good mobile phone coverage but I think I should try and run the spacepod cam again anyway. maybe it would be sweet to mount a mac mini and power supply on the underside of the tonneau cover, use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control it and… hmmm… run the video cable up to the front footwell… hmmm… get some vintage light housings from ebay to stylishly protect isights…
yeah this could be cool.