For fun I have been building a XP Embedded setup for my carputer. I found a quick and easy way to build it instead of spending countless hours playing around in Target Designer.
I downloaded BartPE builder and installed XP Embedded with all of the goodies.
I made a PE disc in BartPE Builder and included a little file from XPE called TAP.EXE. I booted up BartPE and connected my flash drive and ran the TAP.EXE file.
TAP.EXE -o D:\hardware.pmq
What this command does it builds a profile/database of the hardware on the system. I took the flash drive out and tossed it on my main system that XPE was installed on and started up Target Designer. I imported the profile/database and it scanned the file. BartPE only listed generic hardware but the tap program covers everything so it was able to setup the correct drivers. After the hardware profile was ready I selected a design template Kiosk/Gaming Console and ran the Dependency check. After fixing a few quick errors and tweaking the settings like adding a admin password, ditching IE and such I built the image to my flash drive. While the image was building I went back to the carputer. While still in BartPE I formated my hard drive and left the filesystem alone. When the image was ready I put the flash drive back on the carputer and copied the build image to the hard drive. I rebooted the carputer and went into the BIOS and changed the boot priority back to HD0 (primary hard drive) and crossed my fingers. The screen went blank and several seconds later it came to life. The build went though a final check and wrote a registry. It rebooted and was back into XPE with in seconds. I logged in a Admin and all I got was a blue background and a mouse cursor. It hit me I forgot to include a shell. Instead of rebuilding the image I booted back into BartPE and copied the shell over and then use Trinity Rescue Linux and modified the registry to use the Bart shell.
I rebooted once more and everything worked. This isn't a full build but enough to start with. All I need to do is add the touch screen drivers and software and include my front end for the carputer and try and keep all of it under 500mb for my compact flash card.
I've tried the carputer thing in the past, but could never get my hands on a screen/lcd that was small enough/readable. It also included running a power inverter and a whole desktop unit in the trunk. :P
What kind of hardware are you using? I'm very interested in seeing how this pans out.
A typical desktop with a special DC-DC power supply that also has a shutdown controller. Heres the specs of my current system, i'm in the works for my final system.
Soyo P4VGA motherboard
Intel Celeron 2.4GHz
RoseWill 1GB DDR400 memory (two sticks of 512MB)
Using the built in Video (S3 Savage)
Using built in sound (AC'97 Codec)
M2-ATX DC-DC power supply
IBM 16x DVD drive from a old laptop with IDE/ATA adapter
IBM 20GB hard drive from a old laptop with IDE/ATA adapter
Unknown brand desktop case
Berklin 5 port USB 2.0 HUB
GlobalSat USB GPS Receiver
Super 7inch motorized LCD (Dash)
Super 10inch LCD (Rear)
BOSS 400watt 4 channel amp
BOSS 400watt 2 channel amp
Pioneer in doors and rear deck
15" sub pulled from a old Marshall bass amp
That will be a nice setup, and it'll do anything you want in a vehicle.
I've been tossing around the idea of using a laptop.. The screen is cracked, so I thought about taking it off and hiding the remainder under a seat or something. The plus side is that the input is already DC, and most likely 12v which is overly abundant in any vehicle
Is there a plus to doing embedded rather than just installing an os on the HD?
Depends really, a desktop uses 12, 5 and 3 volts and also uses separate grounds for each voltage for the output to the hardware. Now a laptop's DC input can be anywhere from 18 to 24volts but the power supply decrees the voltage to 12, 5 and 3 volts and in some cases 1.5 volts. The reason why a laptop needs more voltage is because of the LCD.
Yes there is a major reason/difference to using a embedded OS.
Don't have to dish out a ton of cash on a big hard drive that will die with in a month (My new build is going to be solid state storage) and the system boots 10times faster. Right now XP embedded is using about 113MB but will be slimmed down more when I have all of the tweaks and dependencies figured out for my 3rd party software.
Heres the spec list of my new system i'm building.
A-Bit VA10 motherboard
AMD Sempron 3GHz (Uses lower voltage and wattage)
1.5 or 2GB ram DDR400
ATI 7000 AGP 64MB vram (Kinda lame but i'm not planning to play video games on it)
4 USB flash drives 2GB each
Compact Flash 1GB
Thing is with this system i'm going to be using the LinuxBIOS (Coreboot v2) project.
The BIOS will have the bootloader and kernel with the possibility of a small snip of xorg and the compact flash will have the rest of the linux distro including the frontend and the USB flash drives will be backup, swap and music/videos/pictures.
i would like to do a car puter the can use those cell phone broadband cards for internet so i can dl music moveis ect to watch or listn to in my car. i would also like it to read all my sensors and tell me how my car is running. tcp let me know how this comes out and see if we can come up with something together
I had it load up no shell. I forgot to include explorer.exe so I just tossed in the shell from the BartPE.
BartPE = Bart's Pre-installed Environment
BIOS = Basic Input Output System
SHELL = A part of the graphic user interface or GUI that is the main frontend to the GUI system in a Operating System. With out a shell all you have is a Graphic Interface with nothing to control. A shell involves a file manager and so on.
The internet thing for a carputer is very typical as well. Theres four ways of doing it.
Cellphone with a direct connection/dialup.
Cellphone broadband card PCMICA.
Cellphone broadband with a USB based modem.
ClearWire with a power inverter to power the modem.
You know if you want to dress it up, you can run XPE and load a Vista shell. You'll still use all the XP sys files, but you can mount the Vista GUI. I think Vista looks good, I just don't like how it runs.
It would be alright for a typical desktop but i'm going for a very light weight/fast.
I just got done testing it on a 512 compact flash card with IDE adapter and it's quick. If the BIOS had less weight like no memory count, faster scanning for IDE devices it would boot under 5 seconds, as in from post to fully loaded into windows.