RexPC: Running EEEbuntu on eeePc 701 as a Carputer in my WRX

My latest big project is installing my eeePC 701 into my Subaru WRX. This is going to be a long project with several stages, and I’ll talk more later on the actual requirements. For now I first want to see if the eeePC 701 is actually powerful enough to make it worth installing into my car. Its low power requirements (22 watts) and tiny size makes it such a perfect fit that i want to make it work.

The eeePc I am planning to build into my wrx

The eeePc I am planning to build into my wrx

The Xandros packaged with the 701 was more of a joke than anything else. Fantastic for the very inexperienced user who will only ever use skype, pidgin and firefox. I need something more powerful and less buggy, so I’m going with EEEbuntu 3.0 base, since this is the most stripped down “full-featured” ready-to-go OS for the 701 I could find.

After downloading, burning and installing (luckily I have an external CDROM) I went through the following steps:

  1. Run Update Manager and install all the updates (it’s based on Ubuntu 9.04)
  2. Install GPSD, gpsdrive, tangogps, python-gps though synaptic
  3. Plug in GPS (gpsd launches automatically), and go for a test drive

I drove around the neighborhood with the GPS pushed into my sunroof (smart huh?) and the eeepc on the passanger seat. I was very impressed with tangogps and logged my trip around campus with it. At first glance everything worked seamlessly with no configuration needed!

A quick test trip logged using tangogps

A quick test trip logged using tangogps

I’ll be looking into touchscreens to install in place of the regular cd/radio/tape head that is currently in there, and keep writing about my progress.

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