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« A new acronym from our vacation... NAGL | Main| Book Review - The Black Silent by David Dun »

Book Review - Car PC Hacks by Damien Stolarz

Category Book Reviews

I never knew there was so much computerization you could do to your car...  Car PC Hacks - Tips & Tools for Geeking Your Ride by Damien Stolarz.

Contents:  Car Power Basics; Automotive Audio Entertainment; Automotive Video Entertainment; In-Car Computers; Car PC Interface Options; Wireless Connectivity and in-Car Internet; In-Car Applications; Index

In this Hacks book, you get 75 different ways to "geek your ride".  This can range from simple modifications to the stereo system (#13 - Installing a New Head Unit) to installing a full-fledged PC in your car (#41 - Choose an in-Car PC Hardware Platform).  While many of the hacks don't have step by step instructions on how to make it all come together, there's enough information to point you in the right direction.  In reality, it'd be almost impossible to do detailed instructions, as each car will be different, and your options for mounting and installing hardware can often be limited only by your imagination.  Even if you're not all that handy with tools and such, this book will give you a really good idea of what can be done.  From there, you can figure out who to befriend in order to get the installation taken care of.  

I also appreciated the in-depth coverage of how a car's electrical system works.  I'm the type who just turns the key and figures everything starts up.  When you start adding in all sorts of new equipment, the demands on the battery change dramatically.  In addition, PC equipment doesn't view momentary power drops during start-up very kindly.  After reading this material, you'll understand the issues involved as well as how they can all be overcome.

Bottom line, this is a very good book if you're interested in tricking out your car with the latest in custom electronics.  The first time you sit in the back seat and start playing the latest XBox game mounted in the headrest, you'll be hooked...


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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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