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A Mac Mini Powered Lexus
Friday February 25, 2005

Mario E. from Miami Florida a Mac mini and car enthusiast has installed a Mac mini into his Lexus IS300. This installation impressed us so much, we just had to get in touch with Mario for an interview. The custom made glove compartment box to hold the Mac mini and USB/FireWire Hub is one of the neatest jobs we've seen implemented yet. Mario's setup also includes a Pioneer pull-out widescreen display mounted in the center console and an on-board GPS system. Mario tells us he's wanted to do a project like this for sometime and even thought of using a Apple Cube, but then when the Mac mini came out he finally got down to working on it. With the Mac mini's enthusiastic fan base and small form factor, we're seeing more and more Auto installs come across our email everyday. Thanks for the interview Mario and keep us posted on any future modifications you should make to your setup. And tell the guy's at Audio Elite they did a great job!

What gave you the idea?
"I always had the idea of putting a computer in my car. I never did it because the CPU's were too big and I didn't want an ugly box and cables thrown in just to say I have a computer in my car. I have been patient trying to find the right unit for all my vehicles and I came close once with the Apple Cube but it was still too big. Finally after the recent release of this Mac Mini and finding out that itís almost the size of a single DIN radio and has an Airport Extreme Card and Bluetooth. Iíd be able to connect to the Internet when I don't have a WiFi or WIMAX connection available, so I knew this was the winner."

What parts did you use?
A Mac mini 1.42GHz and Apple wireless keyboard and mouse. I use the mouse on my armrest for those who want to know. Its big enough for what I need. A DVI to S-Video / Composite Converter, midi to (L) and (R) audio adapter by Monster, shielded Cables for both audio and video by Monster. Also installed a hub that has 4 USB 2.0 ports and 2 Firewire ports, the another USB hub in the back for the passengers, Have 2 Firewire cams and I am able to have up to 8 more for a total of 10, not that I think I will use nor do I need 10 but I still have that option. I have plenty of ports to plug whatever I want in, including my digital video camera, and my 60GB iPod photo."

What software are you using to control the setup?
"I am using the OS X 10.3.8 which came with my Mac Mini and sometimes my Sony Ericsson T68i, I use all the other applications too. ITunes looks amazing on the screen and even the screen savers look real nice. I'm also using Speech Recognition to control the system while driving. I am always interested in software that will enable me to control everything from my Mac Mini to the car, so if someone does have software they think would work or would like for me to try it out let me know."

Did you run into any snags?
"Not Really. I would like to say thanks to Audio Elite in Miami Florida for helping me on this experiment."

Do you have future plans with the project?
"Ahh! Thatís the magic question. Actually I do have a lot of plans that are being worked on as we speak. A few of them will be finished sometime in the next few months. Unfortunately, I can't say much right now for obvious reasons."

More Information:
  More Pictures from Mario's website
  Related: When Mac Mini Met Land Rover
  Related: Mac Mini hooked up to 7-inch LCD Touchscreen
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