Computer technology has come a long way since 2001. At the time, 80GB hard drives cost $300. Laptop drives topped out at 30GB and cost even more money. Mini-ITX motherboards weren't available yet, and embedded/industrial motherboards were extemely expensive. Because of these limitations certain compromises had to be made. While a number of trade-offs will always exist, newer technology has a way of making the process less painful.


While solid-state storage won't be practical for a number of years, laptop hard drives are the next-best thing. They're smaller, more shock-resistant, and draw less power than desktop drives. 160gb laptop drives are available today for a cool $150.


I'm looking for something that's small and reasonably priced. Mini-ITX boards and cases fit those goals really well. I still haven't decided whether to build a custom case, or to buy one off-the-shelf.


My controller of choice, the Gravis Gamepad Pro, has been discontinued. When it comes time to build a new Car-PC, I'll probably bite the bullet and pick a different controller. I like the layout of the Logitech Precision Gamepad 2. It has a layout that's almost identical to the Gamepad Pro. It does use a USB interface, though. This would complicate things a bit, because there's no DOS driver for it. In fact, DOS has no built-in support for USB, at all. One possible solution would be to use a third party USB stack, like DOSUSB, but I'd still need to write a driver for the gamepad.

Last Update: 12-30-2006