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Book Review: Car PC Hacks by Damien Stolarz

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Just got this book in the mail, and it is chock full of wild, wacky and warranty-cancelling things you can do to your car.

First, let me tell you what Car PC Hacks by Damien Stolarz is not&#8212it is not a book about how to hack the controllers in your car’s engine to make it go fast, burn different fuel mixtures, etc. Just like the title says, it is about car computers&#8212and this means everything from actual onboard computers, to audio and video confabulations.

This is the second O’Reilly “Hack” book I’ve gotten. It’s similar to a “Cookbook” for programmers, in that it is arranged by topic and project. In other words, it’s not a long narrative about something, it’s simply full of crazy projects. 75 of them, to be exact.

Some of the tamer projects include installing headrest video screens, listening to email on the road (once you rig up your computer to receive free wi-fi, of course), install a back-up camera and screen, receive satellite TV, and rig a free GPS-based navi-system.

There’s also a podcast about this book, which you can listen to by clicking here.

Of course, since all this stuff is power-heavy, there’s also a bunch of hacks on how to strengthen your car’s electrical system. To give you an idea, one of the hacks shows how to install a heavier-duty alternator.

There are seven chapters in Car PC Hacks, each covering a different way to turn your car into a functioning computer with cupholders. They are as follows:

  1. Car Power Basics
  2. Automotive Audio Entertainment
  3. Automotive Video Entertainment
  4. In-Car Computers
  5. Car PC Interface Options
  6. Wireless Connectivity and in-Car Internet
  7. In-Car Applications

Originally published at Car Buyer’s Notebook.com.
Edited: PC

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