Getting some ideas from these guys: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=970971, http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=97097, http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=446165, http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=421032,
A) I already ruled out restoring to OEM state because it costs more than the new tech for the old tech and it’s a PIA to hack the old stuff.
B) I ruled out single and double din bezels, as the single and double din head units out there will be redundant when connected to my HK oem amp and trunk server, take up more power and space than necessary, and cost more than tablets to get one with all the features I want.
C) For my carputer, I settled on android front end with a linux backend. 4G, wifi, flash, high capacity, multimedia, etc. are all features I demand, and this is almost impossible to achieve using prefabricated parts with a rapid system startup and little delay without using a smartphone or a tablet, so that’s what I am going to do. At some point I will design my own chip that is future friendly, but until then, a standard library, and api, and library examples will be my development goal. By the time I am ready to experiment with DIY boards for the job, I will already have my E46 development platform in place, with a Linux development box hosting files and debugging the android smartphone in the dash behind the dynavin bezel as it interfaces with the steering wheel and dynavin bezel to achieve what the user desires.
v.1 Touch LCD
v.2 Touch LCD + USB Resler IBUS Steering Wheel interface
v.3 Touch LCD + USB Resler IBus Steering Wheel Interface + USB Sparkfun IOIO to Dynavin Faceplate
Android 4+ Smartphone with 4G+Wifi+SD Card connected via USB to trunk mounted server
I already have plenty of ATX and ITX boxes that would fit in the trunk and push audio, gps, and video to a Xenarc monitor in a bezel. I want to do a tablet up front connected via usb to a linux system in the trunk. I want to wire the 4g tablet up front to the oem faceplate of the knockoff dynavin so I can eventually tether the linux box to the tablet, or tether both tablet and linux box to my phone in the meantime for proof of concept. By the end of it, the old knockoff dynavin will have been cannibalized and turned into an analog interface for the tablet, so that the steering wheel and the old dynavin faceplate trigger volume, track, and mode changes on the tablet. Specifically the R/T button needs to switch between whatever A/V program is open and phone app or skype depending on whether APNs are present.