Muzak uses a Pentium PC, a Matrix Orbital LCD display and an IRman infrared receiver, plus lots of miscellaneous cables and extras.

IRman infrared recveiver (
Any Remote Control

This infrared receiver costs about $40. It interfaces directly to the serial port on a PC. The company that sells them (Evation) also has drivers on their web page for using IRman with windows. You can use any remote control to control things like winamp and powerpoint presentations. There were no drivers available under Linux, but it turns out to be just a matter of reading in characters from the serial port.

Matrix Orbital LK204-25 20x4 LCD display (

The Matrix Oribital 20x4 display makes development a lot easier. It has a built in RS-232 connector, and it can be powered, written to and read with just 4 wires. It also has a backlight and has built in support for graphs and big characters. The main drawback is that it costs US $75. I would like to make the system work with a cheaper display. One potential source of a good driver for a cheap display is LCDproc.

120MHz Pentium
6.5GB Hard drive space
Network Card (10/100BASE-T 3Com 3C595-TX)
Sound Card (SoundBlaster AWE 64)
Video Card (Optional) (Matrox Millenium)

Operating System
Red Hat Linux 6.0 (see software page) (

Power Supply
DC-DC supply draws from the car battery and powers the motherboard directly. Outputs +-12V and +-5V.
Arise computer ACE-865V power supply (

Input Voltage: 8-16 VDC
Max Output Current at 5V: 6 A
Operating Temperature: 0-55 C
Storage Temperature: -20-85 C
Efficiency: 73%