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Centrefuse on platforms other than Windows?
Question asked by David - August 6 at 7:11 PM
Unanswered
I've read around, and from what I gather, Cetrafuse is a 'Windows Only' application. The problem, IMO, is that x86 hardware can only get so small, while remaining reasonably priced. Basically, people have to build a 'fairly serious' machine to support the OS that's running what is, relatively speaking, a lightweight application. In my personal opinion, you guys are doing yourself a disservice by not looking into a branch that'll run on other, smaller devices, such as a RPi3 or Asus Tinker Board.
 
I have an old mini-ITX based 'CarPC' that a friend gave me some time back that has Windows XP and Centrafuse 2.0 on it. Centrafuse 2.0 was pretty good, and quite responsive running on WinXP with 1GB RAM on a Via C7 processor. I'd rather like to investigate building a CarPC for my older car or my truck - the problem is the space required.
 
I could PROBABLY fit this thing under the back seat of my truck, the tradeoff being I probably would then be unable to fold that seat down. It's also a bit far from where everything needs to be. Same thing goes for my car - the ONLY place I might be able to put the thing is in the trunk, and that's just a crazy distance off.
 
Now a RPi or Tinker would be perfect - tiny enough that you could put it just about anywhere, and almost certainly at least as powerful as that Via C7, if not more powerful, and very low power usage.
 
Porting over to a linux base might be a large challenge - but maybe something that would run on Win10 IoT core would be less of a challenge?
 
It seems there are some other possibilities out there, possibly less polished and not quite as purpose built as Centrafuse that will run on Raspberries, but I'm no sure how good they really are. Odds are I won't purchase a new or upgrade Centrafuse license just because it's really isn't a viable option for me - spending the money required to get one of the relatively few x86 SBCs that I MIGHT be able to fit somewhere just isn't a wise choice IMO.
 
If you guys branched out even if just to Win10 IoT Core, you'd likely open yourself up to another, maybe larger market.

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The Centrafuse Team Replied
August 8 at 7:46 PM
Employee Post
Thanks for your comments. If you are looking for a small platform running Windows 10, I'd look at tablets.  There are several good Win10 tablets on the market that have no problem running Centrafuse. I ran Centrafuse on a Win10 tablet for several years. Paired with a Kenwood head unit that supported Bluetooth, and all of my audio and video requirements were easily met.
 
The real problem isn't the size of the platform. The problem is there is no market for Windows desktop  applications. Everybody is using their phones (iPhone/Android). And the problem with phones is screen real estate. You can't get enough info on a smartphone screen like you can on a 7 or 8" tablet or touch screen. In addition, it's tough to display two independent applications on the same screen. Samsung does it, and there are various workarounds, but Android and iOS are essentially a "one at a time" show, with an app either in the foreground accepting user input, or in the background...still running but not available for user interaction.
 
So that brings us to your idea. If you run it on a Raspberry Pi or WInIoT device, you run into OS limitations and the limitations of available APIs.  And assuming that everything you need exists on a RasPi, you can bet the API wont work for WinIoT. But even if it was the same and it all worked the same, would it be worth the effort? How many would we sell...10...20? And how much would we need to charge for the effort. I lowered the price of Centrafuse to $29.99, not because that was what it cost, but because at this point in its life, that was about all could charge and still cover some occasional updates.  
 
So there you go.  Still looking at a cross-platform Android/iOS app built on something like Xamarin, but the going is slow. 
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Barry Replied
August 17 at 2:30 PM
I agree the windows tablets work nicely. I have a mini ITX board and its only 6.5" square. There are tons of places I can put this in my truck. It's running windows10 with an intel i7, so power is not a problem.
 
I looked at a lot of front ends and IMO centrafuse is by far the best of them. Can it get better? is there some things that can be improved on? of course, but with the market the way it is, it is unfortunate that the team can't devote more time for these things. People gotta eat and support families.
 
There is a lot that you can do to tweak Centrafuse to your liking and thats why I went with them.
 
My hats are off to the team at centrafuse for sticking with it, they don't do it for the money. I would have paid a whole lot more for it.
Barry

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