90s Police Car Dashboard Computer now runs XScreenSaver

Trammell Hudson: MDT9100:

The original system had an i386SX running Windows 3.1 in a locked-down kiosk mode that would only allow the radio application to run. [...] The BIOS setup screen can be reached with the "HOME" key during the boot and is a nostalgia trip. "Boot Sector Virus Protection" is such a throw back.

Security issues:

Although Motorola advertised the MDT-9100 as suitable for secure data communication, the standard version was in fact highly insecure. [...]

According to Motorola, a 'special code' was used, but the code appeared to be nothing more than plain ASCII. The data protcol was known as the MDT-4800 protocol and used bit-interleaving as a means to correct transmission errors, and to obscure the data stream. When hackers discovered the properties of the protocol, several PC programs appeared that allowed the general public to monitor police conversations with nothing more than a scanner, a PC and a simple interface.

In the US, the problem was 'solved' by making it illegal to publish and use the PC-based hacking software.

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9 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    Ahhhhh! SCMODS!

  2. rcn says:

    It looks exactly like the kind of gadget I'd use to find John Connor.

  3. Walter says:

    My favourite part is that F7 is marked LUNCH.

  4. Frank Miller says:

    You must be very proud!

  5. Tim says:

    Slightly disappointed they didn't get it to display the OCP logo.

    Boring question: why did Motorola use the 386 rather than one of their own designs?

  6. Psychophysicist says:

    "put an ARM SoC board in it" is rapidly becoming to retrocomputing what "swap an LS in it" is to car people.

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