Back online after a 1000 mile move. :)
I don't cool the hard drive. It may have been operating outside the recommended temp range while I was in Texas, but it never gave me one problem in the Texas August heat. I bet it would get up to 120 or 130 in my car, too. Now that I am in Colorado, I don't worry about it at all.
About shick absorption, It is pretty well protected. If you see from the pictures, it is engulfed in the foam it was shipped in. Also, the bottom of that foam is egg-crated, giving added suspension. I'm sure hitting a deer would not be as traumatic on the hard drive as some of the bumps I have driven on. This hard drive can take quite a bit. In fact, I once dropped the keyboard on it while it was running, and it didn't flinch. The Celica has a pretty hard suspension, too. At first I was very weary about bumps, slowing down for everything, but I feel very comfortable with it.
Yes, I have all of the MP3s and software backed up.
Well it is not illegal to have a screen like that in your car in Texas. Have you seen the stereo systems in new Mercedes Benzes? They have a huge LCD in them, too. I'm not sure about Colorado. I just moved here, and it doesn't sem like an anal state as far as this sort of thing goes. I'll double check for sure, though.
I am working on some finishing touches on the software. After putting it to use, I have found things I would like to add and change. Also, much of it is hardware dependant and some #ifdefs would be in order. :) I'll post something when I get the software ready.