Low End Mac Reviews

Review: Dr Bott gHead

2001.02.06

Sometimes the best solutions are the ones you forget about. The gHead from Dr Bott fits that category - I put one on my Power Mac G4/400 at work and pretty much forgot about it.

If you've ever started a Mac with no monitor attached and the connected one, you've probably found that the monitor can't sync to the video port. That's because the computer shuts down the video port when it doesn't find a monitor attached. Most of the time that's not a problem, but if you're running a headless server or have several Macs attached to a MoniSwitch USB, they may sometimes restart (e.g., after a power outage) with no monitor attached.

Until the gHead, the simple solution was to restart. Of course, if people are connected to the server, restarting does make a mess of things.

The gHead is a small device (a bit over 2" long) that plugs into the VGA port of a blue & white G3 or Power Mac G4 and "remembers" what video setting you were connected to. It also enables video resolutions you might not have had access to otherwise.

Testing was easy. Connect gHead to the VGA port, attach the monitor, and start the computer. Shut down, switch my MoniSwitch USB to the other computer, and restart the G4. Give it enough time to boot (about two minutes) and switch back. Voilà! It does exactly what it's supposed to. that's the hallmark of Dr Bott products: Simple solutions to Mac problems.

If you're running a headless blue & white G3 or Power Mac G4 server or using the MoniSwitch USB or a similar KVM on those models, this $19.95 device is definitely worth owning.

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