Working as a creative technologist in London Dev Joshi often works on remote computer systems which do not have any attached display. Many computer systems disable their GPU hardware when the system detects no display is plugged into the HDMI port; this is a well documented issue for Mac Mini and Intel HD graphics user bases. When the system is remotely controlled over an intranet using Vitual Networking Computer (VNC) software, the result is a tiny low-res display area on the host machine. On top of this the graphics card hardware fails to initialize properly so you can’t run tasks that need the help of the GPU accelerator.
To solve the problem Dev came up with a really neat HDMI simulator plug which he calls the Headless Ghost. When attached, the Headless Ghost emulates the presence of a high resolution display; this enables the GPU hardware and unlocks a range of resolutions to work with. The Headless Ghost fits directly into an HDMI socket and works with mini HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI outputs using adaptors.
Key features of the system:
- Supports resolutions from 800x600 all the way up to 4096x2160 (4K!)
- Operating system and software agnostic - works with Windows, OSX, Linux and just about anything else
- Requires no drivers, configuration or power supply - just set it and forget it
- Appears as a headless ghost display in the OS graphics properties window for easy identification amongst other displays
- Programming port - exposed programming pins on the board allow for new EDID data to be easily downloaded into the Ghost's memory
- Open source
Dev’s Kickstarter campaign is close to ending and he’s already been pledged over three times the goal so I guess he’s not the only one who has come across this problem.